May 19, 2004
Stanford, Ca - Maurice Greene once was "The World's Fastest Man", based on being the world recordholder in the 100 meters. Since losing that title, Greene has worked diligently in getting it back. That road to the fast lane will continue for Greene at the 2004 Payton Jordan U.S. Open on May 31 at Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field.
Greene ran the second-fastest time in the world, a 9.94 in 2003, and is back in shape in 2004 with a world-leading 10.02 that was run into a 1.6 meters per second headwind. He still owns three of the four fastest times in history of 9.79 (the former world record), 9.80 and 9.82.
The 2000 Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion in the 100, Greene will be tested by a solid field in yet another tuneup for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials later this summer. J.J. Johnson, John Drummond and Coby Miller all were among the USA's top 10 in the 100 last year along with Greene. They'll be joined by Kenny Brokenburr, Tim Harden, Obadele Thompson and Rubin Williams.
Johnson ran 10.05 last season while Miller clocked 10.07 and Thompson a 10.08. Johnson and Thompson both are under 10.15 in 2004 and among the fastest in the world.
The women's 200 meters also promises to be a memorable event with many of the world's fastest competitors from this year and last. Torri Edwards, the only athlete (man or woman) to medal in three events at the 2003 World Championships, ran 22.28 last season and was ranked No. 3 in the world by Track & Field News. Allyson Felix, who as a high school senior in '03 set the world junior record of 22.11 in the 200, finished the year with the world's No. 2 time and No. 8 ranking. And Inger Miller, a '96 Olympic gold medallist and '99 world champion in the 200, is back on track an aiming for another berth on the Olympic team.
Also in the field is LaTasha Colander-Richardson, who ranks No. 2 in the U.S. and No. 3 in the world this season with a 22.50 clocking. And there's LaKeisha Backus, Lisa Barber, Crystal Cox, Savatheda Fynes and Natasha Mayers (11.09 in the 100 last season).
Since its inception in 2000, the U.S. Open has established itself as a premier stop on the international tour. More than 75 Olympians from dozens of countries have competed at the event. The IAAF Grand Prix II meet, part of USATF's 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.
American Toby Stevenson, who vaulted to the top of the 2004 world list with a 19-8 1/2 clearance at the Modesto Relays and followed that up a week later with a 19-6 clearance in Phoenix, heads an elite field in the men's pole vault that includes American recordholder Jeff Hartwig and features six of the top 10 American vaulters from 2003. Other confirmed athletes in the meet include American recordholder Suzy Powell in the women's discus; three-time world champion 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.
A free Youth Clinic, sponsored by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, will be held at the track beginning at 10 a.m. All participants, 14-and-under, will receive a free general admission ticket to the Payton Jordan U.S. Open.
For eight decades Payton Jordan has devoted his life to the sport of track and field. During his 23 years as Stanford's coach (1957-1979), Coach Jordan produced seven Olympians, six world record holders, six national champions, and was the Head Coach of the 1968 Olympic Team. In the height of the Cold War, he was meet director of the 1962 USA vs. USSR dual meet, which drew over 150,000 fans to the two-day event,
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 the Stanford Athletic Department Ticket Office, Gate 2, at Stanford Stadium. Download a ticket order form and find more information at: www.trackandfieldusa.org,