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2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon Ends in Historic Fashion

April 25, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 25 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon Ends in Historic Fashion One-hour highlight show to air on Sunday, April 27 on MSNBC Boston, Mass. -- On a spectacular Sunday morning in Boston, the top female marathoners in the United States put forth an historic performance. Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Blake Russell headlined the April 20 show as they captured the three spots on the U.S. Olympic Team for the women's marathon. As a result, their next marathon will be run through the streets of Beijing on August 17 as they compete in the 2008 Olympic Games. Behind the three Olympians, 143 other women thrilled the tens of thousands of spectators and viewers on NBCSports.com with one of the greatest women's marathons ever held. A one-hour highlight show of the event will air on Sunday, April 27 on MSNBC from 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET. Commentary will be provided by commentator Al Trautwig and 10-time NCAA All-American Ed Eyestone. The show will be the premier episode in a series highlighting a number of Olympic Trials events leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games in August. The Olympic Trials online and over the air broadcast is a joint production of the USOC, Boston Athletic Association, NBC Sports and USA Track , Field. The attached photograph shows the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team in the Women's Marathon serving as Grand Marshals of the 112th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. Pictured are (l-r) Magdalena Lewy Boulet, Deena Kastor, and Blake Russell. Credit for the image is FAYFOTO/Boston. Among the many notable accomplishments from the event on Sunday: Athletes 181 qualifiers (171 via a marathon performance, 10 via a 10,000m performance) 146 starters 124 finishers Sub-2:50's 98 women ran under 2:50. This is the second largest total in the history of women's marathon running, trailing only the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials when 109 women broke that mark. By comparison, 61 women broke 2:50 at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon. 44 did so in 2000; 71 in 1996; 46 in 1992; and 81 in 1988. All-Time Rankings Deena Kastor and Magdalena Lewy Boulet ran the 2nd and 11th fastest Olympic Trials performances in U.S. history. Kastor's winning time of 2:29:35 is the 41st fastest marathon ever run by an American woman. She also owns the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th, 12th, 14th, and 43rd-fastest times. Lewy Boulet's second-place time of 2:30:19 is the 53rd fastest marathon ever run by an American woman. Age Group Records Linda Somers Smith (2:38:49) sets U.S. 45+ record. (Previous best was Joan Samuelson, 2:42:28.) Joan Samuelson (2:49:08) sets U.S. 50+ record. (Previous best was Shirley Matson, 2:50:26.) Personal Bests , Qualifying Performances 135 women qualified for the Olympic Trials by running a new personal best in the marathon (out of 171 women who qualified with a marathon time). 41 women ran new personal bests on Sunday, including 13 of the top 15 and 20 of the top 26. 47 women improved upon their qualifying performance for the event (including Blake Russell who qualified via a 10,000m time because she did not have a qualifying marathon performance). U.S. Championships Deena Kastor won her third U.S. Marathon Championship (2001 and 2007), and become the first woman since Linda Somers (in 1993-1994) to win back-to-back titles. Kastor becomes the first woman to win three U.S. championships in the marathon. Julie Brown, Janis Klecker, and Linda Somers each won two. Olympic Teams Kastor joins Cathy O'Brien as the only women to make two U.S. Olympic Teams in the Women's Marathon. This represents the first time that the first alternate from an Olympic Team (Blake Russell in 2004) has made the Olympic Team four years later. The 4th and 5th-place finishers from 2004 (Russell and Lewy Boulet, who finished just 35 and 53 seconds out of third place, respectively, in 2004) both made the Olympic Team this year. Website Usage 48,583 visitors to www.bostontrials2008.com on race day. 360,968 race day page views. Visitors to the website were from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 90 countries.