INDIANAPOLIS – Three-time defending champion Janet Bawcom and two-time champion Mo Trafeh highlight the women’s and men’s fields heading into Sunday’s USA 10 Mile Championships, hosted by the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in Washington, D.C.
The USA 10 Mile Championships are the fourth stop on the 2014 USA Running Circuit, which concludes this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships. The top 10 finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
A live webcast of the USA 10 Mile Championships will begin at 7:10 a.m. ET on USATF.tv.
In 2013, Bawcom won in Washington D.C. by a staggering margin of 33 seconds. Pulling away from the field early, Bawcom turned in one of the finest performances in USARC history. This season, Bawcom is just as focused, finishing second at the USA 15 km Championships, while entering this weekend’s competition with her eyes set on the USARC standings lead.
While Bawcom holds an edge on the field, there is plenty of competition to challenge the defending champion. Olympian Jen Rhines is one of those challengers. After finishing fifth in 2013, Rhines looks to move up a few spots, especially after her encouraging eighth place finish at the Carlsbad 5000 last weekend.
USARC veterans Katie DiCamillo and Brianne Nelson return to action. DiCamillo finished sixth at the USA 10 Mile Championships in 2013, while placing fifth in 2012. After a sixth place finish at the USA 15 km Championships, a top three finish is certainly reasonable. After finishing second at the USA 10 Mile Championships, Nelson returns to action and looks to start mixing it up in the USARC standings immediately.
Reigning USA 20 km champion Meghan Peyton and USA 25 km champion Dot McMahan both have high hopes as they enter Sunday’s race. Peyton finished top eight in USARC action twice already this season, while McMahan looks to build back into championship form after finishing 17th at the USA Half Marathon Championships in January.
Not to be outdone, Sara Hall is also coming off of an impressive 15 km winning effort in Arizona early last month, while USARC veteran Lindsey Scherf looks to build off of her fifth place effort at the USA 15 km Championships. Both athletes have the experience and poise to challenge for a very high finish.
Seventh place finisher from last year’s championship race, Heather Cappello, returns to try and improve upon her strong race. She’s joined by road race veteran Melissa Johnson-White, Frances Koons and newcomer Jennifer Bergman.
While the men’s USA 10 Mile Championships skipped a year in 2013, the 2012 and 2011 champion Trafeh is back in action. After storming the USARC standings in the first half of 2013, Trafeh slowed a bit and struggled with injury. On the mend and looking to regain his peak form, Trafeh is back in action Sunday and eyeing a three-peat.
Two-time Olympian Matt Tegenkamp seeks to claim his first USARC title of the season. The Portland-based standout claimed the USA 15 km and USA 20 km titles in 2013. His move into road racing has been relatively seamless over the past year, including a half marathon debut at the NYC Half last month, where he finished as top American in sixth place with a time of 1:02:04.
In addition to Trafeh and Tegenkamp, Matt Llano finished fifth USA Half Marathon Championships and fifth place at the USA 15 km Championships, continuing a tremendous 2014 racing season. The Flagstaff-based athlete currently sits fifth in the USARC standings and looks to move into the top three with a strong race this weekend.
Christopher Landry is another frontrunner to watch. The experienced veteran finished a spot ahead of Llano last month at the USA 15 km Championships and always seems to be in the mix. During the 2013 USARC season, Landry finished top five in four separate races, while being crowned USARC co-champion in 2012.
Joseph Gray, who won the USA Club Cross Country Championships in 2013 in addtion to finishing fourth overall at the USA Cross Country Championships this season, looks to make his make mark on the roads in Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, Chris Barnicle is having arguably his strongest season as a pro, finishing ninth at the USA Cross Country Championships and following that performance with a sixth place showing at the USA 15 km Championships.
Other notable veterans in the field capable of top five finishes are Ian Burrell, Ben Bruce, Sergio Reyes and Tyler McCandless. Former Oklahoma State University All-American Girma Mecheso is entered, as well.
Live coverage of the USA 10 Mile Championships will be available on USATF.tv beginning with the women’s race at 7:20am ET, while the men’s race starts at 7:30am ET. Video of the races, post-race interviews and photos will be available following the the race. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags #USATF and #USARC.
About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $28,800 in prize money will be awarded at the USA 10 Mile Championships.
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.
The mission of the USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush