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Apr 30, 2004

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Sophomore star distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein has set the American collegiate record in the men's 10,000 meter run this evening at Stanford University's Cardinal Invitational.  The time of 27:38.50 also meets the Olympic "A" Standard and crushes the CU school record set in 1973 by Ted Castaneda (28:30.6).

Ritzenhein took sixth in the race, his first-ever track 10K, which featured seven men earning the A Standard.  Ritz was just short of the collegiate record of 27:36.2 set in 1982 by Gabriel Kamau of UTEP in Walnut, Calif.

"He and I thought he could run that fast, but it's an awful fast time and you're never confident when you're looking at such a big reach," said head coach Mark Wetmore from Norman, Okla., where he is with the CU team. "Still he was 13:56 after first 5K, and ran the second in 13:51. I spoke to him on the phone and he was incomprehensible.  He said, 'It was so hard, it hurt so much,' so I know he was digging pretty deep. I don't know where it stands in American debuts, but it's got to be one of the fastest 21 year old debuts in that event ever."

Saturday morning Ritz will head to Norman, where he will join his teammates at the 2004 Big 12 Outdoor Championships.  He will run the 5,000 meters at 5:45 p.m. MST, less than 24 hours after his historic race at Stanford.  He won the 5K as a freshman, helping him to sweep the Big 12 Freshman of the Year Awards in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in 2002.

For live results information, tune into for live results as Ritzenhein goes for the Big 12 5K title.