World Leader Toby Stevenson Heads Pole Vault Field for Payton Jordan U.S. Open

May 18, 2004

Stanford, Ca - American Toby Stevenson, who vaulted to the top of the 2004 world list with a 19-8 1/2 clearance at the recent Modesto Relays heads an elite field in the men's pole vault for the Payton Jordan U.S. Open track and field meet, May 31 at Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field.

Stevenson, who honed his talents at Stanford and won the 1998 NCAA pole vault title while competing for the Cardinal, rocketed to the top of the world chart with his six-meter clearance in Modesto on May 8. He became only the 11th man in history, indoors or out, to clear six meters or higher and only the second American to reach that plateau.

The current American recordholder, Jeff Hartwig, also will be in the field for the May 31 meet at Stanford. Hartwig's AR is 19-9 1/4. Joining them will be Dmitri Markov of Australia (and formerly of Belarus), who cleared 19-10 1/4 at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton and who was ranked No. 4 in the world in 2003 by Track & Field News. Stevenson, Hartwig and Markov currently are the top three vaulters in the world, with Hartwig and Markov (both 18-10 1/4) trailing the 27-year-old Stevenson this season.

Markov's best leaves him tied for No. 2 all-time while Hartwig is history's No. 5 vaulter and Stevenson is equal to No. 8.

Also in the men's vault field are Russ Buller, Tye Harvey, Tim Mack, Derek Miles and Brad Walker. Miles ranked No. 5 in the world in 2003 and No. 1 in the U.S. with a best of 19-0 3/4, while Hartwig ranked No. 9 and Mack No. 10. All told, the field for the Payton Jordan U.S. Open features six of the top 10 American vaulters from 2003. Clearly, this is could be the finest pole vault field ever assembled for a meet at Stanford.

The IAAF Grand Prix II meet, a stop on the USATF Golden Spike Tour, will feature many of the finest world and American athletes who'll be continuing their preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

The women's long jump field includes defending national champion Grace Upshaw, who ranked No. 5 in the world in 2003 with a best of 22-1. She'll be joined by Brianna Glenn, Stanford grad Jackie Edwards, Aisha James, Adrien Sawyer, Ola Sesay, and Jernae Wright. The best mark in the field is Sawyer's 22-6 1/2 from 1999, while James leaped 22-3 in 2003 to set a national record for Trinidad. She was the No. 11 performer in the world.

Other featured athletes in the meet include American recordholder Suzy Powell in the women's discus; former world recordholder Maurice Greene in the men's 100; world junior recordholder Allyson Felix in the women's 200; Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson in the men's 110 high hurdles; American recordholder Stacy Dragila in the women's pole vault, and a men's shot put field that includes five of the top 10 Americans from 2003, including No. 1 Adam Nelson, No. 3 John Godina and No. 4 Christian Cantwell.

The meet will be televised by ESPN2 and shown on a tape-delayed basis on Tuesday, June 1 from 6-7 p.m. (PDT). A free Youth Clinic will be held at the track beginning at 10 a.m. All the participants, 14 and under, will receive a general admission ticket.

The meet is named in honor of former Stanford track and field coach Payton Jordan, who brought the 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials and the famed 1962 U.S.-U.S.S.R. track meet to Stanford.

Tickets for the Memorial Day event are $35 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission, and can be purchased by phone at 1-800-STANFORD or in person at Stanford Athletic Department Ticket Office, Gate 2, at Stanford Stadium.

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