Morgan Uceny, ranked #1 in the world in 2011, wins 4th annual race
Morgan Uceny, ranked #1 in the world, on Sunday became the first two-time winner of the women’s B.A.A. Invitational Mile, leaving behind her three rivals on the final lap for victory in 4:43.8.
Defending champion Marina Muncan of Serbia was runner-up, in 4:44.5, with Americans Gabriele Anderson (4:46.3) and Treniere Moser (4:48) close behind.
Since her first victory here, in 2010, Uceny, a 2007 graduate of Cornell University, has steadily climbed to the top rung of the international ladder. Last year, she became only the second American woman in history to receive a #1 world ranking at 1500 meters.
“I think I’ve come a long way in two years,” she said after the win. “I’m much better aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a racer.”
After the first lap of the three-lap race, Uceny had a step on the pack; by the second lap Moser, a three-time U.S. champion at 1500 meters, had pulled even, with Muncan and Anderson both on their heels. But by the time the women rounded the last turn off Exeter Street and onto Boylston and the Boston Marathon finish line, Uceny was clearly on the way to victory.
“I just wanted to be sure I was in a good position to kick coming around that last corner,” Uceny said.
The 27-year-old Uceny, who finished fourth at 1500 meters and sixth at 800 meters in the 2008 Olympic Trials, will be looking to make her first Olympic team this year and said that her training has been, to say the least, coming along well.
“You’re almost worried that things are going too well,” she said. “My training is indicative that this will be my best season yet.”
Winning the girls’ B.A.A. Scholastic Mile was Evelyn Heffernan of Newton, in 5:23.1. An athlete from Newton has won the girls’ mile every year in its four-year history, but this year Hopkinton took the team title when Shelby Aarden and Melissa Lodge teamed up for second (5:24) and third (5:24.8).
Aarden has the chance to become a race fixture: she is just a freshman. “I never imagined doing really well,” she said. “It was an amazing experience.”
Newton also won the team title in the girls’ Middle School race of 1000 meters, Leah Metzger and Caraline Pham combining for a two-second victory over Wellesley, 3:44 to 3:46. Metzger was the overall winner in 3:36.
- By Barbara Huebner