INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - USA Track & Field announced Tuesday the Team USA marathon squad for the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, to be held in Osaka, Japan August 24 - September 2.
The women's team will be led by the experience of Mary Akor (Gardena, Calif.), who competed for Team USA in the marathon at the 2005 World Championships, where she finished 50th. Akor was the runner-up at the USA Marathon Championships in Minneapolis last fall with a personal best of 2:33:50, and she finished fourth at the 2008 USA Women's Marathon Championships, hosted by the Boston Marathon in April.
Also qualifying for the women's team at the 2006 championships is Zoila Gomez (Alamosa, Colo.). The former Adams State All-American finished fourth in Minneapolis with a personal best 2:35:26. Joining Akor and Gomez in Osaka will be Ann Alyanak (Bellbrook, Ohio); Kristin Price (Raleigh, N.C.) and Samia Akbar (Hendon, Va.)
Alyanak and Price were named to the team after finishing second and third, respectively, at the USA Marathon Championships in Boston, Alyanak having improved her personal best by over nine minutes, running 2:38:55, while Price improved her best by more than five minutes with a 2:38:57.
A former All-American at American University, Akbar's debut performance of 2:34:14 at the 2006 ING New York City Marathon confirmed her place on the marathon team.
The 2007 squad will look to continue the U.S. team's progress at the World Championships Marathon following a fourth-place men's team finish and sixth-place women's team finish at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Brian Sell (Rochester Hills, Mich.) led the men's team with a ninth-place finish while Turena Johnson Lane led the women, finishing 26th overall.
For more information on the IAAF World Championships visit www.usatf.org.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS