The men's field for the Nike Cherry Blossom 10-mile road race, which is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. today in West Potomac Park, may be the most talented in the race's 14-year history. The women's field, its depth diminished by late scratches, may end up as a two-person duel.
Greg Meyer of Grand Rapids, Mich., the holder of the unofficial world record at 10 miles (46:13) and winner of both the Cherry Blossom and Boston Marathon in 1983, will lead a men's field replete with about 40 runners capable of finishing in under 49 minutes. Several runners may complete the course in under 48. The winner should be in the 46-minute range.
Sos Bitok of Kenya, who finished second in the Cherry Blossom last year (46:39); Jon Sinclair of Fort Collins, Colo., who was third last year in 46:45, and Thom Hunt of San Diego, last year's fourth-place finisher (46:47), should provide Meyer with competition. Phil Coppess of Clinton, Iowa, ranked No. 1 among U.S. marathoners in 1985, could challenge.
Rosa Mota of Portugal, ranked No. 3 among female marathon runners (behind Joan Benoit Samuelson and Ingrid Kristiansen), and Lorraine Moller of New Zealand, who won the 1984 Boston Marathon, are the women's picks.