Arizona's Kenyon 5th In 400m At U.S. Championships
June 24, 2002
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Arizona senior Mike Kenyon went from a virtual unknownat the beginning of the weekend to a fifth-place finish in the men's 400meters at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday atStanford University's Cobb Track and Angell Field.
Kenyon clocked a time of 45.83 seconds, moving up from sixth to fifth inthe final five meters. He edged Calvin Harrison, who ran 45.86, at the tapeto collect the $500 prize money that goes with fifth place.
'I came here to prove that I belonged and that I was going to be around fora while,' Kenyon said. 'I think that I did that. People now know a littlebetter who I am and that I am going to be around for more than a minute.'
Alvin Harrison won his first U.S. Championship in 44.62, while AngeloTaylor was second (45.00) and Antonio Pettigrew was third (45.17). LeonardByrd was fourth in 45.28.
Kenyon, who was the Pacific-10 Conference champion and seventh in the NCAAsin this event, started slowly in the first 100 meters of the race, butpicked it up at the 200 meter mark. He was in seventh place coming off thefinal turn, but quickly moved ahead of Jerome Young, who finished seventh,and then caught Calvin Harrison at the finish.
'I gave myself a chance early in the race,' Kenyon said. 'I knew that Ihad to stay in it because if it was close at the end, there are not a lot ofpeople that can out-kick me. It's all about place at this meet, and I justwanted that extra place.'
By finishing fifth, Kenyon also qualified to be a part of the 400m-relayteam at the 2002 World Cup that will be held in Madrid, Spain, in September.
'Mike's turnaround in the course of a half-year is the biggest that I haveever dealt with in an athlete,' Arizona's director of track and field/crosscountry Fred Harvey said. 'This is a guy who went to the Indoor NCAA meetwith one of the top five times in the country and didn't make it past thefirst round.
'Less than half a year later, he goes through all three rounds at the U.S.Championships, finishes fifth and makes the relay team for the World Cup.It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.'
Arizona sophomore Amy Linnen was also in competition on the final day ofthe meet. She finished 13th in the women's pole vault with a clearance of13-5 ï¿½ (4.10m). Former Arizona vaulter Andrea Dutoit was ninth in thecompetition at 13-9 ï¿½ (4.20m) World-record holder Stacy Dragila won theevent with a meet record of 15-3 (4.65m).
Another Tucson resident and Drachman Stadium trainee, David Krummenacker,won the men's 800m in 1:47.32. Krummenacker trains with former Arizonaathlete Patrick Nduwimana.
Seneca Lassiter, who trains with Arizona's new assistant coach/crosscountry coach James Li won the men's 1,500m in 3:40.90. He held off achallenge from Bryan Berryhill, who finished in 3:40.98, down thehomestretch.
The Wildcats completed an outstanding weekend of competition at the meet.Brianna Glenn won the women's long jump on Friday and finished seventh inthe 100m yesterday. Freshman Sean Shields won the shot put and was secondin the discus at the U.S. Junior Championships held concurrently. FormerArizona athlete Abdi Abdirahman finished second in the 10,000m Friday night.
Each of the Arizona athletes that competed at the event made the finals intheir respective competition.
'This was one of the greatest national meet weekends in the history ofTucson, Arizona. You have three national champs that train on our track.With the performance level that we have, these things are huge. I don'tthink there are many towns in the country that can match that.
'I think that the things that we did this weekend are going to bring a lotof respect to this town for a while.'