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Archive for Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Greene, Dragila will enter Gold Zone

Track meet to feature three-hour session with popular events

March 16, 2005

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Kansas City, Kan., native Maurice Greene will be joined by fellow Olympic champions Stacy Dragila, Allen Johnson, Jearl Miles-Clark and Nick Hysong as headliners for the new Gold Zone of the Kansas Relays.

The Gold Zone, a grouping of the most popular races and field events, will be 2-5 p.m. April 23 at Memorial Stadium.

Others scheduled for the Gold Zone include former Kansas University standout and Olympian Charlie Gruber, two-time Olympian Melvin Lister of Leavenworth and former KU javelin standout Scott Russell.

"The Gold Zone is the next evolution of the Kansas Relays," Relays director Tim Weaver said. "We've asked fans what they want and their answer was clear -- the finals of the dashes, short relays, the mile, a steeplechase and the hurdles."

Greene, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 100-meter and 4x100 relay, added 100 bronze and 4x100 relay silver medals at the 2004 Athens Games. He set the world record in the 100, 50 and 60.

Greene graduated from K.C. Schlagle High in 1993. Three of the four fastest times ever recorded in the 100 belong to him.

"It is always special to return to Kansas and run in front of the home fans," Greene said. "I've run there since high school, and it's a special place."

Dragila has been crowned the U.S. Champion in the women's pole vault 16 times. She has set scores of world records, breaking the mark eight times in 2001 alone.

"I'm looking forward to getting my outdoor season rolling in Lawrence," said Dragila who quite likely will be going against KU's Amy Linnen, the defending NCAA Indoor pole vault champion.

Johnson, a 10-time U.S. champion in the high hurdles, won Olympic gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games. He has captured an unprecedented seven gold medals in World Championship competition.

Hysong was the first American since 1968 to win an Olympic title in the pole vault. He followed that with a bronze medal at the 2001 World Outdoor.

"The fans are going to see something special in the men's invitational vault," Weaver said.

Miles-Clark, a quarter-miler, has been on an five U.S. Olympic teams. She has won one silver and two gold medals in the 4x400 relay at the Games. She has also collected five golds in World Championship competition.

The 78th Kansas Relays will be April 21-23.

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