July 16, 2004
Former Yale track star Kate O'Neill '03 qualified for the U.S. Olympic team Friday night in Sacramento, placing third in the 10,000-meter run (32:07.25) at the Olympic trials. She is the first Yale distance runner to make the Olympics since Frank Shorter in 1976.
O'Neill trailed only Deena Kastor (whose 31:09.65 broke the Olympic Trials and U.S. Championships records) and Elva Dryer (31:58.14). Katie McGregor was the closest runner behind O'Neill, finishing in 32:33.87. O'Neill's twin sister Laura, also a former Bulldog, finished seventh (33:04.23).
The top three finishers who have met the Olympic A qualifying standard make the U.S. Olympic roster. Kate O'Neill met the A standard (31:45) with a 31:34.27 at Stanford's Cardinal Invitational April 30. Kastor will run the marathon and not the 10K in Athens.
The women's 10K is scheduled for 9:50 PM Athens time (2:50 PM Eastern Daylight time) on Friday, August 27. At the 2000 Olympics, Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu won the gold with an Olympic record time of 30:17.49.
report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department