May 4, 2012
For immediate release

She highlights several strong team performances by attaining Trials’ standard in 5,000, 10,000

Kim Conley keeps reminding the track world she’s ready to rumble in Eugene.

The Sacramento Running Association Elite Team member and former UC Davis standout delivered a pair of impressive performances in the past two weeks as she prepares for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. on June 21-July 1.

Conley, 26, attained the Olympic Trials ‘A’ standard in the 5,000 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays two weeks ago with a personal-best effort of 15 minutes, 24.89 seconds. She finished sixth, less than nine seconds behind winner Molly Huddle.

Last Sunday night, Conley delivered again, landing the Trials ‘A’ standard in the 10,000 meters with a personal-best 32:00.94 performance and an eighth-place finish in the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford.

“I felt pretty good,” Conley said of her two strong races. “Mt. SAC, I just tried to put myself in the race. It was kind of fun to push it with the leaders.

“It’s funny. I think back to 2008, I was watching the Trials from home. It was just a dream just to be in the Trials.

“I never thought I would get into 2012 and be in a position to contend for a spot on the team.”

Conley, who lives in West Sacramento, credits the Sacramento Running Association with providing the financial support that allowed her to step back from her coaching job at UC Davis and focus solely on training.

“It’s made a huge difference,” she said.

Conley burst onto the national scene in the second half of 2011 with several breakout road-race performances, including a second-place finish in the USA 5k Championships (15:47:20), a third-place effort in the USA 10k Championships (33:34.80) and a fifth-place finish in the seven-mile Falmouth Road Race (37:47).

She said she plans to focus on the 5,000 at the Olympic Trials.

“People who follow her pretty clearly knew this was coming,” said Kevin Pool, an SRA elite runner who also manages the team.

“A lot of people still overlook her.”

While Conley moves confidently toward Eugene, other SRA athletes continue to deliver quality performances.

Pool, 29 and from Folsom, showed his versatility by winning the American River Parkway Half Marathon (1:09:01) last Saturday and the Sacramento Zoo Zoom 5k (15:02.3) on April 15 and running a personal best in the 10,000 at Mt. SAC (29:33.93).

“I had kind of a rough patch in February and March,” said Pool, who suspects an iron deficiency held him back.

“I was really struggling to do things that shouldn’t have been hard at all. I’m really happy things have turned around and I’m able to run well and represent the club.”

The SRA’s Austin Ramos won the 5,000 at Cal’s Brutus Hamilton Invitational (14:21:33) on April 27. Teammate Cheyne Inman won the Sacramento Zoo Zoom 10k (33:07.3) and Charlie Brenneman won the Run Rocklin 5k (15:43) on April 15.

Erin Wachter finished third in the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tenn. (3:00:56) last Saturday.

Two SRA athletes trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials also ran well. Mary Cate Quiett posted an outdoor best of 2:05:28 in the 800 at Mt. SAC and Jonathan Sees ran a season-best 3:48 in the 1,500 at Payton Jordan.

Quiett has attained the Trials provisional ‘B’ standard of 2:05:90 but not the automatic ‘A’ qualifier of 2:01.30. Sees is trying to shave enough time for the Trials ‘B’ standard of 3:43:00 and then the ‘A’ standard of 3:39:00.

“Mary Cate and Jonathan still have some work to do,” Pool said. “The next few weeks will be big for them. They’ve got to punch their ticket to get there.

“People are running really well right now, kind of what I would expect this time of year in an Olympic year.”

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.