April 18, 2008
DAYTON, Ohio - Head women's cross country coach and assistant track and field coach Ann Alyanak is one of more than a hundred of the top female marathon runners in the nation that will be competing in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon on Sunday, April 20 at 8:00 a.m. ET. Alyanak will be vying for a chance to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer as only the first three women across the finish line will get the chance. Follow Ann and the marathon on Sunday at www.NBCSports.com/marathon.
The Olympic Trials will be contested on a multi-loop course in Boston and Cambridge, the day before the 112th Boston Marathon. A total prize purse of $250,000 will be awarded to the winner. Among the athletes entered in the field are 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, 1984 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Joan Samuelson, and 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon champion Colleen De Reuck.
Alyanak qualified for the Olympic Trials at last year's Boston Marathon posting an `A" standard time of 2:38:55, which was a personal best by nearly 10 minutes. Her time placed her ninth overall and second among American women, behind only Kastor.
In total, 181 women qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials with either an "A" standard time (2:39:00) or a "B" standard time (2:47:00, or 33:33.00 for 10,000m). Out of the 181 qualifiers, only 19 were "A" qualifiers, Alyanak among them.
Alyanak has been participating in a number of high profile races in recent years. Most recently she traveled to Osaka, Japan for the 2007 IAAF World Marathon Championships where she placed first among American women and 31st overall.
In 2006, Alyanak improved her personal bests in the 5K (16:34), 10K (34:19), and 10,000m (33:35.64), while finishing fourth at the USA Half Marathon Championships in 1:15:30, and posting a 41st-place finish (second American) at the World Road Running Championships (20K) in Hungary.
Prior to beginning her coaching career, Alyanak was a 2001 graduate of Purdue University where she was a standout cross country and track runner for the Boilermakers.
During each of her four years she was named cross country team MVP, earning All-Region honors in 1999-2000. In track, Alyanak was an NCAA qualifier in the 10,000 meters after winning the Big Ten title as a senior. She also set the school record in the 5000 meters and placed second at the Big Ten Championship.
A Bluffton, Ohio native, Alyanak will be in her fifth season as head coach of the women's cross country team in the fall. She is Dayton's first full-time distance coach. Competitively, Alyanak has coached 15 of the top 30 fastest UD runners in the program's history.
Sunday's marathon trials will be streamed live on NBCsports.com courtesy of the Boston Athletic Association and NBC Sports. Additionally, a 60-minute highlights show will air on MSNBC on Sunday, April 27 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET.