1 world record, 5 national records fall at Reebok Boston Indoor Games
BOSTON – Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia shattered the world record in the women’s 5,000 meters, while Shalane Flanagan deconstructed the American record in the RBK women’s 3,000m Saturday at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games. Two Australian national marks and a New Zealand AR also fell on the first stop of USA Track & Field’s Indoor Visa Championship Series.
The double world champion at 5,000 and 10,000 meters, Dibaba put on a solo effort in the 5,000 Saturday night that was nothing short of awesome. Known in some circles as “the baby-faced destroyer,” Dibaba destroyed in own world and Ethiopian record, running 14:27.42 to crush her own record of 14:32.93 set at this meet in 2005.
The 2005 USA outdoor 5,000m champion, Flanagan ran 8:33.25 in the RBK women’s 3,000 to bury Regina Jacobs’ previous 3, AR of 8:39.14. It was an epic run by the Marblehead, Mass., native, who ran off the shoulder of Meseret Defar as Defar went for the world record. Flanagan challenged Defar on the backstretch, with 100 meters to go, bringing the capacity crowd to its feet. Defar outlasted Flanagan to win in 8:30.31, the #5 performance all-time. Flanagan improved her own personal best by more than 20 seconds, while Kim Smith’s third-place time of 8:38.14 also was a national record.
Unofficial results provided by Parker Morse for the IAAF had Dibaba’s kilometer splits at 2:55.23, 5:48, 8:44.30 and 11:40.98. Mile splits were 4:38.76, 9:19.35 and 13:57.70, with a final 200m of 29.72. Dibaba said it was with two laps remaining that she felt assured of the record, but the huge improvement on her own mark did come as a bit of a surprise.
“Indoors, I was concentrating on this race, so I had the confidence to break” the record, Dibaba said. Still, “I didn’t think I could break it by this much.”
Trailing Dibaba in the race were countrywomen Ejegayehu Dibaba – Tiru’s sister and the Olympic 10,000m silver medalist – in 15:09.48 and Aheza Kiros in 15:26.43.
Oceania needs a new record book
Athletes from Down Under came out on top Saturday. Sarah Jamieson set an Australian national record in the women’s mile with a time of 4:28.03. She was followed in the race by two-time U.S. Olympian Shayne Culpepper, coming back from pregnancy with 4:31.35.
In the men’s pole vault, #1 world-ranked Steven Hooker vaulted to a NR 5.81m/19-0.75 in his first ever indoor meet, thanks in part to the generosity of American record holder Jeff Hartwig. With Hooker’s pole’s lost in transit, he jumped on his competitor’s poles. “It’s the second time I’ve used Jeff’s poles and beat him,” Hooker said sheepishly. “But he’s won a lot more than me.” U.S. champion Russ Buller was second at 5.61m/18-4.75, with Hartwig third at 5.51m/18-1.
Kim Smith of New Zealand was third in the 3,000, setting a national record with her time of 8:38.14.
New American stars emerge
Several young Americans emerged as stars in their respective events at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games.
Nick Symmonds, a seven-time NCAA Division III champion, left no doubt that he is a major player on the professional scene by winning the Smartwater men’s 800m run in style. Running a controlled race, Symmonds came through 400m in third place, the second man behind the pacesetter’s split of 53.2. Sam Burley then took control of the race, leading Symmonds by several yards before Symmonds moved past him in the final straight to win in 1:48.15. Burley, who now trains with Alan Webb’s training group, was second in 1:48.66 with 2001 World Indoor champion David Krummenacker third in 1:49.29.
Recent Ohio State grad Dan Taylor quickly went from top collegian to vanquisher of the world’s best throwers in he men’s shot put. The 6-6, 335-pound Ohioan put all of his throws over 21 meters, including two over 70 feet. He won the competition with a best of 21.57/70-9.25 to prevail over world #2 ranked Christian Cantwell (21.36m/70-1) and #1 ranked Reese Hoffa (68-4.5)
In her first race since forgoing her final year of eligibility at Texas, multi-time NCAA champion Marshevet Hooker won the Visa women’s 60 meters in 7.24 seconds over Miki Barber (7.28) and Sheri-Ann Brooks of Jamaica (7.29). In the Visa men’s 60m, 2004 Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford came on late in the race to win in 6.55 seconds over DaBryan Blanton in 6.58.
In the men’s mile, Alan Webb turned in a bravura solo performance. The two-time U.S. outdoor champion followed the designated pacemaker through splits of 55.3 and 1:56.2, then went through 1200m in 2:56.8 before finishing in a personal-best of 3:55.18. Kevin Sullivan of Canada was second in 3:57.33 with Mark Fountain of Australia third in 3:57.76.
Craig “Buster” Mottram of Australia turned in an easy victory in the RBK men’s 3,000m, waving to the crowd as he cruised to a win in 7:39.24, with Markos Geneti of Ethiopia second in 7:42.72.
Other winners included Jenn Stuczynski in the women’s pole vault (4.63m/15-2.25), David Payne in the RBK men’s 60m hurdles (7.58), Perdita Felicien of Canada in the women’s 60m hurdles in 7.97 and Monica Hargrove in the women’s 400m (52.85)
In exhibition events, Massachusetts native Mark Coogan won the men’s masters mile in 4:24.71, Danielle Tauro won the American Track & Field Girls’ Invitational Miles in 4:52.20, and Duncan Phillips to take the American Track & Field Boys’ Invitational Mile in 4:09.20.
For results, visit Boston Indoor Games