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USATF controversy sullies Gabe Grunewald's Indoor 3,000m title run


ALBUQUERQUE — Controversy has again struck the success of Perham’s Gabriele Grunewald, who sprinted to a convincing victory in the 3,000-meters at the Unites States Track and Field Indoor Championships Saturday afternoon.


Grunewald kicked to the finish to win easily over Jordan Hasay and Shannon Rowbury to win her first national title. Hasay and Rowbury appeared more in the way than in the race once Grunewald decided the race was hers.

Grunewald had not trained at altitude for the race in New Mexico, choosing to stay home in Minnesota, and the elevation seemed to have no effect on Perham's most decorated runner.

According to an initial report by's Christopher Chavez, Coach Alberto Salazar filed an appeal for disqualification after physical contact between Grunewald and Hasay near the end of the race.

Hasay finished fourth. Rowbury was runner-up.

Team USA Minnesota coach Dennis Barker confirmed the appeal.

Barker says he was in the corner where the contact occurred and saw Hasay step on the rail that led to the stumble, according to a report on

Barker said the USATF committee denied Salazar's protest, but Team Nike issued another appeal. confirmed that the USATF later disqualified Grunewald denying her a shot at the World Championships. Shannon Rowbury has been declared the winner with Sarah Vaughn second and Hasay third.

Fallout from the result blew up on social media with the hashtag #FreeGabe making the rounds on Twitter, reminiscent of the 2012 Olympic Trials when contact with a runner sent Grunewald into a whirlwind of disqualification madness.

Read more on this story here on (Warning: one expletive)

Will Leer calls Grunewald DQ a disgrace.

View race video on USATF.TV.

Follow Gabe on Twitter.

Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
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