4 x 800 & World Jr. 1000m Set at NBal GP

By David Monti, @d9monti

(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(Used with Permission)

(08-Feb) — Records in the 1000m by Mary Cain and the 4 x 800m relay by
a USA all-star team were the highlights of today’s 19th New Balance
Indoor Grand Prix at the Reggie Lewis Track Facility at Roxbury
Community College here.

Cain took charge of the women’s 1000m
with about 250 meters to go, breaking her own world indoor junior best
of 2:39.25 set earlier this season at a different track at Boston
University. The 17 year-old from Bronxville, N.Y., clocked 2:35.80
ahead of Chanelle Price (2:36.63) and Sarah Brown (2:36.90) who both
set personal bests.

“I felt really good today,” Cain told
reporters. “Once again, I let a little too much of a gap occur probably
for Alberto’s tastes, but you know I definitely did better than I did
last time with gapping and stuff. That was really my main goal:
maintaining my spot.”

Running much of the race with her Nike
Oregon Project teammate Treniere Moser (who would finish fifth), Cain
said having Moser with her provided a significant boost to her

“You know, if I had kind of been out there alone
with a pacer, you know, maybe there’s kind of that, you know, I
shouldn’t be here doubts,” Cain told reporters. “When Treniere’s with
me I’m, like, I know I can do this. She’s in amazing shape. I’m right
with her; I felt really good.”

In the 4 x 800m relay, the USA
all-star team of Richard Jones (1:51.01), David Torrence (1:47.46),
Duane Solomon (1:47.99), and Erik Sowinski (1:46.67) clocked a new
world record of 7:13.11, narrowly defeating a team from the New
Jersey-New York Track Club (7:13.22). The previous record of 7:13.94
was set on this same Roxbury track by Joey Woody, Karl Paranya, Rich
Kenah, and David Krummenacker in 2000. Woody, who stopped competing in
2008, now coaches Sowinski.

“Coach Woody had it before me,”
said Sowinski who had to hold off a credible charge by Mike Rutt on the
last lap. He continued: “I knew Mike raced yesterday (he ran 1:46.71
for 800m at Boston University yesterday), so I had to break him in the
first 400.”

Jones, who ran for Louisiana State University
during his NCAA career, was in near-disbelief that he was now a world

“No,” replied Jones when asked by a reporter if
he thought he would ever break a world record. “I mean, I knew we had
the guys to do it, but at the same time, it takes everyone to do it on
the same day. And to have four guys do it on the same day is amazing.”

Hagos Gebrhiwet successfully defended his title in the men’s 3000m in
7:34.13, overwhelming compatriot Dejen Gebremeskel (7:34.70) in the
last 200m with a 26.3-second closing lap. Americans Ryan Hill (7:34.87)
and Garrett Heath (7:37.40) finished third and fourth, respectively,
both setting career best times. Every athlete in the 14-man filed broke

“I wanted to go for my own record,” Gebrhiwet said
through a translator of his 7:32.87 winning time from last year, a
world junior record. “But it was a bit windy,” he said, meaning that he
had spent too much time at the front.

Hill, who graduated from
North Carolina State last year and now trains under coach Jerry
Schumacher at Nike’s Beaverton Campus in Oregon, was pleased with the
8-second improvement in his personal best time. He was aggressive and
stayed close to the two Ethiopians, but couldn’t cover their big surge
in the last 400 meters.

“I felt great; I’m really happy with
the performance because it’s such a big jump,” Hill told reporters.
“But, looking back it was a lost opportunity to win a race, a big race
with an awesome crowd. I could totally tell they really wanted an
American to win but I just couldn’t do it for them today.”

Cam Levins finished seventh in 7:41.59 despite losing a shoe during the
race. He narrowly missed Kevin Sullivan’s Canadian record of 7:40.17.

highly-touted men’s mile, which featured three Olympic silver
medalists, did not produce any fast performances after the athletes
decided not to follow the pacemaker, Danny Stockberger, who went
through the first 440 yards in 57 seconds as requested. He later slowed
after building a four-second lead on the field to bring the race back

“They didn’t go with me,” Stockberger lamented. “He
(meet director Mark Wetmore) said to slow down and let them pick me up

After the field caught up to Stockberger with three
laps to go, 2008 Olympic 1500m silver medalist Nick Willis took over
the lead. As he came out of the turn at the top of the homestretch with
two laps to go, Galen Rupp abruptly stopped. The Olympic 10,000m silver
medalist has a pain in his left foot and didn’t want to risk further

“I’m just a little sore,” Rupp told reporters. “Nothing serious. It just wasn’t worth the risk to sprint on it.”

then, Willis had the race well in hand and romped to a 3:57.41 victory
over Pat Casey (3:58.18) and his old training partner at the University
of Michigan, Nate Brannen (3:58.37).

“My intention was to never
get behind the rabbit in this race,” Willis said in his post-race
interview. “Last race I led from 800 out in New Zealand, so I wanted to
enjoy being in a field to get tactics which would be required in a
final for the World Championships. I think it’s pretty similar to that.”

Leo Manzano, the 2012 Olympic 1500m silver medalist, had an off day, finishing last in 4:04.92.

the women’s 2000m, Olympian Kim Conley dominated the race, winning in
5:41.10 over Olympic teammate Emma Coburn (5:47.20). Conley, who has
run the second-fastest indoor mile in the world this year (4:24.54),
was never seriously challenged. She was happy with the win, but had
quietly hoped to run faster.

“It got all hard out there,” she
said of the final laps. “I guess I hoped, secretly, for the record
(Mary Slaney’s USA best of 5:34.52).”

In the final event of the
meet, the women’s two-mile, Sally Kipyego made a strong comeback from a
stress fracture of her foot last fall to win in 9:21.04. Kipyego, the
2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist, got
an unexpected scare from two-time world championships medalist Jenny
Simpson. Kipyego had a comfortable lead with two three laps to go, when
Simpson began sprinting furiously to catch her. Simpson looked like she
was executing her final kick.

“It kind of surprised me how hard
she was running,” Kipyego said of Simpson. “I was wondering, OK, is she
going to be able to run another 200 at that pace?”

Simpson had
miscounted the laps. After passing Kipyego when there was still one lap
to go, Simpson stopped, thinking she had won the race. After realizing
her mistake, she restarted and finished second in 9:26.19, three
seconds off of Regina Jacobs’s 2002 USA best of 9:23.38.

don’t know where I lost track,” said Simpson who was a good sport about
her mistake. She continued: “I think I just got really excited for the
finish. It wasn’t until I came through the finish and saw the clock
said 8:36, and I think that image of the clock will be seared in my
memory forever.”

In other events, Mike Galoob won the masters
mile in 4:23.48 (he turned 40 yesterday), beating John Trautmann in the
final sprint, and Maddy Berkson of Rhode Island and Tony Russell of
Pennsylvania won the junior miles in 4:11.56 and 4:56.00, respectively.

Mary Cain after setting a world junior indoor 1000m best of 2:35.80 at
the 2014 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston

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