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Murphy Wins, Mackey Surprises at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships


DES MOINES, Iowa – Incredibly close finishes defined the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships Tuesday evening in Des Moines, Iowa, as 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy kicked to victory in the men’s race, while Katie Mackey earned the victory on the women’s side.


The USATF 1 Mile Road Championships, hosted by the Grand Blue Mile, is the third stop on the 2017 USATF Running Circuit. Next up on the circuit, the USATF Half Marathon Championships take place in Columbus, Ohio on April 29.


The women were first to the line Tuesday night. As the sun set behind the runners, the talented field readied to race and as the gun went off Olympian Shannon Rowbury and former multi-time NAIA champion Hannah Fields shot to the lead.


Through the first quarter mile of the race, Rowbury, Fields and Amanda Eccleston led the way, with a tight knit pack of runners trailing closely behind. The honest early pace continued through half way, with not much changing amongst the leaders.


With a quarter mile to go, Rowbury started her drive to the finish, putting a slight gap on the field. As the runners approached the finish line, Mackey made a strong move past Fields, catching and passing Rowbury. With less than 100 meters to go, Mackey had a clear lead she never gave up, crossing the line victoriously.


Mackey, earning her first USATF road title, crossed the finish in 4:37.0, just ahead of a late-charging Eccleston, who took home second in 4:37.4. Rowbury hung on for a third place finish of 4:37.6, while Eccleston’s fellow University of Michigan alum Shannon Osika also broke the 4:38 barrier with a 4:37.9 fourth place finish.


Rounding out the top five, veteran Dana Mecke broke 4:40 with a mark of 4:39.6. Fields held on to place sixth in 4:41.7, while Alexina Wilson held off Ashley Maton for seventh, 4:42.1-4:42.8.


Team USA Minnesota’s Meghan Peyton once again earned a top ten finish with a time of 4:43.8 for ninth, while Tori Solis rounded out the top ten with her 4:45.7 effort.


After the women’s race wrapped up, it was the men’s turn and a large field meant anything could happen as the gun sounded.


Coming off the line, a dozen men quickly took turns leading the first 200 meters, finding their pace and settling in. Garrett Heath led the early charge, using his experience to keep out front and out of any congestion taking place behind him.


Through halfway, nine men were shoulder to shoulder, spread out across the road. Heath, Cristian Soratos, Pat Casey and Riley Masters led the way, with plenty of others trailing just behind.

With a quarter mile to go, Daniel Herrera shot past the competition and into the lead. While trying his mightiest to pull away from the field, Herrera faded with 200 meters to go, as Murphy made his move.


Charging hard to the finish, Murphy put a small gap between he and the rest of the field, but former college teammates Riley Masters and Pat Casey were right on his heels.


Murphy made one final push, holding off any late runs, crossing the line in 4:00.0. Masters finished a close second in 4:00.3, while Casey also broke 4:01 with his 4:00.9 third place.


Heath used a late kick to take home fourth overall in 4:01.4, just ahead of fifth place finish Brandon Lasater in 4:01.6. Former University of Oregon All-American Trevor Dunbar kept with the pack for the final sprint, taking home sixth in 4:02.0, just ahead of Izaic Yorks and Andy Bayer who finished seventh and eighth in 4:02.1 and 4:02.8. Soratos struggled home for a ninth place finish in 4:04.3, while Olympic steeplechase finalist Hillary Bor took home tenth in 4:05.5.


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 $25,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships.


The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 1 Mile Road 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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