Cherobon-Bawcom, Trafeh win USA 15 km titles
JACKSONVILLE - Mo Trafeh (Duarte, Calif.) and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (Rome, Ga.) dominated the men’s and women’s fields Saturday at the USA 15 km Championships in Jacksonville, Fla.
Trafeh ran 43:23 to win his third 15 km title while Cherobon-Bawcom ran 49:41 to win her first title at 15 km. The championships were hosted for the nineteenth time by the 35th Gate River Run. In addition to the $60,000 individual prize structure, this championship features competition between the men and women in the form of a $5,000 equalizer bonus as well as a $20,000 team competition named the TenBroeck Cup.
Race day greeted the runners with unusual clouds and wind. The women started at 8:23, and the men followed at 8:30. Cherobon-Bawcom started quickly, but by the first mile (5:15) a pack of seven had separated themselves from the field. Along with Cherobon-Bawcom, Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.), Lindsey Scherf (San Francisco, Calif.), Maegan Krifchin (Ithaca, N.Y.), Clara Grandt (Morgantown, W.V.), Alisha Williams (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and Adriana Nelson (Boulder, Colo.) were on a mission, bucking the wind together.
At three miles Huddle and Scherf moved to the front with Cherobon-Bawcom close behind. Scherf began to push the pace doing much of the work with the chase pack 22 seconds behind.
By four miles Cherobon-Bawcom, Scherf, Huddle and Krifchin were by themselves. At mile six Huddle and Cherobon-Bawcom pulled away from field and by the seventh mile the order of finish was set with Huddle, Krifchin and Scherf following.
In the men’s race, Trafeh once again staked his claim on the 15 km title with a 4:27 first mile, leading the men's pack by twelve seconds. He followed with a 4:28 which extended his lead to 28 seconds. In the third mile, he was ahead of pace to break Todd Williams' American record of 42:22 as he began his chase after the women's field. Even as Trafeh started to reel in the women’s field in rapid succession the wind was taking its toll and it was apparent that the equalizer would go to the women’s champion this year.
Trafeh scored a 1:14 victory over Christo Landry (Ann Arbor, Mich.) for his third consecutive 15 km title. Tim Ritchie (Brighton, Mass.) took third in 44:41.
As far as the TenBroeck Cup team championships, this was the closest ever win on the women's side. Team Minnesota won by seven seconds over the Boulder Running Company. Katie McGregor, Emily Brown, and Meghan Peyton took the honors as Team Minnesota's women won the team competition for the third time. On the men's side, Adidas McMillan Elite defended their title from 2011 with Ben Bruce, Scott Smith, and Nick Arciniaga capturing the team championship.
The Gate River Run is a component of the USA Running Circuit. This series consists of road championships held throughout the year at distances from the street mile to the marathon.