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Running at Home, Fam Wants Fast 5k
By David Monti
(c) 2007 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved


NEW YORK (31-May) -- With only about two kilometers separating his home from Ichan Stadium on Randall's Island, Anthony

Famiglietti said today that being able to race on his practice track truly provided the comforts of home.

"The feeling is more of comfort," said the 28 year-old artist and steeplechaser who will compete in the 5000m at Saturday's Reebok Grand Prix.

During the week when he goes out to the stadium to practice, he has the entire place to himself.  He said that he may see a staff member once in a while, but that's it.  The chance to perform with the stands full of spectators, including his grandparents who live in the Bronx, is providing him with extra motivation.

"It really makes me want to perform well," he said.

Famiglietti --universally known as "Fam"-- faced a tough choice in connection with the Reebok meet.  He could have run the mile and improved on the personal best of 3:55.71 he set at the same meeting last year.  But he decided on the 5-K because meet director Mark Wetmore has set up the race to be the first sub-13:00 ever run on U.S. soil. Famiglietti, who ran a 13:11.93 personal best at the Mt. SAC Relays last month, saw this as a very good chance to improve his time and maybe flirt with the 13 minute barrier.

"It was a difficult choice," said Famiglitti about deciding on the 5000m.  "I've been running very well in the 5000 meters.  The quality of the field gives me an opportunity to go after it."  He added: "I'm prepared for anything."

Surprisingly, Famiglietti has has emerged as one of America's most versatile distance runnners.  Last year he set personal bests at the 1500m (3:35.83), mile (3:55.71), 5000m (13:24.47, since surpassed this year), and 10,000m (27:37.74).  This year he won the USA 8 km road running championships here in Central Park, and lowered his 3000m (7:41.27) and 5000m personal bests.

But what about the steeplechase?

"I think the steeplechase will be the event I focus on," he said of the U.S. Athletics Championships next month in Indianapolis.  "I really think the steeplechase will be it."

His best time in the steeple came in 2004 when he finished second at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 8:17.91.  Falling in his heat in the Olympic Games, he was a little down on the event.  However, he thinks he's ready to attack it this year.

"I think I've got the my fire back in the steeplechase," he said.

However, Famiglietti has not ruled out shifting to the 5000m if the Reebok race goes particularly well.  In a telephone interview later he said," If Saturday goes unbelievably well... maybe I'll go that route."

Doubling in the steeplechase and the 5000m at the U.S. Championships would be difficult.  The steeplechase prelim is just four hours and 20 minutes before the 5000m final on Friday, June 22.  It is always possible that the first round of the steeple could be eliminated, which would provide Famiglitti another option.  He said he planned to enter both events.


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