INDIANAPOLIS – With strong competition from start to finish, U.S. Olympian Matt Tegenkamp
(Portland, Ore.) and Team USA Minnesota’s Meghan Peyton
(Richfield, Minn.) used strong final miles to pull away from their competition and win the men’s and women’s USA 20 km Championships Monday morning in New Haven, Connecticut, hosted by the Stratton-Faxon New Haven Road Race.
The USA 20 km Championships are the eighth stop on the USA Running Circuit, which concludes 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
A fast first mile of 4:32, led by Ben Bruce
(Flagstaff, Ariz.), quickly slowed to a more manageable pace, as pre-race favorites Tegenkamp, Shadrack Biwott
(Eugene, Ore.), Josphat Boit
(Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Abdi Abdirahman
(Tucson, Ariz.) took control of the race.
Through miles 3-5, Tegenkamp, Abdirahman, Jason Hartmann
(Boulder, Colo.) and Joseph Chirlee
(Fort Sam Houston, Texas) rotated the lead, each taking their turn up front, as the rest of the lead pack sized each other up for what would become a grueling second half of the race due to the early humidity.
Through halfway, Biwott took over the lead, charging through the 10 km split in 29:27. From there, Biwott pressed the pace, breaking most of the lead pack, while Tegenkamp, Chirlee and Abdirahman hung on gamely.
With Chrilee dropping off the pace by the eighth mile, the race heated up with Biwott, Tegenkamp and Abdirahman all taking turns pushing the pace. Through 11 miles the trio were neck and neck, before Tegenkamp made his move in the final mile pulling away to a ten second victory over Biwott in 1:00:10. Biwott finished second in 1:00:20, edging Abdirahman by one second, finishing third in 1:00:21.
Tegenkamp’s victory furthers his place atop the USARC standings, as he earned 15 points, giving him 50 total points, 17 points up on Mo Trafeh, who sits in second with 33. Biwott’s runner-up finish bumps him to third in the standings, surpassing Ben True and sitting a point behind Trafeh with 32. Abdirahman’s finish earned him ten points, as he jumped from eighth to fourth with 27 total points.
Behind Tegenkamp, Biwott and Abdirahman, Boit finished fourth in 1:01:17, earning seven points to take over fourth in the USARC standings, while Chirlee finished a strong fifth in 1:01:22.
Rounding out the top ten, Hartmann finished sixth in 1:01:28, Matthew Lano
(Flagstaff, Ariz.) finished seventh in 1:01:39, while Timothy Ritchie
(Brighton, Mass.), Augustus Maiyo
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Sean Quigley
(Philadelphia, Pa.) rounded out the top ten, each qualifying for the .US National Road Racing Championships.
In the women’s race, a tactical first 10 km led to an exciting finish. From the gun, Kristen Fryburg-Zaitz
(Broomfield, Colo.) jumped to the front of the lead pack, establishing a rhythm that served the leaders well.
As Fryburg-Zaitz led through the first five miles, Peyton placed herself just off Fryburg-Zaitz’ shoulder, as Katie DiCamillo
(Providence, R.I.), Mattie Suver
(Colorado Springs, Colo.), Wendy Thomas
(Windsor, Colo.) and Delilah DiCresenzo
(New York, N.Y.) established themselves up front.
At the 10 km mark, which the lead pack hit in 34:39, Peyton put in a small surge, splitting up the pack, with only Suver and DiCamillo following. Thomas fell back to fourth, while Fryburg-Zaita and DeCresenzo battled for fifth.
At nine miles Peyton put in another surge and started to slightly pull away from Suver and DiCamillo. By the ten mile mark, Peyton gapped her followers by 30 meters and never looked back. Suver hung strong, trying to bridge the gap numerous times, but ultimately couldn’t reel Peyton back in.
Peyton ground down her competition in the final stages of the race to pull ahead for a 1:09:57 victory. Suver finished strong with a 1:10:25 runner-up effort, while Caitlin Comfort
(Madison, Wisc.), who was fairly quiet the entire race, charged home for a surprise third place finish of 1:10:43.
Suver’s runner-up effort pushed her into the USARC standings lead with 47 points, two ahead of second place Janet Bawcom, while Stephanie Bruce sits one point ahead of Brianne Nelson with 29 points, as the final three races of the USARC season approach.
Behind the leading trio, DiCamillo edged Thomas by a single second, besting the 1:11 barrier with a 1:10:51 clocking. DiCrescenzo finished sixth in 1:11:00, while Frances Koons
(Bryn Mawr, Pa.) ran strong for a seventh place finish of 1:11:02.
Fryburg-Zaitz faded to eighth in 1:11:47, while Esther Erb
(Richmond, Va.) and Laura Thweatt
(Boulder, Colo.) rounded out the top ten, both earning spots in November’s .US National Road Racing Championships.
About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA championships from one mile through the marathon, 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. More information on the season-ending race is available at www.NationalRoadRacingChampionships.US
The USARC consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. 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