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Road to Athens starts in Birmingham on February 7
1-29-2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Culpepper, Keflezighi, Browne Headline U.S. Men's Olympic Marathon Trials

The 2004 Olympic Trials season opens on Saturday morning, February 7 as Birmingham, Ala. hosts the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon. Over 80 of the best U.S. male distance runners are expected to vie for the three coveted Olympic team spots to the Summer Games in Athens and $271,500 in prize money.

With former marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi out with a foot injury, 2000 Olympian Alan Culpepper who has the fastest qualifying time (2:09:41) of those entered is a favorite, while Rod DeHaven, the 2000 Trials champion in Pittsburgh, will not defend his title also due to injury.

2000 Olympian and U.S. 10,000 meter record holder Meb Keflezighi is also a favorite and other top contenders include 2002 USA Marathon champion Dan Browne, the defending USA Marathon champion Ryan Shay, Kevin Collins, Keith Dowling, Clint Verran, Peter DeLaCerda, Todd Meyer (formerly Reeser), Teddy Mitchell, Jim Jurcevich and local resident Scott Strand. And like past Olympic Marathon Trials, there is likely to be a dark horse who "surprises" the field as Mark Conover did in his stunning 1988 Trials victory.

Below find 2004 U.S. Men's Olympic Marathon Trials stats and fun facts.

2004 Trials race = 80th USA Men's Marathon Championship, the longest continuously held national road championship

Prize money = $271,500 
Trials champion = $60,000 plus $25,000 bonus for Olympic Marathon participation

Qualified = 104 U.S. men
Entered = 91
Qualifier states = 30
Entrant states = 28

Average age = 30.2 years (31.9 in 2000 and 27.5 in 1984)
Average height = 5'-8.5"
Average weight = 140

Single (60) = 61%
Married (38) = 39%

College Degree = 94% (national percent - 24.4%)
97 of 103 responses

DEGREES
Bachelor's Degree = 97
Master's Degree = 12
MBA = 2
MD = 1
JD = 1

STATES WITH MOST QUALIFIERS AND ENTRANTS
California = 15/12
Michigan = 12/11
Colorado = 10/9
Oregon = 6/6
Virginia = 6/5

COLLEGE
Michigan State = 5
Stanford University = 4
Eastern Michigan University = 3
University of California, Berkeley = 3
University of Colorado = 3

MAJOR
History = 9
English = 7
Economics = 6
Education = 6
Business = 5
Finance = 5

OCCUPATION
Athlete = 31
Teacher/Professor = 16
Sales = 13
Coach = 10
Student = 5

MR. CONSISTENCY
As a five-time consecutive Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (1988/92/96/00/04), Darrell General, 38, of Mitchellville, MD
joins a select group which includes:

Doug Kurtis (MI), 1980/84/88/92/96
Ric Sayre (OR), 1980/84/88/92/96
Ed Eyestone (UT), 1984/88/92/96/00

Countries with the most Olympic Marathon medals - men:
USA = 9 (3 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze)
Ethiopia = 6 (4/0/2)
Finland = 5 (2/0/3)
Great Britain = 5 (0/4/1)

Visit www.usatf.org for the Men's OMT entry list (91) and other Trials information.

For more information, also contact Ryan Lamppa at (805) 696-6232 or Ryan.Lamppa@usatf.org

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