Mary Cain

Birthday: 05/03/96 Mile PR: 4:24.11 (indoors) - 2014 (U.S. Junior record)
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 4:04.62 - 2013
High School: Bronxville HS '14
Hometown: Bronxville, NY
College: Fordham University
Current Residence: New York, NY

Mary Cain, as of February 16, 2024, represents Ireland for athletics competitions.

After a series of setbacks, no longer competes as a professional runner. She is CEO & Founder of Atalanta NYC, a nonprofit that employs professional female runners to mentor young girls in the community.

In 2014, she produced a banner year with a near World Junior indoor Mile record, clocking 4:24.11, a personal record and Massachusetts state record, at the John Thomas Terrier Invitational in Boston on January 24. She missed the WJR by .01 seconds, but crushed her U.S. Junior Mile record by 4-plus seconds. She later put a stamp on her U.S. indoor season by winning the USA Indoor Championships 1500 meters in 4:07.05, and later that summer, the teen phenom won the World Junior Championships 3000m in Eugene, Oregon.

On May 17, 2013, Cain shattered Suzy Favor Hamilton's 1987 U.S. Junior record at 1500m as well as her own U.S. high school record clocking a world class 4:04.62 at the Occidental High Performance Meet. At the USA Outdoor Championships, Cain would finish second, claiming her first senior World Championship team berth. At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, the teenager finished 10th in the 1500 meters (4:07.19).

She capped off a stellar 2013 indoor season by winning the USA Indoor Mile title at the age of 16. Earlier in the season, she clocked 4:32.78 to break Debbie Heald’s national high school indoor Mile record of 4:38.5 set 40-plus years ago; it had been the oldest U.S. high school girls’ track & field record, indoors or outdoors, and three weeks later, Mary set the U.S. HS and Junior records at the famed Millrose Games' NYRR Wanamaker Mile crossing the line in 4:28.25, not only placing her second in the race, but also becoming the 42nd U.S. women to break 4:30 (and only female high schooler). At the 2013 Drake Relays, the teen phenom and honor student also broke her U.S. high school 1500 meter record with her 4:10.77, good for sixth place overall in the Open race.

Mary's 4:28.25, a U.S. Junior record, was the fastest Mile run by an American woman in 2013, and she joins Jim Ryun (1966-67) and Alan Webb (2001) as the only teenagers to top the U.S. Mile list for the year. In 2014, Mary's U.S. Junior record 4:24.11 was the fastest women's Mile for the year and thus Mary Cain (2013-14) and Jim Ryun (1965-66) are the only teenagers to have led the U.S. Mile list for a given year more than once.

As a sophomore in 2012, Cain also set the then U.S. high school record at 1500 meters when she clocked 4:11.01 finishing sixth at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

In November 2013, Cain, 17 at the time, who was coached by marathon great Alberto Salazar, turned professional, and in October 2016, she left the Nike Oregon Project to stay on the east coast (also a full time student at Fordham University) and be coached by John Henwood.



Mary Cain sues former coach Alberto Salazar, Nike over alleged abuse

October 11, 2021

“Companies are responsible for the behavior of their managers, Nike’s job was to ensure that Salazar was not neglecting and abusing the athletes he coached.”

By Jeff Manning, The Oregonian / OregonLive

Mary Cain, the promising distance runner whose career fizzled after what she has described...

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I Was the Fastest Girl in America, until I Joined Nike

November 07, 2019

“When you have these kinds of good girls, girls who are good at following directions to the point of excelling, you’ll find a system that’s happy to take them. And it’s rife with abuse.”

By Lindsay Crouse, New York Times

At 17, Mary Cain was already a record-breaking phenom: the fastest girl...

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Former Teen Mile Star Mary Cain Finishes First Race in 2.5 Years—and Wins It

May 16, 2019

Healthy after persistent injuries, the 23-year-old broke the tape at the Japan Run 4 Mile road race in Central Park

By Hailey Middlebrook, Runner's World

On Sunday, May 12, a familiar face in the running scene came charging through Central Park: former high school phenom Mary Cain, who broke...

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Q&A with Mary Cain & Katelyn Tuohy

February 09, 2018

"Yeah, I think just in that I learned what I should and shouldn’t expect as a runner and I learned what I can and can’t balance as an athlete in terms of training, expectations, and experiences and all that sort of stuff."

By Jonathan Gault,

On Wednesday afternoon, Mary Cain...

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Bronxville’s Mary Cain falls short in bid for 1500 meter Olympic spot

July 12, 2016

"At the end of the day, she's 20-years-old and going up against three medalists in the peak of their careers."

By Nancy Haggerty, The Journal News

Mary Cain, the former Bronxville High School runner who turned pro while still in high school, will have to wait another four years for a crack at...

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Teen Star Mary Cain Feels Renewed by Move Home

October 26, 2015

Junior world champion and U.S. Mile record holder discusses in detail her earlier struggles and new found love of running.

By Chris Lotsbom, Race Results Weekly

Signing autographs and posing for pictures after placing third in the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country meet in Boston on Sunday, Mary Cain...

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Why Running Fans Care About Mary Cain

October 13, 2015

A quick look at the record-setting teen phenom’s career highlights.

By Scott Douglas, Runner's World

Not since Alan Webb was a high school Miler has a teen runner garnered as much attention as Mary Cain.

Now a 19-year-old college sophomore, Cain started to become known when she set the U.S....

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Mary Cain Will Not Return to Oregon

October 07, 2015

Teen phenom will stay in New York to train and study, but remains a member of Nike Oregon Project

By Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

Mary Cain, the middle distance teen track star who turned pro in 2013 while still in high school, is remaining in the New York area instead of returning to...

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Cain takes a break from Nike Oregon Project

May 28, 2015

A freshman year of college is a time of change and transformation in many ways. My educated guess is that Cain is in the midst of the process, and it has impacted her running.

By Ken Goe, The Oregonian

For three days last week, photographer Tom Boyd and I shadowed the Nike Oregon Project...

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Mary Cain Is Growing Up Fast

March 04, 2015

“The sooner I go through these growing pains, the better off I’ll be in the long run.”

By Elizabeth Weil, The New York Times Magazine

Mary Cain stood near the starting line with 31 other high-school girls at a track in Greensboro, N.C., in June 2011, waiting to run in the national...

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Cain finds balance between pro career, college

February 14, 2015

"I love the Mile. I feel that practically I'm a bit smarter in it, a lot more experienced. I also know that this is going to be a really fast race, a really good race."

By Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — Like most college students, Mary Cain's class schedule as a freshman chemistry...

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Lagat, Cain Headline NYRR Wanamaker Mile 2015

February 02, 2015

108th NYRR Millrose Games, set for Saturday, Feb.14, draws stellar international fields with past champions for storied race

NEW YORK — Eight-time champion Bernard Lagat of Tucson, AZ, and New York native and defending champion, Mary Cain, 18, of Portland, OR, will star in the NYRR Wanamaker...

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Cain Readies for Nationals & Beyond

June 24, 2014

"I’m welcoming the idea that people will be thinking of me as Mary Cain the professional, not Mary Cain the high schooler.”

By Marc Bloom, Running Times

Poised to run her first major race of the outdoor season in this weekend’s USA Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California, Mary Cain...

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Middle-distance phenom Mary Cain about to graduate to next level, college

June 16, 2014

"At this point, I just kind of roll with it. I don't really know what to expect these next few years. And I kind of like that. I kind of like it being a little bit of a mystery. For me and for everybody."

By John Jeansonne, Newsday

So not everything and everyone are in Mary Cain's rearview...

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Cain Wins NYRR Wanamaker Mile

February 16, 2014

A year later, "Cainsanity" is still very much alive and well at the Armory.

By Megan Hetzel, Runner's World

When Mary Cain stepped onto the Armory track on Saturday afternoon sporting a black Nike Oregon Project singlet, then ran a patient first half in the chase pack before unleashing her...

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A Scintillating Match-Up at Millrose: Mary Cain Versus Alexa Efraimson

February 12, 2014

What to expect when the two teens meet in the elite women’s Wanamaker Mile on Saturday.

By Marc Bloom, Running Times

Anyone who watched Mary Cain win the New Balance 1000m in Boston last Saturday has to wonder what Alexa Efraimson was thinking about that performance. Efraimson will be making...

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World Championships Medalist Matthew Centrowitz and Teenage Track Sensation Mary Cain to headline NY

January 29, 2014

Three-time Olympian Nick Willis and USA champion Morgan Uceny also among top competitors

NEW YORK — Moscow World Championships silver medalist Matthew Centrowitz and teenage track sensation Mary Cain will headline the NYRR Wanamaker Mile fields at the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February...

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Mile Moments Abound in 2013

December 30, 2013

Mary Cain, inaugural Bring Back the Mile Tour, 63% increase in Mile prize purses, U.S. high schoolers shine and more highlight banner year

By Ryan Lamppa, Bring Back the Mile

As the year draws to a close, it is time to recognize and celebrate the numerous highlights, historic achievements and...

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Mary Cain joins the Oregon Project

November 21, 2013

Q&A with teen Mile record-setter and her future plans

From Oregon Project

1: What is you best memory of this past summer in Europe?

MARY CAIN: Getting to compete in the World Championships was my best memory from this summer! I got to accomplish a huge dream of mine and had a blast doing...

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Bronxville’s teen phenom Mary Cain goes pro

November 15, 2013

Record-setter signed by firm that represents Usain Bolt; "This is the best way for me to continue to develop as an athlete."

By Brian Heyman, The Journal News

The college recruiting chase to land Mary Cain’s fast-moving legs has ended. The 17-year-old track phenomenon from Bronxville is...

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Bronxville’s Mary Cain earns national honor

November 06, 2013

Record-setting year for teen phenom included 10th place finish at World Championships in Moscow and fastest 2013 Mile by a U.S. woman

By Brian Heyman, The Journal News

Mary Cain’s eye-catching, record-setting work on the track this year has brought her another prestigious honor.


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Mary Cain takes on ‘School Runnings’ on Fox Sports’ Crowd Goes Wild

September 06, 2013

Mary Cain joined host Regis Philbin on "Crowd Goes Wild", a new show on Fox Sports. Cain, the teenage track phenom from New York and fresh off her first World Championship appearance, took on 'School Runnings,' which pit her on a treadmill challenge to answer high-school level questions at 12mph....

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In her own words: Mary Cain describes her summer

August 30, 2013

U.S. Junior 1500 and Mile record holder writes about her experiences at first senior World Championships in Moscow

By Mary Cain

I can honestly say that the 2013 World Championships in Moscow was the greatest experience of my life. This year, I have been blessed to attend some pretty amazing...

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Cain’s Amazing Year Ends with 10th at Worlds

August 16, 2013

Teen phenom already looking forward to the 2015 world meet

By Mary Nicole Nazzaro, Runner's World

It's way too early to compare U.S. phenom Mary Cain to, say, any other famous American middle-distance runners named Mary. Her name is Cain, not Decker Slaney, and she's 17-years-old and just had...

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Jenny Simpson leads silver night for Team USA at Worlds

August 15, 2013

Teenager Mary Cain 10th in women's 1500 meter final in Moscow

By Nick Zaccardi, NBC Sports

Jenny Simpson won one of three silver medals for the U.S. at the World Track & Field Championships on Thursday in a 1500 meter final where 17-year-old Mary Cain finished a respectable 10th.

The 1500...

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U.S. Teen Cain Qualifies for Worlds 1500m Final

August 13, 2013

"When I grow up I want to be Mary Cain." -  Nick Symmonds, newly minted 800m silver medalist; women's 1500m final, Thursday, August 15

By Karen Rosen, Special for USA TODAY

MOSCOW –The future of U.S. middle-distance running is 17-years-old, uses words like "gosh" and "geez" and yet is so race...

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Mary Cain: N.Y. Teen Versus the World

August 10, 2013

At 17, Cain is the youngest woman to run the 1500 meters Sunday at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

By Sara Germano, Wall Street Journal

Mary Cain's schedule on Sunday will differ from that of every other high school kid in New York or even the whole U.S.

At 17, Cain is the youngest...

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Here Comes Mary Cain

July 01, 2013

Just 17, the self-described nerd from Bronxville High, N.Y. has emerged as the fastest young female middle-distance running in U.S. history; now she'll take on the best Open runners at the World Championships this August in Moscow

By Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated

In some distant, imagined...

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Mary Cain shows a talent far beyond her years at nationals

June 23, 2013

Teen phenom finishes USA 1500 meter runner-up to training partner Treniere Moser with sub-58 second final lap; youngest U.S. athlete to make a Worlds team

By Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There will soon be a powerful urge in the world of U.S. track and field to envision...

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Teen phenom Cain keeps up with 1500 field at nationals

June 22, 2013

Can 17-year-old record setter earn first Team USA senior berth for World Championships in Moscow?

From AP wire

DES MOINES, Iowa — In many ways, Mary Cain is just your typical high school kid, taking great pride in getting her yearbook signed by all her friends and asking to go to a water...

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Cain’s able beyond her years

June 21, 2013

Teenage runner on record-breaking pace competing at USA Outdoor track championships

By Philip Hersh, Chicago Tribune

DES MOINES, Iowa — Among the first words out of Mary Cain's mouth Thursday was "Moscow."

That said it all.

Here was Cain, having just run her first-ever race at the USA...

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Cain’s Latest Challenge: USA Outdoors

June 19, 2013

Teen Mile phenom to run USA 1500 for ticket to World Championships in Moscow

By Jack Pfeifer,

All of the American stars converge on Des Moines, Iowa, this week for the USA Outdoor T&F Championships, but despite the presence of dozens of Olympians, medalists and recordholders,...

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Mary Cain’s World Champs Chances Just Improved

June 11, 2013

Top 1500 meter rival Brenda Martinez will focus on 800 at USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines

By Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

Yesterday, Brenda Martinez composed the tweet heard 'round the American women’s middle-distance running world: “After speaking it over with my coaches. Decided...

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The Dual: Should Mary Cain Go Pro?

June 10, 2013

The Dual is a two-person discussion about issues surrounding the world of running and track and field.  This week, Jesse and Kevin topic discuss whether distance prodigy Mary Cain should run professionally or compete in college.

By Kevin Sully, Daily Relay


Disclaimer: First, I think...

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Mary Cain Keeps Making Track History

May 20, 2013

Another high school record at 1500 meters

By Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

Mary Cain took more than six seconds off her U.S. high school 1500 meter record on Friday night at the USATF Oxy High Performance meet in California, clocking 4:04.62 and achieving an “A” qualifying standard for...

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Hello, World

May 17, 2013

By Brett Hoover, Armory Track

Don't leave Mary Cain alone with your records. She is sure to shatter them.

Tonight at the Oxy High Performance meet in Los Angeles, the 17-year-old had her most stunning moment yet. And that is no easy task.
Running with a group of professionals, Cain went from...

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Mary Cain Finds Her Stride with a Coach

April 27, 2013

By Jane McManus, ESPN

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Mary Cain was at an impasse in 2012. At 15, she was being recognized in the running community for her speed, but her passion for the sport had stalled. The pressure of expectations had sapped some of the fun.

As she watched the London Olympics with...

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High Schooler Mary Cain Wins National Indoor Mile Title

March 04, 2013

16-year-old defeats field of pros in tactical race; Leer clocks fastest indoor Mile at altitude

By Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

Against a field of pros at the USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on Sunday, 16-year-old Mary Cain elected to “keep it slow and kick it out” in the women’s...

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Mary Cain Biggest Name for U.S. Indoor Championships

March 01, 2013

Meet runs Friday through Sunday in Albuquerque.

By Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

The USA Indoor Track & Field Championships begin in Albuquerque today and extend through Sunday. In the middle-distance and distance events—the men’s and women’s 800, Mile, and 3000 meters—there are two main...

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Alberto Salazar Dishes on Mary Cain at the USA Indoor, and Whether She Will Run in College

February 28, 2013

By Ken Goe, The Oregonian

Alberto Salazar has teenage running prodigy Mary Cain slotted into the 800 meters at the USA Indoor Championships for a reason.

The three-day meet begins Friday in the Albuquerque Convention Center. The 16-year-old Cain will be mixing it up with post-collegians...

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Cain Starting to Prove She’s Very Able

February 25, 2013

By Joe Battaglia for the IAAF

NEW YORK, USA - As the pulsating stadium anthem reverberated through the 168th Street Armory in Upper Manhattan, Mary Cain punched the sides of her legs with clenched fists and whispered, “Come on!” to herself as she turned back toward the starting line.


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Could Mary Cain Win a National Title at Age 16?

February 21, 2013

She has the fastest Mile time of the year among entrants for March 2-3 indoor championships.

By Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

Mary Cain has entered the 800-meter run and the Mile at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, to be held March 2 and 3 in Albuquerque. The 16-year-old...

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Jordan Hasay to Mary Cain: Go to College

February 06, 2013

Former prep record holder says current prep record holder will benefit from collegiate running.

By Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

Jordan Hasay has been where 2013 indoor track sensation Mary Cain is right now.

Cain, of course, is the Bronxville, New York high school junior who is the...

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Cain “Excited to See What I Can Do” in NYRR Wanamaker Mile

February 04, 2013

By Barbara Huebner, NYRR News Service

It didn’t take Mary Cain long to start looking ahead to the NYRR Wanamaker Mile.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of good competition,” said Cain on Saturday night, soon after obliterating the U.S. high school indoor record for two Miles at the New...

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Mary Cain of Bronxville Breaks Girls HS Mile Record

January 27, 2013

Junior shatters long-standing mark in girls HS indoor Mile as well as absolute mark

By Brian Heyman,

NEW YORK — Mary Cain sat there inside Scarsdale High at 7:45 Saturday morning, Jan. 26, just another kid in the room taking the SATs until 12:30pm.

Busy day. Shortly before 4:00pm,...

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Cain Giving Chase to History

January 21, 2013

By Brett Hoover, Armory Track

Saturday's New Balance Games bring together the best of the high schoolers as well as some sensational elite fields. Yet the headliner will be a high school junior phenom who will be trying to beat the elites.

Mary Cain of Bronxville, N.Y. — who ran a...

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Alberto Salazar Is Coaching High Schooler and Mile Ace Cain

October 20, 2012

By John Brant, Runner's World

For Mary Cain, it began with a hero-worship photo-op at the Olympic Trials last June. For Alberto Salazar, it began later in the summer, when he watched a YouTube video on his laptop computer. From these seemingly humble seeds a potentially mighty tree has...

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Mary Cain sets U.S. high school 1500 mark at world junior meet

July 16, 2012

Bronxville runner earns sixth place with a finish of 4:11.01

By The Journal News

Bronxville track star Mary Cain continued to shine Sunday at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, setting another United States record in the...

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At Penn Relays, Cain more than able in girls’ high school Mile

April 28, 2012

By Ted Silary,

PHILADELPHIA - Mary Cain has heard the story umpteen times. Oops, let's make that umpteen-and-one.

The latest retelling occurred Thursday as Cain, with her father doing the driving, rode from Bronxville, N.Y., a New York City suburb, to Franklin Field to compete...

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2012 Track Chats - Mary Cain

March 30, 2012

By Aaron Rich, MileSplit

Welcome to Track Chats 2012! We continue with distance sensation Mary Cain from Bronxville HS in New York.  Mary has run 4:46.91 for One Mile and 2:06.44 for 800m. Watch out for Mary as the season rolls on! 

MileSplit - When & how did you get started in track & field

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