Dibaba runs away with 2-mile, Cain sets HS mark
BOSTON -- Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's 2-mile run two mile Saturday night at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and Mary Cain set a record for high-schoolers and finished third.
Dibaba, the three-time Olympic gold medalist from Ethiopia, came in at 9:13.17 and Cain finished in 9:38.68.
"It was a lot of fun," said the 16-year-old Cain, who was introduced just before a video tribute to Dibaba was shown on the videoboard at the Reggie Lewis Center on the campus of Roxbury Community College. "It was cool having her next to me on the line. I was kind of laughing, saying, `Oh my gosh I'm competing with an Olympian for like two seconds.' It was really an honor."
Sheila Reid, of Canada, was second, less than a second ahead of Cain, whose ending push brought the crowd to its feet. Cain drifted into last place, and then rallied to pick off opponents.
Although she didn't get to second, there is plenty of time for glory, said Cain's coach, Alberto Salazar.
"I think she did great," Salazar said. "I told her to forget about the first couple of girls. . Your job is to compete for second place. Not necessarily to win, but compete with those girls."
Cain did just that, and continued a phenomenal winter. On January 12, she shattered a 37-year-old high school record in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:02.12. Saturday marked her first race on the big stage.
Nearing the 1-mile mark, Dibaba exploded from the pack and made it a one-woman race. She ran alone for the remainder of the race, eventually lapping competitors and earning her seventh win at the Grand Prix, her fourth in the 3,000 meters.
"I would've loved to have run faster," Dibaba said through an interpreter. "But I'm OK with this."
Olympic champion Jennifer Suhr won the women's pole vault, but clipped the bar when she tried to set an American record.
In the final event of the night, Galen Rupp, the silver medalist in the 10,000 meters in London, finished second to 18-year-old Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet, who took over first place about midway through and held off a late charge from Rupp.
Rupp's 7:33.36 was the second-fastest time in U.S. history.
In other events:
- American Matthew Centrowitz won the men's mile. Centrowitz tucked behind the pacer from the start and was never caught, although Will Leer made it interesting in an ending sprint, finishing nine one-hundreths of a second behind Centrowitz's time of 3:56.26.
"He helped to keep it honest towards the end. I wasn't going to keep pressing until someone did do that," Centrowitz said. "We had a good little finish at the end."
- Murielle Ahoure, of the Ivory Coast, broke a 7-year-old meet record in the women's 60 meters with a time of 7.07 seconds. Ahoure has the three fastest times this indoor season in this event.
- Zambian Gerald Phiri took the men's 60 meters in 6.67 seconds.
- Btissam Lakhouad defended her event crown in the woman's mile, edging a tight pack in 4:39.23.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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