ROAD RACING

Despite confusion, Falmouth runner was in fact top American woman at Boston Marathon

Posted April 18, 2012, at 11:37 a.m.
Last modified April 18, 2012, at 1:12 p.m.
Sheri Piers during the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10k road race in Cape Elizabeth.
Victah Sailer
Sheri Piers during the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10k road race in Cape Elizabeth.

BOSTON — Confusion followed Falmouth runner Sheri Piers’ finish in Monday’s Boston Marathon as one of the first 10 females.

The question was whether Piers or Mayumi Fujita, who hails from Japan, was the first American woman to cross the finish line. Results posted on the Boston Athletic Association’s website initially incorrectly listed Fujita as a U.S. citizen, narrowing Piers’ distinction to first American-born female runner.

BAA Communications Director Marc Davis confirmed to the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday that Piers was the top American female finisher; Fujita is in fact a Japanese citizen.

Fujita “was not an official John Hancock recruited athlete,” Davis said, referring to one of the race’s sponsors that recruits many of the marathon’s elite athletes.

Since Fujita was not one of the 28 elite women recruited by John Hancock to run the race, officials didn’t examine her paperwork as thoroughly as the elite athletes.

“She just happened to be a runner who registered for the race and did really well,” Davis said.

He added that the people who registered Fujita, who finished seventh among women while Piers was 10th, could have given the Japanese runner a U.S. address on her paperwork.

The error was officially corrected in the race’s results Tuesday afternoon.

Piers, 40, completed the 26.2-mile journey from Hopkinton to Copley Square in 2 hours, 41 minutes, 55 seconds, for her first top-10 finish at Boston. Her previous best finish was an 11th-place run in 2009.

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