June 25, 2012
For immediate release

Cal star, former UC Davis standout remain alive at U.S. Olympic Trials

Cal’s Deborah Maier and former UC Davis standout Kim Conley, a member of the Sacramento Running Association’s Elite Team, advanced to the women’s 5,000-meter final with strong efforts Monday night at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Maier, who finished fifth in the first of two semifinal heats, posted the fifth-fastest overall qualifying time with a 15-minute, 43.54-second performance. Conley grabbed third in the second heat, recording the eighth-best semifinal time with a 15:47.39 clocking.

Abbey D’Agostino was the fastest of 16 qualifiers for Thursday night’s final, winning the first heat in 15:41.14.

Maier, from Ponderosa High School, finished ninth in the 10,000 meters on Friday night but had enough left to advance in the 5,000. Conley, who opted to skip the 10,000 and focus solely on the 5,000, also put herself in position to contend for one of three spots on the U.S. team heading to the Olympic Games in London.

“I took the prelim really seriously,” Conley said. “I didn’t want to mess it up … I had to be ready to close hard.

“Where I am in the sport is really different than last year …This year I am actually here to compete.

“I’m happy to be here and be in the best shape of my life.”

Two other runners with Sacramento-area ties, former Sac State star Lea Wallace and Orangevale resident German Fernandez, are scheduled to run in the 1,500-meter preliminaries on Thursday.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA events include the California International Marathon, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Dec. 2. More than 3,000 runners have already registered for the race.

Other SRA events include the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon, The Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.