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Top U.S. women to compete at USA Half-Marathon Championship June 21
6-10-2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Contact: Scott Keenan, executive director or Laura Wright, public relations director, (218) 727-0947

USA WOMEN'S HALF-MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP ATTRACTS TOP AMERICAN ATHLETES

Ten National Champions and Twenty-Seven 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifiers

DULUTH, Minn. - (June 10, 2003) - Colleen De Reuck, Christine Clifton, Milena Glusac, Jody Hawkins, Jen Rhines, Kim Pawelek, Sara Wells and Jeanne Hennessy are just a few of the top entries who will compete in the 2003 USA Women's Half-Marathon Championship in Duluth, Minnesota on Saturday, June 21. The race starts at 6:15 a.m. and will follow the same 13.1-mile course as the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, which is run on the last half of the Grandma's Marathon course.

The participants in the championship will compete for a prize purse that goes ten deep in the Open division and three deep in the masters division totaling $28,000, with $6000 going to the national champion and time incentive bonuses starting at sub-1:16:00. In addition, the top three finishers in the competition will automatically qualify for the World Half-Marathon Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal on October 4, 2003.

The USA Women's Half-Marathon Championship is also the fifth stop on the 2003 Women's USA Running Circuit, a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA Championship races ranging in distance from 5K to the marathon. At each national championship, the top 10 U.S. athletes score Circuit points. The 2003 USARC offers more than $340,000 in USA Championship prize money plus a $25,000 grand prix purse for the top three scorers per gender.

The national half-marathon championship is being hosted in conjunction with the 27th annual Grandma's Marathon weekend. According to race officials a new record on the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course is a strong possibility during the championship race.

"The top thirteen women in the competition have run personal record times that are faster than the current course record of 1:14:11 in the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon," explains Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma's Marathon. "The field is very strong and we are expecting to see some of the best performances in long distance running yet this year."

Colleen De Reuck of Boulder, Colo. leads the national championship field of 73 women, coming into the race with a personal record time of 1:08:38. Her recent national runner-up performances at the USA Women's Marathon Championship (2:37:41) in April and at the Freihofer's Run for Women 5K (15:41) in May, make De Reuck one of the top ranking female runners in the nation. In 2002, she won the USA Running Circuit (USARC) Grand Prix and this year, she currently leads the USARC with 46 points.

A list of the top participants in the 2003 USA Women's Half Marathon Championship is below. For more information visit www.grandmasmarathon.com or call (218) 727-0947.

TOP TEN PARTICIPANTS - OPEN DIVISION (according to personal record time)

1. Colleen De Reuck, Boulder, CO 1:08:38
2. Christine Clifton, Kirkland, WA 1:10:37
3. Milena Glusac, Fallbrook, CA 1:11:33
4. Jody Hawkins, Bloomington, TX 1:11:47
5. Jen Rhines, Ardmore, PA 1:11:55
6. Kim Pawelek, Jacksonville, FL 1:12:48
7. Sara Wells, Edina, MN 1:12:50
8. Tania Fischer, Santa Monica, CA 1:13:00
9. Kelly Keeler, Bloomington, MN 1:13:20
10. Tatiana Salazar, Tacoma, WA 1:13:20

TOP FIVE PARTICIPANTS - MASTERS DIVISION (according to personal record time)

1. Kelly Keeler, Bloomington, MN 1:13:20
2. Jeanne Lasee-Johnson, Chula Vista, CA 1:14:00
3. Julie Peterson, Beverly, MA 1:14:21
4. Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, Austin, TX 1:14:48
5. Kathleen Aragon, Billings, MT 1:16:00

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