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Ryan Hill barely beats Hassan Mead to tape in Millrose 3,000

Ryan Hill of Nike BTC wins the Paavo

Ryan Hill of Nike BTC wins the Paavo Nurmi 3000m with a time of 7:38.82 sec. at the NYRR Millrose Games at the New Balance Track & Field Center in Manhattan on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Credit: Errol Anderson

It was a race for the tape all afternoon at the 109th running of the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday at the Armory in Manhattan. An easy victory was almost nowhere in sight and there was no better example of the hard-fought nature of the afternoon than the men’s 3,000 meters, in which Ryan Hill, 26, of North Carolina, outleaned Hassan Mead, 26 of Oregon, to win in 7 minutes, 38.82 seconds. Mead was second in 7:38.85.

“I tried to pass Hassan with 250 meters to go and he held me off,” Hill said. “I tried to pass him with 150 meters to go and he held me off again. I thought that maybe I had used it all. It was so hard to get around him off the curve. It took every little burst of energy I had to pass him. It took until the 2,999th meter to think I might have won. That was one of the closest wins I’ve ever had.”

Former U.S. outdoor champion Duane Solomon, 31 of California, won the first Millrose 800 since 2010 in 1:47.52, needing to fight off Penn State senior Brannon Kidder, 22, on the final straightaway. Kidder was second in 1:47.59.

“Usually, I have a tendency when people get next to me to tighten up,” Solomon said. “I’ve been trying to work on that a lot. When he came up on me, I had to answer back and I had the strength to overtake him.”

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