Olympians Flock to Atlanta for USA 10 km Championships
INDIANAPOLIS – Led by four U.S. Olympians on the men’s side and the top three runners in the USA Running Circuit standings on the women’s side, the depth and talent at the USA 10 km Championships this Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by the Peachtree Road Race, should make it one of the highlight races of the USARC season.
The USA 10 km Championships are the seventh stop on the USA Running Circuit, which will conclude this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships on November 17 in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
Meb Keflezighi leads the men’s field, coming off of a strong performance at the USA Half Marathon Championships, where he ran to a runner-up effort in a time of 1:01:22.
The London Olympic Games fourth place finisher in the marathon, Keflezighi will be joined in Atlanta by fellow Team USA marathoners Abdi Abdirahman and Ryan Hall. Both Abdirahman and Hall have had success over the 10 km distance in the past and will look to build heading into the fall marathon season.
Meanwhile, Tegenkamp enters the USA 10 km Championships coming off of a seventh place finish at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 10,000m event, while the Portland-based standout finished third at the USA 25 km Championships earlier in the season.
Along with the quartet of Olympians, current USARC standings leader and USA 25 km and Half Marathon champion Mo Trafeh comes to Atlanta with momentum on his side. After setting the U.S. 25 km record in May, Trafeh edged Keflezighi in Minnesota at the USA Half Marathon Championships by five seconds. While Trafeh has shown his strength over longer distances in 2013, he’ll have a chance to test his speed on Thursday.
Following closely on Trafeh’s heels this season, Josphat Boit and Shadrack Biwott should contend for top five finishes. Boit, who finished fifth at the USA Half Marathon Championships, was runner-up at the USA 25 km Championships. Biwott was third at the USA Half Marathon Championships in a time of 1:02:24.
Other notable top contenders on the men’s side include former University of Oregon All-American Luke Puskedra, 2013 cross country Team USA member Bobby Mack, eighth place 10,000m finisher at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Jacob Riley, USA 15 km Championship runner-up Bobby Curtis and standout veteran Brent Vaughn.
In the women’s race, the first three runners in the USARC standings headline the field. First place Janet Cherobon-Bawcom returns to action after missing the past three races on the USARC circuit due to injury. The USA 10 km record holder will look to maintain her lead atop the standings, while pushing to her third U.S. road title of the season.
Tied for second place, Mattie Suver and Brianne Nelson will battle it out once again, as both eye the win. Suver finished fifth at the recent USA Half Marathon Championships, while Nelson finished eighth. Both athletes handle shorter distances extremely well and will undoubtedly push for top three.
The USA Half Marathon Championship winner, Adriana Nelson, is also entered. The Boulder-based athlete ran away to a seven second victory in Duluth, Minnesota last month and should be feeling strong and confident as she readies herself for Thursday’s race.
The top returnee from the 2012 USA 10 km Championships, Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce, has both the leg speed and endurance to seriously challenge for the title. Rothstein-Bruce, as well as veterans Sara Hall and Serena Burla, will contest for top three finishes.
Additional top contenders include track standout Delilah DiCrescenzo, 2012 USA 20 km Championship winner Renee Baillie, along with Lindsey Scherf and Meghan Peyton.
Live text updates of the USA Half Marathon Championships will be available at www.USARunningCircuit.com beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET. Video of the race, 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.
About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA 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 $60,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USA 10 km Championships.
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (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 USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush