Sara Bei Advances To 5,000 Meter Final At U.S. Olympic Trials

July 9, 2004

Sacramento, Ca - Sara Bei, who recently completed her junior season at Stanford University in 2004, has advanced to the finals of the 5,000 meters during first day action on Friday at the 2004 United States Olympic Trials at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State University.

Bei, who gained All-American honors in the 5,000 meters at this year's NCAA Championships, finished fifth in her heat and eleventh overall in prelims on Friday. Bei was timed in 15:55.88. Bei, who chalked up a career-best 15:36.21 in 2004, will join 13 other runners in Monday's final (9:25 p.m. pt). The day's best times were turned in by Marla Runyan (15:36.75) and Jennifer Rhines (15:50.08). Lauren Fleshman, a 13-time All-American and three-time NCAA 5,000 meter champion from Stanford (2003), had been expected to be a top contender to make the U.S. team in the 5,000 meters, but did not compete because of a stress fracture.

Toby Stevenson, a 2000 Stanford graduate, advanced to Sunday's finals (1:15 p.m. pt) in the pole vault with an effort of 18-0 1/2 (5.50m). The 27-year-old Stevenson, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista (San Diego County) and leads the world this year with a vault of 19-8 1/4, will join 12 other vaulters in the finals.

Chryste Gaines, the 1992 Stanford graduate who remains the school record holder in the 100 and 200 meters, moved to Saturday's semifinals (3:30 p.m. pt) in the 100 meters with a time of 11.39 in Friday's prelims. Gaines, who won a gold medal as a member of the United States 400 meter relay team in 1996, had the eighth-best time of the day. Lauryn Williams ran the best time of the day at 11.13.

In the finals of the men's 10,000 meters, Adam Tenforde, a 2004 Stanford graduate, finished ninth with a time of 28:46.34. Greg Jimmerson, a 1996 Stanford graduate, finished 12th at 29:04.88. Meb Keflezighi won the event at 27:36.49 followed by Abdi Abdirahman (27:55.00) and Daniel Browne (28:07.47).

Erica Wheeler, a two-time All-American from Stanford in 1987-88, finished fourth in Friday's prelims in the javelin (172-8, 52.64m) to advance to Sunday's final (2:45 p.m. pt) along with eleven other athletes. Kim Kreiner had the day's best throw at 177-3 (54.02m).

Tracye Lawyer-Thomas, the 1999 NCAA heptathlon champion from Stanford, resides in sixth place after day one of the heptathlon. Lawyer-Thomas has tallied 3,536 points compared to first day leader Tiffany Lott-Hogan at 3,686.

The top three finishers at the U.S. Olympic Trials who have already met the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard in their event will be named to the Team USA roster for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Milton Little, a 2003 Stanford graduate, finished 18th in the prelims of the long jump with an effort of 24-7 1/4 (7.50m). Little did not qualify for the finals.

Cardinal Catalogue: Redshirt freshman Russell Brown has been named to the United States team for the 2004 World Junior Championships, to be held July 13-18 in Grosseto, Italy. Brown will compete in the 1,500 meters.

For complete results at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, go to www.usatf.org

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