Posted by: Joe English | February 9, 2009

Track and Field: Goucher, Gallo, Flanagan win at Boston Indoor Games

BOSTON – American records for Jenn Stuczynski and Shalane Flanagan, another win for Kara Goucher, one collegiate best and six world-leading marks, including another shot at the world record by Steven Hooker, made for a human-highlight film Saturday night at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games.

Goucher takes 3,000; Kipkeyo breaks collegiate mark
In addition to Hooker and Stuczysnki, several other athletes won their events for the second consecutive week. In the midst of training for the Boston Marathon in April, 2007 World Outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist Kara Goucher followed up her win in the mile at the Millrose Games by taking the women’s 3,000m in Boston. Starting with a first kilometer of 2:59.99, Goucher passed through 2 km in 5:56.17, trailing Kenyan Sally Kipkeyo of Texas Tech. Goucher took the lead with 800 to go and sprinted the final 400 to finish in 8:46.65. Kipkeyo was second in 8:48.7, surpassing Kim Smith’s collegiate record of 8:49.18.

After the meet, Goucher said: “my goal for this race was to actually do it marathon style and kind of be invisible, but they kept announcing I was in the race, so I wasn’t exactly invisible. Just be invisible for the first half and have a slow drive in the second half. That’s how I hope to run the marathon. This is a much shorter version, but executing the same race I hope to have in April.”

Gallo sets meet record, world leader
Lindsey Gallo may have been a surprise winner in the Reebok women’s mile run, but she made sure she made her mark. With Sarah Jamieson of Australia leading for most of the race and Gallo tucked behind, Gallo was joined by Mestawot Tadesse of Ethiopia in moving past the Aussie with 100m to go. Tadesse took the lead, but in the final stretch, Gallo, the 2006 USA outdoor 1,500m runner-up, sprinted away to win in 4:27.90. The time was a meet record, and 2008 world leader and a huge personal best for the 2005 University of Michigan graduate. Tadesse finished second in 4:28.18, with Jamieson third in 4:29.47.

Flanagan adds another AR
Already the owner of three American records, Shalane Flanagan added another Saturday night in the women’s 5,000m. The Massachusetts native already had the indoor 3,000m AR and outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 records, and in Boston set her sights on Marla Runyan’s 5,000m AR of 15:07.33, set in 2001. Paced by Marina Muncan of Serbia through 2,000m in 5:55, Flanagan took the lead and churned out 3 km in 8:55.5 and 4 km in 11:54.17, with Senthayehu Ejigu of Ethiopia on her shoulder.

The duo held that position until Ejigu pulled even with Flanagan in the final 20 meters. At the tape, it was a photo finish, with Ejigu being given the nod by five thousandths of a second as both women finished in 14:47.62, the sixth-fastest time ever run and a 2009 world leader. Her record brought Flanagan a $25,000 bonus check of her own, gave her the lead in the Visa Championship Series (1212 points) and the Team USA Athlete of the Meet award presented by Visa.

Stuczynski one-ups AR in vault
Competing at the facility where she won her first national title as an unknown in 2005, the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center, Jenn Stuczynski further cemented her utter domination of the women’s vault in the United States. Early Saturday night in the Nutrilite women’s pole vault, the six-time combined U.S. indoor and outdoor champion cleared 4.82m/15-9.75 on her first attempt to break Stacy Dragila’s American record of 4.81m/15-9.25 from 2004. It also earned Stuczynski a $25,000 bonus from meet organizers and is a 2009 world leader, moving her to the #3 woman on the all-time list indoors. In addition to the big check, she now owns the national indoor and outdoor records, with her 2008 Olympic Trials-winning height of 4.92m/16-01.75. Dragila placed second Saturday night with a clearance of 4.42m/14-6.

Late-night drama
The final two events of the evening were among the most exciting. The last race on the track, the men’s mile, featured a loaded field that included Olympic bronze medalist Nick Willis, his former Michigan teammate Alan Webb, and a host of sub-4 men. Adam Perkins paced the field through splits of 57.6 and 1:56.6, with Webb, Pablo Solares of Mexico and Willis following.

Perkins dropped after 1,000m, and the field went through 1200 in 2:56.7. Solares took over the lead as Webb faded, with Willis and Chris Lukezic in second and third. At the gun, the race was on, with Willis taking the lead on the backstretch. Willis went on to win in a world-leading time of 3:53.54, with Solares second in 3:54.52 and Lukezic third in 3:56.04.

But the meet wasn’t over. Hooker, who last week at the 102nd Millrose Games broke the meet record and scared the world record, did more of the same in Boston. The Olympic gold medalist won the competition over Derek Miles with a clearance at 5.87m/19-3 as Miles cleared 5.72m/18-9.25. Hooker then raised the bar to 6.06m/19-10.5. He cleared on his third and final attempt at the height to become the #2 vaulter of all time, behind only Sergey Bubka. Next up was 6.16m/20-2.15, to try to break Bubka’s WR by a centimeter. A run-through and two solid jumps – and misses – closed out his night.

2006 NCAA indoor and outdoor 200m champion Shalonda Solomon added a world leader in the Visa women’s 200m dash, winning easily in 23.17.

Men’s Visa Championship Series leader Terrence Trammell logged his second straight win, taking the Reebok men’s 60m hurdles in 7.53 to easily win over Aubrey Hicks in 7.68; Michael Rodgers did the same in the Visa men’s 60m dash in 6.58 over Darvis Patton’s 6.61. Travis Padgett was third in 6.62.

Renny Quow of Trinidad won the MBTA men’s 400m in much the same fashion as he won last week’s Mel Sheppard 600 yards – in the final steps. Quow eked out a win over Michael Blackwood of Jamaica, running 47.22 to Blackwood’s 47.31.

In the Nutrilite women’s 60m dash, 2006 World Indoor champion Lisa Barber got out to a quick start and held off 2007 World Outdoor 100m bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter, 7.19 to 7.20.

Other winners in Visa Championship Series events included Bekana Daba of Ethiopia in the men’s 3000 (7:41.88) over 2008 Olympian Galen Rupp (7:44.69); Nick Symmonds coming from behind in the Nutrilite men’s 1,000m run (2:20.52); Ivory Williams in the MBTA men’s 200m (20.92); Olympian Alice Schmidt in the METRO women’s 800m (2:03.09), and Janay Deloach in the women’s long jump (6.33m/20-9.25).

Winners in other events included Jessica Parry of Canada in the Reebok junior women’s mile (4:51.62), Jeff See of Ohio State in the college men’s mile (4:01.17), Joshua Brown in the masters men’s mile (4:34.30), and Dey Tuach of Rend Lake in the men’s college 800m (1:51.41). The Reebok men’s junior mile provided one of the most exciting finishes of the meet as Mac Fleet of California went from fourth to first in the last five meters of the race to win in 4:09.06. Andrew Springer of Rhode Island was second in 4:09.16.

Source: USATF
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