or the second straight year, Dejen Gebremeskel set an event record in winning the Boston Athletic Association 5K on Saturday, crossing the finish line on Charles Street in 13 minutes, 26 seconds to improve on the 13:37 mark he set last year.
But this time, the 24-year-old Ethiopian and 2012 Olympic 5,000-meter silver medalist had to lean in to gain his victory. Ben True, 28, a native of North Yarmouth, Maine, and a two-time winner (2011 and 2012) of the race, matched Gebremeskel stride for stride down the final 100 meters and the two crossed the line almost as one. True also recorded a time of 13:26. Stephen Sambu of Kenya was a step back in 13:27.
In the women’s race, Molly Huddle, 29, of Providence worked her way from fifth to first over the last half-mile, then snuck around leader Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia with 100 meters to go and sprinted to victory in 15:12, tying the event record set by Werknesh Kidane of Ethiopia in 2012. It was Huddle’s first victory in the BAA 5K. Daska, 30, was second in 15:14.
The 5K is the first event in the BAA Distance Medley, which includes the 10K and the Half-Marathon.
“I’m really excited today because it’s the Boston Marathon season, there’s no doubt lots of people are coming,’’ said Gebremeskel. “I think the moment is really nice. At this moment, I win the race and I’m so glad.