News and Notes, Volume 8, Number 36

04-23-2007

Contact:
Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field
317-713-4670

Dunn and Forgues lead Team USA to victory at Pan Am RW Cup

Two-time Olympian and 2006 USA 50km champion Philip Dunn led Team USA's men to the 50km race walk team title at the 2007 Pan American Race Walking Cup Sunday in Balneario Camboriu, Brazil.

Dunn walked his way to fourth place over the 50km course in 4 hours 14 minutes and 58 seconds. Next across the line for Team USA was Ray Sharp, who finished ninth in 4:33:00. Three-time Olympian and 1999 World 50km RW bronze medalist Curt Clausen was 11th in 4:44:27 with Mark Green in 13th in 4:45:07. Combined, the men scored a total 37 points to take home the 50km title.

In the men's 20km RW, two-time USA Outdoor 20km RW champion Kevin Eastler was the first across the line for Team USA, finishing seventh in 1 hour 29 minutes 47 seconds. Five-time U.S. 20km RW champion Tim Seaman took 14th in 1:38:31 and Allen James was 16th in 1:46:51.

University of Maine freshman Lauren Forgues brought home the bronze in the junior women's 10km RW with a time of 51:39. Le'erin Voss was eighth in 55:58. For the junior men, the Vergara brothers took 14th and 15th, with Ricardo finishing in 51:49 and Roberto crossing the line in 52:24.

Leading the women in the 20km RW was 2007 USA Indoor champion Sam Cohen, who finished 12th in 1:45:53. Cohen was followed by Jolene Moore, who took 13th in 1:47:48. Maria Michta was 20th in 1:53:55.

For more information and complete results, please visit www.usatf.org.

Hall of Famer O'Brien dies at age 75

National Track & Field Hall of Famer William "Parry" O'Brien, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the shot put, died Saturday of a heart attack while competing in a masters swimming competition. He was 75.

The Olympic champion in the shot in 1952 and 1956, O'Brien was the silver medalist in 1960 and was flag bearer for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1964, when he finished fourth. He was the first man to break 60 feet in the shot, accomplishing it on May 8, 1954 - two days after Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4-minute mile.

O'Brien broke the world record in his specialty event 16 times, won 17 national shot titles outdoors and won an astounding 116 straight competitions in the 1950s. He won nine straight national indoor titles, as well as one championship in the discus outdoors.

Parry O'Brien revolutionized the shot put, making the "O'Brien Style" (or "O'Brien Glide") the accepted way to throw the 16-pound ball. His method of facing the back of the circle and using a 180-degree turn to shift the weight to the front of the circle made him the dominant thrower of his era.

O'Brien was the Pan-American Games champion in 1955 and 1959. He received the 1959 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. He later enjoyed successful careers in commercial banking, real estate and civil engineering. He began throwing again in the 1980s and set world age-group records in the shot and discus. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.

O'Brien's wife, Terri, reported that he began swimming in the 1990s. He died Saturday while competing in a 500-yard freestyle race in Santa Clarita, Calif. O'Brien lived in Rancho Belago, Calif. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, two stepsons and seven grandchildren.

For a bio of Parry O'Brien, visit http://www.usatf.org/HallOfFame/TF/showBio.asp?HOFIDs=123