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May 12, 2003

Good as Gold?

You know the lyric: \"You don't spit into the wind … you don't tug on Superman's cape … you don't pull the mask off that ol' Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with …\"

Maurice Greene.

Fully healthy after an injury-filled 2002, Greene served notice that he will be force to be dealt with in 2003 by stomping a good field in the 200 meters at the recent Mt. SAC Relays in April.

Winner of the 2000 Olympic gold medal, three straight World Championships in 1997-99-2001, anchor on the U.S.'s gold-medal 4 x 100 m relay in Sydney and world-record holder at 9.79 for more than three years, Greene has been the world's dominant sprinter over the past six years.

On the super-fast new Mondo Super-X track at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, Greene will have his chance on June 1 to show an Olympic-class field that he is again at the top of his form … or is just one of the boys.

He'll be challenged by a field of star sprinters including two of Greene's gold-medal-relay teammates from Sydney and five Olympians in all:

  • The effervescent and irrepressible Jon Drummond, Greene's HSI teammate who is also an Olympic gold medalist on the 4 x 100-meter relay from Sydney and owns a glossy 100 m best of 9.92;
  • Bernard Williams, who chased Greene home in the 2001 World Championships on the way to the bronze medal, owns a relay gold from Sydney and has a best of 9.94;
  • The unpredictable J.J. Johnson, who ran a sterling 9.95 in only his third year in the sport and, with Greene, may have the best top-end speed in the world;
  • Two-time Cayman Islands Olympian Kareem Streete-Thompson, the only man other than Carl Lewis to ever run the 100 in less than 10 seconds (9.96) and long jump over 28 feet (28-3 3/4);
  • John Capel, the former University of Florida football and track star, who won the 2000 Olympic Trials 200 and has run 10.03 for the 100 m;
  • Terrence Trammell, 2000 Olympic silver medalist in the high hurdles, who has also run 10.04 for the 100; and
  • HSI's Kaaron Conwright, who won the Mt. SAC Relays Invitational 100 in April and has a best of 10.05.

All together, Greene will be challenged by four sub-10 second stars and the field against him has an average personal best of 9.98!

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 Greene, L.A. high school sprint sensation Allyson Felix, 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) LA-GROUP (866-524-7687) or on the Home Depot Invitational Web site.

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