Monday Myriad, April 21: Meb’s marathon

This year’s Boston Marathon was full of inspirational stories. We knew that. We didn’t know one of them would be the first American man to win since 1983.

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Meb Keflezighi wasn’t born in the USA, but through a long and distinguished career, he has always exuded love for the country that welcomed him and his family as they got out of Eritrea. And he has been quick to lend comfort and charity to those affected by last year’s bombing.

Here he is:

Other big U.S. performances in Boston: Shalane Flanagan led much of the way and finished seventh.

Then there’s Tatyana McFadden — major marathon, major marathon, major marathon, major marathon, silver medal in Sochi, major marathon (London, last week), major marathon (Boston).

Elsewhere in the Myriad world:

Best statement by a young runner: The Mt. SAC field for the women’s 400 included Lashinda Demus and DeeDee Trotter. Winner? Oregon senior Phyllis Francis.

Best comeback by a guy who usually wins: Jordan Burroughs won his first 69 international wrestling matches before losing to Nick Marable in February. He was 30 seconds away from his second loss but exploded for two late takedowns to beat David Taylor 7-6.

Best acceleration: Australia’s Caroline Buchanan and the USA’s Brooke Crain finished 1-2 in the BMX World Cup opener in Manchester, England.

Best miles: Also in Boston …

Best tiebreaker: The university in whose shadow I grew up has another national title:

Least existent tiebreaker: 

Best post-Olympic career: Win world and Olympic titles, then go to college. Only in gymnastics.

Most consistent cyclist: 

Best retirement: Jeremy Teela was a fun guy to cover. Glad to see him put down the gun and skis with grace.

And finally …

Least nutritious dinner for an all-time great:

Monday Myriad, April 15: Life is a marathon

I admit: I tease marathoners from time to time. Just this morning, I told someone (not someone who involved with the Boston Marathon) that running a marathon really isn’t good for you. Our bodies aren’t meant to do that.

But all kidding aside, the marathoner’s perseverance is something to admire.

And that’s why some idiot terrorist picked one of most ridiculous targets possible today. And that’s why I have full faith that, without forgetting those whose lives were lost or forever changed, Boston and the marathon community will persevere.

I’ve never liked the cliche that “sports don’t matter” in the wake of tragedy. What matters is that we get to spend our lives in the pursuit of goals. That’s what sports are all about.

So with that in mind, l’m going to do a brief Monday Myriad, sans the snark:

Marathon: Shalane Flanagan and Jason Hartmann each finished fourth before today’s senseless attack, and U.S. Paralympian Tatyana McFadden won the women’s wheelchair division.

Figure skating: The USA won the World Team Trophy, which bodes well for the new team event in the Olympics. Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold finished 2-3 in the women’s competition, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates took first in ice dancing.

Fencing: Alexander Massialas won the world junior title in men’s foil.

Check out the rest of the week in Olympic sports.