Boston Marathon men’s race may be the deepest in history

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This Boston Marathon may not have legends Eliud Kipchoge or Kenenisa Bekele, but it does have most of the other stars of recent years. It is arguably the deepest Boston men’s field in the race’s 126-year history.

Like with the women’s race, Boston got a boost with a return to its Patriots’ Day date for the first time since 2019. The world’s other jewel spring marathon, London, which usually has the best roster of the spring, is once again being held in the fall this year due to the pandemic.

BOSTON MARATHON: TV Schedule | Women’s Preview | U.S. Women’s Moment

So this field includes every man who won Boston, London and New York City in 2019 and 2021 (save Kipchoge), the last two world champions, plus recent winners of Chicago and Tokyo.

Picking a favorite is difficult, but the entries can be separated between recent breakthroughs and veteran champions.

Three men in the field earned their first major marathon victories last fall: Kenyans Benson Kipruto (Boston) and Albert Korir (New York City) and Ethiopian Sisay Lemma (London).

The names with more pizzazz: Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, a longtime training partner of Kipchoge, won New York City in 2017 and 2019, plus three world half marathon titles. But he was fourth in his lone marathon since the start of the pandemic, missing time after fracturing a tibia when hit by a motorcycle while training in June 2020.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono is the only man other than Kipchoge to win two annual major marathons in one year since the start of 2015. He claimed Boston and Chicago in 2019 and hasn’t had a bad marathon in four years.

Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa is still just 32 years old, which is remarkable given his resume: Boston champion in 2013 and 2015, New York City champion in 2018 and world champion in 2019. He has a DNF and a 35th in two marathons over the last two and a half years, though.

Another Ethiopian, Birhanu Legese, is the third-fastest man in history and thus the fastest man in this field with a personal best of 2:02:48 from 2019. He won Tokyo in 2019 and 2020 and hasn’t finished worse than fifth in a marathon in the last three and a half years.

Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu (won Boston in 2016, second in 2021) and Evans Chebet (seventh-fastest man in history at 2:03:00) also deserve mention.

The fastest Americans in the field are Scott Fauble (2:09:09) and Colin Bennie (2:09:38), plus Olympians Jake Riley and Jared Ward.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here with redactions.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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