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SPORTS WEEKEND

Olympians Featured in Mt. SAC Relays

April 20, 2001|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Olympic medalists.

Olympic finalists.

U.S. Olympians.

They'll be part of the more than 7,000 track and field athletes competing in the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut over the next three days.

Whether it's the sprints, relays, hurdles, distance races or field events, invitational portions of the meet will be loaded with world- and national-class competitors.

Today's schedule begins with community college competition and ends with the invitational distance carnival tonight.

The high school portion of the meet will be held Saturday with the international day of champions on Sunday.

Maurice Greene and Marion Jones, the world's fastest man and woman, won't be running the 100-meter dashes, but will compete Sunday.

Greene, the Olympic champion in the men's 100 and the world record-holder at 9.79 seconds, will run for the HSI track club's 400 relay team that clocked a 2001 best of of 37.88 in the Texas Relays two weeks ago.

Jones, the Olympic champion in the women's 100 and 200 and a member of the winning 1,600 relay team in Sydney, Australia, will attempt to break the world record in the rarely run 300 meters.

The world outdoor record of 35.46 was set by Kathy Cook of Britain in 1984, but the fastest time recorded is a hand-held clocking of 34.1 that Marita Koch of East Germany ran during her world record 400 of 47.60 in 1985.

"Track & Field News [magazine] considers that to be the world record," said Scott Davis, the meet director.

Seven other athletes who won medals in individual events in Sydney are entered.

Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago, silver medalist in the 100 and Mt. SAC meet-record holder at 9.86, will run the 200 against a field that includes Ja'Warren Hooker of the University of Washington. He might also run on HSI's 400 relay team after not competing in the Texas Relays.

"Ato feels like he owns Mt. SAC," said Emanuel Hudson, HSI manager. "So I think you could see him on that 400 relay team."

Kenyan Bernard Lagat, bronze medalist in the 1,500 in Sydney, will attempt to win the 5,000 tonight and the mile on Sunday. He won those events in 13 minutes 23.46 seconds and 3:54.97 last year.

Canadian Kevin Sullivan, fifth in the 1,500 in Sydney, will challenge Lagat in a mile race that will also include high school standout Ryan Hall of Big Bear.

Hadi Al-Somaily of Saudi Arabia, silver medalist in the 400 hurdles, will run against a field that includes American James Carter, the fourth-place finisher in Sydney.

Mark Crear, a two-time Olympic medalist in the 110 hurdles, will run against a field that includes fellow Americans Dominique Arnold, Eugene Swift and Larry Wade.

John Godina is tabbed to win the shotput after winning the world indoor title and placing third and second in the last two Olympics.

The men's 100 will include Tim Harden, the world indoor champion in the 60, and fellow American Bernard Williams, a member of the victorious 400 relay team in Sydney.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

The Facts

* What: Mt. San Antonio College Relays.

* Where: Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

* When: Today-Sunday. Community college competition starts today at 8 a.m. with the invitational distance carnival beginning at 6:35 p.m. High school competition starts Saturday at 8 a.m. with the university-open middle-distance carnival beginning at 7 p.m. The meet starts Sunday at 9 a.m. with opening ceremonies for the international day of champions at 12:50 p.m.

* Who: Maurice Greene and Marion Jones, the world's fastest man and woman, lead the entries in a meet that will include nine athletes who won medals in individual events in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

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