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EYESTONE HEADS STRONG LOCAL CONTINGENT SLATED TO RUN IN DESNEWS 10K

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Ed Eyestone, the two-time Olympic marathoner, will be one of at least five national-class road racers from Utah who will run in the Deseret News 10,000-meter road race on July 24.

Eyestone set the course record of 27:39 in 1986, but hasn't run the race since then. He will be a heavy favorite to win this year's race, having placed fifth in the 10,000 at the recent U.S. National Track and Field Championships with a time of 28:30.Chad Bennion, Paul Pilkington, Dave McMillan and Celsa Kidman also have said they will run in the Deseret News race.

Bennion, a former distance runner for Murray High School and the University of Oregon, will represent the U.S. in the marathon later this summer at the World Track and Field Championships in Germany. Pilkington is a former Houston Marathon champion and a former Deseret News 10K winner. Kidman, who has been a top finisher in several national-class road races this spring, and McMillan have dominated the local road racing scene this season.

According to athletic director Chris Hill, the University of Utah still has no thoughts of building a track and field facility to replace the one that was demolished in the expansion of Rice Stadium in 1982. "Even if we were given a track, we'd still have to fund a track team," says Hill.

That is precisely what the Utes want to avoid. Instead, the Utes will continue to field a distance-runners-only team, as they have for the past couple of years.

"We still want to emphasize distance running," says Hill. "Particularly, cross country. I expect us to be in the top three in the league two or three years from now. We made a conscious decision to do this. We saw that the state of Utah had good distance runners. We saw we needed a lot of money to run a track program. Track is struggling around the country because it's so darned expensive. We made a conscious non-public decision to redirect our resources."

So far, the distance-only philosophy has been less than successful. The men's team has placed seventh and the women's team sixth in each of the last two Western Athletic Conference cross country championships.

"We've got kids on missions that I expect to come back and help us," says Hill. "If we're not good then, then we'll be like we are with football and basketball. We'll make changes."

Actually, even before the Utes changed their program's philosophy, they struggled. Only once in the last 13 years have they placed better than sixth in the outdoor WAC track championships. Since 1982, they have set just two school records (out of 18 events) - the hammer and the javelin.

MISCELLANEOUS: Kurt Black, who just finished his senior season at Weber State, placed fourth in the U.S. Track and Field championships with a brilliant time of 8:23 - six seconds faster than his personal record, which had been set only two weeks earlier in the NCAA meet. He will compete Sunday in the U.S.-Great Britain dual meet in London.

. . . After winning the first three races of the Utah Road Racing Circuit, Dave McMillan has had a run of bad luck. He missed the fourth race on the circuit because of a stress fracture. Then, at last week's Run for Research 5K, he started the race late.

"I was about a quarter-mile behind the starting line when the race started," says McMillan. "I was in the finish line area helping with the organization of the race. They started the race early - and I was late. I was very upset."

McMillan managed to finish 12th, a little over a minute behind winner Chad Bennion.

Paul Rosser, Ken O'Brien and Criss James took the next three places behind Bennion. Kathy Matson won the women's race, with Cheryl Harper second and Michell Tretrus third.