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Posted: August 12, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: World Championships - Distance Preview

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Current and former members of the Arkansas Razorback track and field programs will begin competition at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Sat., Aug 15 in Berlin. Competition will run until Sun., Aug. 23.

Some familiar faces with Arkansas ties will be competing in the distance events in Amy Yoder Begley (10,000 meters), Alistair Cragg (5,000 meters), Christin Wurth-Thomas (1,500 meters) and Dorian Ulrey (1,500 meters).

The women's 1,500 meters will see the strongest contingent of American women in some time. They will be led by two-time USA Outdoor Champion Shannon Rowbury, who finished seventh at the 2008 Olympic Games, the highest placing ever by an American woman. Joining Rowbury will be Wurth-Thomas, who made a name for herself in finishing as the runner-up at the IAAF Golden Gala women's 1,500 meters in 3:59.98, becoming only the fourth American ever to run sub 4:00. Wurth-Thomas is the 2009 USA 1,500-meter runner-up, finished third at 2008 Olympic Trials, was the 2008 USA Indoor Champion in the mile and the 2007 USA Indoor and Outdoor runner-up.

2008 Olympians Amy Yoder Begley and Shalane Flanagan will lead Team USA’s charge in the 10,000 meters. In the final at the U.S. Championships this past June, Yoder Begley and Beijing 10,000-meter bronze medalist Flanagan traded the lead twice in the final lap, with Yoder Begley emerging as the victor in 31:22.69, which is the No. 9 U.S. women's 10,000-meter time in history. Flanagan was the runner-up in 31:23.43.

Ulrey will be one of four American men competing in the 1,500 meters. He holds a season- and a career-best time of 3:35.23, clocked at the IAAF Golden Gala in Rome in July. Ulrey earned a spot on Team USA with a bronze finish at the 2009 USA Championships. He solidified his spot by achieving the World Championships “A” standard in Rome.

Bernard Lagat is the defending World Champion in the 1,500 meters. Additionally, he was the 2007 World Outdoor 5,000-meter champion, the 2004 Olympic 1,500-meter silver medalist and the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist. Lagat and Ulrey will be joined by Lopez Lomong (2009 USA 1,500-meter champion; 2007 NCAA 1,500-meter champion; 2007 NCAA 3,000-meter Champion) and Leo Manzano (2009 USA 1,500-meter runner-up; 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up; 2008 NCAA 1,500-meter Champion).

In 2009, Ulrey won three individual SEC titles (1,500 meters, mile, 3,000 meters), was a four-time All-American (1,500 meters, mile, 3,000 meters, distance medley relay) and anchored the distance medley relay to a school-record time of 9:28.35 with his 3:54 mile anchor. He was named the SEC Indoor and NCAA Indoor South Central Region Runner of the Year and led Arkansas to SEC Indoor and Outdoor team titles and top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Ulrey earned CoSIDA ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District and All-America honors with his 3.50 GPA as a sociology major. He was named the SEC's Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was the recipient of the SEC Sportsmanship Award.

Cragg, competing for Ireland, will make his fifth appearance at a World Championships event. His highest finish at a World Championships event is fourth in the indoor 3,000 meters at the event in Moscow in 2006. Competing in the 5,000 meters at the event this season, Cragg holds a personal-best time of 13:07.10 from 2007. He clocked a 2009 season best of 13:16.83 in May.

In addition to the distance runners, Arkansas will also be represented by current student-athletes Alain Bailey (Jamaica, long jump) and Marek Niit (Estonia, 200 meters) and alumni Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica, 100M/200M), Tyson Gay (USA, 100M/200M), Jeremy Scott (USA, pole vault) and Wallace Spearmon, Jr. (USA, 200 meters)

NBC, Versus to broadcast meet

The 2009 World Championships will be broadcast in the United States daily on NBC and Versus. The broadcast schedule is as follows. All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings.

August 15: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 16: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. NBC
August 17: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Versus
August 18: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Versus
August 19: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Versus
August 20: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 21: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 22: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 23: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. NBC

For more information on Team USA at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, visit: USATF.org.


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