2000 Olympic Trials

Sacramento CA

Friday July 14, 2000

By David Monti with Ken Nakamura
(c) 2000 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

SACRAMENTO (14-Jul) -- All the fans who left Hornet Stadium after Michael
Johnson qualifed in his 400m heat missed some great sprinting and close
finishes in the men's and women's 10,000m finals on the first day of the
U.S. Olympic Trials for Athletics.

The men's race was thrown out of kilter when the overwhelming favorite, Bob
Kennedy, withdrew.  When the huge field of 34 athletes took to the track
they were greeted by surprisingly cool temperatures and a light breeze.  It
was anybody's race.

Although Teddy Mitchell jumped to the front from the gun, he was soon
overtaken by former University of Arizona star, Abdi Abdiriham.  Abdi lead
through 2800m and was overtaken by former Michigan State distance man, Jim
Jurcevich at 3000m (8:28.81).  A pack of 11 contenders soon separated
themselves, and by 4000m (11:18.61) Abdi was in the lead again, with Alan
Culpepper, Brad and Brent Hauser and Jurcevich in tow.

In the 17th lap, Mebrahtom Keflezighi made a major surge and broke open the
race.  He ran the 8th kilometer in 2:44.50, and it looked like he had enough
speed to go sub-28:10, the Olympic "A" standard which he needed to be
guaranteed a spot on the team tonight.  The former NCAA 5000m and 10,000m
champion kept accelerating, and appeared to have the race won, when Alan
Culpepper barreled down on him in the home straight and tried to outlean him
at the line.  Meb got the win, by just 3/100ths of a second, and locked up
his trip to Sydney with a 28:03.32 clocking.  Abdi defended his third place
position, while Shawn Found got around Jurcevich in the home straight to
take fourth.  

In the women's race, Deena Drossin lived up to her billing as the race
favorite, winning a tactical, but fast, race.  Kim Fitchen and Natalie
Nalepa did most of the early leading through 3000m (9:40.67), when Annette
Peters took over.  There were several lead changes, as the race see-sawed
through 5000m in 16:09.61 with Fitchen and Jen Rhines at the front.  They
were closely followed by Nalepa, Anne Marie Lauck, Sylvia Mosqueda and Blake
Russell.  Drossin was near the back of the pack, waiting.

Late in the 9th kilometer, Drossin made her bid for victory.  She surged
hard, with Hickman trying to cover her move.  But the double U.S. XC
champion quickly opened up a gap on the others, leaving Hickman solidly in
second, and Rhines and Lauck to battle for third.  On the back straight of
the final lap, Rhines and Lauck began to gain on Hickman.  Rhines pressed
and got around Hickman on the far turn.  Hickman kept battling, and the two
crossed the line in a blur, some seven seconds behind the winner, Drosson.
Lauck finished fourth just three seconds behind Hickman.

Despite finishing fourth, Lauck's Olympic hopes were not entirely dashed.
Drossin confirmed to RRW that she will run the 5000m, while Rhines said she
was done.  Hickman was still undecided, but seemed to be leaning away from
the event.  If Drossin finishes in the top-3 in the 5000, which is likely,
she will abdicate one of the team berths, probably the 10,000m.  As coach
Vigil told RRW last week, "It's her favorite event."  That would leave the
door open for Lauck.

10,000m Final: 
 1   502 Mebrahtom Keflezighi      Nike         28:03.32     
 2   209 Alan Culpepper            adidas       28:03.35     
 3    11 Abdihakim Abdi            Nike         28:19.08     
 4   304 Shawn Found               U.S. Army    28:33.73     
 5   384 Brad Hauser               Stanford     28:36.53     
 6   497 James Jurcevich           Hansons RS   28:39.20     
 7   257 Matt Downin               Wisconsin    28:45.58     
 8   233 Rodney Dehaven            New Balance  28:48.98     
 9    49 Jason Balkman             Stanford     28:50.90     
10   831 Ryan Shay                 Notre Dame   28:51.74     
11   495 Peter Julian              adidas       28:57.45     
12  1070 Gary Stolz                Nike         29:11.97     
13   922 Eric Tollefson            Asics        29:13.72     
14    47 Kyle Baker                Unattached   29:21.89     
15   468 Chad Johnson              Unattached   29:28.47     
16    68 Andrew Begley             Unattached   29:28.79     
17   479 Weldon Johnson            Unattached   29:29.40     
18   815 Steven Schell             Michigan St  29:30.19     
19   255 Keith Dowling             adidas       29:31.67     
20   234 Peter DeLaCerda           Reebok       29:32.92     
21   655 Michael Mykytok           Unattached   29:33.36     
22   340 Chris Graff               Reebok       29:36.12     
23   674 Nathan Nutter             Nike         29:42.28     
24   212 Adam Dailey               Arkansas     30:01.51     
25   541 Jason Lehmkuhle           Unattached   30:32.29     
26   635 Teddy Mitchell            New Balance  30:52.49     
27    60 Brad Barquist             Nike         31:16.25     
 -   726 Eric Polonski             New Balance       DNF     
 -   785 Nick Rogers               Nike              DNF     
 -   251 Michael Donnelly          New Balance       DNF     
 -   618 Dan Middleman             New York AC       DNF     
 -   385 Brent Hauser              Stanford          DNF     
 -   877 Stetson Steele            Iowa              DNF     
 -   896 Nolan Swanson             Nike              DNF     
 -  1065 Terrance Mahon            adidas            DNS     
 -   505 Bob Kennedy               Nike              DNS     

10,000m Final: 
 1   260 Deena Drossin             Reebok    T  31:51.05     
 2   765 Jen Rhines                adidas       31:58.34     
 3   411 Libbie Hickman            Nike         31:58.68     
 4   529 Anne Marie Lauck          Nike         32:01.86     
 5   711 Annette Peters            Asics        32:09.49     
 6   648 Sylvia Mosqueda           Unattached   32:18.36     
 7   799 Blake Russell             New Balance  32:20.26     
 8    66 Kristin Beaney            Reebok       32:22.72     
 9   296 Kim Fitchen               Nike         32:41.08     
10   200 Jennifer Crain            adidas       32:44.70     
11   658 Natalie Nalepa            New Balance  32:45.36     
12   691 Erica Palmer              Wisconsin    32:50.29     
13   605 Katie McGregor            adidas       33:10.14     
14   303 Kate Fonshell             Asics        33:30.99     
15   320 Donna Garcia              Reebok       33:36.98     
16  1038 Rachel Sauder             Asics        33:40.39     
17    48 Laura Baker               New Balance  33:40.87     
18   841 Marty Shue                Reebok       34:11.46     
19   288 Melody Fairchild          Nike         34:12.48     
20   405 Marty Hernandez           BYU          34:15.18     
21    92 Michelle Borgert          Asics        34:25.92     
22   158 Tara Chaplin              Arizona      34:38.28     
23   298 Lynn Fitzsimmons          Unattached   35:40.97     
 -   878 Shelly Steely             Asics             DNF     
 -  1048 Leigh Daniel              Texas Tech        DNS     
 -  1049 Christine McNamara        Unattached        DNS

Runners in Red ran in the 2000 Freihofer Event
Runners in Green ran in the 1999 Freihofer Event
Runners in Pink ran in the 1998 Freihofer Event
Runners in Blue ran in the 1997 Freihofer Event