Top Field Assembled For The 2002 Oracle U.S. Open Track And Field Meet
June 6, 2002
Stanford, Calif. -
Here's a look at the fields for the 2002 Oracle U.S. Open Track & Field meet, set for 6 p.m. on Saturday June 8 at Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field. The Grand Prix I meet is the third stop on the USATF Golden Spike Tour.
Tickets for this meet, as well as for the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (June 21-23) at Stanford, are available through 1-800-STANFORD. For more information on the 2002 Oracle U.S. Open Track & Field meet, please visit www.ustfopen.org. For more information about Oracle, the world's largest enterprise software company, visit their web site at www.oracle.com.
Men's Long Jump (5:30 p.m.)
The Field: Melvin Lister, Milton Little, Miguel Pate, Dwight Phillips, Tyrone Ward
The Scoop: This is a non-Grand Prix event, but has two of the nation's finest leapers in Miguel Pate and Dwight Phillips. Pate was ranked third in the U.S. last season by Track & Field News Magazine while Phillips was fourth. Pate leaped a career-best 28-2 1/4 indoors this season and 26-11 outdoors to rank third in the U.S. behind No. 2 Phillips (26-11). Lister ranked No. 6 in the U.S. at 26-5 while Ward and Stanford's Little are knocking on the door of the 26-foot club.
Men's Javelin (5:45 p.m.)
The Field: Chris Clever, Esko Mikkola, Ty Sevin, Justin St. Clair
The Scoop: This is another non-Grand Prix event with a strong field led by Finland's Mikkola, who threw 270-7 last season to rank among the top 30 in the world. Sevin currently ranks No. 3 in the U.S. this season at 249-0 with Clever No. 5 at 244-7. Clever ranked No. 6 in the U.S. last year while St. Clair was No. 10.
VISA Women's Pole Vault (6:05 p.m.)
The Field: Stacy Dragila, Shannon Pierson, Becky Holliday, Kathleen Donoghue, Leila Ben-Youssef
The Scoop: Dragila returns as the reigning world record holder in this event. She set two world records in this meet last year, including the current mark of 15-9 1/2. Dragila, selected last year as the World Woman of the Year by Track & Field News, won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and captured the 2001 World Championships with a 15-7 vault. Holliday ranked No. 7 in the U.S. last year and has cleared 14-1 this season. She set the national junior college record of 14-4 last year. Donoghue is the Stanford school record holder at 13-5 1/4 while Pierson cleared 14-0 in 2001.
Men's Triple Jump (6:20 p.m.)
The Field: Levar Anderson, Kenta Bell, Walter Davis, Andrew Owusu, Jerome Romain, Tim Rusan, Lewon Simon, Von Ware, Brian Wellman
The Scoop: This is arguably the finest field in the country this season with Bell ranked No. 1 at 57-10 1/4, Anderson No. 2 at 55-10 1/4, Rusan No. 3 at 55-5 3/4 and Davis No. 4 at 55-5. Bell currently is the No. 6 performer ever in U.S. history. Davis, meanwhile, ranked No. 8 in the world in 2001 with a best of 56-6 and Wellman represented Bermuda well by ranking No. 10 at 56-6 3/4. He finished sixth at the World Championships.
Verizon Women's 100 (6:30 p.m.)
The Field: Marion Jones, Veronica Campbell, Debbie Ferguson, Kiesha Givens, Tayna Lawrence, Beverly McDonald, Tara Perry, Candace Young
The Scoop: As always, this race is for Jones to lose. She's the current world leader at 10.90, her first outdoor race of the season. This will be the second race for the Olympic gold medalist and No. 1 ranked 100-meter runner last year and she's out to run much faster than two weeks ago. Ferguson ranked No. 6 in the world in 2001 with a best of 11.04 but Lawrence currently ranks No. 2 in the world behind Jones with a best of 11.00. Campbell checks in with an 11.17 with McDonald (11.24) and Ferguson (11.26) not far behind.
Women's 400 (6:40 p.m.)
The Field: Christine Amertil, Jearl Miles-Clark, LaTasha Colander-Richardson, Michelle Collins, Monique Hennagan, Kaltouma Nadjina, Suziann Reid, Sandie Richards, Catherine Scott
The Scoop: The top four American runners from 2001 grace this race: Collins at No. 1, Miles-Clark at No. 2, Colander-Richardson at No. 3 and Hennagan at No. 4. Collins currently is the world leader at 50.43 with Colander-Richardson is No. 4 at 50.84 and Miles-Clark No. 7 at 51.22. Breaking into that elite group is Bahamian standout Amertil, who ranks No. 3 in the world at 50.82. And, don't forget about Richards, the Jamaican flash who ranked No. 7 in the world last year with a 50.71 best.
Men's 100 (6:50 p.m.)
The Field: Marcus Brunson, Kim Collins, Mickey Grimes, Tim Harden, Dwight Phillips, Gerald Williams, Ricardo Williams, Aziz Zakari
The Scoop: A group of young and hungry runners will look for respect and fast times. Collins, of St. Kitt's and Nevis, looks to be the favorite here even though Ghana's Zakari was ranked No. 7 in the world last season (10.04) while Collins (10.00) was No. 10. Collins does have a wind-aided 9.98 to his credit in 2002 plus a legal 10.04. No one else in the Field is close, even though Brunson did rank No. 10 in the U.S. and won the World University Games in 2001.
Verizon Wireless Men's 800 (7 p.m.)
The Field: Bryan Berryhill, Jeff DeLong, Trinity Gray, Simon Kimata, David Kiptoo, Otukile Lekote, Derrick Peterson, Jess Strutzel, Zach Whitmarsh, Bryan Woodward
The Scoop: Lekote has won two NCAA championships at this distance, the most recent last weekend when he clocked 1:45.17. That ranks him No. 3 in the world and makes him the favorite here. No one else in the Field has broken 1:46.00, even though Kimata is in the neighborhood at 1:46.65. Peterson ranked No. 2 in the U.S. last season while Gray was No. 4 and Strutzel was No. 5. Woodward, a 2000 Olympian, has clocked 1:47.00 this season while running for the Stanford-based Nike Farm Team.
SoBe Sports System Men's 400 (7:10 p.m.)
The Field: Hamdan Al-Bishi, Michael Blackwood, Derrick Brew, Leonard Byrd, Davian Clarke, Alleyne Francique, Alvin Harrison, Danny McFarlane, Felix Sanchez
The Scoop: Entering the second year without Michael Johnson, this event is once again wide open. Byrd currently has the world's No. 1 time of 44.45 with Olympian Harrison in the No. 4 spot at 44.75. Francique won the NCAA title last weekend in 44.87 to rank 10th in the world. Brew ranked No. 6 in the U.S. last season while Blackwood has run 45.11 this year and Sanchez has clocked 45.16, giving this race the potential to have five runners under 45.00.
Women's High Jump (7:15 p.m.)
The Field: Amy Acuff, Nicole Forrester, Carrie Long, Wanita May, Tisha Waller, Gwen Wentland
The Scoop: Two-time Olympian and three-time outdoor national champ Acuff currently ranks No. 1 in the world at 6-4 3/4 She leads an outstanding field that included world No. 3 Tisha Waller (6-4 3/4), No. 6 Forrester (6-4) of Canada, No. 10 Wentland (6-2 3/4) and Long (6-0). Acuff ranked No. 6 in the world last season and still holds the collegiate record at 6-6 3/4. Long was America's No. 5 jumper last season with Wentland No. 7.
Women's Discus (7:20 p.m.)
The Field: Roberta Collins, Aretha Hill, Kristin Kuehl, Summer Pierson, Suzy Powell, Seilala Sua
The Scoop: Powell looks to be the class of this group based on her mammoth American record of 227-10 in March. Since then, however, she has struggled to regain that form while her competition has inched closer. While Powell still ranks No. 1 in the world, Hill now is No. 2 at 213-11 and fellow American Sua is No. 12 at 205-8. Sua led the U.S. breakthrough into the world rankings last year, checking in at No. 6 with a 215-4 best. Kuehl, also in this field, was No. 7 (214-1) while Powell was No. 8. Sua, Kuehl, Powell and Hill ranked No. 1-4 in the U.S. in 2001, respectively.
Nike Men's Mile (7:25 p.m.)
The Field: Bolota Asmeron, Adrian Blincoe, William Chirchir, Graham Hood, Gabe Jennings, Seneca Lassiter, David Lelei, Jason Lunn, Leonard Mucheru, Jonathon Riley, Michael Stember
The Scoop: Chirchir is the defending champion in this meet, having run 3:52.86 while helping five other runners break four minutes last year. Chirchir has run 3:51.03 this season to rank No. 2 in the world. Lassiter is No. 4 at 3:55.30 and Lelei is No. 5 at 3:55.49. The Field has six runners under 4:00, but the goal is to get the entire field under that time. Four Americans are in the race --- Lassiter, Jennings, Lunn and Stember --- all were ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. last season.
Oracle Women's 100 Hurdles (7:35 p.m.)
The Field: Jenny Adams, Damu Cherry, Gail Devers, Vonette Dixon, Lacena Golding-Clarke, Miesha McKelvy, Donica Merriman, Dionne Rose-Henley
The Scoop: Devers has been world champion three times in addition to winning seven U.S. national championships. She also owns the top three times in American history, topped by her U.S. record of 12.33 set at the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials. While it seems like time may be running out on the 35-year-old Devers, she did run a wind-aided 12.29 on May 26. In addition to Devers, ranked No. 1 in the world last year, the field includes No. 3-ranked Adams of the U.S. and No. 8 Rose-Henley of Jamaica. In addition, there's Merriman, ranked No. 4 in the U.S. in 2001, and Cherry ranked No. 9 in the U.S. A newcomer to that group is American McKelvy, who was unranked last season but currently has the world's No. 2 time of 12.73. Also entered is Golding-Clarke of Jamaica, who owns the world's No. 3 time of 12.75, and Dixon of Jamaica, whose season best of 12.90 ranks her among the world's top 10.
Oracle Men's Shot Put (7:45 p.m.)
The Field: Andy Bloom, John Davis, John Godina, Brad Snyder, Kevin Toth
The Scoop: With current world leader Adam Nelson out with a slight injury, America's trio of world-leaders is trimmed to two --- Godina and Toth. Godina, a three-time world champion, is regarded as the world's best shot putter. He was ranked No. 1 in the world last season after winning 13 of 15 meets and posting a season best of 72-0 1/4. Godina's 2002 season best of 71-10 3/4 ranks him No. 3 in the world. Holding down the No. 2 spot is Toth, who threw his career best of 72-9 3/4 two weeks ago. Rounding out the field is 2000 Olympian Bloom, who has throw 66-6 this year, Canada's Snyder and the United States' Davis (66-1 1/2) Godina has yet to win this year, so the absence of Nelson opens the door.
Oracle Women's 1500 (7:55 p.m.)
The Field: Mari Chandler, Diane Cummins, Priscilla Hein, Mardrea Hyman, Regina Jacobs, Collette Liss, Lena Nilsson, Sarah Schwald, Nicole Teter, Carrie Tollefson, Janet Trujillo, Lyudmila Vasilyeva
The Scoop: Teter is the current U.S. leader at 4:09.71, run in March on her home track at Stanford. At the time, she was the world leader, but since has dropped to No. 11. While Teter is new to this event, Jacobs is the veteran. She's still going strong at age 38 and currently ranks No. 2 in the U.S. at 4:14.95. Two weeks ago, Jacobs lost her season debut to Teter. Jacobs, however, is a 10-time U.S. champion at this distance and likely won't let this race go the same way as her debut. Schwald actually ranked ahead of Jacobs on the U.S. list last season, taking the No. 2 spot ahead of Jacobs' No. 3 ranking. Liss, meanwhile, was No. 8. Vasilyeva was the world's No. 9 runner last season (4:02.45) while Hyman of Jamaica has a 2002 best of 4:11.45. Chandler currently is No. 4 on the U.S. list (4:15.87) while Trujillo is among the top 10 at 4:16.26.
Men's 5,000 (8:10 p.m.)
The Field: Abdi Abdirahman, Dan Browne, Abraham Chebii, Daniel Gachara, Chris Graff, Brad Hauser, Sean Kaley, Mebrahtom Keflezighi, Martin Keino, Luke Kipkosgei, Shadrack Kosgei, Matt Lane, Nick Rogers
The Scoop: The fastest men's 5,000 meters ever run on American soil came nearly two decades ago, when Said Aouita of Morocco raced to the gold medal in a 13:05.59 clocking at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Twelve years later, Bob Kennedy ran the fastest 5K by an American on U.S. soil with his 13:12.14 in Eugene, Ore. Kipkosgei, Keino, and Kosgei of Kenya plus 2000 U.S. Olympians Keflezighi, Abdirahman, Hauser, and Rogers will challenge those two All-Comers records. Kipkosgei brings a 2001 best of 13:02.25 to the race while Chebii clocked in at 13:12.53 in addition to running a 10K world-leading 27:04.20 on Stanford's track last season. Kipkosgei ranked No. 9 in the world by Track & Field News Magazine and has a career best of 12:56.50. Chebii currently ranks No. 4 in the world at 13:13.53. Browne is the top American at 13:31.26.
Men's Pole Vault (follows women's PV)
The Field: Piotr Buciarski, Russ Buller, Lawrence Johnson, Tim Mack, Toby Stevenson
The Scoop: Johnson had the No. 3 mark in the world last season at 19-6 3/4 and wound up No. 5 in the world and No. 2 in the USA. This season, Johnson is looking up at Mack, Stevenson, and Buller on the U.S. list. Mack is No. 1 at 19-2, Stanford-grad Stevenson is No. 2 at 18-10 while Buller has gone 18-7. Johnson skied 19-0 indoors, but will be making his outdoor season debut in an event that features four of America's top 10 vaulters from 2001. Buciarski of Denmark (and University of Oregon) has cleared a personal best of 18-10 this season.
Men's High Jump (follows women's HJ)
The Field: Charles Austin, Kwaku Boateng, Matt Hemingway, Shane Lavy, Nathan Leeper, James Nieto
The Scoop: This unquestionably is the finest group of high jumpers to compete at Stanford. Austin is the reigning American record holder at 7-10 1/2 while Hemingway has scaled 7-9 3/4. 2001 U.S. champion Leeper has a career best of 7-8 3/4 to his credit and Boateng (Canada) has cleared 7-8. Hemingway currently ranks No. 2 in the U.S. at 7-7 1/4 and ranks as the third-highest American in history.
(Olympic Development events scheduled include the men's 3,000 steeplechase at 8:45 p.m.; women's 1,500 at 9 p.m.; men's 1,500 at 9:10 p.m., women's 800 at 9:25 p.m., men's 800 at 9:25 p.m. and men's 5,000 at 9:30 p.m.)