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Olympic Trials Flashback

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The Streets of Houston that Led to London

History in Houston As London prepares to welcome the world on Friday, July 27th, at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, the Houston Marathon Committee looks back six months ago when the Bayou City hosted the country’s finest long-distance runners at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. The first U.S. Olympic

Good Samaritan Award, 1992 Houston, TX

Important events like the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon bring out the best in athletes and this race was no exception. This Olympic Trials race on January 26 was also particularly special for two reasons. One, at the 16-mile water station, 1988 Olympic marathoner Cathy O'Brien displayed true sportsmanship when she went back to help Janis

Gutting It Out, 1996 Charlotte, NC

Bob Kempainen, a 1992 Olympic marathoner and doctor-to-be, brought new meaning to the term "guts" with his memorable performance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. Just past 21 miles, as Kempainen pulled away from Mark Coogan and Keith Brantly, the Minnesota native began to vomit. His second eruption staggered him for a moment, but

Spangler Sparkles, 1996 Columbia, SC

With a U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon record $250,000 prize purse and U.S. Olympic team spots on the line, Jenny Spangler, 32, who came to the Trials with just the 61st-fastest qualifying time, surprised the field and herself with a stunning victory in 2:29:54, nearly a three-minute personal record and just 4 seconds from the Trials

Shorter Starts It All, 1972 Eugene, OR

In Track Town USA, Frank Shorter and Kenny Moore intentionally tied in 2:15:58 as co-champions, the first and only tie in U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon history. Their time was also an Olympic Trials record. This second U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon edition was also the first time a qualifying marathon time standard (2 hours, 30 minutes)

Lightning Strikes Again, 2000 Columbia, SC

Chris Clark, from Anchorage, Alaska, joined past "surprise" U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon winners Jenny Spangler (1996) and Mark Conover (1988) with her upset victory on a tough course under sunny skies and warm temperatures. The 22nd-fastest Trials qualifier took control of race at the 20-mile mark and went unchallenged to the tape in 2:33:31, more

The Dark Horse, 1988 Jersey City, NJ

In one of the biggest upsets in U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon history, under gusty conditions and on a hilly course, Mark Conover, 27, from San Luis Obispo, Calif. surprised the field and the running pundits with the win. Conover and Ed Eyestone took control of the race after 17 miles and worked together over the

Perfect Timing for Top Three, 2008 Boston, MA

In one of the best running cities and home of the storied Boston Marathon, the top three women at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon shared two common themes. One, they improved their places from the 2004 Trials and two, it was the first time at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon that the top three finishers

Pfitzinger Picture Perfect, 1984 Buffalo, NY

Pete Pfitzinger, 26, a relative unknown and underdog, broke away from the deep Olympic Trials field just past the halfway point and built a 150 meter lead. In the last mile, John Tuttle passed Pfitzinger and then race favorite Alberto Salazar passed both of them. In the final 400 meters, however, Pfitzinger, a Cornell grad,

De Reuck’s Redemption, 2004 St. Louis, MO

At the 2003 USA Marathon Championship in St. Louis, Colleen De Reuck "crashed and burned" at mile 25 to finish second to emerging star Sara Wells. At the U.S. Olympic Trials, in an event known for its surprises, De Reuck of Boulder, CO, 39, won the race in an upset over U.S. record holder and

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