NEW HAVEN, Conn. - 2004 Olympian Dan Browne (Portland, Ore.) returned to New Haven for the first time since 2003 to lead the men's field at the 2007 USA 20 km Championships, winning his third title (2001, 2002) at that distance today in 59:15. Two-time NCAA 10,000 meter champion Alicia Shay, formerly Craig (Flagstaff, Ariz.), claimed her first USA women's title in 1:06:56. The race was hosted by the 30th annual Stratton Faxon New Haven 20K.
A group of about 12 men cruised through the first 10 km in 30:10 before Browne, Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.), James Carney (Boulder, Colo.) and Ryan Sheehan (Rochester Hills, Mich.) made their break from the pack with a 4:31 mile.
Shortly after eight miles, Sheehan fell off the pace while Browne, Carney and Lehmkuhle each took their shot at breaking away. As the trio passed 11 miles, Browne made one more move, covering the 12th mile in 4:31 and bringing him to the finish 19 seconds up on Carney (59:38). Lehmkuhle finished third in 59:42, with Sheehan and Ryan Shay (Flagstaff, Ariz.) rounding out the top five in 1:00:33 and 1:01:21 respectively.
In the women's race, Shay, Kate O'Neill (Milton, Mass.) and Elva Dryer (Gunnison, Colo.) ran together through four miles when O' Neill and Dryer opened a small gap on Shay. Never letting the pair out of her sight, Shay rejoined them at six miles before droppinga sub-five minute mile to make her bid for the title.
At 11 miles, Dryer made an attempt to cut-down the 200 meter lead held by Shay, pulling away from O' Neill in the process, however, she would see her second consecutive year as runner-up, finishing 24 seconds behind Shay.
O' Neill held on to finish third in 1:08:04, while Tara Storage (Dayton, Ohio) finished fourth in 1:09:39 and Desiree Davila (Rochester Hills, Mich.) was fifth in 1:10:08.
In addition to nearly $40,000 in prize money, athletes were competing for a berth on the U.S. team that will compete at the IAAF World Road Running Championships in Udine, Italy on October 14. The Team USA squad for the championships will be named the week of September 10.
This marks the 15th year that the Stratton Faxon New Haven 20K has hosted the USA 20 km Championships for men and the seventh for women and was the fifth stop on the 2007 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 2007 USARC and USA 20 km Championships visit www.usatf.org.