- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 20, 2002

It is still two years until the 2004 Olympic Marathon, but U.S. runners already have had some encouraging performances. The competition for the three spots on the men's Olympic marathon team is heating up.
First of all, we will not have to worry about sending just one marathoner to Athens as we did to Sydney in 2000, as long as a guy named Khalid Khannouchi is running. But the other two spots?
On Sept.29, Dan Browne served notice of his intention of being on the team with his stunning 2:11:35 debut to win the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota.
Last Sunday in Chicago, it was Alan Culpepper's turn to amaze. And, the 2000 Olympian in the 10,000 meters did his part: 2:09:41.
"This was exactly what I wanted to run," Culpepper, 30, told reporters after placing sixth overall, second American to Khannouchi. "I wanted to dip under Alberto's [Salazar] debut record."
It was close. He tied Salazar's American debut record of 2:09:41 set in the 1980 New York City marathon, at that time a record for the New York event. Culpepper now ties Salazar with the 16th fastest U.S. marathon time ever and is the 11th fastest American ever at the distance.
Now it's Meb time
Mebrahtom Keflezighi, the American record holder for 10,000 meters (27:13.98), plans to run in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3.
It will be Meb's first marathon, like Browne and Culpepper.
"Some of the greatest marathon runners of all time have come from a 10,000-meter background on the track, including three-time New York City Marathon champion Alberto Salazar, so Meb is in good company as he steps up to the marathon distance," NYC race director Allan Steinfeld said last week.
Keflezighi, 27, grew up in Eritrea in eastern Africa and became a U.S. citizen in July 1998. In 2000, he joined Culpepper as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team by winning the 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. The flu slowed him to a 12th place showing at Sydney.
Meb is expected to break Salazar's American debut record in the Big Apple.
Great Scott
Prolific miler Steve Scott was inducted in the National Track & Field Hall of Fame last week, along with pole vaulter Earl Bell, sprinter Gwen Torrence and race walker Larry Young.
Scott competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, finishing 10th and fifth, respectively, but his best shot at an Olympic medal was in 1980, when he won the U.S. Olympic trials in the 1,500 meters. The boycott nixed his first Olympic Games.
The 46-year-old Scott will be remembered for having run 136 sub-4-minute miles in his career, more than anyone in history. He was so fast that he still holds the American records in the indoor mile (3:51.8 set on Feb. 20, 1981 near his home in San Diego) and the outdoor mile (3:47.69 set on July 7, 1982 in Oslo, Norway).
But Scott might say his greatest claim to fame was trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time playing an 18-hole round of golf. The record was around 30 minutes. He played the 6,000-yard course, which turned out to be more than five miles of running, in 29:30.
Unfortunately, nobody from Guinness was there to verify it, so the record didn't count. It did land Scott in Golf Digest magazine.
She's in
Naoko Ishibe of Silver Spring ran just fast enough at the Berlin Marathon on Sept.29 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic women's marathon trials in St. Louis on April4, 2004.
Ishibe, an epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health, ran 2:47:22 in Berlin, 38 seconds below the 2:48 qualifying standard. She ran in the 1996 trials but did not qualify for the 2000 trials. The 33-year-old University of Chicago grad (1991) has a marathon best of 2:43:38.
Marine Corps on
There is no way the Marines will cancel the marathon next weekend, according to race officials.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide