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May 7, 2003

American "Metric Mile" Superstars Regina Jacobs and Top-ranked Suzy Favor Hamilton Go Head-to-Head a

Legendary comedian Jack Benny kept himself in perpetual youth at age 39, no matter what his age was. So it is with 39-year-old newly-crowned World Indoor Champion aand world indoor record-holder Regina Jacobs, who will headline the women's 1,500 meters at the Home Depot Track & Field Invitational on June 1 in the opening event of the new Home Depot Center at Cal State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California.

Jacobs will face a familiar and formidable foe -- the top-ranked American at 1,500 meters in 2002, three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton. With a better lifetime best than Jacobs by more than two seconds, Hamilton ranks behind only Mary Decker Slaney on the all-time American 1,500-meter list.

The amazing Jacobs will turn 40 in August, but stunned the track world with her first-ever sub-4:00 clocking and a World Indoor Record of 3:59.98 at the Adidas Boston Games on February 1. She followed that up with a World Indoor Championship in the 1,500 m in March and is now getting ready for a third run at the elusive World Championships gold medal in Paris, just three days after her birthday.

Although Jacobs has won 11 of the last 13 U.S. championships in the \"metric mile,\" she will have her hands full with Hamilton, also ready for a fast race on June 1. Hamilton's lifetime best of 3:57.40 is much faster than Jacobs' 3:59.98 indoors, and Hamilton has broken the 4:00 barrier five times to Jacobs' once. Hamilton owns five of the 10 fastest times in U.S. history; among Americans, only the inimitable Slaney has ever run faster. In 2002, Hamilton was ranked No. 4 in the world at 1,500m and No. 1 in the U.S. by Track & Field News.

But neither has run an outdoor race under 4:00 on U.S. soil and no one has done it since Slaney won the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis in 3:58.92. Jacobs' record indoor run took away Slaney's 23-year-old American indoor mark and Doina Melinte's (Romania) 13-year world mark. Either Jacobs or Hamilton could set a U.S. All-Comers' record on June 1.

\"We don't often get the see races like this in the U.S. with both women at the top of their game,\" noted meet director Rich Perelman. \"With the U.S. national championships just a couple of weeks after The Home Depot Track & Field Invitational, they'll both be ready to roll. But if the race comes down to a final kick, they both better check to see where Nicole Teter is.\" Teter emerged from obscurity last season, storming to the U.S. national championship at 800 meters and has excellent closing speed. Her 1,500 m best of 4:04.19 in 2002 was not only a 15-second improvement, but moved her to No. 10 on the all-time U.S. list, just ahead of No. 11 Sarah Schwald who is invited but not confirmed for the June 1 event.

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 more than two dozen Olympians, headed by Olympic champions and world-record holders, including sprinter Maurice Greene, hurdler Allen Johnson and pole vaulter Stacy Dragila.

The 21-event program, with $103,500 in prize money, begins at noon on June 1. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, at www.ticketmaster.com and www.homedepotinvitational.com. Group discounts are available by calling toll-free (866) LAGROUP (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.