Keflezighi, Runyan set U.S. 20K Records at New Haven
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USA Track & Field
Keflezighi, Runyan Set U.S. 20K Records at New Haven
De Reuck Defends USA Running Circuit Grand Prix Title
By Jim Gerweck, Running USA wire
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - (September 1, 2003) - Churning out records seems to be standard operating procedure at the New Haven Savings Bank Road Race. Site of two world records in 1998, the 20K (12.4 mile) race produced an American masters women's mark last year, then topped that today with a pair of Open U.S. Records at the USA Championship.
2000 Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Marla Runyan clocked 58:57 and 1:05:52 respectively to turn the trick, the first time matching American road records were set in the same race on the same day since June 18, 1989 when Steve Spence and Lisa Weidenbach set U.S. 15K records - 42:40 and 48:28 respectively - at the Cascade Run-Off in Portland, Ore. But while both wrote their names in the record books, the way they accomplished their feat was diametrically different.
Keflezighi, 28, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., lured to New Haven by promise of a fast course and the city's unique style of pizza, displayed a taste for both, pulling away from Dan Browne, the two-time defending champ and Todd Reeser, Browne's predecessor as national champ, with a strong move around the halfway point. Browne, showing the effects of recently racing track 10,000s at the Pan Am Games and World Championships, faded to ninth, while Reeser of Team USA New York hung on for sixth.
A chase group of 10 runners splintered after Keflezighi, a Team USA California member, dropped Browne and Reeser, with Brian Sell of Hansons-Brooks Team USA Michigan pulling away to take second with a breakthrough 59:18 performance, six seconds up on 1999 New Haven champ Phillimon Hanneck. Ryan Kirkpatrick and Rod DeHaven, the 2000 Olympic Marathon Trials champion, rounded out the top five in their first appearances at New Haven. Keflezighi, who plans to run Chicago in October, shattered the old mark of 59:13 set en route by Paul Cummings at the 1987 New Bedford Half-Marathon. The win was his third 2003 U.S. road title (also 8K and 15K).
While the men's national title was settled after Keflezighi made his move, the women's was in doubt until the final inches of the race.
Colleen De Reuck, 39, who set a world record of 65:11 on this course as a citizen of South Africa in 1998, ran stride-for-stride with Runyan through halfway, then opened up a small lead that grew to 75 meters over the next several miles. "I didn't make any move, just kept running a hard pace," said De Reuck of Boulder, Colo. Runyan, meanwhile, was fighting a side stitch and felt De Reuck's lead was too large to overcome. But just past 10 miles she felt better, while De Reuck was going through a rough stretch of her own.
As the pair turned onto the long final straightaway down Whitney Avenue before 11 miles, the gap had shrunk to under 10 seconds. Runyan, 34, finding a second wind, began to whittle it down, but De Reuck was going full out to the finish as well, and it seemed as though Runyan would run out of real estate before she could erase the deficit. Legally blind, Runyan was unsure of the remaining distance. "I couldn't see the finish line, but I could tell by the crowd noise we were getting close, so I just decided to sprint until I got there."
With two strides to go, the Eugene, Ore. resident pulled even with, then ahead of De Reuck, breaking the tape less than a second ahead of her. Both of them demolished the old record of 67:07, set here by Trina Painter in 1995, by more than a minute. Katie McGregor of Team USA Minnesota, Deeja Youngquist and Turena Johnson Lane filled out the top five.
In addition to the USA 20K Championship, the event served as a selection race for the World Half-Marathon Championships in Portugal on October 4. Five men and two women from New Haven will be offered team spots (Christine Clifton was named to the women's team by finishing second at the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon in June).
As a national championship, the New Haven 20K is also part of the USA Running Circuit (USARC), a USA Track & Field road series and thus, valuable Circuit points were also at stake. The 2003 USARC - with nine events for men and seven events for women - offers over $340,000 in championship prize money plus a $25,000 grand prix purse.
With one USARC event remaining for the women, De Reuck has locked-up (and defended) the USARC Grand Prix title with 73 points, while Sara Wells with her 6th place performance at New Haven is guaranteed at least third in the final standings. With her win, Runyan improved her third place position in the women's standings (42 points).
For the U.S. men after New Haven, Keflezighi added 15 points to his total (45 points) to solidify his #2 position, while Hanneck who finished third moved into third place (34 points) in the USARC standings. Men's USARC leader Ryan Shay did not compete at New Haven.
The Men's USARC penultimate race is the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K in Providence, RI, on September 7, while the Women's finale is the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women in Boston on October 13.
At each USARC event, the first ten U.S. runners earn Circuit points (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1). USARC points were doubled at the USA Marathon Championships. For more information on the USARC including complete standings, schedule, past champions and more, go to: http://www.usatf.org/events/2003/USARunningCircuit/
26th New Haven Savings Bank 20K: USA Championship
New Haven, CT, Monday, September 1, 2003
1) Meb Keflezighi, CA 58:57* $6000 2) Brian Sell, MI 59:18 $3500 3) Phillimon Hanneck, OR 59:24 $2500 4) Ryan Kirkpatrick, CO 59:32 $1500 5) Rod DeHaven, WI 59:36 $1000 6) Todd Reeser, NY 1:00:13 $600 7) Peter DeLaCerda, CO 1:00:13 $800 8) Clint Wells, CO 1:00:41 $500 9) Dan Browne, OR 1:00:46 $400 10) Chris Graff, CA 1:00:51 $200
1) Marla Runyan, OR 1:05:52* $6000 2) Colleen DeReuck, CO 1:05:53 $3500 3) Katie McGregor, MN 1:07:53 $2500 4) Deeja Youngquist, NM 1:08:47 $1500 5) Turena Johnson Lane, GA 1:09:04 $1000 6) Sara Wells, MN 1:09:34 $800 7) Magdalena Lewy, CA 1:10:16 $600 8) Naoko Ishibe, MD 1:11:08 $500 9) Jenny Crain, OR 1:11:12 $400 10) Kate Fonshell, PA 1:11:31 $200
*U.S. Record (previous records, 59:13, Paul Cummings at New Bedford, MA on March 15, 1987 and 1:07:07, Trina Painter at New Haven on September 4, 1995)
For complete results, go to: http://www.newhavenroadrace.org