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Olympians Murphy, Rowbury to Lead Fast Fields at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships

4/24/2017
 

INDIANAPOLIS -- A quartet of Olympians headlines this year’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championships, as reigning Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and Rio Olympic fourth place 1500m finisher Shannon Rowbury will lead the way this Tuesday evening in Des Moines, Iowa, hosted by the Grand Blue Mile.

 

The USATF 1 Mile Road Championships are the third stop on the 2017 USATF Running Circuit. Fans can tune in for the live broadcast beginning at 8:10pm ET on USATF.TV with a +PLUS subscription. 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.

 

It’s already been a blazing start to the 2017 season for Murphy. The 22-year old Olympic bronze medalist in the 800m ran to the USATF Indoor 1000m title this season, while running a world-leading 1:43.60 800m earlier this month. While unproven on the roads, Murphy has plenty of success running longer than his two-lap race and enters Tuesday’s contest as the pre-race favorite.

 

Fellow Olympians Leo Manzano and Hillary Bor will each put up their own challenge to Murphy. Manzano, who won silver over 1500m at the 2012 Olympics, won the USATF 1 Mile Road title in 2014 and is always in contention for the win, no matter the race.

 

For Bor, he steps down in distance from his 3000m steeplechase speciality. After finishing second at the U.S. Olympic Trials – Track & Field in the event last summer, he placed eighth at the Olympics, capping a tremendous year. His 2017 season is going well, having placed fourth at the USATF Indoor Championships in the two mile earlier this season.

 

Garrett Heath, the USATF 1 Mile Road champion in 2013 and 2015, is the most experienced road miler in the field. Not only has Heath won this event twice, he finished second in 2016, as well as third in 2014. He placed third at the USATF Indoor Championships in the mile last month, which shows he’s in prime shape.

 

Not to be overlooked, Andy Bayer is entered and gets a chance to prove himself over the mile distance. Bayer, who placed fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 3000m steeplechase, is no stranger to the mile distance, having one of the NCAA title in the 1500m while at Indiana. He races the mile seldom, but has shown he can thrive when called upon.

 

A number of younger runners round out the field. Former NCAA champion Chad Noelle, who placed eighth in this race last year, is entered, as is Cristian Soratos, who took home second at the USATF Indoor Championships in the mile last month. Brooks Beasts teammates Izaic Yorks and Drew Windle should each challenge for top five, while more experienced veterans Pat Casey, Riley Masters and Trevor Dunbar are sure to contend for top five finishes, as well.

 

On paper, Rowbury is the odds-on-favorite to win the women’s race. With three-time defending champion Heather Kampf sitting out this year’s race, Rowbury will test her early outdoor fitness against a tough field of competition. After placing fourth in the 1500m at the Rio Olympics, Rowbury is ready for a big season ahead.

 

Rowbury’s chief competition should come from Amanda Eccleston. The former University of Michigan standout placed a heart-breaking fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1500m last summer. She placed third in 2015 at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships and will seek her first national title Tuesday.

 

Veteran Katie Mackey and young pro Hannah Fields are other notable entries. Mackey placed sixth in the 5000m last summer at the U.S. Olympic Trials, while placing fourth earlier this season at the USATF Indoor Championships in the two mile. She was runner-up at the 2014 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships.

 

Fields, a former NAIA standout, showed well during the indoor season with a fourth place finish in the 1000m at the USATF Indoor Championships. While inexperienced on the roads, she’s proven herself as a frontrunner among talented fields.

 

Team USATF Minnesota teammates Meghan Peyton and Jamie Cheever look to make their mark on the field. Peyton has earned back-to-back seventh place finishes the past two years.

 

Add in young pros Shannon Oskia, who was fourth in the 1500m at the NCAA Championships last year, Ashley Maton, Eleanor Fulton and Megan Malasarte, and this field has the talent and depth to be one of the best USATF 1 Mile Road Championships in event history.

 

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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