Andrew Baddeley, Morgan Uceny Win Soggy BAA Invitational Miles
By David Monti and Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
BOSTON (18-Apr) -- Cold and rainy weather continued for the third
straight day here, but milers Andy Baddeley and Morgan Uceny shined at
the second annual B.A.A. Invitational Miles this morning.
Running on a 500-meter loop course in Back Bay, Baddeley, an Englishman, was tucked behind Ethiopian Marcos Geneti and Irishman Alistair Cragg after the first of three laps. Geneti continued to lead on the second lap and Baddeley was tucked in the pack in fourth place. He was trying to position himself for the tricky finish where the race makes a sharp left hand turn, before a short sprint to the finish near the famed Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street.
"I was very aware that there were only 60 meters from the last corner," Baddeley told reporters after the race. "I still felt quite comfortable that I had a lot left."
Geneti put some daylight on Baddeley before that turn, but like in last September's Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City, Baddeley saved his best move for the final meters. He closed up on Geneti with about 20 meters to go, then surged past him just before the tape to win in an event record 4:08.6 to Geneti's 4:08.8. Cragg, stepping way down from his half-marathon debut last month at the NYC Half-Marathon, finished third.
There was some contact between Baddeley and Geneti as they both targeted the narrow finish tape, but Geneti, who seemed to glide for the tape just a bit too soon, shrugged it off.
"It's my problem," he said. "It's my mistake."
Uceny, the reigning USA indoor 1500m champion, let 2008 Olympian Erin Donohue control the pace. Donohue held the lead through the first two laps, and Uceny decided that if she was going to win she needed to get into the lead before the final turn, just to play it safe.
"I was trying to be positive, Uceny explained. "I was trying to save some energy in the first couple of laps, just relax. In the last lap I was kind of antsy and I wanted to push it, just make sure just coming around one of those turns nobody could make a move."
Chased by her Mammoth Track Club teammate Sara Hall, Uceny had a clear lead coming into the finish straight and won easily in 4:43-flat. Hall followed next in 4:43.7 and Serbia's Marina Muncan got third in 4:44.8. Anna Pierce's event record of 4:38.6 was never under serious threat.
In the scholastic miles, which featured two boys and two girls from each of the eight towns along the Boston Marathon course, the races played out similarly. Both were won in the final 50 meters, where the early leaders faded and lost to strong kickers.
On the girl's side, it was a battle between the two representatives from Newton, as defending champion Margo Gillis and Melanie Fineman separated themselves from the field in the first lap. Gillis, who had the fastest time of the field coming in (4:57), led through the second lap. But, as the duo rounded the final turn, Fineman surged past her, going on to win her first title here in 5:10.5.
"I am really, really lucky that she was in the race, that I had her to work with," said Fineman, who broke the course record by one-tenth of a second. "Even though it's just the second year of the race, it is exciting (to break it), it's just an honor to be in the race."
Two runners familiar with each other dueled for the boy's title. Newton junior Ezra Lichtman and Framingham sophomore Ben Groleau have faced each other many times over the past two years, as both are part of the Bay State Conference --one of the strongest in the state of Massachusetts-- with Lichtman usually prevailing. But Groleau wouldn't let another win elude him today. Letting Lichtman lead the first two laps, Groleau made a move in the finishing straight, where he shot to the front and never looked back, crossing the line in 4:40.4.
"I honestly didn't think I would beat him," said Groleau, who bettered his tenth place finish in the event last year. "I didn't know until the 200m mark when I felt that I had more than he did. I just threw everything out there and passed him."
Both runners will likely have a chance to compete for the title again next year, as they both are underclassmen.
Prior to the invitational miles, the second annual B.A.A. 5-K was held on a different loop course, but using the same finish line. About 5000 runners had registered for the event, but none was faster than ultramarathoner Josh Cox of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Cox, the USA 50-K record holder, decided to use today's race to break up his 150-mile training weeks for the Comrades Marathon in South Africa.
"Even this week I'm going to hit 140 (miles)," Cox said. "I talked to Terrence (Mahon) my coach and I said I wanted to run the 5-K. He's like, 'hey, if you want to do it, great.'"
Cox took the lead from the gun, hit the mile split in 4:38 and the two-mile in 9:16. He won comfortably in 14:31, a time he pointed out was not his 5-K personal best on the road.
"I actually split 13:58 one time in the Lisbon Half," he said.
Brian Harvey of Allston, Mass., and Mark Miller of Keene, N.H., finished second and third, respectively, in 14:45 and 15:00.
Jennifer Campbell of Watertown, Mass., was the women's winner in an event record 16:52. She won a two-way battle with 27 year-old Jeannette Seckinger of Somerville.
"It was a great race," said Campbell. "I had one of the B.A.A. girls pushing me. Just what I wanted: to run for a fast time."
Seckinger, who is training for Grandma's Marathon in June, said she did her best to win but just fell a little bit short.
"It was OK," she said of the race. "I tried to pour it on in the last stretch, but I didn't have enough."
Olympic Marathon gold medallist Joan Samuelson, 52, also took part, clocking 18:15. She said she was somewhat disappointed with her result.
"I can't get out of that one gear," she said.
Jenny Barringer was suited up for the race, wearing bib 4890, but her name was not included in the official results, nor was she seen crossing the finish line.
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