Olympians headline USA 5 km Championships


Jim Estes
LDR Programs Manager
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - U.S. Olympians Anthony Famiglietti (New York, N.Y.) and Amy Rudolph (Providence, R.I.) lead the fields for this weekend's USA 5 km Championships hosted by the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K in Providence, R.I. Sunday's race will mark the fifth year that the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K has hosted the USA 5 km Championships for men and the second for women.

Famiglietti, a 2004 Olympian in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, will look to improve his runner-up finish at last year's championships to win his first USA road title but will be tested by a list of challengers that includes past USA road champions, former collegiate All-Americans and an American Record holder.

Famiglietti's most serious challenges will come from 25 km American Record holder Fernando Cabada (Bristol, Va.); Team USA Minnesota's Andrew Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.); and former Georgetown University star and Big East Conference 10,000 meter champion Rod Koborsi (Washington, D.C.).

While Famiglietti comes into the championships with the fastest 5,000 meters of the men's field at 13:24.47, Koborsi is close behind with a 13:26.65 personal best set earlier this summer. Carlson and Cabada are counting on their respective bests of 13:32.71 and 13:34.94 to keep them in the mix as well.

In the women's race, hometown favorite Rudolph is set to defend the title she won last year but not without challenges from runner-up Jenelle Deatherage (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and her Team USA Minnesota teammate Carrie Tollefson (St. Paul, Minn.).

The trio will also have to deal with heated competition from Sara Slattery (Lafayette, Colo.), who finished second to Rudolph at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 10,000 in June. Slattery brings a 5,000 best of 15:08.32, the season fastest in the U.S. field. Team Running USA athlete and two-time NCAA 5,000 meter runner-up Sara Hall (Woodside, Calif.) should also be in contention for the title, with a season best of 15:20.88.

The CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K features $30,000 in championship prize money with $5,000 going to the respective men's and women's U.S. champions. The event also offers prize money in the open division that features defending women's champion Olga Kravtsova of Belarus and men's champion Mohamed Amyn of Morocco.

The CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K is the sixth stop for men and the fifth for women on the 2006 USA Running Circuit (USARC). The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series that 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 20 km Championships visit www.usatf.org.