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Korir, Hall repeat in triumphant fashion at USATF 20 km Championships


NEW HAVEN – Near perfect racing conditions led to fast times and close top ten finishes Monday morning at the USATF 20 km Championships, as Olympian Leonard Korir and Sara Hall defended their titles in New Haven, Connecticut.


The USATF 20 km Championships, hosted by the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race, are the eighth stop on the 2019 USATF Running Circuit.


A large contingent in the men’s race grouped together in the first mile of the race, as Diego Estrada, Parker Stinson and Scott Fauble led the early charge. Passing through the two mile mark, the trio pushed the pace, but at a relaxed enough pace to where 15 men were in contention.


However, as the pack hit a downhill heading into the third mile, Korir pushed ahead, putting in an early surge that no one but Fauble tried to match. Korir’s move was a change of pace for the savvy veteran, who generally doesn’t make a decisive move until the back half of USATF Running Circuit races.


As Korir put in his surge and pushed away from the lead pack, Fauble settled in and led the chase pack, doing much of the early work to guide the group through the streets of New Haven.


Korir continued to push the pace, building his lead mile after mile. As he neared the half-way mark, the U.S. Army runner had a 25 second lead, extending his lead to nearly 40 seconds through 7 miles.


Maintaining form the rest of the way, Korir checked off the final few miles, defending his title, winning in a comfortable fashion while crossing the line in 59:06.


Behind Korir, Fauble dropped from the race, leaving Stinson, Jerrell Mock, Nathan Martin and Reed Fischer to lead the chase pack. The quartet ran together much of the rest of the way, but it was Martin in the final two miles, pulling away to grab an impressive second place finish in 59:32. Stinson held off Mock over their sprint to the finish, taking third to Mock’s fourth, 59:41-59:43. Fischer placed fifth in 59:48.


With his win, Korir added another 22.5 points to his USATF Running Circuit standings total, giving him 73 points. Stinson’s third place finish raised his overall point total to 45 points, pushing him into second place overall in the standings, six points ahead of third place Stanley Kebenei and his 39 points.


Rounding out the top ten, Connor McMillian placed sixth overall in 1:00:02, outlasting former NCAA steeplechase champion Anthony Rotich, who placed seventh in 1:00:20.


USATF Running Circuit regular Ahmed Osman earned eighth place in 1:01:06, as he held off Daniel Lennon over the final mile, as Lennon finished ninth in 1:01:10. Diego Estrada took home tenth overall in 1:01:29 after leading part of the opening stages of the race.


In the women’s race, Hall and Katy Jermann jumped to the lead early and never looked back, establishing themselves up front and putting a large gap on the rest of the field by the first 5 km.


As the duo continued to grow their lead, they passed through four miles in 21:29, then ran through the half-way 10 km mark in 33:27. However, as the second half of the race came about, Hall started to pull away from Jermann, putting in a small surge to test Jermann and ultimately putting a gap on her chief competitor.


Jermann’s early risk of putting herself at the front and challenging Hall led her clear of the chase pack. Over the back half of the race, while Hall continued to grow her lead, Jermann held on strong and never had to look back.

Hall used her experience on the New Haven course to race well within herself and ran to her second consecutive USATF 20 km Championship title, crossing the finish in 1:06:47, more than two minutes faster than her winning effort in 2018.


Behind Hall, Jermann came home in second in 1:08:39, earning her best USATF Running Circuit finish, bettering her fifth place finish from the USATF Half Marathon Championships earlier this season.


Hall’s win added another 22.5 points to her USATF Running Circuit total, giving her 79.5 points overall, as well as her second consecutive victory after she won the USATF 10 km Championships. Emma Bates and Stephanie Bruce maintained second and third place overall with 52 points and 37.5 points, while Jermann’s runner-up effort moved her up into fourth with 33.5 points.


Behind Hall and Jermann, Karis Jochen and Jessica Tonn led the chase pack. While none of them made a move to go after Hall and Jermann, the race within a race shaped up to include a few dramatic finishes.


Jochen powered to the finish over the final mile to pull away from the chase pack, earning third place in 1:09:17. Tonn battled to the finish to take home fourth overall in 1:09:20, while Caroline Alcorta earned a surprise fifth place finish with a 1:09:27 time.


U.S. Air Force runner Hannah Everson continued her successful 2019 campaign with a sixth place finish in 1:09:35. Janelle Lincks finished seventh in 1:09:38, marathon veteran Roberta Groner placed eighth in 1:09:56 and USATF Running Circuit veteran Kelsey Bruce earned another top ten finish in ninth in 1:10:13. Katie Newton concluded the top ten in 1:10:27.


The next stop on the USATF Running Circuit takes place October 6 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, as the Medtronic TC 10 Mile hosts the USATF 10 Mile Championships.


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 $38,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 20 km Championships


The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 20 km 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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