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Americans show well in southern California, Grunewald ninth at Carlsbad 5,000

With the stated goal to break Marc Davis' American road 5k record of 13:24, set in 1996, Bernard Lagat ran with a purpose Sunday morning at the Carlsbad 5000. With plenty of competition in the form of defending three-time champion Dejen Gebremeskel (Ethiopia), the two superstars pulled the field out at a torrid pace, along with Mexican Olympian Diego Estrada.

While Estrada tried valiently to hang with Gebremeskel and Lagat, the two experience veterans pulled away, with Gebremeskel using his course experience to trounce Lagat in the final half mile, pulling away to a 13:13 victory - his fourth in a row.

Lagat's record-setting performance not only put his name in the record books once again, but the Tucson resident took home $11,000 in prize money, capturing $3,500 for his runner-up effort, $2,500 for top American status and $5,000 for his American record.

Behind the 1-2 duo, Augustine Choge (Kenya) finished third in 13:22, while Edwin Kipyego (Kenya) and Estrada rounded out the top five in 13:26 and 13:31 respectively.

Haron Lagat (Kenya), Tariku Bekele (Ethiopia) and Mohamed Fadil (Morocco) ran to 6-8 place finishes, while American Stephen Pifer and Bobby Curtis rounded out the top ten.

In the women's race, Great Britain's Julia Bleasdale shocked the field with a commanding 16 second win over a very tough list of competition. The 32 year old pulled away early and never looked back, crossing the finish line in 15:06, well ahead of former Iowa State NCAA champion Betsy Saina (Kenya) in 15:22.

While Ethiopian Etalemhu Habtewold finished third in 15:23, Brenda Martinez led the American charge in fourth with a 20 second 5k PR of 15:25. Martinez led a group of five Americans in the top nine, including Northern Arizona Elite's Amy Van Alstine in fifth, five second behind in 15:30. 

Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslasie finished sixth overall in 15:38, while Americans Jordan Hasay, Jen Rhines and Gabe Grunewald finished 7-8-9 respectively. Canadian Natasha La Beaud rounded out the top ten in 16:15 on what was a gorgeous morning of racing.

Story by Scott Bush,

Carlsbad 5000 Results:

Women's Top 10

1 Julia Bleasdale32  15:06

2 Betsy Sania 25 15:22

3 Etalemhu Habtewold 23  15:23

4 Brenda Martinez 26  15:25

5 Amy Van Alstine 26  15:30

6 Gotytom Gebreslase 19  15:38

7 Jordan Hasay 22  15:41

8 Jen Rhines 39  16:03

9 Gabe Grunewald 27  16:08 10 Natasha La Beaud 26  16:15

Men's Top 10

1 Dejen Gebremeskel 24  13:13

2 Bernard Lagat 39  13:18

3 Augustine Choge 27  13:22

4 Edwin Kipyego 24  13:26

5 Diego Estrada 24  13:31

6 Haron Lagat 30  13:39

7 Tariku Bekele 27  13:45

8 Mohamed Fadil 32  13:48

9 Stephen Pifer 29  13:56

10 Bobby Curtis 29  13:59