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Bates, Stinson Dominant in Wins at the USATF 25 km Championships


GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Running in near perfect conditions Saturday morning at the USATF 25 km Championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Emma Bates and Parker Stinson ran to victory in impression fashion, dominating much of the race, as Bates claimed her second USATF title, while Stinson ran to his first national title.


The USATF 25 km Championships, hosted by the Amway River Bank Run, are the fifth stop on the 2019 USATF Running Circuit.


As anticipated, Sara Hall and Bates jumped to the lead immediately at the start Saturday morning. Coming off of second and third place finishes last weekend in Pittsburgh at the USATF Half Marathon Championships, both runners had their eyes on victory in Grand Rapids.


Hall and Bates quickly established themselves in the lead position, putting a small gap on the rest of the field within the first two miles, while Brittni Hutton joined the two up front, but dropped off pace as Hall and Bates came through two miles in 10:40.


By mile five, it was clear Hall and Bates would be running alone the rest of the way, as the chase pack was more than a minute behind, as the duo’s lead continued to grow.  The chase pack, led by Molly Bookmyer and Molly Grabill, consisted of a number of runners until the final few miles of the race.


Up front, Bates seemed to have a step on Hall after the six mile mark, but just past mile 8, Bates started to grow her lead on Hall. It wasn’t so much a decisive move as it was a general increase of pace, stride by stride, that Hall simply couldn’t match and by mile 10 Bates was clear of Hall, 20 seconds up on her rival.


Running alone over the final few miles, Bates had her eyes trained ahead, showing her strength and fierceness, driving to the finish. In the final strides, Bates flashed a smile, claiming her second national title in 1:23:51. Hall held steady over the final miles to finish second in 1:25:33.


With her victory Saturday morning, Bates added another 30 points to her USATF Running Circuit title, moving her into first place overall with 45 points. Hall’s runner-up finish added another 24 points to her total, as she now sits second overall with 42 points. Stephanie Bruce and Bethany Sachtleben sit tied for third, each with 25.5 points.


Behind the lead duo, the chase pack ran together much of the way, but it was Bookmyer and Grabill pulling away over the final 5 km to claim third and fourth respectively. Bookmyer was able to surge ahead over the final mile to beat Grabill to the line, crossing in 1:27:27, six seconds ahead of Grabill in 1:27:33.


Dakotah Lindwurm picked up a big fifth place finish with a 1:28:01 effort. Alexis Zeis ran away from USATF Running Circuit veterans Maddie Van Beek and Kelsey Bruce in the late stages of the race to claim sixth in 1:28:37, while Van Beek earned seventh in 1:28:48 and Bruce eighth in 1:29:09.


Megan Lacy finished ninth in 1:29:38, while Allison Cleaver earned another top ten performance in Grand Rapids with a tenth place effort, crossing the finish in 1:30.09.


Starting over 11 minutes behind the women, as the race offered an equalizer bonus, which Bates would win, Stinson shot out to the lead and clearly had no intentions of settling in with the lead pack, rather running his own splits with a clear objective to challenge the American 25 km road record of 1:14:18, set by Christo Landry at the USATF 25 km Championships in 2014.


By the 5 km mark, Stinson had grown his lead to 40 meters and was showing no signs of slowing down, passing through the split in 14:42.


Behind Stinson, Kiya Dandena, Scott Smith and Tyler McCandless established themselves up front, leading a pack of men through the first miles of the race. But as Stinson’s lead grew, it seemed only a matter of time before a few runners from the pack would start to give chase.


Through the 10 km, Stinson hit the mark running an even last 5 km, passing through in 29:20, nearly 20 seconds ahead of the chase pack. Stinson continued to run with his powerful cadence carrying him over the hills of Grand Rapids.


As Stinson passed through 15 km, it was clear he was running comfortably and it was going to take quite the effort to catch him. In the chase pack, Smith put a bit of distance on Dandena, who had a slight lead over McCandless, as the trio pulled away from the rest of the group, establishing themselves as the top four runners.


Little changed over the final 10 km. Stinson continued his terrific effort, building his lead to over a minute, ultimately crossing the finish in victorious fashion in 1:13:47, unofficially a new American 25 km road record.


Stinson’s big win earned him 30 points towards the USATF Running Circuit standings, where he currently sits fourth overall. Leonard Korir, who won the USATF Half Marathon Championships last weekend, resides in first place with 50.5, while teammates Stanley Kebenei and Shadrack Kipchirchir rank second and third overall with 39 and 37.5 points.


Behind Stinson, Smith was able to pull away from Dandena and McCandless over the final 5 km to claim second in 1:15:05. Smith earned 24 points in the USATF Running Circuit, which puts him fifth place overall at the moment.


Dandena and McCandless battled over the final 5 km, with Dandena pulling away to place third in 1:15:38, while McCandless earned his second consecutive USATF 25 km Championships fourth place finish in 1:15:45.


Willie Milam ran a strong race throughout, claiming an impressive fifth place overall in 1:16:41, finishing just ahead of sixth place Will Nation, who claimed another top ten finish at the USATF 25 km Championships in 1:16:48.


Danny Docherty of Team USA Minnesota earned seventh overall in 1:17:12, while Andy Wacker took home an eighth place finish in 1:17:35. Mick Iacofano, who placed tenth last weekend at the USATF Half Marathon Championships, finished a spot higher this weekend in 1:17:46, while Mark Leininger finished tenth in 1:17:53.


Next up on the USATF Running Circuit, the USATF Women’s 10 km Championships take place June 8 in New York City, while the men will next compete at the USATF 20 km Championships on September 2 in New Haven, Connecticut.


About the USATF Running Circuit


The USATF Running Circuit is a USATF road series featuring USATF 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 $42,600 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 25 km Championships.


The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 25 km Championships, scoring is set as 30 for first, 24 for second, 20 for third, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2, with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.


The mission of the USATF Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.


Contributed by Scott Bush

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