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Browne to defend USA 25 km title at Fifth Third River Bank Run
5-5-2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Youngquist, Hennessy Headline U.S. Women's Field

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - (May 5, 2004) - Defending men's champion Dan Browne and top U.S. women Deeja Youngquist and Jeanne Hennessy headline the field as the Fifth Third River Bank 25K again hosts the USA Championships - Open and Masters. The race, to be held Saturday, May 8, also has attracted a top international field including recent Lilac Bloomsday winner Simon Wangai and Russians Alevtina Ivanova, Victoria Klimina and Firaya Sultanova.

"The Fifth Third River Bank 25K Run is excited and proud to host the USA Championships for the tenth consecutive year. In addition, as part of the Association Athlete Development Program (AADP) of USA Track & Field, we provide support to up and coming young Americans for experience at a major road race. This has been especially helpful to us this year with the challenges we face in recruiting athletes during an Olympic year. We look forward to a competitive race on May 8," said Greg Meyer, Elite Athlete Recruiter, Fifth Third River Bank Run.

The weather forecast for Saturday morning's race is showers with lows in the mid-40s and highs in the upper-60s.

Last year, Browne - who has earned a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic marathon team - won the U.S. title and the race overall (the first American male overall winner here since 1996) in 1:16:13, while Christine Clifton finished second overall in 1:29:30 to win her first U.S. title.

Here are the top Americans expected at the national championship:

MEN
* Dan Browne, 28, (Beaverton, OR), defending champion; 2004 third Olympic Marathon Trials (2:12:20) and USA 10 mile champion (46:32); 2003 Pan Am Games 10,000 meter bronze medal; 2001-02 USA Running Circuit Grand Prix champion
* Ryan Shay, 25, (East Jordan, MI), 2004 3rd USA 10 Mile Championship (47:11); 2003 USA marathon, half-marathon and USARC Grand Prix champion; 2001 NCAA 10,000m Champion at Notre Dame; Team Running USA
* Scott Larson, 34, (Superior, CO), 2004 6th Olympic Marathon Trials (2:15:03); 2001 USA marathon champion and USARC GP champion (tie)
* Teddy Mitchell, 32, (Albuquerque, NM), 2004 8th USA 10 Mile Championship (47:38); 1994 NCAA 10,000 meter champion
* Kevin Collins, 33, (Syracuse, NY), 2003 USA Marathon Championship runner-up and 5th last year at River Bank
* Scott Goff, 27, (Boulder, CO), 2003 6th at River Bank; WCAP program
* Patrick Muturi, 31, (Lafayette, CO), 2003 9th at River Bank; marathon PR (2:08:59) 
* Kyle Baker, 28, (Mason, MI), 2002 USA 20K Championship runner-up and 4th American at River Bank; returning from injury
* Sean Nesbitt, 29, (Boulder, CO), 2004 15th USA 10 Mile Championship (48:50)
* Carl Rundell, 36, (Birmingham, MI), 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier; Hansons-Brooks team
* Chris Wehrman, 28, (Chicago, IL), 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier; second 2001 Detroit Free Press Marathon (2:17:50)
* Paul Aufdemberge, 39, (Redford, MI), 2000 3rd USA 25K Championships; top local runner
* Dennis Simonaitis, 41, (Draper, UT), defending USA Masters champion
* Paul Zimmerman, 43, (Cedar Creek, TX), top master

WOMEN
* Deeja Youngquist, 27, (Albuquerque, NM), 2004 8th Olympic Marathon Trials (2:34:21); 2003 10th LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon (2:29:01, U.S. debut record)
* Jeanne Hennessy, 26, (Manasquan, NJ), 2003 5th at River Bank; 2002 USA 25K champion here; former soccer goalie at Villanova
* Lori Stich Zimmerman, 34, (Cedar Creek, TX), 2004 15th Olympic Marathon Trials (2:38:44); 2003 6th at River Bank; 3rd 2002 USA 25K Championship
* Heather Hunt, 29, (Englewood, CO), 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier
* Mary Beth Ellis, 27, (Denver, CO), 2003 7th at River Bank; 2001 3rd Philadelphia Marathon 
* Sonja Friend-Uhl, 33, (W Palm Beach, FL), 2004 Beijing Ekiden team
* Debbi Kilpatrick-Morris, 40, (Strongsville, OH), 1995 USA marathon champion; top master
* Janet Robertz, 44, (Shorewood, MN), 2003 8th at River Bank (defending USA masters champion)
* Cindy James, 44, (Homewood, IL), top master 

The race prize purse totals over $57,000 including a $21,200 USA Championship purse. U.S. men and women will compete for $10,600 respectively ($4000, $2000, $1500, $1000, $600, $500, $400, $300, $200 and $100). The top three finishers overall will earn $4000, $2000 and $1500 respectively. In addition, there is $6300 for the USA Masters Championship. A new world record means an extra $5000 (Fifth Third World Record Challenge).

As part of the 2004 USA Running Circuit, important Circuit points also will be earned at River Bank. Per USARC race, 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 a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000 and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. Current Circuit leaders are Meb Keflezighi and Colleen De Reuck.

The 2004 USARC, a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA Championships from 5K to the marathon, offers over $810,000 in championship prize money plus a $25,000 grand prix purse.

Visit www.usatf.org for USARC standings and more.

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