|Long Island 50 km
Media contact: Al Heppner
North American Racewalking Institute
For immediate release
May 25, 2003
Clausen wins 50 km; qualifies for World Champs
Hauppauge, New York--If two-time Olympian Curt Clausen wanted to go anywhere this summer, he had to finish a 50 km (31 miles) this morning. The 34-year-old veteran did that and more, winning in a time of 4 hours, 8 minutes, 36 seconds. Sean Albert also made a US Team with his second place finish (4:20:02).
Make no mistake about it, Clausen was far from his best today. His American Record is over 20 minutes faster. But the 1999 World Championships Bronze Medalist is headed back for the 2003 edition in Paris, France via eclipsing Philip Dunn (4:15:01) for the top US mark this year.
"The difference between now and 3:48 shape is simply training. I missed two months because of my hamstring injury. I'll be there in a couple of months," Clausen said.
Clausen and Albert appeared to be in top form after walking 9:30 for the first 2 km.
"After that first loop, I looked at Curt and we both thought the pace was very easy. But after a few more kilometers, it wasn't," Albert said.
The pair worked together through 30 km, hitting 10 km in 48:51, 20 km in 1:38:32, and 30 km in 2:28:07. Then Albert slipped back after some stomach problems and later fatigue. Clausen continued on through 40 km in 3:17:04, before holding on for the win.
"I struggled after 40 km and backed off a little to make sure I made it home," Clausen said.
John Souchek (4:46:46) and Dave Doherty (4:51:03) both just missed the Olympic Trials standard of 4:45:00.
It's possible for Dunn to regain his spot should he chose to do another 50 km before the end of June. However, Coach Enrique Pena said Dunn will go to the Pan Am Games with Albert instead. Dunn is no stranger to the Pan Am Games. He won the bronze at the 1999 Pan Am Games, the first international walk medal in almost two decades for the US men.
Clausen's bronze in 1999 is the only walking medal in US history at the World Championships. He'll be looking to add to that collection this August.
50 km results
Hauppauge, New York
1 Curt Clausen NYAC 4:08:36
2 Sean Albert NB-N. Jersey 4:20:02
3 John Souchek Shore AC 4:46:46
4 Dave Doherty San Diego TC 4:51:03
Steve Pecinovsky DNF
Theron Kissinger DQ
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