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Defending Champion Tegenkamp Headlines USA 20 km Championships

INDIANAPOLIS – Defending champion and two-time Olympian Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore.), who currently sits atop of the men’s USA Running Circuit standings, leads the charge as the USARC resumes action at the USA 20 km Championships this Monday in New Haven, Connecticut, hosted by the Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race.

The USA 20 km Championships are the eighth stop on the USA Running Circuit, which concludes this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships on November 17 in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.

Tegenkamp returns to New Haven a year after winning the USA 20 km title, where he outran fellow Portland-based runner Luke Puskedra for the title. Tegenkamp enters Monday’s race coming off of a winning effort at the USA 10 km Championships in July, while looking to extend his two point lead (35-33) over second place Mo Trafeh (Duarte, Calif.) in the USARC standings.

Currently sitting fourth and fifth in the men’s USARC standings, Shadrack Biwott (Eugene, Ore.) and Josphat Boit (Fayetteville, Ark.) are both having excellent 2013 seasons. Biwott finished third at the USA 10 km Championships, as well as third at the USA Half-Marathon Championships. Showing such range, Biwott will certainly contend for the title.

Boit, who ranks a mere point behind Biwott in the standings, 20-19, enters Monday’s race coming off of a fifth-place effort at the USA Half-Marathon Championships and a runner-up finish at the USA 25 km Championships, where he edged Tegenkamp.

Not to be outdone, four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.) is entered and eyeing the title. Abdirahman currently sits eighth in the USARC standings with 17 points, but gave Tegenkamp a challenge at the USA 10 km Championships, where he finished second.

Two-time Boston Marathon top-five finisher Jason Hartmann (Boulder, Colo.) is entered as he tunes up for the ING New York City Marathon.

Veterans Ben Bruce (Flagstaff, Ariz.), Andrew Carlson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Sean Quigley (Boulder, Colo.), fourth place USA Half-Marathon Championships finisher Tim Ritchie (Brighton, Mass.), Patrick Rizzo (Boulder, Colo.) and Eliot Krause (Appleton, Wisc.) are also set to compete.

In the women’s race, Mattie Suver (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who currently sits second in the USARC standings, looks to win her first USARC race of the season. Suver finished in the top-five in four separate races this season, including a runner-up finish at the USA 25 km Championships and a fourth place finish at the USA 10 km Championships in July. She is down ten points to USARC leader Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (45-35), who is not racing in New Haven, so a top-three finish means she either ties or takes the lead.

Suver won’t be alone at the front; however, as Maegan Krifchin (Bellmore, N.Y.) and Alisha Williams (Colorado Springs, Colo.) should each chase the top spot.

Krifchin is coming off of a third place showing at the USA 10 km Championships, as well as a fifth place finish at the USA Half-Marathon Championships. Coming off of injury, Williams looks to regain her form of earlier in the season, which saw her run a 5,000m track best of 15:09, as well as a runner-up finish at the USA 15 km Championships.

Another runner to keep a close eye on, Kelly Brinkman (Bloomington, Minn.), who finished a surprise third at the USA Half-Marathon Championships in June, is back in action. The Minnesota native is poised to do well over the 20 km distance and is riding a wave of momentum from her performance in Duluth.

Also entered and looking for top-five finishes are Olympian Jen Rhines (Loughborough, U.K.), Delilah DiCresenzo (New York, N.Y.), Wendy Thomas (Windsor, Colo.), Laura Thweatt (Boulder, Colo.), Meghan Peyton (Richfield, Minn.) and Lindsey Scherf (High Falls, N.Y.).

Live Coverage
Live text updates of the USA 20 km Championships will be available at www.USARunningCircuit.com beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Video of the race, post-race interviews and photos will be available shortly after the race in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USARC.

About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA championships from one mile through the marathon, which will conclude this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships on November 17 in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships. More information on the season-ending race is available at www.NationalRoadRacingChampionships.US.

The USARC consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. 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 those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.

The mission of the USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.

Contributed by Scott Bush

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