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Big Green Runners Fare Well at U.S. Meet

Des Moines, Iowa — One current Dartmouth College runner and one Dartmouth alumnus turned in respectable showings at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships yesterday.

Big Green junior Abbey D’Agostino, the two-time defending NCAA women’s champion in the 5,000 meters, placed sixth yesterday in the 5,000 in 15 minutes, 39,17 seconds. Ben True, a 2008 Dartmouth graduate, was fourth in the men’s 5,000 in 14:55.61 after leading for part of the race.

Jenny Simpson, the reigning 1,500 world champion, beat out D’Agostino and the field for her third USA outdoor national title. Simpson ran with the lead pack throughout the race and moved into the lead clearly with 100 meters to go to cross the line in 15:33.77.

In the men’s event, True surged to the front with 1,600 meters to go. True’s move started the race in earnest and he held his position for more than 800 meters with Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp trailing close behind. Rupp made his move to the front at the bell lap, but the 38-year-old Lagat stormed down the homestretch to win his ninth national title in 14:54.16. Rupp finished second in 14:54.91.

Also, Tyson Gay put to rest any questions about his surgically repaired hip as he completed the 100-200 sprint double, winning the 200 meters in 19.74 seconds.

It’s the fastest time in the world this season. Gay also beat Justin Gatlin in the 100 on Friday in a season-leading time of 9.75.

“I’m pretty tired,” Gay said. “I’m just glad I’m leaving the race healthy.”

With his strong performance, Gay delivered an emphatic message to the rest of the world, and more specifically Usain Bolt: The Gay of old is back. Not the version hobbled by nagging injuries over the years, but the one who captured the 100 and 200 titles at the 2007 world championships.

“I’m just happy to be healthy,” Gay said. “It feels good, man.”

It should be quite a show when he meets up with Bolt at the world championships in Moscow this summer. Not that Gay is thinking any farther than icing down his legs after an exhausting weekend.

“I’m just focused on myself right now,” Gay said. “It’s no secret Usain Bolt is obviously the greatest of all time. He’s definitely going to be prepared.”