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Posted: April 8, 2013  

Athletics: Willis, Gezahegne Headline B.A.A. Invitational Mile Field

Source: Boston Athletic Association

$14,500 prize purse at stake in the professional race, held on Sunday, April 14

BOSTON -- The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced that an international field of elite athletes will compete in the B.A.A. Invitational Mile to be held on Sunday, April 14, 2013, one day before the 117th Boston MarathonĀ®. Highlighting the men's field is Nick Willis (NZL), a silver medalist at 1500 meters in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships 1500 meter gold medalist Kalkidan Gezahegne (ETH) will look to lead the women. The B.A.A. Invitational Mile also features a Middle School 1,000 meter race and Scholastic Mile, held immediately before the professional mile races.

With a one-mile personal best of 3:50.66, Willis is the fastest man in the field. He will face 2012 Olympian, Glastonbury, Conn. native and Washington resident Donn Cabral and 2012 U.S. Road Mile champion Craig Miller (CO). Also competing is Ross Murray (GBR) who ran a 3:52.77 mile last year at the age of 21, defeating Willis at the Aviva London Grand Prix. Rounding out the field are Ben Bruce (AZ), who placed third in last year's B.A.A. Invitational Mile; Peter van der Westhuizen (RSA), who earned three top five finishes in road mile races in 2012; and six-time NCAA All-American De'Sean Turner (IN).

Highlighting the women's field is Gezahegne, who holds a 1500 meter personal best of 4:00.97. A talented group of Americans are also expected to be in contention for the win, including 2012 Olympian Geena Gall (MI); 2012 Fifth Avenue Mile and Falmouth Mile champion Brenda Martinez (CA); Heather Kampf (MN), 2012 U.S. Road Mile champion; Chelsea Reilly (CA), 2012 U.S. 10K champion; and 2012 B.A.A. Invitational Mile third-place finisher Gabriele Anderson (MN). Also in the field is two-time NCAA All-American Violah Lagat (KEN), the sister of two-time Olympic medalist and six-time IAAF World Championships medalist Bernard Lagat.

"With the Boston Marathon finish line as its backdrop, the B.A.A. Invitational Mile brings the energetic atmosphere of a track meet to Boylston Street, as runners from the Boston area and around the world compete in front of cheering fans," said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk. "We are proud to host a world class field of professional runners, as well as top middle school and high school age runners from the Boston Marathon host communities, to our event."

The B.A.A. Invitational Mile includes six different races, held shortly after the Fifth B.A.A. 5K on Sunday, April 14. The first two races feature middle school age students from the eight cities and towns of the Boston Marathon course -- Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston. The girls' and boys' Middle School 1,000 meter races include runners between sixth and eighth grade and finish at the Boston Marathon finish line in front of thousands of spectators.

Following the Middle School 1,000 meter race is the Scholastic Mile, which features girls' and boys' one-mile races for high school age students from the eight cities and towns of the Boston Marathon course. The Scholastic Mile follows the same three-lap USATF-certified course the professional athletes run, finishing at the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street.

Schedule of Events -- Sunday, April 14, 2013

8:00 a.m. ET    
Fifth B.A.A. 5K
First race of the 2013 B.A.A. Distance Medley

9:30 a.m. ET    
Girls' Middle School 1,000 meters
Boys' Middle School 1,000 meters

9:50 a.m. ET    
Girls' Scholastic Mile
Boys' Scholastic Mile

10:05 a.m. ET   
Men's Professional Mile
Women's Professional Mile

B.A.A. Invitational Mile Men's Field (as of April 5, 2013)
NAME COUNTRY AGE PERSONAL BEST
Nick Willis NZL 29 3:50.66 (3:30.35)
Ross Murray GBR 22 3:52.77 (3:34.76)
Peter van der Westhuizen RSA 28 3:54.90 (3:35.33)
Craig Miller USA/CO 25 3:56.41 (3:36.35)
Donn Cabral USA/WA 23 3:56.41i (3:40.03)
De'Sean Turner USA/IN 24 3:59.17 (3:46.22)
Ben Bruce USA/AZ 30 4:06.52 (3:45.53)
B.A.A. Invitational Mile Women's Field (as of April 5, 2013)
NAME COUNTRY AGE PERSONAL BEST
Kalkidan Gezahegne ETH 21 4:24.10i (4:00.97)
Gabriele Anderson USA/MN 26 4:27.94 (4:04.84)
Brenda Martinez USA/CA 25 4:26.76 (4:06.96)
Chelsea Reilly USA/CA 23 4:30.18 (4:24.49)
Heather Kampf USA/MN 26 4:37.13i (4:12.09)
Geena Gall USA/MI 26 4:31.75i (4:12.23)
Violah Lagat KEN 24 4:39.42 (4:13.30)

( ) -- Indicates 1500 meter track performance
i -- Indicates indoor track performance

Prize Structure
PLACE MEN WOMEN GRAND TOTAL
1 $3,000 $3,000
2 $2,000 $2,000
3 $1,000 $1,000
4 $750 $750
5 $500 $500
TOTAL $7,250 $7,250 $14,500

For more details, visit BAA.org.


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