Ethiopians win Cherry Blossom

Updated: April 1, 2007, 3:03 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Ethiopians ruled the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on Sunday with teenager Tadesse Tola winning the men's race and Teyba Erkesso taking the all-women's event in an unofficial world record time.

The 19-year-old Tola finished in 46 minutes, 1 second to beat Tanzania's John Yuda by 3 seconds. Kenyans John Korir (46:11), Nicholas Kamakya (46:12) and Samuel Ndereva (46:46) followed.

An early lead pack of 14 runners dwindled to three by the seven-mile mark, and Tola made a strong surge during the eighth mile that shook all but Yuda and Korir, a three-time winner of the event.

Erkesso won the all-women's race in 51:44, a record pending certification by USA Track and Field. The 24-year-old led a dozen women through the two-mile mark in 10:30, broke from the pack shortly thereafter and ran alone to the finish.

Russian Tatyana Petrova finished second in 52:58, followed by Brit Kathy Butler (52:36), Kenyan Magdalene Makunzi (53:45) and Romanian Lidia Simon (53:52), the 2000 Olympic marathon silver medalist.

Stephen Meinelt of Washington, was the first American finisher in 11th place with a time of 48:45. Meinelt qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by running a 2:18:15 at the Houston Marathon in January.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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