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Ethiopians Sweep at BAA Invitational Mile

ETHIOPIAN SWEEP AT BAA INVITATIONAL MILE
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2015 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BOSTON
(18-Apr) — Athletes from Ethiopia took the top spots in today’s
seventh annual BAA Invitational Mile on the streets of Boston’s Back
Bay neighborhood. Dejen Gebremeskel and Dawit Seyaum broke the blue
Boston Athletic Association finish tapes on Boylston Street just a few
meters from the Boston Marathon finish line in 4:04.1 and 4:35.4,
respectively. Seyaum’s time was an event record.

Gebremeskel,
the 2012 Olympic 5000m silver medalist, decided from the starter’s gun
that a hard early pace was the best route to victory. After the first
of three circuits, he had a small lead on Britain’s Chris O’Hare and
America’s Duncan Phillips, but expanded his lead to two seconds by the
end of the second lap. In the final circuit, Gebremeskel overwhelmed
the field, to leave O’Hare nearly three seconds behind by the finish.

“He’s
a class act,” said O’Hare, the former University of Tulsa star who was
clocked today in 4:07.0. He continued: “I was a little bit disappointed
in the way I executed the race today, but that’s what this is for.”

Frezer Legesse, who ran for the University of Oklahoma during his collegiate career, took third in 4:08.1.

Seyaum
employed a different strategy than her male compatriot. She chose to
follow the early pace set by three-time event champion Morgan Uceny,
then she took the lead on the second circuit, sensing it was time to
pick up the pace.

“I decided while I was racing I thought maybe it was better for me to push,” Seyaum told reporters through a translator.

In
the final lap, Seyaum –who was running in her first-ever road mile–
put the race away. Leading out of the final bend before the finish, she
ran unfettered to the finish line, handily beating Anna Willard’s 2009
event record of 4:38.6. Heather Kampf caught Uceny inside of the final
20 meters to take second in 4:37.0 to Uceny’s 4:37.7.

“This is my spot,” Kampf recalled telling herself as she prepared to pass Uceny. “I want to get it.”

For Uceny, the race gave her a good idea where her fitness was prior to opening our outdoor track season.

“I was really happy with the race until the final 100 meters,” she said. She added: “I think the monkey really got on my back.”

Both Gebremeskel and Seyaum won $3000 in prize money.

PHOTO:
Dawit Sayaum winning the 2015 BAA Invitational Mile in a course record
4:35.4 .

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