GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Brian Sell (Rochester Hills, Mich.) took his second USA 25 km crown while Katie McGregor (Minneapolis, Minn.) won the title in her debut at the distance at the USA 25 km Championships Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich. Sell's time of 1:14:48 was good for a second place finish in the open field, 23 seconds behind Julius Kibet (KEN) and was the fifth fastest time ever for a U.S. man. McGregor dominated both the open and U.S. women's fields running 1:25:53, also the fifth fastest performance ever for a U.S. woman.
The USA 25 km Championships, held in conjunction with the 30th Fifth Third River Bank Run for the 14th time since its inception started under partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 50's.
The opening mile saw Sell, defending champion Fernando Cabada (Bristol, Va.), Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Ryan Shay (Flagstaff, Ariz.) cruise by in five minutes. Shortly afterwards, Kibet and Simon Sawe (Albuquerque, N.M.) joined the leaders, dropping the pace to under 4:50 per mile.
As the lead pack followed the course along the Grand River, Sell, Kibet and Cabada each took short turns at the lead, pulling away from Lehmkuhle and Sawe. By nine miles, Sell and Kibet had shed Cabada who set the 25 km American Record here a year ago, and by 11 miles Kibet used a 4:38 mile to open a small lead on Sell which he would continue to extend to the finish.
Cabada held on for third overall and the championship runner-up position, running 1:16:51. Shay rounded out the third U.S. position in 1:17:22.
In the women's race, McGregor ran unchallenged from the first start, establishing herself as the dominant contender to the open and U.S. titles. Averaging 5:32 per mile on her own, the two-time USA 10 km road champion cruised to the win by 2:40 over Tatiana Chulakh of Russia.
Former NCAA 10,000 meter champion Alicia Craig (Flagstaff, Ariz.) took third overall to finish with runner-up honors in the championship, running 1:29:25. Michelle Lilienthal (Philadelphia, Pa.), filled the third U.S. spot in 1:29:52.
USA Running Circuit
The 2007 USA 25 km Championship was the fourth event in the 2007 edition of USA Track & Field's 2006 USA Running Circuit (USARC).
The 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 thirteenth edition for the men and twelfth for the women, the 2007 USARC has nine 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 2007 USA Women's Marathon Championship and the 2007 USARC, visit www.usatf.org.