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Hall eyes three-peat at USATF 10 Mile Championships

10/5/2019
 

Minneapolis-St. Paul – Two-time defending champion Sara Hall returns to the streets of the Twin Cities Sunday morning at the USATF 10 Mile Championships eyeing yet another USATF Running Circuit title, while both the men’s and women’s races are loaded with top talent.

 

The USATF 10 Mile Championships, hosted by the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, are the eighth stop on the 2019 USATF Running Circuit. Race videos, results, 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.

 

Hall, who edged Molly Huddle by one second to win last year’s event, is coming off an incredible 2:22:16 marathon performance at the BMW Berlin Marathon last weekend, good for fifth place and the fastest time by an American in 2019.

 

With only a one week turnaround, it will be fascinating to see how Hall handles Sunday’s race, but with plenty of course experience, she has to enter the contest as the pre-race favorite.

 

Hall currently leads the USATF Running Circuit with 79.5 points, 27.5 points ahead of second place Emma Bates and more than double the points ahead of third place Stephanie Bruce (37.5 points).

 

Hall’s chief competition should come from Kellyn Taylor. Taylor, who was scheduled to run the Chicago Half Marathon last weekend but withdrew due to illness, is fit and ready to race, as she’s focused on competing in the TCS New York City Marathon – as is Hall.

 

Taylor finished third in the 10,000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in June, while earning a top ten finish at the AJC Peachtree Road Race in July. With marathon training going well, Sunday’s contest will serve as a good test for Taylor.

 

Other notable contenders include 2017 runner-up Natosha Rogers, 2017 fifth place finisher Belainesh Gebre and 2018 sixth place finisher Anne-Marie Blaney. Rogers had a quiet 2019 until late September, when she finished an impressive second at the Great Cow Harbor 10K.

 

Gebre placed 11th at the USATF 20 km Championships last month, while Blaney won the Great Cow Harbor 10K over Rogers, has competed at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships this season and placed 12th in the 10,000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships.

 

Katy Jermann is another top three challenger. Jermann placed eighth in the Twin Cities last fall and is having an excellent 2019 campaign. Jermann currently ranks fourth in the USATF Running Circuit standings with 33.5 points. After a runner-up finish to Hall at the USATF 20 km Championships last month, along with three other top ten finishes on this year’s USATF Running Circuit, a solid showing on Sunday could move Jermann into the top three in the standings.

 

A number of younger pros are ready to test their fitness as well in Minnesota. Karis Jochen, who placed third behind Hall and Jermann at last month’s USATF 20 km Championships is clearly in race shape, while Maggie Montoya, who placed third at the USATF 15 km Championships earlier in the year, is also entered.

 

Molly Grabill is entered and coming off a fourth place finish at the USATF 25 km Championships earlier in the season, while Caroline Alcorta placed fifth at the USATF 20 km Championships in New Haven last month.

 

In the men’s field, there is no clear-cut favorite, with a number of individuals fully capable of winning Sunday.

 

Four runners return with experience from last year’s event. Josef Tessema placed fifth overall, Abbabiya Simbassa earned his second consecutive sixth place finish, Futsum Zienasellassie placed eighth overall and ZAP Fitness runner Andrew Colley took home tenth.

 

Colley is having the best 2019 campaign out of the group. Having placed third at the USATF Half Marathon Championships earlier in the season, he currently sits ninth in the USATF Running Circuit and a strong finish Sunday could vault him into the top five. He also ran 2:12:15 for second place at Grandma’s Marathon back in June, a time that ranks him in the top five Americans in the distance this year.

 

Zeinasellassie is also looking for a breakout performance Sunday. The former Northern Arizona standout placed fifth at the USATF Half Marathon Championships and recently won the Great Cow Harbor 10K over a tough field, showing he’s in prime race shape.

 

Tessema is looking to recapture his success from last year’s race, as is Simbassa. Tessema placed eighth for Team USATF at the Pan America Games in early August in the 5000m, while Simbassa has yet to have a meaningful finish this season.

 

The duo of former BYU teammates Connor McMillan and Clayton Young should challenge for top three finishes, as well. Young won the NCAA title in the 10,000m in June, while McMillan placed third three seconds behind his teammate. McMillan also placed fourth in the 10,000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships earlier this summer, while Young earned a 12th place finish. Their transition to road racing is certainly something to watch.

 

Scott Fauble is another challenger for win Sunday. The HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite runner finished seventh at the Boston Marathon back in April, and while he’s raced sparingly since then, he’s in great shape and ready to race. Fauble wasn’t able to finish the race at last month’s USATF 20 km Championships, so he’s looking for a little redemption this time around.

 

Martin Hehir is another experienced pro when it comes to racing in the Twin Cities. The former Syracuse standout placed fourth at the USATF 10 Mile Championships in 2016 and eighth in 2017. While he’s been relatively quiet this season, he does have a fourth place finish at the USATF 15 km Championships back in March.

 

Veterans Donn Cabral, a two-time Olympian in the steeplechase, Augustus Maiyo and Connor Winter are also entered and capable of top finishes.

 

Winter earned a sixth place finish at the USATF Outdoor Championships this summer, placing an impressive sixth in the 10,000m.

 

Meanwhile, Maiyo placed fourth at the Pan American Games in Peru in late July in the marathon, running 2:12:25, while Cabral recently placed second at the Great Cow Harbor 10K and earned a top ten finish in the steeplechase at the USATF Outdoor Championships.

 

Louis Serfaini is having a strong season and should show well again on the USATF Running Circuit, while Ian La Mere, who finished seventh in 2017 at the USATF 10 Mile Championships, should once again factor into the top ten mix, as should 2016 fifth place finisher Matt McClintock.

 

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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