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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.

Top Results:
 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

 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

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