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Jan. 19, 2008 - New Balance Games, New York City, USA

Hilary opens season with strong race at New Balance Games

Known for its lively New York City crowd, fast Armory Track and one of the most colourful announcers anywhere, the New Balance Games proved to be a good season opener.

Featuring probably the strongest women’s mile field in the last five years, Saturday’s race was good practice for race tactic to come and famous announcer Ian Brooks made it that much more exciting.

Headliner and former world record holder Lillya Shobukhova of Russia was quick to jump on the rabbit, while the following pack of Americans Jen Rhines, Amy Mortimer, Sara Hall and Canadians Megan Metcalf, Carmen Douma-Hussar and Stellingewerff, got off to a bit of slower start about 50m back coming into half way.

Stellingwerff made an aggressive move to catch the Russian and brought the rest of the pack with her coming into the last 800m with the clock around 2:16-2:17 for the pack. The next few laps featured various moves with strong battles among the top 7 mentioned above. Metcalf made a strong push to the front in the penultimate lap and Stellingwerff tried to cover it, moving into third place, but couldn’t quite hold the position through the finish line and was passed by the three on her tail mere steps from the finish line. Nevertheless, she says she is pleased with the early season effort.

“My goal today was to get out there and race aggressively, with confidence to make moves that impact the race,” said Stellingwerff. “I couldn’t quite close it out today, but I’m confident that just comes with more races and a bit more lactate tolerance. I was definitely hurting after the race today so I know I worked hard!”

Shobukhova ended up holding off for the win (4:31.90), with Metcalf having a great race coming out 2nd (4:32.28) and Mortimer 3rd(4:33.34). Stellingwerff was 6th in 4:34.26.

Find full results here.

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