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May 15, 2003

Mexication National Hero Ana Guevara Primed And Ready To Make U.S. Track History At The Home Depot T

Mexican speedster Ana Gabriella Guevara will attack the lightning-fast track at The Home Depot Track & Field Invitational on June 1 in the inaugural event at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson. Twenty-six year old Guevara, who enjoys rock star status in her home country, headlines the 400-meter field and is a favorite to win her first World Championships gold medal later this summer in Paris, France.

Two weeks ago, Guevara produced an emphatic victory in the women's 300 meters in front of a near-capacity crowd of more than 50,000 exuberant spectators at the Banamex Grand Prix meeting in the 1968 Olympic Stadium in Mexico City.  Guevara's time of 35.30 was a world best for the rarely-run 300-meter distance, dramatically improving on the 35.46 time that Britain's Kathy Cook set back in 1984.

The Mexican World Cup 400 m champion conquered the 2002 season, winning all 11 races entered and ranking No. 1 in the world, according to Track & Field News.  As for the 2003 season, Guevara lists her goals as winning the World Championships gold and breaking through the rarely-seen 49-second barrier.

\"Given how fast the new Mondo Super-X track is at The Home Depot Center, we could see an amazing mark on June 1,\" said meet director Rich Perelman. \"It's just a matter of time before Guevara breaks the 49-second barrier and takes her place with the all-time greats in this event.\"  There have been only three sub-49 clockings in the last 18 years and none since 1996. In fact, Guevara could make U.S. track history by setting a new standard for the fastest 400 ever run on U.S. soil, currently Valerie Brisco's magical 48.83 mark in winning the 1984 Olympic Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Ready to give Guevara a run for her money on the new track will be:

  • Monique Hennagan - 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 4 x 400 relay; ranked 7th in the world in 2002;
  • Linetta Wilson - 1996 Olympian in the 4 x 400 relay;
  • Demetria Washington - Gold medalist at the 2002 World University Games;
  • Natasha Danvers - a 2000 Olympian representing Great Britain on the 4 x 400 relay;
  • Lisa Barber - ranked 8th in the U.S. in 2002, and
  • Brenda Taylor - NCAA 400 m hurdles champion for Harvard in 2001 and 3rd at 2002 U.S. Championships in 400 m hurdles.

The Home Depot Track & Field Invitational is the first-ever Los Angeles-area stop on the USA Track & Field Golden Spike Tour and is the opening event at the new, 125-acre, $150 million Home Depot Center.  It is produced by AEG and features three dozen Olympians, headed by Olympic champions and world-record holders, including Guevara; former 100 m world record holder Maurice Greene; world recorder holder in the pole vault, Stacy Dragila; L.A. high school sprint sensation Allyson Felix; the indoor 1,500 m, world record holder Regina Jacobs and hurdler Allen Johnson.

The 21-event program, with $103,500 in prize money, begins at noon on June 1 with a parade of track and field Olympians from 1932 through 2000.  Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, at www.ticketmaster.com and www.homedepotinvitational.com.  Group discounts are available by calling toll-free (866) LA-GROUP (866-524-7687) or on the Home Depot Invitational Web site.

The meet is sponsored by Home Depot, ADT Security Systems and LG mobile telephones. The USA Track & Field Golden Spike Tour is sponsored by Verizon and VISA.