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By Gregg F. Clifton and Nevin I. Shalit

Defending champion Bill Rodgers overcame 70-degree temperatures and leg cramps during the final six miles to capture his fourth Boston Athletic Association Marathon in 2:12. 11 yesterday afternoon.

Rosie Ruiz of New York won the women's bracket in 2:31.00 to break Joan Benoit's record-setting run of last year by more than four minutes, but she is currently under investigation for missing checkpoints during her run.

In the wheelchair division, Kirk Brinkman triumphed with an unofficial record time of 1:55.00. Brinkman, a double amputee from Oren, Utah, overtook George Murray three miles from the end of the 26-mile race when Murray's left wheel broke off his chair.

"I really wanted to win the race, but I didn't want to win that way," Brinkman said after the victory.

Rodgers' third straight victory equalled Clarence DeMar's previous record for consecutive wins. His fourth overall championship ties Gerard Cote for second place on the all-time list behind DeMar's seven first-place finishes.

Performing in his first Boston Marathon, Mario Marchei of Italy gained second place in 2:13.21, and Ron Tabb of Houston trailed closely at 2:14.48. Mike Coussis of Greece and Paul Friedman of New Brunswick, N.J., closed out the top five with finishes of 2:16.03 and 2:16.46, respectively.

Rodgers placed eighth in the field at the Natick checkpoint but then exploded just before Heartbreak Hill to move in front for the remaining six miles. After nearing collapse at the end of the race, he had to be helped to the victory area by two policemen.

"This is the toughest marathon I've ever run," Rodgers said, adding that the weather probably added one or two minutes to his total time in the race.

The heat also took its toll on first-year Business School student Bruce Hamilton, who finished in two hours and 55 minutes, far from the 2:37 he had hoped for.

Hamilton said he was on schedule for the first ten miles but began to weaken shortly after the 15-mile mark. "In the last six miles I was just putting one foot in front of the other--the crowd was the only thing that kept me going," he added.

Harvard Finishers'

Marathon Times

Eddie Sheehan '80--2:19.40 (14th place)

John Babington (asst. women's track coach)--3:08

Nick Kristof '81--3:22

Bill O'Neil '82--3:28

Ned Cahoon '80--3:53

John Weston '80--3:54

Lorren Elkins '81--3:58

Lou Zachary '81--4:00

Scott MacLeod '80--4:18

Wayne Forrester '80--4:18

Jay Larson '81--4:45

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