USATF News & Notes: 5/10/2004

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    Stevenson soars at Modesto

    2004 U.S. Indoor pole vault champion Toby Stevenson bettered his previous career best performance three times and set a new meet record Saturday in defeating a strong field at the 2004 Coca-Cola Modesto Relays.

    Stevenson’s clearance of 6.00 meters/19 feet, 8.25 inches made him the second American ever to clear that height, and it is the best mark in the world this year. The only other American ever to clear 6 meters, U.S. record holder Jeff Hartwig, was the runner-up on Saturday with a clearance of 5.75m/18-10.25.

    Stevenson’s previous personal best was an indoor clearance earlier this year of 5.81m/19-0.75. Prior to his winning jump on Saturday, Stevenson cleared 5.85m/19-2.50 and 5.90m/19-4.75. Stevenson’s performance is the best in the world since Dmitriy Markov won the 2001 World Outdoor Championships in Edmonton with a clearance of 6.05m/19-10.25.

    Also at Modesto, 2003 world indoor and outdoor champion men’s long jump champion Dwight Phillips was victorious in his specialty with a leap of 8.43m/27-8. Phillips also won the men’s 100m open invitational event in 10.12 seconds (2.9 mps). 2000 Olympic gold medalist and American record holder Stacy Dragila won the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.55m/14-11, and Inger Miller won the women’s 100m (11.06 wind-aided) and 200m (23.16). Larry Wade won the men’s 110m hurdles (13.13 seconds) and hometown hero Suzy Powell won the women’s discus (62.76m/205-11).

    Elsewhere, five-time Olympic medalist Marion Jones won the 100m and long jump Friday night at the at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston.

    Jones easily won the 100 meters in 11.04 seconds, before taking the long jump with a best effort of 6.74m/22 feet, 1.50 inches.

    Also at Kingston, world indoor champion Savante Stringfellow won the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.81m/25 feet, 7.50 inches. Gail Devers won the 100m hurdles in 12.50 seconds, Darvis Patton won the men’s 100m in 10.12 and reigning world champion Maria Mutola won the 800 in 2:00.38, ahead of American Hazel Clark (2:01.46).

    2000 Olympic gold medalist and former world record holder Maurice Greene continued his winning ways in Osaka, Japan on Saturday in leading a U.S. 1-2-3 sweep in the men’s 100 meters.

    Greene crossed the finish line first in 10.04 seconds, with J.J. Johnson the runner-up in 10.11, and Mickey Grimes third in 10.12. The U.S. also took the top three spots in the women’s 100 meters as 2003 World Outdoor 100m silver medalist Torri Edwards won the race in 11.06. Chryste Gaines was the runner-up in 11.14, and Angela Daigle was third in 11.27.

    Browne, Kilpatrick win U.S. titles in Grand Rapids

    Dan Browne and Debbi Kilpatrick were the respective men’s and women’s winners Saturday at the 2004 USA 25 km Championships, hosted by the 27th Fifth Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    Simon Wangai of Kenya was the class of the men’s field as he won handily in 1 hour, 15 minutes, 15 seconds, while Browne successfully defended his U.S. men’s title in finishing second overall in 1:16:21.

    “I decided to push hard after 10 miles,” said Browne, who qualified for the 2004 U.S. Olympic marathon team in February, “but after three hard miles, I just wasn’t making up any ground. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to give Simon more of a race.” The runner-up finish overall for Browne was still good for his 13th national title and a total payday of $6,000.

    Other top U.S. men’s finishers included Ryan Shay (3rd-1:17:12), Teddy Mitchell (1:17:55) and Scott Larson (1:18:07).

    In women’s competition, Alevtina Ivanova from Russia was the overall winner in 1:26:38, as the 40-year-old Kilpatrick used a steady pace throughout to run down early leader Jeanne Hennessy, and then Sonja Friend-Uhl, to double-dip as USA Open and Masters champion. Kilpatrick, who placed fourth overall, won the U.S. women’s title in 1:31:14.

    Other top U.S. women’s finishers included Sonja Friend-Uhl (5th-1:31:26), Jeanne Hennessy (6th-1:33:12) and Janet Robertz (7th-1:33:56).

    As part of the 2004 USA Running Circuit, the top 10 U.S. athletes earned points at River Bank. With his U.S. title (worth 15 USARC points), Browne moved within four points of current men’s leader Meb Keflezighi, 54 points to 50, while Kilpatrick moved into fourth place (18 points) on the women’s list. Defending women’s Circuit champion Colleen De Reuck is the current leader with 45 points.

    The 2004 USARC, a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon, offers over $810,000 in championship prize money plus a $25,000 grand prix purse.

    For more information on the 2004 USA 25 km Championships, visit http://www.usatf.org.

    Rupp runs fast mile at Nike

    2003 Pan Am Junior 5,000m champ and prep sensation Galen Rupp posted the eighth-fastest American high school mile time ever last Friday at the Nike corporate campus in Beaverton, Ore.

    At an event held to commemorate Roger Bannister’s historic breaking of the four-minute barrier entitled the Nike Invitational Mile, Rupp ran with 12 of the nation’s finest middle distance runners and finished seventh in 4 minutes, 1.8 seconds. 2000 Olympian Michael Stember won the contest in 3:59.4, the exact time Bannister ran in bettering four minutes for the first time in history 50 years ago.

    A senior at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., Rupp broke the all-time state record in the mile, held by Dirk Lakeman of South Eugene, who posted a 4:04.9 at the 1977 Prefontaine Classic. Prior to completing the mile, Rupp also broke Lakeman’s 1,500m state record with his clocking of 3:45.3. Lakeman’s previous 1,500m record was 3:46.8.

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