Blankenship, Mackey Take Falmouth Mile Titles

By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

FALMOUTH, MASS. (10-Aug) -- The 2013 Falmouth Mile proved exciting once again here at Falmouth High School on Cape Cod. Americans Ben Blankenship (3:56.27) and Katie Mackey (4:41.39) earned $2,000 a piece with their wins under the lights.

Full Results


Ben Blankenship sure is happy he chose to run the Falmouth Mile here on Saturday night. Coming away with the victory in 3:56.27, the 23-year-old was elated and a bit surprised.

"Biggest celebrity in the world right now," he said with a joking smile, posing for pictures with fans after the twilight win.

Ten days ago, Blankenship said he wasn't even considering racing the mile, held at Falmouth High School's James Kalperis Track on the eve of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race. Asked by his manager, Stephen Haas, if he wanted to take part in the event's 19th running, Blankenship originally said "no."

"I said no, I really didn't want to run. My season kind of went like shit all year," he told Race Results Weekly, explaining the situation. "After a few workouts last week I felt really good about it and I came out and ran well."

Ran well indeed. After pacesetters Cas Loxsom and Danny Stockberger stretched the field out over the first kilometer, Blankenship sat back behind fellow Americans Andrew Bumbalough, Garrett Heath, and 2012 champion David Torrence. At the bell, the field were just shy of three minutes, beginning to bunch up for the final push home. That's when things got interesting.

First Heath surged, then it was Torrence making a move on the backstretch. With 200 meters to go, Blankenship sat on the pair's outside shoulder; seconds later, the University of Minnesota graduate took over just as he saw daylight open up.

"I kinda just kept moving up," said Blankenship. "I found a really good open slot and just held on for dear life."

Powering down the homestretch with the standing crowd cheering, Blankenship only looked back once to see where Will Leer --who went from fifth with 200 meters to go to second on the homestretch-- was as the two approached the finish.

In the end it was Blankenship, timing 3:56.27 to Leer's 3:56.45.

"A win is always a great thing lining up against this caliber of guys, you never know what's going to happen," said Blankenship, with sweat still coming down from his long hair. "That last lap got a little shaky and could've gone any way. I just walked out of it a little bit.

"I wanted to end my season on a good note and this definitely was," he said.

Leer was pleased with his placing, though said the late night conditions may have played a factor in the race's outcome.

"You know, it was like running through tunnels. You get these stretches of light down the straightaway and then you hit the dark and everyone's like running blind. You can't really see your spikes and it's crazy. But it was a really fun atmosphere and great crowd for being so late the night before an early morning road race," he said. "Very fun event."

Rounding out the top five was Matt Elliott (3:57.45), Jack Bolas (3:57.49), and Elliott Heath (3:57.91). Torrence finished sixth in 3:58.14. In total, each of the ten athletes who finished the race broke four minutes. It is the second time in three years that the event has seen ten men finish under the famed barrier in one race; in 2011, ten men went under four minutes led by Jordan McNamara in an event record of 3:54.89 (including Christian Hesch, who subsequently received a drug ban for EPO in 2012).


With the sun setting over Falmouth High School, Katie Mackey was able to claim victory in the women's elite portion of the Falmouth Mile thanks to experience gained racing this summer.

After slow opening laps of approximately 78.6 and 72.0 seconds, the 25-year-old University of Washington alum trusted her gut to wait one more lap before going to her kick. As the field of nine took the bell together, Mackey remained calm and recalled the USA National Championships, where she finished a disappointing ninth in the 1500m final.

"When I was at USA's I started my kick too early, then I tied up and was bouncing all over the place like a little ping pong ball, and that's just not smart. You have to be strong and smart to run a good race," she said.

Over the course of the spring and summer, Mackey's focus on tactics and perfecting her strategy has paid off; since April she has set personal bests at 800m, 1500m, and 5000m. She waited until 300 meters remained to overtake Heidi Gregson in front. Turning to a gear no one else could match, Mackey came down the homestretch with a comfortable lead, timing 4:41.39 ahead of Heather Kampf's 4:42.93.

"This has really been a good learning year for me, and I have just really been focusing on not wasting energy during the race, being more gradual during the race and having that strong kick when it counts," she said with a smile. "I was really excited I could pull it together tonight."

Mackey noted how her recent race at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games IAAF Diamond League meet gave her added confidence. In London, she finished as the top American over 1500m, defeating both Mary Cain and Morgan Uceny.

"I could not have imagined up that scenario in London even if they would have asked me to, it was out of my wildest dreams," she said, noting the fire filled pyrotechnics and meeting Usain Bolt in the call area, two things that made the meet even more memorable. "That experience was one of the coolest that I ever had."

More than anything, Mackey feels 2013 has helped her gain confidence and develop into a true professional runner.

"Coming into this part of the season and still feeling strong, and being able to finish races and being able to handle travel, I can tell this is my third year as a pro," she said. "I can handle things that I maybe I hadn't been able to handle my first couple years as a rookie. I'm kind of growing into it. You know, the last couple years I would describe myself as a rookie but now I don't feel like a rookie anymore. I feel like I'm getting used to being a professional runner and that's exciting for me."

Kampf's runner-up finish was very good considering she won the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile roughly 24 hours prior in Pittsburgh. Traveling here to Cape Cod proved challenging for the 26-year-old, as she got sick on her flight and had to take a four hour bus ride that on a normal day would've taken two hours.

"It was different than usual but I think it was a good time to be able to test what you're made of even in unusual situations, and I'm happy with how things turned out today," she said.

Sara Vaughn was third, followed by Heidi Gregson and Jessica Tebo.

In the Tommy Cochary High School miles, Stella Worters and Garrett O'Toole came out victorious on the girls and boys sides, respectively. Both won going away, timing 5:14.01 and 4:25.46.

NOTE: The Falmouth High School track does not have a curb, and only very small cones were used on the turns. As such, the times are not valid for world list purposes --Ed.

Holloway Debuts, Kenny B's Back, Another ASU Star Thrower Emerges

It’s still the early days of the outdoor season, with athletes regrouping from the indoors and slowly trickling into the spring season. This weekend’s action was light, especially compared to next weekend’s trifecta of big meets at Stanford, Florida and Texas, but there were some notable results.

Talented ADP Squad Likes World XC Medal Chances On Tough Aarhus Course


Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

When Shadrack Kipchirchir lines up for the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark, the 30-year-old American is hoping for the nastiest weather that the Danish city can provide.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Here's Why USATF Honoring World Rankings Would Be A Disaster

Earlier this week we published an opinion stating why it is a good thing for USATF to use time standards as the only means to guarantee a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team. Our main reason was based on the fact that the new world rankings are unfair, but more importantly, the world rankings make the selection process even worse.

CAS Delays Semenya Decision Until Late April

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on Thursday that they will push back a ruling in the case involving Caster Semenya until late April. 

House Of Run: Everything To Be Excited About In The Outdoor Season

Jason and Kevin discuss the 42 most interesting storylines heading into the outdoor season. How healthy is Wayde Van Niekerk? Who will be the top women's 1500m runner? Can the Jamaican men win a sprint medal? What will Eliud Kipchoge do for an encore? Will this be the year of the 400m hurdles?

The Best Track And Field Athlete From Every NCAA Tournament School

The 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week, and in honor of March Madness we’ve selected the best track and field athlete— past or present— from each of the tournament’s 68 schools (minus Old Dominion, who does not have a track team; get a track team Old Dominion). Some of the names below are NCAA track and field legends from major programs. Others on this list never even qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 68 here ran the gamut, from Olympic heroes to mere school record holders.

Why LetsRun Is Wrong & USATF Is Right About Olympic Qualifying

Last week, the IAAF announced its new qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games, which included tougher entry standards and new computerized world rankings. The reaction was intense as some media outlets painted an apocalyptic worldview for U.S. athletics. In reality, it’s not that dramatic.

Cal Coach Tony Sandoval To Retire

Tony Sandoval, the director of track and field and cross country at Cal, will retire at the conclusion of the outdoor season. Sandoval spent 37 years at the university, beginning as the head women’s coach in 1982. 

Six Reasons We're Looking Forward To The NCAA Outdoor Track Season

As exciting as 200-meter ovals and banked curves are, we’re ready for the unpredictable weather, sprint relays and 10K races of spring track season. Here’s a few reasons to get excited for NCAA outdoor track and field.

FloTrack To Stream 2019 Boston Marathon In Europe

AUSTIN, Texas — March 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and the Boston Athletic Association, announced a partnership to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Boston Marathon on exclusively in over 40 European countries.