INDIANAPOLIS – Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.) and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (Rome, Ga.) won the respective men’s and women’s titles at the USA 20 km Championships Monday in New Haven, Conn. Abdirahman ran 1:00:12 to win his second 20 km title while Cherobon-Bawcom ran 1:08:31 to win her first U.S. title.
Humid, overcast conditions met the championship competitors at the 34th running of the Stratton Faxon New Haven 20K, with Abdirahman and a pack of seven contenders passing the first mile in 4:45. By mile four Abdirahman opened up a ten-meter lead on the pack that included Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.), Fernando Cabada (Boulder, Colo.), Christo Landry (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Andrew Carlson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and past champions Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Sean Quigley (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Abdirahman would continue to lead by 50 meters, hitting 10 km in 29:41 and then cruised to a 24 second win. Lehmkuhle took second, running 1:00:36 while Fernando Cabada took third in 1:00:59.
In the women's race, Cherobon-Bawcom, who just days before had been granted an appeal by the IAAF to represent the U.S. and thus became eligible to compete in USA Championships, joined Clara Grandt (Morgantown, W.V.), 2008 Olympian Blake Russell (Pacific Grove, Calif.) and defending champion Magdalena Lewy Boulet as they made their way through the first mile in 5:10. Charging through the middle miles, Grandt pressed the pace with only Cherobon-Bawcom in tow. By mile nine, Bawcom made her move and never looked back as she cruised to her first U.S. national championship title in 1:08:31, 34 seconds ahead of runner ahead of Grandt. Katie McGregor (Minneapolis, Minn.) took third in 1:09:56.
Video highlights of the USA 20 km Championships are available in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com at www.USARunningCircuit.com.
About the USARC
The USA 20 km Championships were the eighth stop on the 2011 USA Running Circuit (USARC) and will feature over $40,000 in prize money with Abdirahman and Cherobon-Bawcom earning $8,000 each. The 2011 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from one mile to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The circuit features ten events for men and nine for women.
The 2011 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA long distance running championships and for the first time will include the USA Cross Country Championships. The USARC attracts the best U.S. distance runners and has ten events for men and nine for women.
The 2011 USARC will feature more than $450,000 in circuit prize money with U.S. athletes competing for the right to represent Team USA in various international competitions.
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 a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall.
The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $6 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.
For more information on the 2011 USA 20 km Championships visit www.USARunningCircuit.com.