Portland’s Ritzenhein smashes Kennedy’s 5,000m AR

(8-28-09) From USATF Press Release – Dathan Ritzenhein set an American record in the men’s 5,000 meters and Sanya Richards continued her quest to win her third Golden League crown Friday at the Weltklasse Zurich, the fifth leg of the AF Golden League 2009.

Thirteen years after Bob Kennedy set the American record of 12:58.21 in the 5,000 meters at the Weltklasse Zurich meeting , 2008 Olympic marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein smashed that record by almost 2 seconds finishing third in 12 minutes 56.27 seconds. It was an almost 20 second personal best for Ritzenhein, which makes him the second-fastest non-African in history and only the third American ever to run under 13 minutes.

2009 world champion Sanya Richards won the women’s 400m in a world-leading 48.94. Even with three-time world 200m champion Allyson Felix coming after her off the turn, Richards sped away down the final straight to run her third-fastest time ever. Felix finished a distant second in 49.83. Richards is now five-for- five in Golden League meetings this season.

The women’s 100m was a rematch from last week’s world championships featuring seven of the eight Berlin finalists in the race. Two-time world bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter shot out of the blocks when the gun went off and powered to the finish for the win in 10.86. Jeter was the only woman to break 11 seconds. Reigning Olympic and World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser (JAM) was fourth in 11.10 and Berlin silver medalist Kerron Stewart (JAM) was once again the runner-up in 11.04.

Anna Willard became the fifth American woman ever to break the four-minute barrier in the women’s 1,500m with her runner-up finish in 3:59.38. Before this year, only two Americans had ever broken that barrier. Berlin bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury was fourth in 4:00.81, and Christin Wurth-Thomas was fifth in 4:01.01.

2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper finished as the runner-up in the women’s 100m hurdles, running 12.48 to reigning world champion Brigette Foster-Hylton’s 12.46. Two-time USA Outdoor champion Ginnie Powell finished fifth in 12.70 and Lolo Jones was eighth in 13.06. On the men’s side, three-time world silver medalist Terrence Trammell once again took runner-up honors, crossing the line in 13.17. Two-time world bronze medalist David Payne was fourth in 13.32 and Beijing bronze medalist David Oliver was fifth in 13.33.

The men’s 400m finish was a mirror image of the podium at the Berlin World Championships. Reigning Olympic and World Outdoor champion LaShawn Merritt pulled away from ’04 Olympic and two-time world champion Jeremy Wariner coming down the final stretch to win in 44.21. Wariner finished second in 44.62 and bronze medalist Renny Quow was third in 44.77.

For more information and complete results from the Weltklasse Zurich Golden League meeting, visit www.iaaf.org.