Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi ( /ˈmɛb kəˈflɛzɡi/; Ge'ez: መብራህቶም ክፍልእዝጊ mebrāhtōm kifl'igzī; born May 5, 1975 in Asmara, Eritrea) is an American athlete, specializing in long distance running. He and his family were refugees from Eritrea via Italy to the United States, when he was age 12. He began running while in an American Junior High School in San Diego, going on to win both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters at the CIF California State Championships in 1994 for San Diego High School.
The distinction of Meb's homegrown American running history differentiated him from other African-born elite athletes, such as Bernard Lagat, whose change of domicile and citizenship had been for largely competitive reasons. Meb Keflezighi became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1998, the same year in which he graduated from UCLA. While at UCLA Meb received numerous All-American awards and other accolades. He won four NCAA championships during the 1996-97 season, including the cross-country title, the 10,000 meters outdoors and the 5000 meters indoors and outdoors titles in track.
Meb Keflezighi is a three-time national champion in cross country running, having won the USA Cross Country...
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