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DeLaCerda to defend USA Men's Half-Marathon Title at Hospital Hill Run
6-5-2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Ryan Lamppa
Media Correspondent
USA Track & Field
(805) 696-6232
Ryan.Lamppa@usatf.org

Contact: Terry Drake, (816) 729-3551

DeLaCerda to Defend USA Men's Half-Marathon Title at Hospital Hill RunUSA Running Circuit Leader Ryan Shay also in the Field

KANSAS CITY - (June 5, 2003) - After a month break, the 2003 Men's USA Running Circuit - a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA Championships from 5K to the marathon - returns to action on Saturday, June 7 in Kansas City, Missouri as the 30th Carondelet Heart Institute Hospital Hill Run hosts the USA Men's Half-Marathon Championship.

Peter DeLaCerda of Alamosa, Colo. will defend his national title against a strong men's field that includes last year's national runner-up Jim Jurcevich, four recent national road champions - Ryan Shay (marathon 2003), David Morris (25K 2002 and half-marathon 1997), Phillimon Hanneck (10K/20K 1999) and Brian Clas (20K 1997) and two Olympians - Hanneck and Eddy Hellebuyck. The USA Championship prize purse is $10,100 with $4000 for the U.S. champion.

Last year at Hospital Hill, DeLaCerda, a Team USA California athlete, overcame the hills, heat and humidity to win his first national title in 1:05:57 over Jurcevich and Kevin Collins. This year's weather - expected lows in the upper 50s - should be more forgiving for the 7:00am start.

DeLaCerda, 31, the 2000 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials runner-up, should likely be challenged by:

1) Phillimon Hanneck, 31, (Portland, OR), 2003 USA 25K Championships runner-up (1:17:28, River Bank Run); 1999 USA 10K and 20K Champion; 1992 1500m Olympian for Zimbabwe

2) Ryan Shay, 24, (East Jordan, MI), 2003 USA Marathon champion and current USARC leader (43 points); 2001 NCAA 10,000m champion at Notre Dame; Team USA California member

3) Jim Jurcevich, 27, (Columbus, OH), 2002 USARC Grand Prix runner-up, USA Half-Marathon runner-up and third USA 20K and 25K Championships; set personal record of 1:03:51 at the World Half-Marathon Championships May 2002 in Belgium; 6th 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000m

4) Kevin Collins, 32, (Cicero, NY), 2003 USA Marathon Championship runner-up (2:15:32, personal record); three-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier

Other top U.S. runners expected at Hospital Hill include Jeff Campbell (Rochester Hills, MI), Brian Clas (New York, NY), Eddy Hellebuyck (Albuquerque, NM), Teddy Mitchell (Albuquerque, NM), Patrick Muturi (Lafayette, CO) and Nolan Swanson (Eugene, OR).

The $10,100 USA Championship purse goes ten deep ($4000, $2000, $1200, $950, $550, $450, $350, $300, $200 and $100).

As the sixth stop on the 2003 Men's USARC, valuable Circuit points also are at stake here as the first ten U.S. runners earn points (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1). With top performances, current USARC leader Ryan Shay can build on his 13 point lead, while Collins, Campbell, Hanneck, Clas and Swanson can move up in the standings and into grand prix contention.

The 2003 USARC, the ninth edition for the men and eighth for the women, offers over $340,000 in championship prize money with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000 and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall.

The 30th Carondelet Heart Institute Hospital Hill Run, which hosts its second consecutive USA Men's Half-Marathon Championship, is the oldest road race in Kansas City. With a half-marathon, 12K, 5K and Family Fun Run, the Hospital Hill Run has a distance for everybody, and over 3,000 are expected for the event. In addition, local TV station Metro Sports will broadcast a 90 minute tape delay of the race.

For more race information, visit its website at: http://www.hospitalhillrun.com

USA Running Circuit Standings MEN after five races

 1) Ryan Shay, 24, East Jordan, MI	43
 2) Meb Keflezighi, 27, Mammoth Lks, CA	30
 3) Kevin Collins, 31, Syracuse, NY		29
 4) Scott Strand, 34, Birmingham, AL	24
 5) Chris Graff, 27, Palo Alto, CA		23
 6) Abdi Abdirahman, 26, Tucson, AZ	22
    Chad Johnson, 26, Portland, OR		22
 8) Clint Verran, 27, Rochester, MI		20
 9) Dan Browne, 27, Portland, OR		19
10) Jeff Campbell, 31, Rochester, MI	14

2003 USARC Champions: Men

Ryan Shay	   2:14:29  USA Marathon Championship, Birmingham, AL, Feb 8
Meb Keflezighi   43:31  Gate River Run 15K, Jacksonville, FL, March 8
Chris Graff	     47:09+ Papa John's 10 Miler, Louisville, KY, March 29
Meb Keflezighi   22:28  NYRR 8000, New York, NY, April 5
Dan Browne	   1:16:13  Fifth Third River Bank 25K, Grand Rapids, MI, May 10
+Championship Record

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