Deena Kastor life and biography

Deena Kastor picture, image, poster

Deena Kastor biography

Date of birth : 1973-02-14
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-07-05
Credited as : Track and field athlete, ,

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Deena Michelle Kastor (born Deena Michelle Drossin on February 14, 1973 in Waltham, Massachusetts) is an American long-distance runner. She holds American records in the marathon, half-marathon, and numerous road distances. Kastor's most noted accomplishment is winning the bronze medal in the women's marathon at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

She has also had success in cross country running, having become an eight-time national champion at the USA Cross Country Championships.

Deena Kastor won the 2008 U.S. Olympic women's marathon trials and was scheduled to compete in the Summer Games the same year in Beijing, China. Kastor won a bronze medal in the Olympiad four years earlier in Athens, Greece. She also holds the U.S. women's record in the marathon.

Rose to Prominence, Battled Burnout

Kastor was born Deena Drossin in Waltham, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb. She grew up in Agoura Hills, California, and was a track star at Agoura High School, graduating in 1991. There, she won two state titles in track and three in cross country. As a high school freshman she finished eleventh in the Kinney National Cross Country Championships.

She had a standout career at the University of Arkansas, where she received her degree in creative writing and journalism in 1996. She had several high finishes in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) events, including second places in cross country in 1992 and the indoor 5,000 meters in 1993. Kastor also won seven Southeastern Conference titles.

...In the mid-1990s, Kastor said she lost her passion for running. "I resolved to move to Colorado to see if I could find it again," she said on the USA Track & Field Web site. She regained her spark, working under the renowned Joe Vigil, the former coach of Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. "Deena's the athlete of a lifetime for a coach. I've had many great ones, but she works toward goals better than anyone I've known. She gets her rest, eats right. She's got it all in one package," Vigil told Bob Stephens of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Kastor won the 2000 Olympic trials 10,000-meter run with a meet record of 31 minutes and was second in the 5,000, but finished 18th in the opening heat at the Summer Games that year in Sydney, Australia, running three minutes slower than her normal time. She became a marathon runner in 2001, and two years later set a U.S. record of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 1 second. At the Athens Games in 2004, Kastor won the bronze medal in the marathon, her time of 2:27:20 putting her behind Mizuki Noguchi of Japan and Catherine Ndereba of Kenya. Kastor's was the first marathon medal by an American women since Joan Benoit took home the gold in 1984.

In 2005 Kastor won the Chicago Marathon in 2:21:25. It was the first major marathon victory by a U.S. woman in 11 years. Her subsequent victories have included the Flora London Marathon in 2006, where she set a record for U.S. women with 2:19:36, and was second in the United States in the 10,000 meters in 2007.

Goal is Gold in Beijing

On April 20, 2008, Kastor, in a race that straddled her native Boston and neighboring Cambridge, won the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in 2:29:35, "executing a conservative race plan to perfection," Shira Springer wrote in the Boston Globe. In the latter part of the race, Kastor slowly erased a lead of up to two minutes that Magdalena Lewy Boulet had held. Kastor, who later admitted in Springer's article that she "misjudged the race quite a bit," started to chase down Lewy Boulet with about 10 miles remaining in the 26-mile, 385-yard event, all while battling difficult winds along the Charles River. "Kastor cruised to victory in a far-from-taxing effort she hopes will allow her to resume intense training for Beijing soon," Springer wrote.

After finishing seventh in Colorado's Bolder Boulder 10-kilometer race and third in the New York Mini 10K, Kastor returned home to Mammoth Lakes, California, to train for the Beijing Games. "My whole focus this year is Beijing. I want the gold medal. There's nothing like hearing the anthem played and seeing the flag raised," she told Frank Litsky of the New York Times.

In September of 2003 Kastor married Andrew Kastor, who is her physical therapist and himself a 1,500-meter runner and former Adams State star. Deena Kastor trains more than 100 miles per week and likes to run with her dog, Aspen, a chocolate lab. She lists mountain hiking, reading, and writing poetry and short fiction as her pastimes.


AWARDS

Eight-time NCAA All-American; University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, inducted 2001; USA Track & Field, Humanitarian Athlete of the Year, 2002; USA Track & Field, Jesse Owens Award for top female athlete, 2003.

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