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Landry Seeks to Extend USATF Running Circuit Lead at USATF 20 km Championships


NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- USATF Running Circuit veteran Christo Landry looks to extend his substantial lead in the overall standings on Monday at the USATF 20 km Championships, hosted by the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race in New Haven, Connecticut, while both Janet Bawcom and Brianne Nelson hope to improve upon their second and third place efforts at last year’s event.


The USATF 20 km Championships are the seventh stop on the 2016 USATF Running Circuit. Race videos, results, post-race interviews and photos will be available shortly after the race in cooperation with Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USARC.


While Landry has plenty of competition to worry about up front, he enters Monday’s contest as the heavy favorite, having already won USATF Half Marathon and 25 km Championships this season. Landry finished second in New Haven in 2014 and currently owns a 21 point lead in the USATF Running Circuit standings over second place Craig Lutz, who recently withdrew from Monday’s race.


Joining the lead pack is Luke Puskedra, who is the top returnee from the 2015 edition after finishing fourth overall. The former University of Oregon runner has raced sparingly in 2016, but he did finish fourth at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon. He owns three top four finishes to his name in New Haven and will look to use that experience to gain an advantage on his competition.


Other top contenders in Shadrack Biwott and Girma Mecheso. For Biwott, who currently sits seventh overall in the USATF Running Circuit standings with 18.5 points, Monday’s race offers an opportunity to rapidly move up the standings while earning another top four finish after earning fourth at the USATF Half Marathon Championships earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Mecheso seeks to add another USATF 20 km title to his name after winning the event in 2014.


Additional notable veterans entered are Fernando Cabada, who placed eighth in New Haven last year, Matt Llano, Jeff Eggleston, Scott MacPherson, Nick Arciniaga, Jonathon Peterson and Aron Rono.


On the women’s side, the race should be equally as packed up front. Leading the pre-race charge are Bawcom and Nelson, who finished second and third in 2015. Both are having fine 2016 seasons. Bawcom earned a fifth place finish at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon, as well as a fifth place finish at the USATF Half Marathon Championships. Similarly, Nelson took home third place at the USATF Half Marathon Championships.


USATF 25 km champion Alphine Tuliamuk is a rising star in American distance running ranks after gaining her U.S. citizenship earlier in the year. Tuliamuk, a former All-American at Wichita State, not only won the USATF 25 km title, but placed eighth overall in the 10,000m at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field.


Another frontrunner includes Lindsey Scherf, who’s finished second at the USATF 25 km Championships and third at the USATF 15 km Championships this year and currently sits fourth in the USATF Running Circuit overall standings, 18 points behind leader Tara Welling.


Joining Scherf is Alisha Williams. Williams placed sixth at the USATF Half Marathon Championships, while earning tenth and fourteenth place finishes in the 5000m and 10,000m at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field earlier this summer.


The rest of the field includes USATF Half Marathon Championships top ten finisher Semhar Tesfaye, U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field 10,000m finisher Alia Gray and USATF 25 km Championship sixth place finisher Kelsey Bruce.


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 $45,000 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 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 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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