Ryan Hall Wins USA Olympic Trials Marathon

Story written by EPelle

NEW YORK - Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell won spots on the USA men's Olympic marathon team for the Beijing by finishing 1-2-3 Saturday at the USA Olympic Trials.

All three made the Olympics in the marathon for the first time, with Hall and Sell making their first Olympic team. Ritzenhein contested the 10.000m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Hall, who had never run a marathon before April, won with a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 2 seconds after running five loops around Central Park. He was followed by Ritzenhein in 2.11.07 and Sell in 2.11.40.

This race started at a 2.20 marathon pace as the runners were feeling each other out early, with Hall running his first 10km in 32.36. Hall closed his race out in a stunning 1.02.45 -- a time which was spectacular considering the undulating Central Park looped course the runners faced five times in addition to the wind.

Hall set a USA Olympic Trials record with his victory,
and ran 10km splits of 32.36 - 30.38 - 29.53 - 29.25 between 10km and 40km, and ran his fastest 10km segment during the 25th and 35th kilometres, splitting 29.16.

Tony Sandoval held the previous record, timing 2.10.19 in winning the 1980 USA Olympic Marathon trials.

Hall ran an incredulous 4.32 18th-mile to break away from the pack once Khalid Khannouci cut into the lead shared by the five-person contingent through mile-17, and establish a lead he'd increase as the next eight miles wore on, even splitting 4.34 at mile 20.
"I'm just thrilled with the day the Lord gave me and thrilled to be part of this Olympic team," Hall said. "I was thinking about the Olympics when I was out there on that last lap and the fitness it will take. The last mile, I knew I was going to be OK. I know I can run considerably faster. There's definitely more gears in there. I'll get to test those in Beijing."
Hall, who set a national 20km record (57.54) while finishing 11th in the IAAF World Road Running Championships in Debrecen, Hungary one year ago in October, set his second American record in winning the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, in Houston, Texas, in 59.43 - a mark which also set a new continental record. He appeared to treat his final mile as a victory lap, raising his hands to the supportive crowds lined up to the finish line.

Ritzenhein, who improved his best marathon time by over three minutes in this, his second-career marathon, is stated to be considering whether or not to contest the 10.000m in Beijing - a distance which he has also qualified under the "A"-standard, but one which he would need to contest and finish in the top-3 at the USATF Outdoor Championships in June if he chooses to take the shorter race in Beijing's heat, humidity and smog.

Sell had cemented belief in his capabilities by winning the 2007 USATF 25K Championships. Sell led the 2004 Olympic Trials pack from the seventh through 22nd miles before he was caught and eventually faded during the final four miles to finish twelth (2.17.20).

American marathon-record holder Khannouchi, formerly of Morocco, finished fourth (2.12.33) and will be the first alternate if Ritzenhein declines to contest the marathon in Beijing or either Hall or Sell are unable to compete.

Khannouchi is also the former marathon world-ecord holder, and is the only man in history to ever run sub-2.06 three times. He was the fastest of the qualifiers, having run 2.07.04 in London in April 2006

Mebrathom Keflezighi, the 2004 silver-medalist in Athens, finished out of the running with a 2.15.09 eighth-place effort.

Hall enacted his second-consecutive revenge race on Ritzenhein, who had defeated him at two previous national championship events, winning the 2003 NCAA Cross Country Championships (29.14,1) to Hall's runner-up, and the 2000 Footlocker National Cross Country Championships (14.35) over Alan Webb and Hall.

Hall won the 2006 USATF National Cross Country Championships at the 12km distance. Ritzenhein finished a disappointing fourth, more than a minute behind Hall.

Hall, Ritzenhein and Webb have each gone on to record spectacular achievements at the senior level, with Webb setting the American record in the mile last summer; Hall setting two road-running national records; and Ritzenhein recording one of the fastest 2-mile times in American history last summer (8.11,74y) to go along with his 2007 IAAF World Championship and 2004 Athens Olympic Games 10.000m appearances.

Tragedy Strikes

Ryan Shay, the 2003 USATF Marathon Winner and 2004 Olympic Trials favourite, died today whilst falling down face-first near the five-mile marker according to a person reporting on Track & Field News's public bulletin board and later confirmed by NBC Olympics and USATF, which released a statement below.

"We all are devastated over Ryan's death. He was a tremendous champion who was here today to pursue his dreams. The Olympic Trials is traditionally a day of celebration, but we are heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan's wife, Alicia, and all of his family. His death is a tremendous loss for the sport and the long-distance running community."

Shay had at one point in 2005 been suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, also known as severe total-body fatigue before beginning a modest training buildup for his next marathon two months later. Shay stated to Runner's World "t
hat was quite a shock--an eye opener. It told me that maybe I used to push too hard."

It is not known if AFS is what caused Shay to not finish today's marathon race.

Shay, the 2001 NCAA 10.000m champion and a 2.14.09 marathoner, was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and was pronounced dead at 8.46 a.m.

Shay is survived by his new bride, Hall's former Stanford University teammate Alicia Craig, winner of two NCAA 10,000 meter titles as a Cardinal. Craig, who possesses best times of 15.25,75 for 5000m and 32.19,97 10.000m, had planned on attempting to make the Beijing Olympic team at the 10.000m distance.

Shay was 28 years old.

Results (top-50):
  1. Ryan Hall 25 Mammoth Lakes CA 2:09:02
  2. Dathan Ritzenhein 24 Eugene OR 2:11:07
  3. Brian Sell 29 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:11:40
  4. Khalid Khannouchi 36 Ossining NY 2:12:34
  5. Jason Lehmkuhle 30 Minneapolis MN Team USA Minnesota 2:12:54
  6. Daniel Browne 32 Beaverton OR Nike 2:13:23
  7. Nathaniel Jenkins 27 Lowell MA 2:14:56
  8. Meb Keflezighi 32 San Diego CA 2:15:09
  9. Josh Rohatinsky 25 Portland OR Nike 2:15:22
  10. Jason Hartmann 26 Boulder CO 2:15:27
  11. Matthew Gonzales 26 Albuquerque NM Nike 2:16:14
  12. Mike Morgan 27 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:16:28
  13. Fasil Bizuneh 27 Flagstaff AZ 2:16:47
  14. James Carney 29 Boulder CO New Balance 2:16:54
  15. Steve Sundell 25 Redwood City CA 2:16:54
  16. Christopher Raabe 28 Washington DC 2:17:01
  17. Nick Arciniaga 24 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:17:08
  18. Clint Verran 32 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:17:10
  19. Matt Pelletier 28 Warwick RI Running Heritage 2:17:17
  20. Chad Johnson 31 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:17:58
  21. Joshua Ordway 27 Dublin OH Columbus Running Company 2:18:10
  22. Jacob Frey 26 Oakton VA 2:18:19
  23. Joe Driscoll 28 Blowing Rock NC ZAP Fitness 2:18:22
  24. John Mentzer 31 Monterey CA U.S. Navy 2:18:23
  25. Allen Wagner 27 San Diego CA 2:18:25
  26. Patrick Rizzo 24 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:18:30
  27. Sergio Reyes 26 Los Osos CA Asics Aggie Running Club 2:18:31
  28. Patrick Moulton 25 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:18:35
  29. Mikhail Sayenko 23 Bellevue WA 2:18:35
  30. Donovan Fellows 28 Woodbury MN 2:18:45
  31. Miguel Nuci 28 Turlock CA Transports Adidas Racing Team 2:18:47
  32. Michael Reneau 29 Rochester Hills MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:18:51
  33. Macharia Yuot 25 Chester PA 2:18:56
  34. Dan Sutton 27 Madison WI Wisconsin Runner Racing Team 2:18:59
  35. Nicholas Cordes 28 Ashland OH Brooks 2:19:01
  36. Teren Jameson 30 Taylorsville UT 2:19:05
  37. Chris Lundstrom 31 Minneapolis MN Team USA Minnesota 2:19:21
  38. Eric Post 28 Centreville VA 2:19:25
  39. Matthew Folk 31 Canfield OH Team Good River 2:19:47
  40. James Lander 28 La Habra CA 2:20:09
  41. Michael Cox 32 Princeton WV 2:20:12
  42. Greg Costello 26 Chicago IL Nike Central Elite Racing Team 2:20:28
  43. Luke Humphrey 26 Rochester MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:20:34
  44. John Lucas 27 Eugene OR Team XO 2:20:48
  45. John Service 27 San Jose CA Asics Aggie Running Club 2:21:12
  46. Adam Tribble 27 Fayetteville AR 2:21:21
  47. Todd Snyder 30 Shelby Township MI Hansons-Brooks Distance Project 2:21:30
  48. Nick Schuetze 25 Portland OR Team XO 2:21:36
  49. Alan Horton 27 Knoxville TN 2:22:03
  50. James Nielsen 28 Palo Alto CA Transports Adidas Racing Team 2:22:11

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