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Julian takes third at U.S. national meet in 10,000

INDIANAPOLIS ­ Despite the heat and high humidity at the IndianaUniversity track and field stadium, Pete Julian never wilted.

Coming down the stretch in the USA Track and Field Championships Friday,the former Ashland High runner was positioned to win the 10,000-meter race.

After staying with the front-running pack the entire distance, the formerAshland High runner surged into the lead with about 150 meters remaining.But Julian, 26, didn't have the kick to pull out the victory and finishedthird by less than one second.

In retrospect, Julian would have liked to had made a big move a coupleof laps earlier to avoid a sprint at the finish ­ not the strongestpart of his race.

With the heat and humidity you're tired, said Julian. Youhave all these plans beforehand, but you get to a point of survival.

Nonetheless, Julian's effort earned him a spot on the United States teamfor the World Championships in Athens, Greece, in August and a large doseof satisfaction.

It was a little redemption from the (Olympic) Trials last year,said Julian, who failed to make the finals at the Trials in the 10,000 metersfor last summer's Olympic Games. It showed those guys I could runwith them. I kept hanging on and hanging on, remembering last year, andit paid off.

This is the pinnacle next to the Olympics. It's the highest thingyou can achieve.

Mike Mykytok won the race in a dead heat with Rueben Reina in a timeof 28 minutes, 34.93 seconds. Julian's time was 28:35.65.

Julian's lifetime best in the 10,000 is 28:20.

Despite Julian's third-place finish, at the present time he will representthe United States at the World Championships, not the top two finishers.

Right now I'm going because I'm the only guy who's run under 28:30,explained Julian.

All three runners will have an opportunity to achieve the qualifyingstandard of 28:10 later this month at a meet in France. If the top two finishersrun under 28:30 that could knock Julian out of the World Championships ifhe doesn't meet the qualifying standard.