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Johnny Hopes Gray and Gold Can Mix

January 29, 2000

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ Johnny Gray turns 40 this year, and he’s aiming for his fifth Olympics. That’s enough right there to boggle the mind.

``When you’re young, all you think about is time,″ Gray said after winning the gold medal in the 800 meters at last year’s Pan American Games. ``Throughout the years, I have found out winning is more important.″

The man younger runners call ``Mr. Gray″ heads the field in the 800 Saturday at the D.C. Invitational, the first meet in this year’s Golden Spike indoor tour.

The meet, which will be broadcast live for one hour on NBC, will again bring a new track and field twist to the George Mason University fieldhouse. In addition to reviving last year’s experiment in which high jumpers jumped to popular music, this year the shot put competition will resemble something like tennis’ mixed doubles.

Tressa Thompson and Andy Bloom will compete against Connie Price-Smith and Kevin Toth. The best throws from each competitor will be added to determine the winning team.

Other big names at the meet include Jon Drummond in the men’s 60 meters; Allen Johnson, Mark Crear and Larry Wade in the 60-meter hurdles; and two of the sport’s new calendar girls, high jumpers Amy Acuff and Gwen Wentland, who are featured in the Acuff’s racy ``Trackgirls 2000″ calendar. Some track stars posed partially nude for the calendar, which has been a hot seller.

``It shows that you do not have to lose your femininity to be an elite athlete,″ Wentland said.

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