LeMay Wins 10,000 Meters in Penn Relays
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Winning a race in the Penn Relays usually helps an athlete’s confidence. Winning one with the Olympics just around the corner can send it soaring.
For Joe LeMay, a victory in the 10,000 meters Thursday night gave the former Princeton star a shot in the Olympic trials and a big morale boost heading into them.
``I feel very confident about finishing in the top three in the U.S.,″ said LeMay, who broke away from runner-up Mark Coogan with seven laps to go. ``I’ve been running very well lately.″
LeMay’s winning time of 28:23.31 was well below the qualifying time for the Olympic trials, 28:33.
LeMay and Coogan, who has qualified for the Olympics in the marathon, made it a two-man race almost from the start and hung together until about the halfway point.
``Somewhere shortly after 5,000 meters ... he couldn’t take the lead and I knew that if I kept working on him he would fall,″ LeMay said.
In the women’s 10,000, Anne Marie Lauck ran herself right into a major decision heading into the Olympics.
Lauck, who is already on the U.S. marathon team, won with a meet-record time of 32 minutes, 5.64 seconds _ also below the 33:24 time needed to qualify for the event in the June trials.
If she does qualify for the 10,000 in the trials, Lauck will have to decide which grueling race she’d rather run in the Olympics. For the moment, she’s banking on the marathon.
``I want to keep that open,″ she said. ``I still enjoy the 10,000 more, but I’m leaning toward the marathon.″
Lauck, who won the race last year, slid past Joan Nesbit after ``tucking in″ behind her for most of the race and finished at 32:13.78.
Norwegian Jim Svenoy and former Navy runner Ron Harris dueled in the men’s Olympic Development 5,000, with Svenoy winning in 13:39.19. Harris ran 13:41.29.
``I more or less knew that he was right behind me,″ Svenoy said. ``That was extra help for me to really push time. I promised myself to give it an all out attempt.″
Providence finished 1-3 in the women’s college 3,000. Maria McCambridge led most of the way and won in 9:24.49. Moira Harrington finished third, while Karen Godlock of North Carolina was second in 9:29.27.
It was only the second time McCambridge had run the race in college.
``I like this better than 1,500 because I can run by myself,″ said McCambridge, of Dublin, Ireland. ``I just wanted to run an intelligent race and I think I did that.″
Amy Rudolph won the women’s Olympic Development 5,000, taking over former Villanova runner Cheri Goddard at the start of the bell lap and winning in 15:28.08. Laurie Henes was third.
It was Rudolph’s first stab at the distance, and the time was good enough to earn her a trip to the Olympic trials in Atlanta.
``It was really important for me to get the time tonight,″ she said. ``If it didn’t go well tonight, I might have gone for the 1,500 at Atlanta, but it looks like it will be the 5,000.″
Not even a dropped baton could stop Georgetown’s distance medley team from winning the featured relay race.
The team of Miesha Marzell, Amy Ross, Julian Reynolds and Joline Staehli won in 11:07.69, more than five seconds ahead of second-place Auburn.
Georgetown had a 20-meter lead after the 1,200 leg of the relay, but it all but evaporated when a faulty pass between Reynolds and Staehli ended with the baton on the track.
``My first thought was to just pick it up and run,″ said Staehli, who won the NCAA indoor 1,500 last month. Auburn finished in 11:13.37.
The victory was the first for Georgetown’s women in the Penn Relays.
``I’ve been coming to the Penn Relays forever,″ coach Ron Helmer said. ``I couldn’t take any more second places.″
Canada’s Joel Bourgeois won the men’s Olympic Development 3,000 steeplechase with a personal best of 8:26.00.