Kenyans Korir, Cherop beat the heat in Boston
BOSTON – Wesley Korir, a Kenyan citizen and permanent resident of the United States, won the Boston Marathon on Monday in a heat-slowed time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, 40 seconds that was almost 10 minutes behind the world best established here a year ago by Geoffrey Mutai.
It was the second-slowest Boston race since 1985, as temperatures rising into the 80s slowed the leaders and may have convinced as many as 4,300 entrants to sit this one out. Mutai, who was hoping a repeat victory would earn him a spot on the Kenyan Olympic team, dropped out after 18 miles with cramps.
Instead, Korir may have won a ticket to the London Games.
“To me, I think running the Boston Marathon is an Olympic event,” the two-time Los Angeles Marathon champion said. “I don’t care what comes up after this, but I’m really, really happy to win Boston.”
Sharon Cherop won the women’s race to complete the Kenyan sweep, outkicking Jemima Jelagat Sumgong to win by 2 seconds in 2:31:50. The women’s race was decided by a sprint down Boylston Street for the fifth consecutive year.
Korir was the 19th Kenyan men’s winner in 22 years.
Stanford senior selected No. 1 by Los Angeles Sparks
BRISTOL, Conn. – Nnemkadi Ogwumike is excited to be staying in California.
The Stanford senior was picked No. 1 in the WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday.
“I’m grateful for the L.A. Sparks for picking me,” Ogwumike said. “It means a lot and it’s one of the highest accolades I’ve ever received. I’m looking forward to going back to Cali.”
Ogwumike helped guide the Cardinal to the Final Four during all four of her seasons at the school, including this year’s loss to eventual champion Baylor.
The 6-2 forward, who averaged 22.5 points and 10.2 rebounds this past season, is the first Stanford player to be taken with the No. 1 pick. Previously, three Cardinal players have been drafted third overall.
While Ogwumike’s selection was almost a certainty with the top pick, the rest of the draft was a bit more of a mystery with no clear-cut choices going in.
Tennessee guard Shekinna Stricklen went second to the Seattle Storm, who will be without star Lauren Jackson for the first part of the season since she will stay in Australia to train for the London Olympics this summer.
Notre Dame post Devereaux Peters went third to the defending champion Minnesota Lynx, who had five of the first 20 picks in the draft.
She was surprised she was picked so high, having recovered from two ACL surgeries on her left knee since entering Notre Dame.
Richard Pitino replaces Thomas at Fla. International
MIAMI –Richard Pitino has been hired to replace Isiah Thomas at Florida International, signing a five-year contract Monday afternoon to take over a program that has not posted a winning season in 12 years.
The 29-year-old Pitino is the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
The younger Pitino spent this past season as Louisville’s associate head coach under his father, helping the Cardinals reach the Final Four.
Pitino’s base salary at FIU is $250,000 per year.
Thomas was fired by the Panthers on April 6 after going 26-65 in three seasons, including 8-21 this past season.
Richard Pitino spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons under Billy Donovan at Florida, who also raved about FIU’s hire.
“It is great to have Richard back in the state of Florida,” Donovan said. “FIU has hired a tireless worker and an excellent recruiter to build their program.”
Richard Pitino was a Louisville assistant from 2007 through 2009 and has worked at Duquesne, Northeastern and the College of Charleston.