Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi, Shalane Flanagan lead U.S. elite fields for Boston Marathon

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Meb Keflezighi will try to become the first American in 35 years to win back-to-back Boston Marathons on April 20.

Keflezighi, a three-time Olympian and 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist, headlined the U.S. elite fields announced for the world’s oldest annual 26.2-mile race Wednesday.

The other U.S. elite men are three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, Nick Arciniaga, Jeffrey Eggleston and Fernando Cabada.

The field will not include two-time Olympian Ryan Hall, who is running the Los Angeles Marathon on March 15. Los Angeles will host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 13, 2016.

Keflezighi won the 2014 Boston Marathon one year after twin bombings near the Boylston Street finish rocked the event. He became its oldest winner since 1930. The last U.S. man to repeat as champion was Bill Rodgers, who won three straight from 1978-80.

Keflezighi has said he’s aiming for the Rio Olympics, too. He will be two weeks shy of his 40th birthday on Patriots’ Day in Boston. He would become the oldest U.S. Olympic runner of all time if he makes the 2016 team, according to sports-reference.com.

Shalane Flanagan, the 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist, tops the group of American women going to Boston, returning from a fourth-place finish in 2014.

She’s joined by London Olympic teammates Desi Linden and Amy Hastings.

Flanagan, Hastings and Linden were the three fastest U.S. women’s marathoners last year. The U.S. Olympic team in the marathon will most likely be the top three finishers at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

No U.S. woman has won the Boston Marathon since 1985.

The women’s winner the last two years was Kenyan Rita Jeptoo, who tested positive for EPO in September and is facing a lengthy ban.

The Boston Marathon international fields are expected to be announced in mid-January.

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Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
AP
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
Getty Images
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

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