INDIANAPOLIS – Going head-to-head for the fourth time in 2013, Brianne Nelson and Mattie Suver headline the women’s field at the USA 25 km Championships this Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich. hosted by the Fifth Third River Bank Run.
The USA 25 km Championships are the fifth stop on the USA Running Circuit (USARC), which will conclude this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
Nelson is currently second in the USARC standings after finishing as the runner-up at the USA 10 Mile Championships. While Suver bested Nelson at the USA Cross Country Championships and on the track at the Stanford Invitational, she currently is tied for eighth place in the standings with 10 points.
Another front runner will undoubtedly be Colorado’s Tera Moody. Moody placed sixth at the Houston Marathon in 2:39:10, while finishing a very strong GO! St. Louis half marathon effort of 1:12:34, placing second behind Suver, who won in 1:12:22.
A trio of 2012 top-four finishers return to challenge for even higher finishes. Lindsey Scherf, who finished second at the USA 25 km Championships in 2012, is coming off a strong 11th place performance at the Bloomsday Run last weekend in Spokane, Washington. Hansons-Brooks teammates Melissa Johnson-White and Dot McMahan finished third and fourth in 2012 and should challenge for top five finishes once again.
Rounding out the women’s field are Colorado-based Wendy Thomas, championship veteran Kathy Newberry, USA 10 Mile Championship ninth place finisher Stephanie Pezzullo and Bloomsday Run 13th place finisher Alvina Begay.
In the men’s field, two-time Olympian Matt Tegenkamp leads the way. The Portland-based runner is having a good start to his 2013 racing season, highlighted by a third place finish at the USA Cross Country Championships. While still relatively inexperienced on the roads, Tegenkamp is eyeing a top finish Saturday.
Tegenkamp’s teammate Brent Vaughn and defending USA 25 km champion Joseph Chirlee should both contend for the win. Chirlee ran 28:54.29 over 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational in April, while Vaughn is coming off of an eighth place performance at the Bloomsday Run, finishing as the top American in the field with his 35:28 12 km performance.
Not to be overlooked, USA Running Circuit veteran Craig Curley looks for another strong performance, coming off his seventh place effort at the USA 15 km Championships, while eighth place USA 15 km finisher Mo Trafeh should set a fast early pace.
Other notable contenders include 2:17:16 2013 Houston Marathon finisher Andrew Carlson, Stephen Shay and Scott MacPherson.
Live text updates of the USA 25km Championships will be available at www.USARunningCircuit.com beginning at 8:20 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 $30,200 in prize money will be awarded at the USA 25 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