GOLDZONE II Stocked with Women's Sprint Champions

April 6, 2006


The top two finishers at the 2005 World Championships in the women’s 200-meter dash will compete head-to-head in the 100-meter race at GOLDZONE II, part of the 79th Kansas Relays. Four athletes from the women’s dash events have Olympic medals. Allyson Felix, Olympic silver medalist in the 200 meters, will appear in addition to Crystal Cox, who claimed an Olympic gold medal as part of the 2004 U.S. 4×400-meter relay team. Michelle Burgher of Jamaica will run an open event; she won a bronze medal in the same Athens Olympic 4×400-meter relay final. Torrie Edwards will return to Lawrence as a bronze medalist in the 4×100-meter relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympic games. Talented fields will be the norm for the women’s sprint events during the GOLDZONE, Saturday, April 22 from 2 – 5pm in University of Kansas’ Memorial Stadium.

“We’ve certainly put a focus on the entertainment value of our women’s sprint events for GOLDZONE II,” said Tim Weaver, meet director for the Kansas Relays. “We have lane after lane of champions from the college ranks, Olympic games and world championships. It’s safe to say that some Kansas Relays sprint records are going to be in great danger on April 22.”

A talented field of world champions will be center stage for the women’s Invitational 100-meter dash. Felix won a 200-meter dash silver Olympic medal in 2004 and followed up with gold at the 2005 World Championships. Muna Lee, a Kansas City Central graduate, took seventh in the 2004 Olympic final. She won gold at the 2005 World Championships in the 4×100-meter relay. Second to Felix in the World Championship final was Rachelle Boone-Smith, who will take the lane next to Felix. Ashley Owens won the World Junior Championships in the 100 meters in 2004 and recently took second in a photo finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. French team member Patricia Buval will race the Invitational division as well. She finished fourth at the 2005 World Championships in the 4×100-meter relay. Also in the race are Trinity Davis, three times a national junior college champion, Kiamesha Otey, who won the 2003 U.S. Indoor Championships in the long jump and April Holliness, an NCAA All-American who placed ninth in the heptathlon at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The women’s Invitational 200-meter dash features several Olympians as well. Edwards, winner of the bronze medal in Sydney in the 4×100-meter relay, and Cox, gold medalist in the 4×400-meter relay at the 2004 games, have both been on the Olympic medal stand. Laverne Jones, also part of the 2005 and 2006 world championship teams for the Virgin Islands, and Angela Williams, twice a runner-up at the World Indoor Championships, also have Olympic experience. Kia Davis brought home a silver medal from the 2006 World Indoor Championships in Moscow. Lela Nelson is the reigning U.S. pentathlon champion and NCAA heptathlon winner. Lakadron Ivery, an NCAA semifinalist, will also compete.

Every sprinter in the women’s Invitational 400-meter dash has Olympic, world championship or collegiate championship experience. Jamaican Burgher has been in two Olympic games, winning a bronze medal in 2004 in the 4×400-meter relay. Natasha Danvers, an Olympian from Great Britain, is also an NCAA champion. Mary Danner has silver and bronze medals from the world championships in 2003 and 2006 respectively. Solenne Desert has been on three world championship teams for her native France. Whitney Charles won last year’s national junior college title. Nicole Ireland, Christine Spence and Jessica Fox-Rasby were each All-Americans during their college careers.

Additional featured athletes for these and other Invitational events will be released in the coming days.

The 79th Kansas Relays will run from April 20 – 22; the GOLDZONE II is Saturday, April 22 from 2-5 p.m. For more information on the Kansas Relays, a complete GOLDZONE II schedule, and ticket information, visit