GRAND RAPIDS - American Record holder Fernando Cabada
(Boulder, Colo.) ran 1:15:41 to reclaim the men's 25 km title he last won in 2006; and Molly Pritz
(Rochester Hills, Mich.) took her first U.S. championship crown, running 1:25:38 at the USA 25 km Championships Saturday. The championships were hosted for the 18th year by the Fifth Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Cool, rainy conditions met the field at the start and from the gun, defending champion Andrew Carlson
(Minneapolis, Minn.), Nick Arciniaga
(Flagstaff, Ariz.), Josh Moen
(Minneapolis, Minn.) and Cabada established themselves as the primary contenders with an opening mile of 4:39.
After Fasil Bizuneh
(Flagstaff, Ariz.) joined the lead group at three miles, each of the five contenders took brief turns at the lead until Moen pressed the pace after a 5:00 seventh mile. With Moen's push, the eighth mile was covered in 4:47 and Bizuneh and Arciniaga quickly dropped off the pace.
From nine to 11 miles, Cabada, Moen and Carlson each took brief turns at the lead. As the trio made their way up a steady uphill, Cabada began his push, opening a five meter gap. By 12 miles, he had increased his lead to 50 meters.
Over the final miles, Cabada increased his lead to score a 28 second win over Moen, who finished in 1:16:09. Carlson took third in 1:16:35, Arciniaga finished fourth in 1:17:22 and Matt Gabrielson (Saint Louis Park, Minn.) moved up to claim fifth in 1:17:50.
In the women's race, Pritz took charge from the start and cruised to a three minute win over her Hansons-Brooks teammate Dot McMahan
(Rochester Hills, Mich.). Jeannette Faber
(Somerville, Mass.) took third in 1:28:48 and Kristen Zaitz
(Broomfield, Colo.) and Jennifer Houck
(Bloomington, Minn.) rounded out the top-five in 1:29:16 and 1:30:06 respectively.
Video highlights of the USA 25 km Championships are available in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com at www.USARunningCircuit.com
About the USARC
The USA 25 km Championships were the fifth stop on the 2011 USA Running Circuit (USARC) and will feature over $30,000 in prize money with the Cabada and Pritz earning $7,000 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 25 km Championships visit www.usatf.org