Colleen De Reuck Wins Us Olympic Marathon Trial

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, April 3 (AFP) - Former SouthAfrican Olympian Colleen De Reuck will represent theUnited States at the Athens Games after being crowned USOlympic Trials marathon champion on Saturday.
De Reuck won in two hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds,carrying an American flag as she crossed the finishline.
Early on, the pace was much faster than I wanted togo,'' De Reuck said. I was just trying to keep my pacebecause I did not want to blow out. I was really focusedon this race.’’
Joining her on the US team is runner-up Deena Kastor(2:29:38) and third place finisher Jen Rhines (2:29.57).Blake Russell completed the course in 2:30.50 to place fourth.
It marked the first time three women finished undertwo hours, 30 minutes in this event.
De Reuck is a three-time Olympian for her native SouthAfrica. She won the 1996 Berlin Marathon and was the runner-up at the 1997New York City Marathon.
De Reuck passed Kastor 24 miles into the race and seta new trials record bettering Margaret Groos 2:29.50from the 1988 trials in Pittsburgh.
De Reuck will receive 35,000 US dollars in first-placeprize money and will also collect 10,000 dollars as amember of the US Olympic team.
``I am thrilled to make the (Olympic) team andrepresent the country that I adopted is just a dreamcome true,’’ the 39-year-old De Reuck said.
De Reuck is the former world record holder at 10 miles(51:16) and 20 kilometres (1:05:11).
This is Kastor’s second trip to the Olympics as shecompeted in the 10,000 metres at the 2000 Olympic Gamesin Sydney. In 2003, Kastor set a American womensmarathon record of 2:21.16.
Rhines was running in only the third marathon of hercareer.