Marion Jones To Compete at Kansas Relays
March 30, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Relays Meet Director Tim Weaver announced the participation of three-time Olympic Champion Marion Jones at the Kansas Relays GOLD ZONE, on Wednesday, March 30. The GOLD ZONE, which will also feature Olympic Champions Maurice Green, Stacy Dragila, Allen Johnson, Nick Hysong and Savatheda Fynes, will take place on Saturday April 23 from 2 – 5 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
“I am excited to announce that Marion Jones will be a part of the Kansas Relays GOLD ZONE next month,” said Weaver. “Marion is one of the most recognizable figures in athletics today and her appearance at the GOLD ZONE will bring a tremendous energy to Memorial Stadium. She is a great athlete and will certainly entertain our crowd. With Olympic Champions Maurice Greene, Stacy Dragila, Allen Johnson, Nick Hysong, Savatheda Fynes, and now Marion, I can say without exaggeration that this GOLD ZONE will be the greatest collection of Olympic talent that the Kansas Relays has ever seen.”
Jones achieved superstar status at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where she claimed gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 4×400-meter relay. She also won bronze medals there in the long jump and 4×100-meter relay. Jones has been crowned World Champion on five occasions and won the U.S. Championships 15 times. She gave birth to a son in 2003 and returned to action last year to win the long jump competition at the Olympic Trials.
“I’m really looking forward to competing at the Kansas Relays for the first time,” Jones said. “It’s one of those historic meets that now everyone is talking about again. I’m going to run a 4×200 meter relay there with Muna Lee, LaShinda Demus, and Stephanie Durst – that’s three Olympians and an NCAA Champion. We’ve all run some pretty fast 200s in the past, so I’m excited to see what we can do together as a team. We’ll give the fans something to cheer about, that’s for sure.”
The GOLD ZONE will debut in 2005 as part of the Kansas Relays schedule. It will feature the most popular high school, college, and invitational events in a three-hour block from 2 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. Highlighted events will include the finals of all dashes, the 4×100 and 4×400 relay finals, the invitational pole vaults and high jumps, the women’s steeplechase and the men’s mile run. The GOLD ZONE has commitments from six Olympic Champions, 33 total Olympians, and 41 NCAA Champions.
“Tim Weaver and I felt very strongly that for the concept of the GOLD ZONE to work, we had to have the biggest names in track and field compete here,” said KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins. “Now we can add Marion Jones, the most famous female track athlete in the world, to that list. We’re going to give people exactly what they’ve been asking for — a world-class meet in Memorial Stadium in under three hours.”
Also running with Jones will be Muna Lee, a 2000 graduate of Central High School in Kansas City, Mo. She concluded a stellar career at Louisiana State University where she won six NCAA titles. She won the silver medal in the 200-meter dash running in lane one at the Olympic Trials, and tied for seventh at the Olympic games in that event. She finished the year ranked seventh in the world by Track and Field News.
“It is also a pleasure to announce that Muna Lee, an Olympic finalist from Athens and a track legend from Kansas City will compete in the GOLD ZONE as part of Marion’s relay team and in the Invitational 100-meter Dash,” Weaver added. “Muna is one of the bright young stars that emerged from the Athens Games. The GOLD ZONE will be a great opportunity for Kansas City to welcome her home.”
The 78th Kansas Relays will run from April 21 – 23, 2005; the GOLD ZONE is Saturday, April 23 from 2 – 5 p.m. For more information on the Kansas Relays, a complete GOLD ZONE schedule, and ticket information, visit http://kuathletics.collegesports.com/sports/c-relay/