Distance events shine at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

Distance events shine at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

Provided by USATF

INDIANAPOLIS - Galen Rupp and Mary Cain highlight incredibly talented fields in the distance events at this Saturday's New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.

The sold-out meet serves as the first stop of the 2013 USATF Indoor Championship Series. The event can be viewed live on ESPN3 on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 6-8 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday, Feb. 3., from 2-4 p.m. ET.

Record-chasing in the women’s 2-mile

No U.S. female track athlete has had the buzz Mary Cain has had this season. The high school junior who is competing unattached has already set prep records in the 1,500m, mile and 3,000m this year. The current 2-mile record of 9:55.92 belongs to Melody Fairchild and has been in the record books since 1991.

Cain will have plenty of help in her record-chasing efforts as the race is sure to be a competitive one with the “Baby Faced Destroyer” Tirunesh Dibaba also in the field. The three-time Olympic champion has a history of running well in the Reggie Lewis Center. Two of the three world records she has established happened in this event: the 5,000m indoor WR in 2005 and again in 2007.

The field is also loaded with the current U.S. leader in the mile and 1,500m, Sarah (Bowman) Brown, Brenda Martinez, who won the mile at this event last year and four-time NCAA champion Shelia Reid of Canada.

Silver medalists face-off in 3,000m

10,000m Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp and Ethiopia’s 5,000m silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel will go head-to-head in the 3,000m. While he excels in the longer distances, Rupp proved his foot speed as he ran the second fastest U.S. indoor mile and the fifth fastest of all time as he clocked 3:50.92 last weekend at the Boston Terrier Classic. Rupp set the 2 mile indoor American record in 2012, and Lagat’s 3,000m record could be in danger this weekend.

Gebremeskel was the world leader in the 5,000m in 2012; however, one of his most memorable races came at this event in 2011 where he defeated eventual double Olympic champion Mo Farah. Gebremeskel completed that race with only one shoe.

The 3,000m field also includes 2012 Olympians Donn Cabral who represented the U.S. in the steeplechase and 1,500m runner Ciaran O’Lionaird of Ireland.

The men’s middle distance events will be headlined by 2011 World Championships 1,500m bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz in the mile. The women’s 800m will feature three former Tennessee Lady Vols in 800m specialists Erica Moore, Phoebe Wright and Chanelle Price.

In the field events, Olympic champion Jenn Suhr is sure to be the crowd favorite in the women’s pole vault. It was in 2005, when the then unknown vaulter shot to the national scene as she won her first national title in Boston. Since then she has won 12 U.S. vault titles and set the indoor and outdoor American record seven times.

The women’s 60m hurdles will feature reigning USA Indoor champion Kristi Castlin, as well as 2008 Olympian Queen Harrison and 2012 Olympic long jump bronze medalist Janay Deloach.

For more information on the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and the USATF Championship series, visit http://www.nbindoorgrandprix.com/ or www.usatf.org.

Katie Branham