Bawcom Sets American Record at USA 10 Mile Championships
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Olympian Janet Bawcom broke away from the pack and never looked back, on her way to winning her fourth consecutive USA 10 Mile Championship at the USA 10 Mile Championships Sunday morning, hosted by the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run.
The USA 10 Mile Championships are the fourth stop on the USA Running Circuit, which concludes this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
Bawcom set a torrid pace early, inspired by her runner-up effort at the USA 15 km Championships in March. After winning three USA road titles each in 2012 and 2013, Bawcom clearly wanted to kickstart her 2014 racing season with another big win.
Despite solidifying her top spot well before the finish, Bawcom continued to push the pace over the final stages of the race, crossing the finish 42 seconds ahead of runner-up Sara Hall, while breaking her single-sex American 10 Mile record with ease in a time of 52:12.
While Bawcom’s performance stole the show Sunday, it was Sara Hall who perhaps made the greatest impression. Hall ran much of the race by herself, deciding to not run with the chase pack, separating herself by a full one minute and 36 seconds ahead of third place. Hall crossed the finish in 52:54, well ahead of Bawcom’s winning time of 53:28 last year and showed she’ll be a force on the USA Running Circuit the rest of the season.
After Hall’s strong runner-up effort, a deep pack of runners made their way towards the finish line. It was Frances Koons outkicking the rest of the field, pushing past Susanna Sullivan for third in 54:30. Sullivan, who was a surprise top five finisher, finished fourth overall in 54:31, just edging Brianne Nelson’s fifth place effort of 54:33. Olympian Jen Rhines finished sixth overall in 54:38.
Rounding out the top ten, Heather Cappello finished top ten for the second consecutive year with her seventh place effort of 54:40. 2013 USA 20 km champion Meghan Peyton finished eighth overall in 54:42, while Millicent Kuria and Sara Slattery placed ninth and tenth respectively.
Along with taking home top prize Sunday morning, Bawcom now finds herself atop of the USARC standings. Having earned 15 points from her victory, Bawcom’s 27 total points put her two points ahead of second place Amy Van Alstine and eight points up on third place Mattie Suver.
On the men’s side, Christo Landry ran one of the best races of his career, pulling away from the field and cruising to a 41 second victory, winning his first national championship title.
A quick early pace strung out much of the field, as Landry, Girma Mecheso, Mo Trafeh and a few others set the tone. The pack would slowly dwindle, as Landry pulled away, clearly establishing himself at the front.
Behind him, Mecheso, Trafeh and Ben Bruce ran closely together, with Mecheso eventually pulling away, picking up an impressive runner-up effort.
With a pump of his first, Landry crossed the line victoriously, celebrating his first USARC win after finishing top five so many times over the past few seasons. Even more thrilling for the Ann Arbor-based runner was his 41-second margin of victory, breaking the finish tape in 46:41.
Mecheso ran a strong race for second place in 47:22, while two-time USA 10 Mile champion Trafeh settled for third in 47:27. Both Mecheso and Trafeh picked up big points in the USARC standings, as both look to challenge for the overall series title towards the end of the year.
The veteran Bruce ran an inspired performance in fourth place overall, with a finishing time of 47:33. Tim Young rounded out the top five with his 47:45 effort, while two-time Olympian Matt Tegenkamp finished sixth overall in 47:57.
2013 USA Club Cross Country champion Joseph Gray placed seventh overall in 48:04, as Tyler McCandless, Ian Burrell and Lucas Meyer placed well to round out eighth through tenth place.
Landry’s win secures him another 15 points in the USARC standings, moving him up to second place overall with 22 points. USA Cross Country champion and USA 15 km runner-up Chris Derrick remains in the lead with 27 points.
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 was 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