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Abdirahman Makes U.S. Olympic Team in 10,000m

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Former University of Arizona distance runner Abdi Abdirahman made the United States Olympic Team in the 10,000 meters Friday night, placing third in the event at the Olympic Trials at Hornet Stadium.

Abdirahman, who completed his eligibility in 1999, finished in 28 minutes, 19.08 seconds, good enough for the third and final spot on the team that will compete at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Former UCLA runner Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the race in 28:03.32, and ex-Colorado star Alan Culpepper was second in 28:03.35.

Abdirahman came to the United States from Somalia with his parents in 1992 from and became a U.S. citizen last January. He attended Tucson High School, but did not compete in track and field until he was a freshman at Pima Community College in 1995.

He transferred to UA before the 1997 cross country season. While running for the Wildcats, Abdirahman won four Pacific-10 Conference titles and was a six-time All-American. Now, Abdirahman runs professionally for Nike and has the fastest U.S. 10,000m time in the nation this year.

UA sophomore Brianna Glenn advanced to Sunday's finals of the women's long jump, placing 12th in the preliminaries. Glenn leapt 20-feet, 8-inches (6.30m) to finish sixth in her heat.

Glenn also advanced to the semifinals of the women's 100 meters with the 16th and final qualifying time. Glenn finished fourth in her heat, running 11.42 into a 0.4mps headwind. Her time was good enough, however, to earn her a spot in the semifinals Saturday afternoon.

In the other final of the night, sophomore Tara Chaplin clocked a time of 34:38.28 to finish 22nd in the women's 10,000m. Deena Drossin won the event in a trials' record of 31:51.05.

Carolyn Jackson, a senior during the 2000 season, finished fifth in her heat and did not advance to the semifinals of the 400 meters. Jackson ran 53.18, and a time of 52.50 was needed to advance.

Several athletes with UA connections will compete tomorrow at the trials. Glenn will run in the semifinals of the 100m at 3:45 p.m. and possibly the 100m final at 5:39 p.m. Two former Wildcats, Nicole Thomas (2000) and Michelle Johnson (1996), and Nikkie Bouyer, who trains with Tucson Elite Athletic Club will run in the preliminaries of the 400m hurdles at 6:05 p.m.

Complete results from the trials can be found at www.flashresults.com.

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