New Balance Games 2008, Race Report courtesy of Victah Sailer

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Editor's comments: One of the most significant moves of the past decade in our sport was the resurrection of indoor track and field. Dr. Norb Sanders, the 1974 NYC marathon winner, cajoled, charmed and convinced many to contribute to the NY Armory, a fixture in sport in NY for nearly a century. The Armory had fallen on hard times. But Sanders, like anyone with the vision thing, would not give up, and his dreams became a reality: 65 events last year, over 90,000 athletes!

The president of New Balance, Jim Davis, donated the money to make this facility the home of the Track & Field Hall of Fame, plus the heart and sole of indoor track in the New York Metro area.

One of the best meets of the year, the New Balance Games, is the unofficial start of the elite indoor season. Photographer extraordinaire Victah Sailer wrote the following for those of us stuck in other parts of the country while two fine mile races were contested!

Baddeley and Shobukhova win New Balance Games Miles in Fine Fashion

More History was embedded at NYC’s Historic Armory and the Road to Beijing looks good for Russian’s Liliya Shobukhova and Great Britain’s Andy Baddeley. In Shobukhova’s first appearance in the US she set an early World’s Fastest Mile with 4:31.90. After an opening 800m in 2:15, Shobukhova led a tight group comprising of Megan Metcalfe(CAN), Amy Moritmer(USA), Sara Hall(USA) and Hillary Stellingwerff(CAN). Despite a strong move by Metcalfe approaching the bell lap, it was Shobukhova who displayed a stong finish holding off Metcalfe, Mortimer and fast closing Jen Rhines(USA). Stating, “she loved NY” and was delighted as when she left Russia for NY, she had just completed a 30km training run at -30C. Brrrr…….She hopes to compete in Beijing at 5000m where it will be a touch warmer.

On the men’s side, a large group passed 400m in 59, 800m in 2:00, but then slowed to 3:03 with 400m remaing. The action heated up at the front with Adrian Blincoe(NZL) going for the long run for home with Andy Baddeley(GBR) and Pan Am Games Gold Medalist, Josh McAdams(USA) in tow. It was Baddeley using his 1500 World Champioship Finalsit experience to pull away for the 37th Sub Four minute mile at the Armory in 3:59.29 and Blincoe finishing 2nd in 3:59.98, with Ryan McKenzie(CAN) closing fast for 3rd place.

Baddeley who had won the Edinburgh 4km last weekend, will join Shobukhova in Boston next weekend where Baddeley is running a very competitive 3000, and Shobukhova is still to determine which event she will compete in.

Other notable performances, the HS Girls 500m record fell to senior Chanelle Price of Penn in 1:10.30. Price, who made the US Finals at 800m, hopes to make the team to Beijing. In early season 400m running, Alicia Williams(USA) held off Shevon Stoddart(JAM) 53.33 to 53.51

Woman One Mile
1. Liliya Shobukhova RUS 4:31.90
2. Megan Metcalfe CAN 4:32.28
2. Amy Mortimer USA 4:33.34
4. Jen Rhines USA 4:33.42
5. Sara Hall USA 4:33.92
6. Hilary Stellingwerff CAN 4:34. 26
7 Carmen Douma-Hussar CAN 4:36.29

Men One Mile
1. Andy Baddeley GBR 3:59.29
2. Adrian Blincoe NZL 3:59.98
3. Ryan McKenzie GBR 4:00.98
4. Rob Myers USA 4:01.15
5. Josh McAdams USA 4:01.31

by Victah Sailer

For more on the sport, checkhttp://www.american-trackandfield.com

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