Sunday, September 30, 2007
On the roads…American half-marathon best for Kara Goucher
It was meant to be a comeback show for Paula Radcliffe but Kara Goucher from Portland, Oregon gatecrashed the party on Tyneside this morning as the American won the Great North Run half marathon in north east England in 66:57.
Goucher produced the fastest half marathon in the world this year and the fastest ever by an American, her time quicker than Deena Kastor’s 67:34 US record from Berlin last year.
The World Championships 10,000m bronze medalist had never run a half marathon before, but when she began to pull away from Radcliffe in the seventh mile she literally never looked back.
Goucher not only ran the fastest ever half marathon by an American, but her times at 15km (47:36), 10 miles (50:59) and 20km (63:33) were also quicker than any US athlete has run before.
Goucher was as amazed as anyone. “The furthest I’ve ever raced before was 10k,” she said. “My coach [Alberto Salazar] told me to run 5:10s and to stay with the leaders as long it wasn’t under 5:05s.
“I didn’t even know what the US record was – it’s just a shame this won’t count,” she added, referring to the downhill nature of the course which debars it for official records. “I really didn’t know how fast I was running.
Geb breaks marathon world record...
Meanwhile in Berlin, Haile Gebrselassie finally fulfilled one of his biggest dreams: The 34 year-old Ethiopian broke the World record at the real,- Berlin-Marathon, clocking 2:04:26.
Running in near ideal conditions, Gebrselassie knocked 29 seconds from the previous record, 2:04:55, set by Kenyan Paul Tergat over the same course in 2003.
“It was something very special today, the spectators gave me more support than last year,” Gebrselassie said. “I have to say thank you Germany! Today the weather was perfect.”
Running an even pace Gebrselassie was guided by a group of pacemakers until 30 k. He left behind his other rivals soon after the start and then passed half way in 1:02:29 and always on course for the record. After the last two pacemakers had dropped out at 30 k Gebrselassie increased the pace, clocking his fastest kilometer split of 2:50 at 35 k.
Kenyan Abel Kirui took second with 2:06:51 and his felllow countryman Salim Kipsang was third in 2:07:29.
Busy weekend for Cougars & Eagles at Griak; Dawgs at Dellinger...
Washington State men's cross country team was led to a seventh place finish by seniors Andrew Jones and Alex Grant at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minnesota Saturday. Jones finished 13th and Grant crossed the line just a few spots back in 16th.
Jones finished the 8,000m course in 24:52 and Grant clocked in a second later at 24:53 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.
WSU junior Drew Polley finished 34th (25.23) and was the third Cougar to complete the course. Also scoring for the Cougars was senior Chris Williams placing 54th (25:54) followed by sophomore Dominic Smargiassi placing 68th (25:51), sophomore Dan Geib finishing 75th (26:00) and freshman David Hickerson in 98th (26:21) place. Senior Chris Concha (105. 26:27), sophomore Sam Ahlbeck (127. 26:45), and Woody Favinger (169. 27:40) did not count toward the team score.
For Eastern Washington, junior Paul Limpf led the team with a 30th-place finish and a time of 25:12 in the 8,000-meter run. Rounding off for the men were freshman Alex Smyth (65th, 25:51), sophomore Tyler Justus (120th, 27:00), freshman Bowe Ebding (125th, 27:10), freshman Graham Vaux (132nd, 27:27) and senior Andrew Marks (137th, 27:46).
No. 19 Northern Arizona edged out Arizona State 84-88 in the 23-team competition with runners finishing first and second in the race. No. 29 Iowa State finished third with 99 points. WSU's 185 points placed the Cougars ahead of No. 23 Michigan State's 255 points. The Eagles finished 16th with 472 points.
Lopez Lomong of Northern Arizona was the individual men's winner in 24:05.
In the women's race, Cougar sophomore Sara Trané finished 22nd (22:39) and junior Meghan Leonard finished 32nd (22:13) helping the Cougars to a eighth-place finish in the 26-team competition with 213 points. Seniors Collier Lawrence (22:21) and Isley Gonzalez (22:28) placed 37th and 41st respectively. Rounding out the WSU scorers were sophomores Lisa Egami, 93rd (23:26), and Chelsea VanDeBrake, 102nd (23:29), joined by freshmen Ashlee Wall, 104th (23:30), and Amanda Andrews, 125th (23:53).
Eastern Washington's Eagles finished fifteenth in the women's team competition with 423 points.
Junior Mattie Bridgmon led the Eagles with a time of 22:24 to finish 38th. Other runners included senior Samantha Modderman (48th, 22:36), senior Kiri Garruto (93rd, 23:33), senior Amber Nickelson (121st, 24:08) and junior Monica Prunty (123rd, 24:09).
Virginia's Emily Harrison was the individual winner in 20:52 for the 6k course.
Number 8 Minnesota claimed the team title with 97 points. No. 6 Arizona State finished just behind with 100 points to take second place, and No. 9 Michigan State came in third with 109 points.
The 17th-ranked Husky women (93 points) took third in the 15-team field behind host-school and 24th-ranked Oregon (65), and fourth-ranked Arkansas (90). Three ranked teams trailed the Huskies in the next three spots: No. 21 Colorado State in fourth, 18th-ranked BYU in fifth, and 15th-ranked Georgia took sixth place. The Huskies also distanced themselves from Pac-10 rivals UCLA, who finished 11th, and Oregon State, which placed 13th.
UW sophomore Katie Follett turned in the performance of her career with a second-place finish in a personal best time of 20:17 over the 6,000m course.
Early race leader Anita Campbell, who surged out to a 40-meter lead in the early stages before being caught at the two-mile mark, followed Follett. Campbell finished sixth in 20:32.
Turning in another outstanding run was freshman Marie Lawrence, who finished 13th in 20:48. Lawrence debuted at the Sundodger Invitational two weeks ago and has gone under 21-minutes in both of her outings thus far.
Rounding out the top-seven for the Huskies were Amanda Miller in 22nd place (21:03), Trisha Rasmussen at No. 50 (21:28), Lauren Saylor at No. 53 (21:29), and Danielle Schuster in 63rd place (21:37).
The Husky men, ranked 30th, placed seventh out of 15 teams, upsetting 22nd-ranked Cal Poly in the process. Every team that finished ahead of the Husky men was ranked in the top-21 of the current coaches' poll. Third-ranked Oregon took out top-ranked Wisconsin for the title, 54 points to 73. The Huskies finished with 176 points.
Leading the Husky men was sophomore Kelly Spady as he placed 21st in a time of 23:57. Junior Jon Harding followed up his record win at the Sundodger with another strong showing, placing 27th in 24:01. Senior Carl Moe ran third for the Dawgs, placing 33rd (24:07) while freshman Max O'Donoghue-McDonald took 44th (24:20). Riley Booker (51st), Brian Govier (66th), and Adam Shimer (74th) rounded out UW's top-seven scorers.
Winning the men's 8,000m race was Matt Withrow of Wisconsin in 23:20. First place in the women's run went to Oregon's Nicole Blood in 20:04.
The competition gets tougher for both the Cougars and Huskies. The Pre-National meet in Terre Haute, Ind. on Oct. 13 is held at the site of the NCAA Championships and features a loaded field of teams trying to maneuver for possible at-large spots. Eastern Washington will stay home and host their own invitational on the 13th.
The sports information offices of Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, the University of Washington, and the media services department of the IAAF contributed to this report.
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