PROVIDENCE, R.I. - U.S. Olympian Anthony Famiglietti (New York, N.Y.) and former NCAA All-American Sara Hall (Woodside, Calif.) each finished second in the Open division as they won their first USA road titles today at the USA 5 km Championships hosted by the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K in Providence, R.I.
Richard Kiplagat of Kenya was the overall men's champion running 13:49.9 to Famiglietti's 13:50.7, while Olga Kravtsova of Belarus successfully defended her open title, holding off Hall 15:40.0 to 15:40.6 respectively.
Warm, humid conditions met the field for the sixteenth annual race as it marked the fifth year that the CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K has hosted the USA 5 km Championships for men and the second for women.
An opening mile of 4:23 saw a field of nearly twenty men running in tight formation with Kiplagat and Famiglietti content to let Emmanuel Chamer and Patrick Cheruiyot of Kenya handle the early pacing duties. Also making their presence know to the lead pack were Fasil Bizuneh (Bristol, Va.); former USA Running Circuit champion Ryan Shay (East Jordan, Mich.) and former Georgetown University star Rod Koborsi (Washington, D.C.).
As the field slowed to 4:33 pace over the second mile, Bizuneh and Shay moved to the lead with Hansons-Brooks athlete Ryan Sheehan in tow before turning on to Canal Street at two and a half miles, where Famiglietti made his move to the front with only Kiplagat,Shay and Bizuneh able to maintain contact.
With about one kilometer to go Shay took his turn at the lead but is was short-lived as Bizuneh matched stride with him and Famiglietti and Kiplagat only a step behind. As the foursome turned onto Memorial Boulevard, Shay and Bizuneh looked to be poised to take the title but with about 600 meters remaining Kiplagat and Famiglietti began their duel to the finish leaving Bizuneh and Shay in their wake.
Kiplagat then opened a small gap on Famiglietti just before turning on to Francis Street to head to the finish. With less than 200 meters to go the pair climbed the only significant hill on the course as Famiglietti made one last push for the win but as the pair charged down the final slope to the finish Kiplagat managed to stay one step in front for the win.
Bizuneh held on for third overall and second American, running 13:55.7 and Shay finished fourth to wrap up the top three U.S. finishers in 13:58.8.
In the women's race, Kravtsova jumped to an early lead passing the mile in 4:42 with only Rose Kosgei of Kenya willing to go with her. Defending U.S. champion and hometown favorite Amy Rudolph led a chase pack that included Hall, Carrie Tollefson (St. Paul Minn.) and her Team USA Minnesota teammate Jenelle Deatherage (Minneapolis, Minn.).
As the leaders passed two miles in 9:45, the race for the overall title looked to be set between Kravtsova and Kosgei but Hall and Rudolph began to work together, reeling in Kosgei as she faded from the early pace.
As Rudolph and Hall crested the final hill just past three miles Hall began her kick to the finish, she produced a small lead over Rudolph to clinch the U.S. title never realizing that she was in striking distance of Kravtsova and the overall win. "I was so focused on being the first American that I didn't realize I was that close to her," said Team Running USA's Hall. "It would have been nice to catch her but I'm just happy to win the title."
Rudolph was timed in 15:41.6 for third overall and second U.S. Tollefson was fourth overall and rounded out the top-three Americans in 15:51.
The CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K featured $30,000 in championship prize money with $5,000 going to both Famiglietti and Hall for the U.S. championship plus and additional $2,000 each for their runner-up finishes. Kiplagat and Kravtsova each won $3,000 for the overall titles.
The CVS/pharmacy Downtown 5K was 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.