Bolder Boulder: Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa wins women’s pro race in first try

By Brian Howell,Staff Writer
Daily Camera
Published on May 25,2015

Meskerem Assefa  Source - Daily Camera
Meskerem Assefa
Source – Daily Camera

About a mile into the Bolder Boulder women’s elite race on Monday, Team USA’s Mattie Suver knew that winning was going to be a tough task.

It was around that first mile that Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa and Amane Gobena and Kenya’s Risper Gesabwa pulled away from the pack.

“They took off on mile one or so, and we tried to keep them in sight, hoping that some of them would come back,” Suver said. “My legs just couldn’t respond and go that fast right at the beginning.”

On this day, Assefa had the fastest legs, claiming the Bolder Boulder title in her first try.

The fourth consecutive Ethiopian to win, Assefa posted a time of 33 minutes, 31.09 seconds.

Assefa said entering Folsom Field to a loud roar was “like the Olympics” and said the win wasthe biggest of her career.

Led by Assefa and Gobena, who placed second with a time of 33:37.61, Ethiopia won the International Team Challenge for the seventh consecutive year and claimed the $15,000 prize. It won by matching the record for lowest team score, with eight points. That tied the mark set by the United States in 2005.

“The team was a very strong team,” Assefa said.

The Americans were strong, too, posting a second-place finish, with Suver leading the way. The Laramie native finished sixth overall, in 34:25.41.

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