Elite Fields Set For the Payton Jordan Invitational

April 28, 2010

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    Stanford, Calif. - Stanford track and field will host one of the most elite track meets in the nation this Saturday, May 1, with the Payton Jordan Invitational. The annual meet attracts some of the world's top athletes, particularly for the evening distance carnival. The meet is named to honor former Stanford coach, the legendary Payton Jordan, who passed away in February of 2009.

    The Payton Jordan Invitational has been the site of many memorable and record-breaking performances. In 2001, Meb Keflizghi broke the American record in the 10,000 meters. A year later Deena Drossin accomplished the same feat on the women's side. In 2008, Shalane Flannagan lowered the women's 10K record and then just last year, Stanford's own Chris Derrick, set a new American Junior Record for the 5,000 meters.

    The ideal running conditions of an early May evening contribute to the fast times that are annually run at the Payton Jordan Invitational. This year promises to be no different with elite fields that have record-breaking potential.

    The men's 10,000 meters should be the featured event with potential for record-breaking times. 2008 U.S. Olympian Galen Rupp headlines a field that also includes collegiate record holder Samuel Chelanga of Liberty, Irish Olympian and former NCAA Champion Alistair Cragg and several other talented professionals. Brett Gotcher will also return to the track of his alma mater after running the fourth-fastest marathon debut in American history.

    The featured women's event will be the 5,000 meters where American record holder, Shalane Flanagan highlights the field. In addition, Lisa Koll of Iowa State returns after setting the collegiate record in the 10K at the Stanford Invitational to run the 5K. NCAA indoor champion Angela Bizzarri of Illinois also joins the field that includes 2008 U.S. Olympian at 1,500 meters, Shannon Rowburry and former Stanford great Lauren Fleshman.

    Stanford will also be well represented in the meet, beginning with the top section of the 1,500 meters. Stanford All-Americans Chris Derrick, Dylan Ferris and Elliott Heath will all be competing. Ferris has already run under four minutes for the mile indoors, while Heath and Derrick ran 13:29.75 and 13:31.67 for 5,000 meters two weeks ago at the Mt. SAC Relays. Other top Stanford athletes include Jake Riley in the second section of the 5,000 meters and JT Sullivan in the second section of the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

    The women will also be well represented with several athletes in the elite distance events. In the second section of the 5,000 meters, Alex Gits and Kathy Kroeger will both be making their 2010 debut at the distance. In addition, Madeleine O'Meara will compete in the second section of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The middle distances will feature Maria Lattanzi in the second section of the 800, while Madeline Duhon will be in the second section of the 1,500 meters.

    Although the Payton Jordan Invitational is best known for the distance events, the sprints and field events will also be strong this year. After working on his sprinting for much of the year, Amaechi Morton will look to improve his school record in his main event, the 400-meter hurdles. Griffin Matthew who will run the 100 meters will lead the women's sprinters.

    The Payton Jordan Invitational will be available for viewing live on Stanford All-Access. The field events begin at 2 p.m., while the running events begin at 3:45 p.m.

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