March 28, 2010
BYDGOSZCZ, Poland - Former Cal All-American and current volunteer assistant coach Magdalena Lewy Boulet finished 20th at the World Cross Country Championships Sunday, helping the United States earn a bronze medal in the team competition. It was the first team medal in the senior women's event for the United States since 2003.
Lewy Boulet covered the 8000-meter course in 26:01, which was third among the Americans, behind Shalane Flanagan, who was 12th in 25:20, and Molly Huddle, who was 19th in 25;59.. Kenya's Emily Chebet won the individual competition in 24:19.
The rest of the USA contingent included Amy Hastings (25th), Renee Metivier Baillie (38th) and Emily Brown (41st).
"It's an incredible feeling to get on the podium!," Lewy Boulet said. "I knew that if I were to get a medal, that it would happen here with an incredible team. I'm so honored to be on the same team as some of the other girls. I knew we had it in us, so we went out hard.
"I felt really good. We went out really hard the first 400, and things got a little physical the first part of the race. It was really good to work with Molly. We kept encouraging each other, and running people down."
Kenya claimed the team competition with a total of 14 points, with Ethiopia second with 22 points and the USA third with 76 points. Only the top four runners for each country count toward the team standings.
Lewy Boulet served as the Team USA women's captain as selected by her peers. The World Championship race held special significance for her as she was born in Jastrzibie, Poland, and emigrated to the United States in 1988. She was competing on Polish soil for the first time since leaving her native country.
A 2008 U.S. Olympian in the marathon, Lewy Boulet earned her place on the cross country team by taking fourth at the U.S. championships in February. As a Golden Bear, she earned All-America honors her senior year in the 5000 meters with her third-place finish at the 1997 NCAA meet.
Since graduating with a degree in human biodynamics, Lewy Boulet has remained close to the Cal program, serving as both a full-time assistant coach and volunteer assistant coach for the Bears over a total of nine years.
Click here for complete results from the World Cross Country Championships.