July 16, 2004


Former University of Tennessee All-American Sharon Dickie, making her first-ever appearance at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials, finished 11th in the 10,000-meter run late Friday night at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.

Competing in very comfortable late night conditions, Dickie rolled to a time of 33:26.48 in her third career race at 10K against a field of 17 other runners. The Grand Blanc, Mich., product and current Knoxville resident, a two-time NCAA 5000m All-American during her days as a Lady Vol, switched to the longer distance earlier this season at the suggestion of her coach, J.J. Clark.

Deena Kastor, known as Deena Drossin during her college days at Arkansas, ran away with the victory, navigating the distance in 31:09.65. That mark is the second fastest ever run by an American woman and ranks the Asics runner ninth in the world this season. "Elva Dryer of Nike was second in 31:58.14, while Kate O'Neill of Nike was third in 32:07.25.

"Sharon ran hard, and I thought she did a good job tonight," Coach J.J. Clark said. "The pace was too fast, but she did the best that she could given the circumstances. If she continues to be persistent and keeps training the way she has been, she could be one of America's top 10K runners in the next couple of years."

Junior Dee Dee Trotter will attempt to earn a spot on the U.S. squad for the Athens, Greece, Olympiad Saturday, when she runs in the 400-meter dash final at 5:52 p.m. Eastern Time. The race falls within NBC's television broadcast window, which is slated for 5-6 p.m. ET.

Trotter, the 2004 NCAA Outdoor champion, enters the race as the second-fastest qualifier behind 2003 NCAA Outdoor victor Sanya Richards of Nike. Monique Henderson of UCLA, the only other collegiate competitor in the field besides Trotter, ranks right behind the UT standout. ? The top three finishers will earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team for the Aug. 20-29 track & field competition in Athens. ? The qualifying trio and other top finishers in the 400m at the Trials will also be considered for the U.S. 4x400m relay team.





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