Dejen Gebremeskel Wins B.A.A. Invitational Mile in Return

Contact Info:
T.K. Skenderian (Communications Director)
Boston Athletic Association
185 Dartmouth Street, 6th Floor
Boston MA 02116
e-mail:tk@baa.org
18 APR 2015
2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Times 4:04.1 for Win

By Any running enthusiast knows that Boston is all about tradition, and the tradition of excellence in the B.A.A.'s middle distance events - held on Marathon Saturday - is now as firmly entrenched as any of those in Monday's Marathon. Olympic silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel added his name to the list of illustrious winners of the event, winning the B.A.A. Invitational Mile title in a swift 4:04.1. Also earning wins today were Michael McDonald in the Boys’ Scholastic Mile and Lucas Aramburu in the Boys’ Middle School 1K.

Men's B.A.A. Invitational Mile

This was the one to watch. A field of seven world class milers, hammering around the streets of Back Bay. It's a sight to see, and it sure was today. All the more so for the manner in which Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel – a two-time B.A.A. 5K champion - gave his more fancied peers a lesson in road miling. Gebremeskel, indeed, had never raced this distance on the road before, although his Olympic 5000m silver medal and 12:46.81 PB made him fearsome enough in any medium.

Even so, it was interesting to see the lithe Ethiopian surge to the front of the field and stay there, holding a stride lead after one lap (1:23) and five meter gap after two (2:44). In his wake were five-time Arkansas All American Duncan Phillips; European 1500 bronze medalist, indoors and out, Chris O'Hare; two time Baylor All American and Welsh Commonwealth Games representative, Chris Gowell; Oklahoma All American Frezer Legesse; plus, BAA sub-four competitors, Steve Mangan and Dan Lowry. In a nutshell, it was a field of thoroughbreds.

Thoroughbreds like to run, and Gebremeskel made sure of that. Nobody was going to wrest this race from him without a struggle. "I wanted to see if I was quick," he said later.

Even so, with one lap remaining, nothing was assured. Gebremeskel looked powerful at the forefront, but O'Hare looked threatening - and had serious wheels - and Legesse appeared intimidatingly comfortable. Around the final lap, though, it all made little difference to Gebremeskel. He had the lead, he wanted to keep it, and that was all there was to it.

Around the final lap, Gebremeskel upped the tempo still further allowing the chasing group no hope of making any inroads. Back onto Boylston Street, he surged one more time, breaking the tape in 4:04.1, his winning margin having stretched to almost three seconds. O'Hare powered home to take the silver (4:07.0) with Legesse securing third in 4:08.1.

For his victory, Gebremeskel earned a cool $3,000, with O'Hare claiming $2,000 and Legesse $1,000.

Legesse was asked what he thought of his race. With a broad grin he simply replied, "Lots of fun."

With that, he spoke for all.

 

Boys' Scholastic Mile

This one was tactical, and brutally so. "B.A.A. Miles are notorious for being tactical," asserted Framingham's Mike McDonald. "But this one just got faster and faster."

A first lap of 1:52 saw last year's fifth placer, John Lara from Boston, fronting the congested pack, albeit side by side with McDonald, fourth last year, and Brookline's Emmanuel D'Agostino. But there was nothing in it. A decent sized blanket would almost have covered the entire field.

The second lap was completed with 3:16 on the clock. The blanket would have needed to be a bit larger, but we're still not talking tent-sized. With a single lap to go, it was still all to play for. But McDonald wasn't playing; just ask his peers who had to weather the storm he unleashed along the back straight. The pace had been building, but this placed it into a whole other gear, a gear only he possessed.

"I went all out," he explained. "And once I saw John Lara die, I just knew."

So did everybody else. The race was his. At the line, McDonald's time of 4:41.2 gave him a comfortable three seconds over D'Agostino (4:44.8) with Newton's Siddharth Nizamuddin (4:47.4) storming past Lara (4:47.9) to steal third.

"Our teams are all supposed to hate each other," proffered D'Agostino, contemplating his and Nizamuddin's minor placings. "Maybe the soccer teams do, but we're all friends. This 1-2-3, I'm really happy with how it turned out for all of us."

 

Boys' Middle School 1K

It might be only two laps, but this race was as intense as any that were to come. It was made so by the courageous front running of Brookline's Lucas Aramburu, who surged to the front from the gun and, literally, ran away with it.

"My coach didn't tell me to do that," he confided after his 2:54.1, eight second victory. "But it's short; you might as well hurt a lot."

That's the voice of somebody who knows how to race.

At the end of the first lap, Aramburu, who placed fourth here last year, held a three second advantage over his teammate Jon Diaz, Natick's Conor Giersch and Hopkinton's Johnny Cowen. The chasing trio worked hard, but with Arumburu surging all the harder along the Exeter Street back straight, it was all they could do to keep him in sight. As he took the hard left turn, back onto the Boylston Street home straight, Aramburu was away and flying, his victory assured.

Not so for the silver medal position. With the finish line just meters away, Cowen, Diaz and Giersch were still fighting hard, shoulder to shoulder. A surge in the last 10 meters secured it for Giersch, though, (3:02.3), with Diaz taking third (3:02.4) and Cowen (3:02.6). It was a fierce battle, but all three were quick to give kudos to the winner.

Pondering the dominance of the winner, Diaz simply shrugged: "He's a machine."

B.A.A. Moment

Dejen Gebremeskel Wins B.A.A. Invitational Mile in Return

By Any running enthusiast knows that Boston is all about tradition, and the tradition of excellence in the B.A.A.'s middle distance events - held on Marathon Saturday - is now as firmly entrenched as any of those in Monday's Marathon. Olympic silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel added his name to the list of illustrious winners of the event, winning the B.A.A. Invitational Mile title in a swift 4:04.1. Also earning wins today were Michael McDonald in the Boys’ Scholastic Mile and Lucas Aramburu in the Boys’ Middle School 1K.

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