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True, Huddle Set US Records at BAA 5K

VICTORIES, AMERICAN RECORDS FOR HUDDLE & TRUE AT BAA 5-K
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2015 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BOSTON
(18-Apr) — The American records for 5 kilometers on the road came
crashing down here this morning when Ben True and Molly Huddle won the
seventh annual BAA 5-K in 13:22 and 14:50, respectively. In exciting
sprint finishes on a gorgeous Spring day, they surpassed the previous
marks of 13:24 (Marc Davis, 1996) and 14:54 (Deena Kastor, 2002), both
set at the Carlsbad 5000 in California.

True, 26, of Hanover,
N.H., overcame an international field the Dartmouth College grad called
“pretty stacked” at yesterday’s news conference. He ran about four
meters adrift of the early leader, Kenya’s Philip Langat, who went
through the first mile alone in 4:19. True stayed with Kenya’s Stephen
Sambu and Daniel Salel and fellow American Girma Mecheso in the chase
pack as the race went on the “out leg” on Commonwealth Avenue.

Just past the 2-K point, Langat drifted back to the chase pack, and True started to work with Sambu to control the race.

“Sambu
and I worked really well together from about 2-K on,” True said in his
post-race interview. “We were really shoulder to shoulder and pushed
that whole last mile.”

As the men’s leaders went through
Massachusetts Avenue underpass for the second time, the mass
participation athletes were running on the other side of the roadway in
the opposite direction. True really felt the home team advantage as
people were shouting his name.

“It was great being out here,” a
smiling True told reporters. “The entire loop of the course my name was
being cheered the entire time. I kind of felt bad for Sambu.”

After
turning right on Hereford Street, the lead pack went through two miles
in 8:44. Mecheso was the first to drop back, setting up a final-mile
battle between True and Sambu. The pair made the final left turn onto
Charles Street for the final sprint together, and they were
neck-and-neck. True was running for the win, but when he saw the finish
clock he felt a further jolt to up his tempo.

“Coming around
the last corner, he had the inside lane and I had the outside lane,”
True recounted. “So he got a nice little jump on me. I was a little
afraid I wasn’t going to be able to reel him back in.”

But he
did. With about 150 meters to go, True drew even with Sambu and 50
meters from the finish surged into the lead to get the victory. Sambu
was timed in 13:23, just one second behind True; Salel got third in
13:27.

Organizers changed the certified loop course from last year and claimed it was slightly faster. True agreed.

“I
knew since last year that this course was fast,” explained True. He
continued: “They said that the course this year was supposed to be a
little faster from last year’s. I figured I might be able to run a
little faster.”

Huddle, 30, from Providence, R.I., ran a
similar race to True’s. She ran most of the race tucked in the pack,
but was pushed by Ethiopia’s Sentayehu Ejigu and Mamitu Daska as they
approached the finish. The African pair finished one and two seconds,
respectively, behind the American who said, like last year here, she
was primarily concerned with securing the victory.

“Yeah, I was
running for the win,” said Huddle who had painted her fingernails the
yellow and blue colors of the Boston Athletic Association, the
organizers of today’s race. “But when I saw how fast it was through the
mile and two-mile, even when I was back in fifth, I knew if I
maintained that the record would be really close.”

Huddle
showed impressive speed in her final kick, especially since her last
race was at more than four times the distance at the NYC Half on March
15, where she ran a personal best 1:08:31. She now holds the American
records at both 5000m on the track (14:44.76) and 5-k on the road
(14:50).

“It was in the very back of my mind,” Huddle said of
the record. “I had to go mile-by-mile today. I was feeling a bit rough,
but I knew if I was going to win it was going to be from the back like
last year. So, I just hoped for the best.”

Huddle and True enjoyed generous paydays here. Each won $7500 for their victories, plus $5000 Event record bonuses.

Previous
American record holder Marc Davis, who works for the Boston Athletic
Association, watched today’s race. He was pleased that it was True who
got his record, but said that he might reflect on it for a few minutes
tonight.

“That’s what scotch is for,” he quipped.

PHOTO: Molly Huddle wins the 2015 BAA 5-K in an American record 14:50 .

PHOTO: Ben True wins the 2015 BAA 5-K in an American record 13:22 .

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