Cabada dominates men's field, Johnson Lane wins women’s title at USA 25 km Championships
LDR Programs Manager
USA Track & Field
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Fernando Cabada (Bristol, Va.), overwhelmed the men's field, setting a pending U.S. 25 km record of 1:14:21 as he won the men's title at the USA 25 km Championships. Turena Johnson Lane (Muncie, Ind.), claimed the women's title in 1:28:42. The championships were hosted for the eleventh time by the Fifth Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday.
Temperatures in the low 40's and the threat of rain met athletes at the start of the 29th annual event. A large pack opened with a casual first mile of 5:05 before Cabada and eventual runner-up Julius Kibet of Kenya began to assert themselves as the main contenders turning in a series of 4:40 to 4:50 miles to steadily pull away from the field that included defending open champion Simon Wangai.
As Cabada, a senior at Virginia Intermont College, and Kibet made their way past half-way, Kibet looked to be in control as the pair turned in a 4:37 eighth mile but Cabada who was intent on winning the title outright began to talk to Kibet as he matched him stride for stride over rolling hills through 12 miles.
As they approached 13 miles, Cabada made his move to the lead, posting a 4:35 mile to open a 12 second lead by 14 miles. At that point Cabada knew that he had a shot at the American record of 1:14:38 set by Ed Eyestone in 1991.
"I wanted to be the aggressor going in, I wanted to win," said the NAIA All-American. "I got really excited because I knew I had the U.S. championship and I thought I was probably going to get the record but I just wanted to beat Kibet."
Kibet would fade to finish 44 seconds back while 2005 USA Marathon champion Mbarak Hussein (Albuquerque, N.M.), finished in 1:16:53 to round out the top-three overall.
In the women's race, 2004 USA 20 km champion Turena Johnson Lane claimed her second career U.S. title as she finished second in the open women's field behind Victoriya Klimina of Russia who won in 1:27:47. Melissa White (Rochester Hills, Mich.), was third in 1:29:21.
The USA 25 km Championships was the fourth stop for men and the second for women on the 2006 USA Running Circuit (USARC), a USA Track & Field road series, features USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The twelfth edition for the men and eleventh for the women, the 2006 circuit has eight events for men and seven events for women.
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 a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000, and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships will be doubled.
The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $4 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.
For more information on the 2006 USARC and USA 25 km Championships visit www.usatf.org.