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Boston Herald
Boston Herald
15 Apr 2023
Joe Reardon

NextImg:Morgan Beadlescom, Mekides Abebe rule BAA 5K fields

Morgan Beadlescom has run in countless track races where the last 100 meters have been a whirlwind of elbows, bodies and not much running room.

So when the former Michigan State All-American, who now competes for the Very Nice Track Club in Ann Arbor, Mich., found himself in a scrum with 11 runners on Charles Street at Saturday’s BAA 5K, he was in familiar territory.

Beadlescom’s debut in a road 5K was a memorable one as he edged three-time Falmouth Road Race winner Ben Flanagan for the win in a scintillating 13 minutes, 25 seconds in perfect cool, overcast conditions for the field of 10,000.

Flanagan clocked 13:26 as the top 11 finishers were within five seconds of each other. Edwin Kurgat of Kenya was third in 13:27, while the next three finishers, Alex Masai, Olin Hacker and Ahmed Muhumed, all registered the same time. Ben True, the course record-holder in 13:20, wasn’t in the field and is debuting in the marathon Monday.

With such a deep and talented field, Beadlescom knew he had to stay within striking distance of the leaders but not necessarily at the front of the pack. A huge front group of 18 runners scampered past the mile in 4:21 and a 4:25 second mile (8:46) didn’t drop a single runner. The pack began to break up a bit on Boylston Street, but there were still 10 athletes running abreast.

“I started in the back row and knew I just had to be patient,” said Beadlescom, who finished second to Conner Mantz in the prestigious Manchester Road Race last Thanksgiving. “All I had to do was stand my ground on the corners. Everybody put in surges at random points and I called some of their bluffs and followed others. I wanted to stay in a good position and make room. I got bumped coming into the last corner and as soon as that happened I had to go. It was fun. It was fast and everybody kept working.”

Asked what position he was in around the final corner onto Charles Street he said “between second and tenth,” with a laugh.

Flanagan is focusing on the 5,000 on the track and said he is in no hurry to run his first marathon.

“I think the faster I get on the track is going to make me a better marathoner,” he said.

On the women’s side, top American Annie Rodenfels of the BAA tried to run down Ethiopian Mekides Abebe and Agnes Ngetich of Kenya, but fell short as she took third in a fast 15:12. Abebe captured the gold medal in 15:01 and Ngetich was second with a 15:02.

Rodenfels, who won last year’s BAA Invitational Mile, wanted to run controlled early on before moving up.

“It went by a lot quicker than I thought it would,” she said. “I tried not to go out too fast. I kept working my way up.”

Rodenfels opted for the 5K over the marathon this year because she wants to work on her track times.

“We know they’re both stellar fields,” said Rodenfels. “I want to run sub 15 (for 5,000) on the track and I had to start somewhere and this seemed like the best place.”