Mammoth Track Club Athletes Set Sights on London Games After Running to Victory at US Olympic Trials

California, UNITED STATES


Mammoth Lakes, Calif., July 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When former USA Track and Field coach Joe Vigil moved the team's distance training center to Mammoth Lakes following a disappointing showing in the 2000 Olympic games, this is exactly what he had in mind. Benefitting from a unique combination of high and low altitudes, beautiful scenery and an extremely supportive community, the Mammoth Track Club made an impressive showing at the 2012 Olympic trials, with three athletes qualifying first in their events.

Marathoner Meb Keflezighi, a silver medalist in the 2004 games, finished first at the U.S. Olympic trials in Houston and is expected to contend again for a medal in London. Meb became the first American to win the New York Marathon in 2009.

Amy Hastings was the champion in the 10,000m at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials with a dramatic move over the final 50m. The redemptive victory came after a disappointing 4th place finish at the marathon trials earlier in the year.

Morgan Uceny finished more than a half second ahead of the competition at the trials in the 1500m, earning her second consecutive national championship. In London, she's running to be the first U.S. woman to medal in the 1500m.  She's a favorite to do so, and is currently ranked #1 in the world for the 1500m.

"I'm extremely proud of our athletes," said Mammoth Track Club coach Terrence Mahon. "I know Meb, Amy and Morgan are excited and humbled by the opportunity to represent the U.S. in London. The support of the Mammoth Lakes community, in particular, has been vitally important in the development of U.S. distance running over the last decade. We're looking forward to hopefully bringing some hardware back home to the Eastern Sierra."

Drawn by the success of the Mammoth Track Club, athletes from around the world have begun making the pilgrimage to Mammoth Lakes. While not full-time residents, they come to train with other elite athletes and enjoy the benefits Mammoth Lakes has to offer. Australians Ben St Lawrence (10,000m) and Collis Birmingham (5,000m), who trained extensively in Mammoth, recently made their country's Olympic team, as did the United Kingdom's Mara Yamauchi (marathon). American marathoners Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher also spent significant time in Mammoth Lakes.

The small mountain town only has about eight thousand residents. With several of them heading to London, almost everyone in town can say they know an Olympian.

"It's a small town, but I think we'll be cheering as loud as anyone in a couple weeks," said John Urdi, of Mammoth Lakes Tourism.

For more information about the Mammoth Track Club visit http://www.mammothtrackclub.com/. For more information about running in and visiting Mammoth Lakes, go to VisitMammoth.com.

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