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Top 10 Highlights of the USARC Season...Thus Far

The USA Running Circuit (USARC) is back in action this coming Monday, Labor Day, as many of the top distance runners in the United States line up to take part in the USA 20 km Championships in New Haven, Connecticut.

As the latest USARC race approaches, we a look back at ten of the top highlights of the USARC season, thus far:

1. Mo Trafeh Sets 25 km American Record: A fast early pace and plenty of competition pushed Trafeh to the American record at the USA 25 km Championships. Trafeh pulled away over the final two miles of the race, crossing the finish victoriously in 1:14:18, three seconds better than Fernando Cabada’s record from 2006. Trafeh showed why he’s a true contender for this year’s USARC title, edging runner-up Josphat Boit by 16 seconds and Olympian Matt Tegenkamp by 25 seconds.

2. Janet Cherobon-Bawcom Breaks 10 Mile American Record: For the past few seasons, Cherobon-Bawcom proves time and again why she’s one of the best in the U.S., dominating fields on the roads. Early on in the USARC season, in Washington D.C., Cherobon-Bawcom set her first American record, breaking the 10 mile best at the USA 10 Mile Championships, where she beat the field by 32 seconds and set the new women’s only mark of 53:28.

3. Shalane Flanagan Trounces USA Cross Country Field: Flanagan beat fellow Olympian Kim Conley by 17 seconds in St. Louis at the USA Cross Country Championships in early February, but the victory was even more dominating than that. Flanagan ran away from the field early, pouring on the distance between herself and the rest of the field, crossing the line in 25:49, while Conley finished second in 26:06. Third place…Olympian Deena Kastor in 26:41. Flanagan showed she’s the best in the U.S. in any distance 8k and up until otherwise noted.

4. Ben True Victorious in Closest Race of the Season: In the closest men’s race of the season thus far, True pulled away in the final 400 meters at the USA 15 km Championships to cruise to victory, crossing the finish line in 43:38. This race was close throughout, with a pack of men running together until 800 meters to go. True, who at this point was beginning to show the form of his dominating 2013 season, pushed hard in the final stretch to edge Bobby Curtis by two seconds and fellow World Cross Country team member Ryan Vail by five seconds.

5. Mo Trafeh Bests Meb at USA Half Marathon Championships: It came down to the final half mile, the Olympic medalist Keflezighi against the freshly minted U.S. 25 km record holder Trafeh. In the end, Trafeh edged Meb by the narrowest of margins, 1:01:17-1:01:22, as Trafeh extended his USARC lead (at the time). Even more impressive, Trafeh finished over a minute up on third place.

6. Chris Derrick Wins First U.S. Title: You would think Derrick would have at least one national title prior to the USA Cross Country Championships this February, but in fact the former Stanford standout earned his first national crown with his decisive victory in St. Louis, besting Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein 35:38.6 - 35:44.1 over the 12k course, in what would be the lead up to Derrick’s tenth place finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and Team USA silver medal performance.

7. Adriana Nelson Edges Desi Davila Over Half Marathon: It was meant to be Davila’s triumphant return to racing, but instead Nelson got the best of the Hansons-Brooks runner, pushing to victory over the final mile in a 1:11:19 time at the USA Half Marathon Championships. Nelson ran great in what was one of the most memorable races of the season, besting Davila by seven seconds and upstart Kelly Brinkman of Minnesota by 14 seconds.

8. Kate Grace, Garrett Heath Impress at USA One Mile Champs: Leading into Drake Relays weekend, both Kate Grace and Garrett Heath were running strong. Both were dominating on the track and showing plenty of speed to use at the USA One Mile Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Against strong fields, both prevailed, as Grace won her first U.S. title in 4:43.02 over Sara Hall in 4:43.61 and three Olympians, while Heath edged Jeff See 4:02.79-4:02.91 and Olympian Leo Manzano (third).

9. Matt Tegenkamp Takes USARC Lead with 10 km Victory: It was a tall task, but Tegenkamp finally overtook Mo Trafeh in the USARC standings at the USA 10 km Championships with his 28:25-28:33 over fellow Olympian Abdi Abdirahman. As the USA 20 km Championships, where Tegenkamp is the defending champion, ramp up this coming Monday, Tegenkamp’s 10 km victory could very well be the turning point of the season at the top of the USARC leaderboard.

10. Dot McMahan Wins Closest Women’s Race: Two seconds. That’s all the distance between USA 25 km Championships victor Dot McMahan and runner-up Mattie Suver. McMahan used a furious kick to edge Suver, as both athletes continued their strong seasons. 

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1 comment(s)
Chris Nickinson
Oh man, no love for Janet beating the men to the finish line at the 15K?
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