By setting a huge personal best at tonight's Golden Gala in Rome, University of Arkansas miler Dorian Ulrey cemented his place on the USA 1500m team for next month's IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin.
Ulrey, who celebrated his 22nd birthday today, clocked 3:35.23 to finish 12th, well under the IAAF "A" standard of 3:36.20. His performance tonight in the Stadio Olimpico knocked off nearly five seconds from his personal best. The race was won by Kenya's Asbel Kiprop, the Beijing Olympics silver medalist, in 3:31.20, a personal best.
With his third place finish at the USA Outdoor Championships last month, and now the "A" standard prior to the end of July, Ulrey has locked-in his first-ever World Championship appearance. He'll join Beijing Olympians Bernard Lagat --the reigning world champion who gets a bye into the meet-- 2009 USA champion Lopez Lomong and 2009 USA runner-up Leonel Manzano. Lomong only has the "B" standard, but by winning the race he guaranteed his spot in Berlin. Manzano already had the "A" standard; he ran 3:34.14 at the Reebok Grand Prix on May 30.
Ulrey's Facebook page quickly filled up with congratulatory posts. One of Ulrey's friends, Bryce Lack, wrote: "You're pretty much the man. Any chance I get I brag to people that we've been bros since pre-school. haha."