Our MIKE WARDIAN is going to the trials! What a great phone call this weekend with this news!!! Go Mike Go!
Shamrock marathoners qualify for U.S. Olympic trials
The Virginian-Pilot(c) March 19, 2007Last updated: 9:59 PMOlympic trials, here they come.
Three runners at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on Sunday,including two from Virginia, qualified for the United States Olympictrials.It was the second day of gusting winds pushing against elite runners andleprechauns as they raced toward the finish line near King Neptune'sstatue.Genna Tufa, men's marathon winner.
"The plan was just to go out conservatively," said first-time marathonerCheryl Anderson of Richmond, the women's overall winner. "I didn'treallyknow what to expect."A former college runner, she won in 2:42:52, well below her goal of 2:45andthe 2:47 required to qualify for the women's Olympic trials.
Coming off an excellent finish at the Colonial WilliamsburgHalf-Marathon,the William and Mary graduate was a favorite to win.Anderson, 25, ran most of the race alone after seeing her time at the8-milemark. It was just slow enough, she said, to nudge her into a faster paceanda few negative splits as she pulled away from the women.
"It was rough running into the wind, but I felt really good," saidAnderson,a student at the Medical College of Virginia.She said she will run another marathon in the fall to get ready for thetrials in April 2008 in Boston.Susan Barth, 26, of Bluffton, Ind., and Eileen Combs, 29, ofSchenectady,N.Y., rounded out the top three women. Barth finished in 2:55:48, Combsin2:56:11.
The top local finisher among the women was Jenn Shelton, 23, of VirginiaBeach, who took fifth place with a time of 3:00:21.Ethiopian Genna Tufa, 22, won the men's race, keeping a comfortable leadtoward the end, and coming in at 2:20:35.
In second and third places, Nathan Usher, 24, and Michael Wardian, 32,respectively, ran Olympic trial qualifying times of 2:21:20 and 2:21:37.
"The wind was really bad," said Usher, who chose the Shamrock because itisa fast course."With this wind, I wouldn't have been able to qualify without Neal andWardian."Usher, of Lansing, Mich., and Wardian, of Arlington, were part of agroup ofelite runners willing to share the workload in order to qualify.
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