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Track and field: Huddle is sixth at World event

Staff reports
ND Insider

MOSCOW -- Notre Dame graduate Molly Huddle finished sixth in the women’s 5,000-meter run Saturday at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships.

Her finish is the best-ever by an American woman in the World Championship event.

The 2007 Notre Dame graduate clocked 15:05.73, finishing one place ahead of U.S. teammate Shannon Rowbury (15:06.10).

Olympic champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia claimed the world title, clocking 14:50.19 to finish first. Kenya’s Mercy Cherono (14:51.22) placed second.

Huddle, the first finisher who wasn’t from either Kenya or Ethiopia, is the American record-holder in the women’s 5,000.

A slow, tactical race unfolded from the start, with the field basically biding its time for two miles and then sprinting the last four laps.

Huddle and Rowbury ended up in a chase pack behind four frontrunners. They passed each other several times and came down the homestretch nearly side-by-side.

“Going in, I said that my goal was six or seven, and I was sixth,” said Huddle. “I’m realizing how hard it is to break above the top six after that race. That was one of the hardest efforts I’ve had in a long time.”

Huddle, who now lives in Providence, R.I., finished 11th at last year’s Olympic Games in London.

She was a 10-time All-American while running for the Irish.

Huddle admitted that tempo shifts throughout Saturday’s world championship race caused her problems.

“I anticipate [the pace changes] every time in a championship, but when you get in there it feels so hard,” said Huddle. “I’m usually stuck in no-man’s land, so it was good to have Shannon to kind of bridge the gap, and that was a big difference for me this year having someone to key off of.”

Huddle set the American record in the women’s 5,000 in 2010, clocking 14:44.76 during a race in Belgium.

Bolt golden again in 200

Usain Bolt almost worked up more of a sweat dancing than he did dashing down the track in 19.66 seconds (and that was with shutting it down with about 60 meters to go) in winning the 200.

This easy win, coupled with his leisurely stroll last weekend in the 100, gives him seven career gold medals at the worlds. He needs just one more to tie Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson for most among men. And Bolt will go for another in the 400 relay Sunday, the last day of competition.

Fellow Jamaican Warren Weir took second, followed by American Curtis Mitchell.

The Americans were certainly missing some of that in the women’s 1,600 relay. No Allyson Felix meant no gold.

The squad sure could’ve used her, too, as the Russians beat the Americans.