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Hall, Zienasellassie kick to victory at the USATF 10 Mile Championships


MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL – One week after running 2:22:16 for fifth place at the BMW Berlin Marathon, becoming the sixth fastest U.S. marathoner of all-time, Sara Hall ran to her third straight USATF 10 Mile title Sunday morning at the USATF 10 Mile Championships hosted by the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, while Futsum Zienasellassie won his first USATF title, outlasting a strong men’s field.


From the start of Sunday’s race, Hall and HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite standout Kellyn Taylor jumped to the front of the women’s field and set the early tone. By the four mile mark, Hall and Taylor had cleared the rest of the field, along with Makena Morley and Bridget Belyeu.


The quartet would run stride for stride through the halfway point, passing through five miles right around 27 minutes, with a handful of other runners within a few seconds of them.


Over the back half of the race, Hall and Morley would continue to push the pace, as Taylor started to drop back, while Belyeu hung on creating a lead trio. By mile seven Belyeu had dropped off pace, making it a two woman race to the finish, the veteran Hall and the newcomer Morley running side by side.


As their lead continued to grow, it seemed only a matter of time before one of the two women made a move to separate themselves.


With a half mile to go Hall pushed the pace one more time, distancing herself from Morley and never looking back, charging to victory in 53:11.


Morley, in her USATF Running Circuit debut, showed her potential as a pro, hanging tough over the final mile to earn an impressive runner-up finish in 53:17.


Katy Jermann earned her second consecutive top three finish on the USATF Running Circuit, and fifth top ten effort of the season, crossing the line third in 53:44. She edged out Belyeu, who ran tough over the second half of the race to place fourth in 53:47.


Annie Frisbie, who ran with the leaders much of the way, settled for fifth place overall in 54:00, while Bria Wetsch outkicked Taylor for sixth, as both athletes finished in 54:14.


USATF Running Circuit veteran Belainesh Gebre took home eighth place overall in 54:25, Caroline Alcorta earned another top ten circuit finish in ninth in 54:29, while Katie Newton rounded out the top ten in 54:33.


With her win Sunday, Hall grew her lead in the overall USATF Running Circuit standings, gaining another 22.5 points, giving her a total of 101.5 points. Emma Bates remains in second overall with 52 points, while Jermann’s third place effort moved her up to third overall with 48.5 points.


In the men’s race, Scott Fauble led the field early, as a massive pack of 18 men ran together for the first half of the race. Fauble and BYU teammates Clayton Young and Connor McMillan charged through the five mile mark in 23:40, the race still wide open for the taking.


The modest early pace led to a second half surge in mile six, as the field started to string out. Martin Hehir, McMillan, Zienasellassie and Abbabiya Simbassa started to challenge the field – as the lead pack dwindled from 18 runners down to eight with less than four miles to go.


With two miles to go, McMillan and Hehir continued to push the pace, with the lead pack of 8 still together. Very little changed with the front group until one mile to go, with Zienasellassie, Simbassa, McMillan and Hehir making a move the rest of the pack couldn’t cover.


Over the final quarter mile, Zienasellassie battled it out with the others, but in the final 100 meters the young pro pulled ahead and charged home for his first USATF Running Circuit victory, crossing the line two seconds ahead of runner-up Simbassa in 46:55.


Simbassa earned another strong finish in the Twin Cities, improving upon his past two USATF 10 Mile Championship races, where he finished sixth overall both times. Simbassa finished one second up on first-year pro Connor McMillan, who earned an impressive third place in 46:58. Hehir crossed in fourth in 46:59.


Augustus Maiyo topped the rest of the field in fifth place in 47:05, while veteran Patrick Smyth finished sixth in 47:11. MJ Erb took home seventh place overall in 47:13, just edging Sydney Gidabuday in eighth in 47:14. Louis Serafini and Abdisamed Abdi placed ninth and tenth respectively in 47:35 and 47:44.


Zienasellassie’s victory moves the former Northern Arizona University standout from 20th in the USATF Running Circuit standings all the way up to fifth place, with 31.5 points. Leonard Korir leads the standings with 73 points, while Parker Stinson and Stanley Kebenei sit second and third with 45 and 39 points respectively.


The USATF 5 km Championships, the  ninth and final stop on the 2019 USATF Running Circuit, take place November 2 in New York City, hosted by the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K.


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 $81,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 10 Mile Championships


The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 10 Mile Championships, scoring is set as 22.5 for first, 18 for second, 15 for third, 10.5 ,9, 7.5, 6, 4.5, 3 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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