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Original Issue

The Road To Athens

For the first time since 1996 the U.S. will be able to send a
full complement of three men's marathoners to the Olympics. At
the trials in Birmingham last Saturday, Alan Culpepper, Meb
Keflezighi and Dan Browne went 1-2-3, and all bettered the Athens
qualifying standard of 2:15:00, which is a minute slower than the
time needed for the 2000 Games. (Four years ago only Rod DeHaven
qualified for the Games, and he finished 69th in the Olympic race
in Sydney.) It is not certain, however, that Saturday's top three
will all run the marathon in Athens this August. The self-coached
Culpepper (2:11:42) says he will, but Keflezighi (2:11:47) and
Browne (2:12:02) might abandon their spots if they qualify in the
10,000 meters at the U.S. track and field trials in Sacramento in
July. If those two do step aside, Trent Briney (fourth at the
trials in 2:12:35) and Clint Verran (fifth, 2:14:37) can replace
them. "We haven't had as much depth in recent years," Culpepper
says. "Our team is turning a corner."