May 5, 2001
Stanford, Ca - Mebrahtom Keflezighi, a four-time NCAA champion from UCLA and a member of the 2000 United States Olympic team, is the new American record holder in the 10,000 meters.
Keflezighi, running in a star-studded field of runners worthy of a final in the Olympics or the World Championships ran the distance in a time of 27:13.98 to finish fourth in a field of 17 runners on Friday night before a capacity crowd of more than 3,500 fans at the Cardinal Invitational at Cobb Track & Angell Field.
Keflezighi shattered the American record of 27:20.56 set by Mark Nenow in 1986 in Brussels.
"It is an honor to break the American record," said Keflezighi. "There was a great climate for running tonight, the fans were great, and my three brothers were here to see the race. This is wonderful for the sport of track & field. U.S. distance running is blossoming."
Keflezighi's record-breaking effort was part of a 10,000 meter race that featured the winner, Abraham Chebii, of Puma International, break the record for a runner (American or non-American) to run the "fastest 10,000 meters on American soil ever." Chebii, from Kenya, won the race in a time of 27:04.20, shattering the previous record of 27:07.34 by one of the all-time great distance runners, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethopia, who performed the heroic feat on July 29, 1996, at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Keflezighi's run now is the fastest American to run the 10,000 meters on "United States soil" which was previously held by Alberto Salazar, who ran a 27:30.0 on April 10, 1982, at a meet in Eugene, Or.
Ben Maiyo and Luke Kipkosgei, two Kenyan runners representing Puma International, finished second and third in times of 27:07.55 and 27:12.37, respectively. Alan Culpepper, a U.S. Olympian in the 10,000 meters in Sydney, finished fifth in a time of 27:33.93.
Two other national records were broken in the 10,000 meter race. Toshinari Takaoka, a 2000 Olympian for Japan, set a new national record for his country, in finishing sixth in a time of 27:35.09. And Jeff Schielber set a new Canadian national record by finishing seventh with a time of 27:36.01.
Eight runners ran under 28 minutes.
Several Stanford athletes performed with high marks on Friday night. Donald Sage set a freshman school record and the fifth-fastest all-time at Stanford in finishing second in the 1,500 meters. His time of 3:39.99 easily qualified him for the NCAA Outdoor Championships later this year in Eugene. Gabe Jennings, making his 2001 outdoor debut, finished fourth in a time of 3:41.18 to also qualify for the NCAA's.
Sophomore Lindsay Hyatt ran the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 800 meters in finishing fourth in a time of 2:06.58.
Sally Glynn qualified for the NCAA's with a time of career-best time of 15:58.29 in the 5,000 meters. Her sixth place finish was also fourth-best all-time at Stanford.
Jonathon Riley ran a season-best and NCAA provisional time of 13:46.06 in the 5,000 meters in finishing fourth.
Saturday at Cobb Track & Angell Field, Stanford will host California in the 107st meeting of the Big Meet between the men's teams, and the 22nd edition for the women's teams. The field events start at 3:00 p.m. with the running events starting at 4:00 p.m.