Hoosier Duo Finish Third and Fifth at New Las Vegas Marathon
Dec. 13, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sophomores Mark Fruin and Timothy McLeod competed in the New Las Vegas Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 11, placing third and fifth, respectively, in the 26.2-mile race, just missing Olympic Trials qualifying standard.
"The guys did a fantastic job, especially for it being their debut at that distance," IU head men's cross country coach Robert Chapman said. "For both of these two, the marathon will likely be their primary event after college, so we wanted to develop them and give them the experience of running one now."
Fruin ran a time of 2:25.38 for third, while McLeod placed fifth overall in 2:30.31, as they both just missed qualifying for trials. The Olympic Trials standard is 2:22.00 (about 5:25 per mile).
McLeod paced the Hoosiers to a sixth place finish at the 2006 Big Ten Championships, finishing 12th overall in 24:46 in the 8K. His finish earned him second team All-Big Ten honors, as well as Big Ten Sportsmanship honors for cross country.
Fruin was IU's top finisher at Pre-Nationals on Oct. 14 with a time of 24:49 in the 8K. He placed 90th overall among a field of 243 runners.
"The timing of a December marathon really fit well with the end of cross country and their build-up for indoor track," Chapman said. "In the back of our minds, we thought they could run the 2:22 Olympic Trials standard on a good day. When we woke up and saw the 15-mph winds, we changed and decided to be a little more conservative with the pace. I thought that with the wind, 2:30 would be a great effort for them, and Mark really exceeded expectations. Tim did a very nice job, and was on 2:28 pace through about 24 miles then ran into some trouble being carbohydrate depleted.
"Assistant coach Stephen Haas did a very nice job pacing them through 14 miles, which I really think kept them from over running the pace early, which is key for the marathon," Chapman said. "At just 20 years old, this experience will serve these two very well for a future in marathoning down the road. You can look at what the Hansons group has done with post-collegiate marathoners, and these two are probably faster at 20 years old for the marathon than most in their group. We might look at trying to hit the trials standard again in June at Grandma's Marathon."
The 2007 Grandma's Marathon will be held on June 16, in Duluth, Minn.
Earlier in the year, former Hoosiers Jon Little and Eric Heins qualified for trials, which will be held in New York in November, 2007.
Little, a 2003 IU graduate and letterwinner, ran in a time of 2:21.48, placing 58th overall at the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon on Oct. 22. Heins, who competed for the Hoosiers during the indoor season of 2000, finished eighth overall at the P.F. Chang's Rock'n Roll Arizona Marathon in Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 15, 2006 with a time of 2:21.59.
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