News & Notes, Volume 8, Number 33


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field

Cheruiyot, Grigoryeva prevail at Boston Marathon

Robert Cheruiyot took his third Boston title while Lidiya Grigoryeva won for the first time Monday at the 111th Boston Marathon. Deena Kastor was the top-finishing American, taking fifth in the women's race and winning the U.S. women's marathon title, and Pete Gilmore was eighth in the men's race.

It is nearly impossible to conceive of a cold, 48-degree rain and swirling winds being considered good conditions, but compared to the initial forecast of 40mph winds and a possible Nor'Easter, they were much better than expected.

The race for the women's title was the most compelling of the day. A lead pack of eight women, including Kastor, was led through 14 miles alternately by 2006 Boston runner-up Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia and defending champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya. The pace was cautious: after a 5:32 opening mile, the group passed through 5 km in 17:14, 10 miles in 58:00, and halfway in 1:17:10.

At 14 miles, runners began to shed layers of clothing as well as competitors. Giovanna Volpato of Italy was the first to fall back, then Kastor lost touch with the leaders after making an unscheduled "pit stop" in between the 25 km to 30 km mark. The lead pack quickly dwindled to three - Prokopcuka, Madai Perez of Mexico and Grigoryeva. The three ran shoulder-to-shoulder as late as 24 miles, which they passed in 2:18:02.

Just over three minutes later, Grigoryeva made her move. The 2006 Los Angeles Marathon winner stormed to victory in 2:29:18, with Prokopcuka again finishing second, in 2:29:58. The Mexican national record holder, Perez was third in 2:30:16, with Jeptoo fourth (2:33:08) and Kastor fifth (2:35:09).

The men's race shaped up as a group long run, with a huge pack running two minutes behind a pair of unknown leaders through the first 18 miles. The pack slowly dropped runners, eventually being whittled by 40 km to Cheruiyot and James Kwambai.

Cheruiyot made his move 2:09 into the race, at Kenmore Square, pulling away strongly and cruising to the finish in 2:14:13, the slowest winning time at Boston since 1977 and almost 7 full minutes behind his own course record from last year (2:07:14). Kwambai was second in 2:14:33, with Stephen Kiogora third (2:14:47) and James Koskei fourth (2:15:05) as Kenyans took the top four places. Teferi Wodajo of Ehiopia was fifth (2:15:06), and Gilmore was eighth in 2:16:41.

It was the third World Marathon Majors win for Cheruiyot, who won Boston and the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in 2006.

For complete results from the 111th Boston Marathon, visit USATF will move a recap of the USA Women's Marathon Championship, held in Boston, this afternoon.

Flanagan sets U.S. record at Mt. SAC

2004 Olympian Shalane Flanagan set a new American record during the women's invitational 5,000 meters Friday night at the 49th annual Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, California.

Flanagan, who missed all of last season due to foot surgery, won the race in 14 minutes 44.80 seconds in bettering the previous U.S. record of 14:45.35 set by Regina Jacobs in Sacramento, Calif., on July 21, 2000. Earlier this year in February, Flanagan was victorious in the 3,000 meters at the AT&T USA Indoor Championships in Boston after setting the U.S. Indoor record at that distance of 8:33.25 on January 27.

Other notable performances from Mt. SAC included a dominating win for reigning world women's 200m champion Allyson Felix in the 400 meters, a race that she had not run for nearly two years. Felix crossed the finish line first in 51.74 seconds, with Liberia's Kou Luogon the runner-up in 53.06.

In 400m hurdles action, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor won the men's invitational race in 49.40 seconds, finishing just ahead of runner-up Derrick Williams (49.47). In the women's intermediate hurdles, Jamaica's Melaine Walker ran a world-leading time of 55.99 seconds for the win, with 2004 Olympic 100m hurdles champion Joanna Hayes placing third (56.56) in her first race at that distance in nearly three years.

In field event action, reigning world and Olympic champion Dwight Philips was the victor in the men's long jump with a best effort of 8.15 meters/26 feet, 9 inches, and Kibwe Johnson, who finished 2006 ranked #2 in the U.S. in the men's hammer throw, was victorious in the discus with a toss of 60.57m/198-8, with Michael Robertson the runner-up with a best effort falling five inches short of the winning mark.

In masters action at Mt. SAC, Nadine O'Connor lowered the world W65 age group record in her first outdoor race of the season. In finishing third in the masters women's 100m race, O'Connor's time of 14.11 seconds bettered the previous world record of 14.29 set by Irene Obera in 1999. It was O'Connor's sixth world record since turning 65 in March. Also in masters competition, a U.S. masters 100m record was set by Aaron Thigpen in the M40 division with his time of 10.60 seconds, which bettered his previous AR of 10.73 set last year in Charlotte, N.C.

For more information on the 2007 Mt. SAC Relays, including the complete results, visit:

Powell surpasses AR with Hawaiian toss

Two-time Olympian Suzy Powell bettered the women's U.S. discus throw record Saturday at the inaugural Maui "Big Wind" Discus Challenge presented by Ironwood Throwers at historic War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku, Hawaii.

Powell won the event on her fifth throw of the competition that sailed 67.67 meters/222 feet, which surpasses the 21-year old American women's record of 66.10m/216-10 set by Carol Cady in 1986.

2005 USA women's discus champion Becky Breisch was the runner-up with her new career best mark of 66.06m/216-8, and Stephanie Brown-Trafton, who placed fourth at the 2006 AT&T USA Outdoor Championships, finished third with a throw of 61.40m/201-5. The top three finishers all surpassed the IAAF "A" qualifying standard of 61.00m/200-1 for the 2007 World Outdoor Championships in Osaka, Japan.

Demus expecting twins

LaShinda Demus, the world's #1 400-meter hurdler in 2006 and the 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist, is pregnant with twin boys and will not compete this season, she has announced. Demus and her boyfriend, Jamel Mayrant, are expecting their sons to arrive in late spring/early summer.

The 2006 Visa Champion as the top female performer of USATF's Visa Championship Series, Demus is a 2-time USA champion in the hurdles and had her best year ever in 2006. She ran the seven fastest 400-meter hurdle times by an American in 2006 and seven of the top nine times in the world, including a personal best of 53.02. She posted major European victories at Athens, Stuttgart, Rome, Paris and Rieti, among other wins.

"I am very excited about becoming a mother," said the 24-year-old Demus. "This will mark a new chapter in my life, and I look forward to returning to competition in 2008 and to going for gold at the Beijing Olympics."

A graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif., and the 2002 NCAA Outdoor champion while at the University of South Carolina, Demus is the 2002 World Junior champion in the 400 hurdles.