Trafeh runs away from men's field, McGregor wins women's title at USA
Associate Director of LDR and Marketing
USA Track & Field
JACKSONVILLE - Mohamed Trafeh (Duarte, Calif.)took control from the gun to win his first ever U.S. title, running 42 minutes, 57 seconds Saturday at the USA 15 km Championships in Jacksonville, Florida. After finishing as runner-up the previous two years, Katie McGregor (Saint Louis Park, Minn.)easilytook the Women's title in 49:50.
With this year's race once again featuring the Equalizer Bonus, the elite women's race started five minutes before the rest of the field. At the start, clear, cool conditions met more than 13,000 runners as McGregor and two-time champion Jen Rhines (Mammoth, Calif.), 2006 champion Blake Russell (Monterey, Calif.), 2008 Olympian Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.) and 2004 Olympian Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.) led more than 45 of the top U.S. women through the opening miles.
By five miles, McGregor and Rhines had pulled away from the field and were in a two woman race for the championship. Approaching six miles, McGregor made her move and began to pull away from Rhines.
As she made her way up the famous Hart Bridge, McGregor steadily extended her lead and cruised to the finish 36 seconds ahead of Rhines. Boulet held on to take third in 50:38 as De Reuck took fourth in 50:50 and Rebecca Donaghue (State College, Pa.) finished fifth in 51:12.
In the men's race, Trafeh jumped to an early lead, building a 10 second lead by the time he passed the first mile in 4:22. As his lead grew with each mile, Trafeh had only McGregor to chase for the Equalizer Bonus.
Shortly after passing 10 km in 28:19, Trafeh passed the lead women to cruise to a 54 second win over Tim Nelson (Corvallis, Ore.). 2010 USA Half Marathon champion Antonio Vega (Minneapolis, Minn.) took third in 43:55 while his Team USA Minnesota teammate Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.) finished fourth in 43:59. Sean Quigley (Braintree, Mass.) rounded out the top-five in 44:05.
2010 marked the 17th year that the championships have been hosted by the Gate River Run and featured a total prize purse of $58,000, with Trafeh and McGregor each earning $12,000 for their championship titles.
Trafeh also earned the Equalizer Bonus of $5,000 for being the first male or female to cross the finish line. The 5 minute "head start" was based on the time differential of the U.S. 15 km records: 42:22 for the men (Todd Williams, 1995) and 47:15 for the women (Deena Drossin, 2003), both set on the Gate River Run course.
Video highlights of the USA 15 km Championships and pre- and post-race video interviews with top athletes are available at www.usatf.org in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com.
About the USARC
The USA 15 km Championships were the second stop on the 2010 USA Running Circuit (USARC). The 2010 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from one mile to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners.
The circuit features ten events each for men and women.
The 2010 USARC will once again see a record amount of circuit prize money for a non-Olympic year with total prize purse of $623,850 offered by host events. U.S. athletes will also have the opportunity to qualify for various Team USA events, including the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and the Chiba International Ekiden.
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 ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) 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 $6 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.
For more information on the 2010 USA 15 km Championships visit www.usatf.org.