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Kristine Lilly, Sarah Fuller honor Boston Marathon trailblazers


Former Vanderbilt goalkeeper Sarah Fuller was one of eight women to run the Boston Marathon on Monday in honor of the 50-year anniversary of the first official women’s field in 1972, which featured eight runners.

Joining Fuller to mark the occasion was Valerie Rogosheke, one of the original eight runners in 1972.

Long-distance runners Mary Ngugi and Jocelyn Rivas, Paralympians Manuela Schär and Melissa Stockwell, Native Women Running founder Verna Volker and USWNT star alum Kristine Lilly rounded out the commemorative team.

“I am so looking forward to returning to Boston this year with my daughters to celebrate 50 years of women being welcomed into the Marathon,” Rogosheske said. “In 1972, the students at Wellesley yelled ‘Right on, sista!’ On the 25th anniversary the students looked like my daughters, and this year they could be my granddaughters! I celebrate the progress through the generations as women claim their places on the start line.”

Rogosheske went on to run the Marathon three times, finishing sixth in 1972, ninth in 1973 and eighth in 1974.

Fuller made history in 2020 when she became the first woman to play and score for a Power 5 conference football team as a place kicker at Vanderbilt.

“I really want to give credit to the women that were fighting 50 years ago to make this possible,” Fuller told “I know for a fact that the football coaches wouldn’t have been like, ‘Hey, let’s look at the women’s soccer team,’ if all those women before me hadn’t done what they did.”

She finished in a time of 5:50.59.

Lilly finished in a time of 3:54:42.

She was joined by former USWNT teammates Heather O’Reilly and Leslie Osborne at the finish line. O’Reilly and Osborne ran in support of the anti-bullying initiative Boston vs. Bullies. O’Reilly finished in a time of 4:02:01 while Osborne ran a 4:01:58.

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir outlasted Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh in the final minutes to win the women’s competition, finishing first with a time of 2:21:01.