DOBRISKEY & WILLIS TAKE FIFTH AVENUE MILE TITLES
By David Monti
(c) Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
NEW YORK (21-Sep) -- Britain's Lisa Dobriskey and New Zealand's Nick
Willis won the professional races at the 28th Continental Airlines
Fifth Avenue Mile here this afternoon.
Dobriskey, who only entered the race last Wednesday, followed the fast
early pace of Kenyan Rose Kosgei. San Francisco's Shannon Rowbury also
followed closely. Fourth and seventh in the Olympic 1500m,
respectively, Dobriskey and Rowbury were able to pull away from Kosgei
and battle for the win in the final meters. Dobriskey just got to the
line slightly ahead of Rowbury, winning in 4:18.6, the second fastest
time in the history of the race. She is the first British women's
champion here since Paula Radcliffe in 1997. Rowbury, who like
Dobriskey was making her Fifth Avenue debut, got second in 4:19.2.
Kosgei held on for third in 4:23.9.
In the men's race, it was former UCLA star Jon Rankin who took out the
early pace, hitting the first quarter in about 56 seconds. Most of the
pack followed, and at half-way Tucson's Bernard Lagat, last year's
world 1500m and 5000m champion, decided to make his bid for victory.
Willis, the Olympic 1500m bronze medalist, followed Lagat and the two
came to the finish line just below East 60th street side-by-side.
Willis got the win with a lean, 3:50.5 to 3:50.6, becoming the first
Kiwi champion here since John Walker in 1984. Canada's Nate Brannen
finished third in 3:51.9.
University of Michigan coach, Ron Warhurst, who coaches both Willis and
Brannen, was on hand with his cross country team to see the finish.
They had competed in Van Cortlandt Park yesterday in the B.R. Doyle
Meet of Champions.
Over 4000 runners competed in various heats, and more than $30,000 in
prize money was earned. Both Dobriskey and Willis will receive $5000.
PRO MEN -
1. Nick Willis, 25, Ann Arbor, MI (NZL), 3:50.5
2. Bernard Lagat, 33, Tucson, AZ, 3:50.6
3. Nate Brannen, 26, Ann Arbor, MI (CAN), 3:51.9
4. Jon Rankin, 26, Chula Vista, CA, 3:52.7
5. Chris Solinsky, 23, Madison, WI, 3:54.1
PRO WOMEN -
1. Lisa Dobriskey, 24, Loughborough, England (GBR), 4:18.6
2. Shannon Rowbury, 24, San Francisco, CA, 4:19.2
3. Rose Kosgei, 27, Santa Fe, NM (KEN), 4:23.9
4. Erin Donohue, 25, Haddonfield, NJ, 4:24.9
5. Meskerem Legesse, 21, Bronx, NY (ETH), 4:28.6