Kastor leads Team USA for Yokohama International Women's Ekiden


Jim Estes
LDR Programs Manager
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - USA Track & Field announced Wednesday that U.S. Olympic Bronze medalist Deena Kastor will lead an all-star Team USA roster February 25 at the 2007 Yokohama International Women's Ekiden in Yokohama, Japan.

Featuring four U.S. Olympians and multiple USA champions, Team USA for the 2007 Yokohama Ekiden will include:

Deena Kastor, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. A bronze medalist for the U.S. in the Marathon at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Kastor brings a host of titles and accomplishments to the Team USA squad, including seven USA cross country titles and multiple USA Running Circuit wins. Kastor's major marathon titles include the 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon (2:21:25) and the 2006 Flora London Marathon, where she set the current American record of 2:19:36.

Elva Dryer, Gunnison, Colo. A two-time U.S. Olympian, Dryer recently captured the USA Women's Half-Marathon title at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon with a time of 1:11:42. Continuing to improve as one of America's top distance runners, Dryer also finished as the top American at the 2006 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon with a debut time of 2:31:48.

Katie McGregor, Minneapolis, Minn. One of the U.S.'s top 10,000 meter runners, McGregor is the 2005 USA outdoor track champion at the distance as well as two-time defending USA 10 km champion on the roads. Looking to replicate Kastor's path to Olympic success, McGregor made her marathon debut last fall at the ING New York City Marathon, running 2:32:36 to finish ninth overall.

Jen Rhines, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Amember of the 2004 U.S. Olympic marathon squad with Kastor, Rhines also has claimed national titles in the 10,000 at the 2002 USA Outdoor Championships and the USA 15 km Championships in 1998 and 2005. Rhines' 2006 season was highlighted by a U.S. leading 14:55.18 5,000 meters as well as a personal best 2:29:32 at the Rome Marathon.

Amy Rudolph, Providence, R.I. Also a two-time Olympian, Rudolph was the 2006 champion in the 10,000 meters at the USA Outdoor Championships and USA 5 km champion on the roads. Like her teammates, she has enjoyed national success at a variety of distances and disciplines. Rudolph also has won two USA cross country titles at 4 km (1998 and 1999), two U.S. indoor 3,000 meter titles and the 1998 USA women's 8 km championship.

Sara Slattery, Lafayette, Colo. Slattery led teammates Rhines and Dryer to the International team title by winning the 2006 BolderBOULDER 10 km last May. Slattery also captured the 2005 NCAA 10,000 meter championship, giving her a second NCAA individual title (2003 Indoor 5,000) and 10th All-American honor. Slattery has won multiple Big 12 championships in both indoor and outdoor track.

Jenny Crain, Milwaukee, Wis. Thealternate for the 2007 Yokohama team, Crain is a four-time qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She recently finished 6th at the USA Half Marathon Championships in a personal best of 1:13:37. Crain also represented the U.S. at the 2005 IAAF World Championships Marathon in Helsinki, where she finished 36th (2:39:02).

The Team USA staff members for the 2007 Yokohama International Women's Ekiden will be Terrence Mahon (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Kathy Nary (Newbury, Mass.).

Team USA will compete with teams from at least six countries including the defending champion Team Russia and host country Team Japan. The relay teams will consist of six legs each, ranging in distance from 5 km to 10 km.

For more information on the 2007 Yokohama International Women's Ekiden visit www.usatf.org.