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Loomis is head of the state

For Scott Loomis, a Malden resident who finished yesterday's Boston Marathon in 35th place and was the fastest runner from Massachusetts, a shaky ending didn't overshadow a sub-2:30 time, which was his goal.

''It was a great day," said the 34-year-old, who crossed the finish line in 2 hours 28 minutes and 48 seconds. ''My plan was to hold back in the first half. I ended up at the halfway point going faster than I planned on doing. I continued to feel good until about a mile and a half to go. Then I started really slowing down. But I didn't have too far to go."

Loomis, a Maine native, tried to keep his pace under control despite seeing the leaders sprint out to a blistering start. As a result, Loomis had enough gas for a kick up the hills, helped by the hint of a tailwind and the comfortable temperatures.

On Commonwealth Avenue, just as he charged through Kenmore Square, Loomis hit his wall. But he powered through, completed the short climb after crossing under Massachusetts Avenue, and trudged toward Copley Square.

''I felt great," Loomis said. ''I ran five minutes faster than I did last year. I couldn't ask for anything better. I was hoping to break 2:30 and I did 2:28, so I don't have anything to complain about."

Cambridge resident Carly Graytock was the fastest female runner from Massachusetts, crossing the line in 2:43:19, good for 18th place.

Wives club
Kathryn Nixon, Shonda Schilling, and Dawn Timlin, the wives of Red Sox Trot, Curt, and Mike, fared well. Nixon, who did not run last year, finished in 3:49:20, the best time of the three. Timlin finished in 4:07:52, improving on her run last year of 4:43:13. And Schilling, running her second Boston Marathon, finished in 4:43:28, nearly 40 minutes faster than her 5:23:20 of 2005.

Nixon, who was greeted by her husband and children at the finish line, was running for Dana-Farber; Timlin ran to benefit the Angel Fund, the Wakefield-based organization researching ALS; and Schilling ran for the SHADE Foundation, the organization she founded in 2002 to raise awareness of skin cancer.

Two of the husbands also had good days on the field. Nixon, in his return from a groin injury, had three hits and scored two runs in the Red Sox' 7-6 win over Seattle. And Timlin, who pitched two-thirds of an inning and had one strikeout, got the win after Mark Loretta's game-ending home run in the ninth.

A happy 25th
Crowd favorites Dick and Rick Hoyt, running their 25th Boston Marathon, crossed the finish line in 3:43:27. After the race, father and son, dressed in blue track suits with ''Team Hoyt" on the back, cruised up St. James Street, with Dick still pushing Rick's chair, to yet another round of applause . . . Not the best day for defending champ Hailu Negussie. The 2005 winner was 10th at the 10-kilometer point, but steadily dropped from there, eventually withdrawing with stomach problems. Race officials shuttled him to Natick's Leonard Morse Hospital, but Negussie was not admitted . . . Prerace favorite Timothy Cherigat didn't have his best stuff, as the 2004 winner posted a 12th-place finish. ''Timothy was very tired," noted fellow Kenyan Benjamin Maiyo, the second-place finisher . . . John Korir, competing in his first Boston Marathon, was the fourth-fastest runner at the 30K mark, clocking a time of 1:30:35. But the Kenyan faded toward the finish and did not place in the top 100 . . . Third-place runner Meb Keflezighi, the fastest American, stripped his tearaway long sleeves from his shirt, although he wore his gloves throughout the race. ''I did not feel uncomfortable," Keflezighi said when asked about his wardrobe.

Old favorites
More than 20 years have passed since the glory days of Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson, but the two racing icons -- who appeared to be close to their racing weights, naturally -- were still stars at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, posing for pictures and signing autographs in the lobby of the marathon's headquarters hotel . . . Emily Levan, the top female American finisher (13th place, 2:37:01), is a Bowdoin graduate, like Samuelson. ''Joan Samuelson and I have talked about running and our successes, and it's really fun to represent the state of Maine and Bowdoin College," Levan said. ''Hopefully I'll be able to continue to do so in future races." . . . On Saturday, Matthew Sims broke the three-hour mark in the second annual Iraq Boston Marathon, which is held near the date of the race here. Sims covered the course in 2:52:05, beating out Casey Jackson (3:02:17) and John Ruibal (3:07:27). On the women's side, Carrie Peterson won in 3:36:11, with Heather Simas (4:01:40) and Kimberly Riggs (4:03:48) rounding out the top three.

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