INDIANAPOLIS – Defending champion Molly Huddle
and USARC standings leader Matt Tegenkamp
lead the women’s and men’s fields at the USA 5 km Championships this Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island, hosted by the CVS Caremark Downtown 5k.
The USA 5 km Championships are the ninth stop on the USA Running Circuit, which concludes this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships
on November 17 in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
Last fall, Huddle outkicked the field on her way to a dominant win at the USA 5 km Championships. The Providence-based athlete will once again have the hometown crowd on her side, as she looks to defend. Huddle’s summer was full of high notes, as she placed second over 5,000m at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, placed sixth in the 5,000m final at the IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships and ran a season best of 14:58.15 at the Zurich Diamond League meeting.
While Huddle enters as the pre-race favorite, she’ll have plenty of competition. Emily Infeld leads the rest of the field, coming off of a strong 3,000m performance in Rieti, Italy, where she placed fifth overall in 8:41.43.
Last year’s runner-up Neely Spence Gracey
looks to return to form after dealing with a stress fracture earlier in the season. Back training and healthy the past few months, Spence Gracey certainly has the talent to challenge for top three.
USA 20 km champion Meghan Peyton
and Olympian Amy Hastings
will also give Huddle a run for the title. Peyton ran an inspiring race earlier this month, taking home the USA 20 km title. As she prepares for the USA Marathon Championships in two weeks, Peyton looks to earn a few more points towards her current seventh place standing on the USARC leaderboard.
Hastings, who finished 14th in the IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships 10,000m final has shown the speed necessary to pull off the upset win and as a Providence resident, will have the same hometown edge as Huddle.
On the men’s side, Tegenkamp looks to extend his USARC standings lead, currently up 50-33 over second place Mo Trafeh. Tegenkamp is on a roll having won both the USA 10 km and USA 20 km titles and while training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, looks to garner his third title of the USARC season.
Tegenkamp’s main competition comes from his own training teammates Chris Solinsky
and Andrew Bumbalough
. Bumbalough placed second at the 2012 USA 5 km Championships, edged by race champion Ben True by one-tenth of a second. The Portland-based runner looks to step up one more spot this time around and has plenty of momentum on his side after running 13:12.01 for 5,000m in mid-July and two 7:40 3,000m performances over the past few weeks while wrapping up his track season.
Meanwhile, Solinsky returns to action after a very quiet summer of training. After returning to competitive form early on in 2013, which saw him run 13:23 for 5,000m in April, Solinsky continues to put in the miles and looks to test his fitness once again as he eyes another U.S. title.
2012 fourth place finisher Aaron Braun
returns to challenge for the win, as well. Training well in Flagstaff, Arizona, Braun will undoubtedly put himself in position to challenge for the win over the closing half mile of the race.
Strong competition across the board should make for exciting racing in Providence on Sunday. Who comes out on top is anyone’s guess.
Live text updates of the USA 5 km Championships will be available at www.USARunningCircuit.com
beginning at 11:15 a.m. ET. Video of the race, post-race interviews and photos will be available shortly after the race in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com
. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USARC.
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 $30,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USA 5 km 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