Aug. 30, 2000
Former Bruin track and field greats, women's thrower Nada Kawar and distance runner Mebrahtom Keflezighi, in recent days have had impressive performances as they prepare for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The dates for track and field are Sept. 22-30.
Kawar, who will be competing for Jordan, recently won the women's shot put competition at the Asian Championships, held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her winning throw was 57-3.
Kawar is one of the most honored student-athletes in UCLA history. As a senior at UCLA in 1998, she earned All-America Outdoor honors in the shot put and discus. In the classroom, she earned first-team Academic All-America (3.90 gpa in biology), was awarded the Pac-10 Medal and from the NCAA, was given a postgraduate scholarship and was a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year.
Kawar's coach is Bruin men's head coach Art Venegas.
Keflezighi earlier this summer (July 14) won the 10,000m (28:03.02, then a personal-best) at the U.S. Trials in Sacramento and will represent the USA at the Olympic Games. On Aug. 5 in Heusden, Belgium, Keflezighi set a personal-best mark in the 5000m by placing second, with an effort of 13:11.77. That mark is the No. 4 all-time 5000m performance in USA history.
On Aug. 25 in a 10,000m race in Brussels, Belgium, Keflezighi placed 14th in a new personal-best mark of 27:56.90. It will be his final race until the Olympics.
During his UCLA career (1995-98), Keflezighi won four NCAA individual distance championships. His coach his retired Bruin men's head coach Bob Larsen.