Olympic Caliber Athletes To Compete At Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational

April 27, 2006

Stanford, Ca - In its eleventh year, the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational has developed into one of the premier track and field meets of the outdoor season. Each May, college and elite level athletes gather at Cobb Track and Angell Field with intentions of achieving qualifying marks for the season's remaining championship meets.

On Sunday, Olympic-caliber and elite athletes will compete starting at 2:00 p.m. with the field events and 5:15 p.m. with the running events at Cobb Track & Angell Field.

The Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitaitonal features many of the top collegiate and post-collegiate athletes from around the world. In 2006, the stakes will again be high as many of the athletes competing will attempt to achieve the 'A' qualifying standards for the 2006 USA Track & Field Championships laterand the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Japan. In addition, many collegiate athletes, including many from Stanford University, will have their eyes set on the standards for the NCAA Regional Championship.

A yearly highlight of the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational is the men's and women's Kim McDonald Memorial 10,000 meters. In 2002 at Cobb Track & Angell Field, Deena Drossin ran an American record time of 30:52.2 crushing Lynn Jennings' previous record of 31:19.89. Japan's Yoko Shibui won the race in a Japanese record time of 30:48.89. The times by Shibui and Drossin were the third and fourth fastest in the world in 2002. In 2001, Meb Keflezighi set an American record (27:13.98) in the men's 10,000 meters at the Cardinal Invitational and race winner Abraham Chebii of Kenya ran the fastest 10,000 meters ever on American soil with a time of 27:04.20. In 2003, Alan Culpepper took top honors in the men's Kim McDonald Memorial 10,000 meters with a U.S. leading time of 27:41.90.

This year's Kim McDonald Memorial men's 10,000 meters is projected to be the best race at that distance in North America this year. The field is loaded with Olympic-caliber, national and international elite athletes including Alan Webb, Dathan Ritzenhein, former California standout Bolota Asmerom, Swiss standout Christian Belz, Michael Aish from New Zealand, former All-American and Arkansas standout Alistar Craig, Matt Lane from the Nike Farm Team, and Pablo Olmedo from Mexico. All 27 runners in the field have run under 28:50 minutes which will make for an outstanding race. All these runners will be pushing to beat the IAAF world championship qualifying time of 27:49.00.

The Kim McDonald Memorial women's 10,000 meters also will have an outstanding field which will set its sights on the IAAF world championship time of 31:40.00. The list includes a trio of elite runners from Mexico, Dulce Maria Rodriguez, Adriana Fernandez and Madai Perez, along with Kate O'Neill, former UTEP All-American Adriana Pirtea, Nora Rocha, Tara Quinn-Smith, Zoila Mortensen, and former Stanford runner Alicia Craig, a two-time NCAA 10,000 meter champion, and a ten-time All-American. The women's and men's 5000 meter runs will be packed with Olympic-caliber competitors. In the women's 5000 meters, 18 runners have run under 16 minutes which includes competitors from Mexico (Adriana Fernandez, Madai Perez, Dulce Rodriguez), Catherine Layne, Blake Russell, Andrea Grove, Rebecca Donahue, Vicky Gill, Megan Metcalfe and Lindsey Gallo. The IAAA World Championship standard is 15:08.70.

The men's 5000 meter field includes Abdi Abdirahman, rapidly becoming one of America's best distance runners who gained numerous All-American honors at Arizona, Alejandro Suarez and Juan Barrios from Mexico. The IAAF world championship standard that this field will be shooting for is 13:21.50. A talented group of Chinese runners will be competing including Qing Liu in the women's 800 meters. The field will also include Frances Santin, Nekeya Green, Aneta Lemiesz and Vicky Lynch-Pounds. The world championship qualifying standard is 2:00.00.

In the men's 1500 meters, the leading runners will hail from a strong group of competitors from China and Australia. The list of names to watch include Zhaobo Dou and Baojun Tang from China, and Paul Hoffman, Bradley Woods and Mitch Kealey from Australia. Also included in the field will be Dutch standout Dirk De Heer, and former Stanford All-American Jonathon Riley. The world championship qualifying time is 3:36.60.

Kim McDonald Memorial 10,000 Meters
Track and field lost one of its most well-known and influential ambassadors when Kim McDonald, founder and chief executive of Kim McDonald International Management (KIM), died November 7, 2001 in Brisbane, Australia. McDonald was credited largely with paving the way for top African distance runners to achieve athletic and financial success in track and field. The Yorkshire, England native discovered many of the top Kenyan middle and long distance stars of the past 22 years. McDonald fostered the careers of many international athletes, such as the great Moses Kiptanui and Noah Ngenyo of Kenya, Sonia O'Sullivan of Ireland, and American record holder Bob Kennedy. Craig Masback, CEO of USA Track & Field said, 'Kim McDonald was a quiet leader of the new era of track and field, combining a love for our sport, a knowledge of coaching, a sense of promotion, and a passion for wanting athletes and the sport to realize their potential. Those of us who knew him were lucky to benefit from his wisdom and guidance, and feel a collective responsibility to take the sport to a higher level in his memory.'

From 1994 to 2001, KIM athletes trained at Stanford University's Cobb Track and Angell Field during the spring months before heading overseas to compete in the IAAF European track and field circuit. Kim realized years ago the potential in Stanford to become of the major track and field cities in the United States. Over the past few years, many of the KIM runners have competed at Cobb Track and Angell Field providing world class fields for Stanford's home meets. Among those meets were the 2002 Cardinal Invitational and the Oracle U.S. Open. At the 2001 Cardinal Invitational, KIM's Abraham Chebii ran the fastest 10,000 meters (27:40.20) ever on American soil. With the presence of KIM athletes, three other 10,000 meter national records were set at the 2001 Cardinal Invitational, including an American record by Meb Keflizighi. In addition to Chebii's record, KIM athletes hold the Cobb Track and Angell Field records in the men's mile, 3000 meters, 5000 meters and 3000 meter steeplechase. In recognition of the tremendous influence Kim McDonald had in track and field at Stanford Univesity as well as the entire world, the men's and women's 10,000 meters are run in his honor and named the Kim McDonald Memorial 10,000 Meters.

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