Double European champion Mo Farah found himself beaten to the line by a half-shod competitor last night (5) at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.
Dejen Gebremeskel lost his right shoe in the first lap of the fifteen-lap race, one of the headline events at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletics Center in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood. Undaunted, Gebremeskel continued with just the sock, and late in the race when the lead came down to just Farah, Gebremeskel and Kenyan Nixon Chepseba, he refused to give up.
"I knew he was running on one shoe," said Farah, "and I thought if I just pushed hard he would give in," but Gebremeskel wouldn't. As Chepseba started to fade at the bell, Gebremeskel tried twice to get around Farah on the outside, and both times Farah dug deep to keep the Ethiopian on the outside. Finally, coming off the final turn by the roaring section of Ethiopian fans, Gebremeskel got a stride on Farah and held it to the finish tape. Gerbremeskel's 7:35.37 was less than half a second ahead of Farah's 7:35.81.
Farah admitted he was pleased with the time but less pleased at not winning, particularly to someone short on spikes.
Kipyego upsets Gezahegne
Sally Kipyego earned a win over World Indoor 1500m Champion Kalkidan Gezahegne at 3000m, and a world season lead. The race shifted around in the early going and reached 2000m at 6:01. When Jenny Simpson moved to the front just after that split, Gezahegne covered the move; when Sally Kipyego moved up to take over the lead, Gezahegne not only covered the move but took the lead herself.
That turned out to be most of Gezahegne's race, however, as Kipyego took over again at the bell and was not headed again. Kipyego, running her first race of the season - "I haven't done any speedwork yet this season" - took the win in 8:49.74. Gezahegne slid back to fourth (8:52.05) as Jenny Simpson chased her former college rival, moving to second in 8:50.78, and Megan Wright (formerly Metcalfe) moved up to third in 8:52.01.
"I knew I couldn't wait for the last lap," Kipyego said. "Someone with the speed [of Gezahegne], I needed to go at 600m, 800m, and make them work."
Suhr tries 4.84m
Jenn Suhr practically ran a Pole Vault clinic, entering at 4.45m as the only athlete still vaulting and clearing on her second attempt there, then passing to 4.61m and clearing that easily before having the bar set at 4.84m, the American record height. Suhr made two good attempts at that height and a third less impressive try to wrap up her day.
"4.61m isn't a very impressive winning mark," Suhr said afterward, "but it was good to get on the big poles and take a shot at 4.84m. The more chances I get to set the bar there, the more likely I'll clear it."
Suhr, celebrating her 29th birthday in Boston, was then serenaded by the homestretch spectators.
Brown introduces himself
Russell Brown surprised even himself when he won the night's closing event, the men's Mile, following his training partner Garrett Heath around Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis and then carrying that momentum past Heath and straight to the finish. Brown's 3:54.81 is his most impressive result to date, and he said afterward, "I was shocked" at the finish line. "It was like I was watching myself run. People I'd expected to be making moves from the front started coming back at the end of the race, and when it was just me and Garrett, it was just like another workout."
Heath took second in 3:55.87 with Willis third in 3:56.29.
The women's Mile went to a regular rabbit for this meet, Serbia's Marina Muncan. After the expected clash between NCAA Cross Country champion Sheila Reid and Canadian internationalist Carmen Douma-Hussar had tipped in favour of Douma-Hussar, Muncan swept in on the homestretch to claim the victory, 4:34.46 to Douma-Hussar's 4:34.53.
With Reid in third, that also made a top three sweep for Villanova, as both Muncan and Douma-Hussar are alumnae of the suburban Philadelphia university.
Phoebe Wright was the victor in the women's 800m, holding off Morgan Uceny 2:01.01 to 2:01.65.
Williams, Hastings and Kimmons in the dashes
Lauryn Williams continued her own return to top-level competition with a 7.17 win in the women's 60m. Williams, pointing out that wins outside big championships were still rare for her, had a margin of just .01 seconds over Marshevet Myers.
Natasha Hastings set a meet record in the women's 400m with a 51.88 that took .08 off Suziann Reid's 51.96 from 2000.
Trell Kimmons improved his place by one from last weekend's Millrose Games in the 60m, going from second there to first here in Boston.
Kimmons bolted out of the blocks in the lead and held his advantage through the straightaway, taking the win in 6.60 with Chris Davis and Ivory Williams hot on his heels.
The men's 300m dash went to Calvin Smith in 32.93, and Duane Solomon won the 600m in 1:17.00.
Parker Morse for the IAAF