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2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon Ends in Historic Fashion
Kastor first woman to win three U.S. marathon titles; 41 U.S. women set personal records; Olympians Somers Smith and Benoit Samuelson set U.S. age group records in Boston

by: Jack Fleming, BAA

BOSTON - (April 25, 2008) - On a spectacular Sunday morning in Boston, the top female marathoners in the United States put forth an historic performance. Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet and Blake Russell headlined the April 20 show as they captured the three spots on the U.S. Olympic Team for the women's marathon. As a result, their next marathon will be run through the streets of Beijing on Sunday, August 17 as they compete in the 2008 Olympic Games. Behind the three Olympians, 143 other women thrilled the tens of thousands of spectators and viewers on NBCSports.com with one of the greatest women's marathons ever held.

Among the many notable accomplishments from the 7th U.S. Women's Olympic Marathon Trials:

ATHLETES
* 181 qualifiers (171 via a marathon performance, 10 via a 10,000m performance)
* 146 starters
* 124 finishers

Sub-2:50s
* 98 women ran under 2:50. This is the second largest total in the history of women's marathon running, trailing only the inaugural 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials when 109 women broke that mark.
* By comparison, 61 women broke 2:50 at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon. 44 did so in 2000; 71 in 1996; 46 in 1992 and 81 in 1988.

All-Time Rankings
* Deena Kastor and Magdalena Lewy Boulet ran the 2nd and 11th fastest Olympic Trials performances in U.S. history.
* Kastor's winning time of 2 hours, 29 minutes, 35 seconds is the 41st fastest marathon ever run by an American woman. She also owns the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 18th and 42nd fastest times.
* Lewy Boulet's runner-up time of 2:30:19 is the 53rd fastest marathon ever run by an American woman.

U.S. Age Group Records
* Linda Somers Smith (2:38:49) set a U.S. 45-49 record (previous mark, 2:42:28, Joan Benoit Samuelson).
* Joan Benoit Samuelson (2:49:08) set a U.S. 50-54 record (previous mark, 2:50:26, Shirley Matson).

Personal Records & Qualifying Performances
* 135 women qualified for the Olympic Trials by running a new personal best in the marathon (out of 171 women who qualified with a marathon time).
* 41 women ran new personal records on Sunday, including an impressive 13 of the top 15 and 20 of the top 26.
* Tera Moody - who finished 5th overall in 2:33:54 - led the PR parade with the biggest improvement: 12 minutes, 46 seconds.
* 47 women improved upon their qualifying performance for the event (including Blake Russell who qualified via a 10,000m time because she did not have a qualifying marathon performance).

USA CHAMPIONSHIPS
* Deena Kastor won her third USA Marathon title (2001 and 2007) and 25th USA title overall, and became the first woman since Linda Somers (1993-94) to win back-to-back national titles.
* Kastor became the first woman to win three U.S. titles in the marathon. Julie Brown (1976 / '83), Janis Klecker (1987 / '92) and Linda Somers each have won two.

OLYMPIC TEAMS
* Kastor joined Cathy O'Brien (1988 & 1992) as the only women to make two U.S. Olympic Teams in the marathon.
* This represented the first time that the first alternate from an Olympic Team (Blake Russell in 2004) has made the Olympic Team four years later.
* This was also the first time at the same Trials that the Olympic marathon team resided in the same state; in this case, California.
* The 4th and 5th place finishers from 2004 (Russell and Lewy Boulet, who finished just 35 and 53 seconds out of third place, respectively, in 2004) both made the Olympic Team this year.

WEBSITE USAGE
* 48,583 visitors to BostonTrials2008.com on race day.
* 360,968 race day page views.
* Visitors to the website were from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 90 countries.

For complete Trials results, splits, photos and more, go to: http://bostontrials2008.com

 


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