RESULTS: AJC Peachtree Road Race and USA 10K Championship 2014
Jul 4, 2014
LANDRY, HASTINGS WIN AJC PEACHTREE ROAD RACE AND USA 10-K TITLES By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. ATLANTA, GA (04-Jul) -- Christo Landry and Amy Hastings prevailed victorious here at the 45th annual Atlanta Journal Constitution Peachtree Road Race, breaking the tape in personal bests of 28:25 and 32:16, respectively. With their wins, both claimed USA national titles for 10-K at the largest fully-timed road race in America. LANDRY EARNS THIRD NATIONAL CROWN OF 2014 At Wednesday's AJC Peachtree Road Race press conference, Christo Landry described how he thought today's race would play out. "I think it's going to be quite a large pack of at least five or six people going into that last mile, making that last turn on, I think, 10th Street going into the final kick down that hill. Anything can happen then," he said, speaking exclusively to Race Results Weekly. Landry's vision turned out to be pretty accurate, concluding with an exciting duel down 10th Street. Through a pedestrian opening mile in 4:41, Oklahoma State alum Girma Mecheso decided to make the race a bit more honest, surging from the very large pack of roughly 25. Meters behind, a chase group of Landry, Tyler Pennel, Aaron Braun, Shadrack Biwott, and Jake Riley quickly assembled. As Mecheso began the arduous climb up Cardiac Hill at three miles, the wheels began to fall off. Led by Pennel, the chase pack quickly swarmed Mecheso, spitting him out the back in mere seconds. He'd wind up finishing 13th. "We kind of hit the hill and everyone slowed down, and I felt great! I was just going to keep running this pace," said Pennel, 26. By the time Pennel crested Cardiac Hill, it was down to three: himself, Landry, and Braun. Of the trio, Pennel looked to be straining the least. The ZAP Fitness Elite team member powered up and down the remaining hills. Stoic in form, his arms tucked close to his chest and eyes focused on the road ahead, Pennel desperately wanted to win his first national title here on the Fourth of July, Independence Day in America. "I kept thinking, 'Let's do it here, let's do it here.' It's a great field to run against," he said, sporting a red, white, and blue dyed rat tail haircut. In the final mile, Pennel and Landry battled stride for stride, dropping Braun in the process. Taking the final turn on 10th Street together, the winner would be decided by a final kick -- just as Landry had predicted two days prior. For the first time all race, Landry moved into the lead with roughly 400 meters remaining, using the downhill stretch to his advantage. Although he wasn't confident in his kick on Wednesday, the College of William & Mary alum turned into high gear without a problem. By the finish Landry had gapped Pennel by five seconds, 28:25 to 28:30. The victory was Landry's third at a U.S. national road racing championships this year. "To be able to win on July 4 in an American-only race and be the first American winner since the 1990's, that's something pretty special and I'm glad I was able to come down for it," said Landry. This year, the race suspended it's international elite field in order to showcase the USA Championships (it is not necessarily a permanent change, organizers said). The last American to win the AJC Peachtree Road Race had been Ed Eyestone in 1991. "This is one of the top class road races in the Unites States and I'm sure in the world. It's just a privilege to win this race," Landry added. With the victory, Landry earned $15,000 and extended his lead in the USA Running Circuit standings. "There's no reason to stop now!" he said, hinting at title number four at the USA 7 Mile Championships, hosted by the Quad-City Times Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa, on July 26. Behind Landry and Pennel, Biwott outkicked Braun for third (both timing 28:52), while Riley was fifth in 29:07. A surprising sixth went to Stephen Pifer, 29:10 his time. Two-time Olympian Ryan Hall, who was off the lead pack after the opening mile, dropped out mid-race. His wife, Sara, told Race Results Weekly he had been dealing with hamstring issues recently, the same hamstring that forced him to drop out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London. "I think that maybe was bugging him," she said, adding that his training had been good in the days prior to today's race. "It's the same Olympics hamstring that re-emerges every once in a while, just kind of one of those Achilles heels for him." HASTINGS CONVINCINGLY WINS FIRST USA 10-K TITLE At the AJC Peachtree Road Race pre-race dinner on Thursday evening, Amy Hastings told a crowd of about 300 that she was eager and ready to traverse the hilly 6.2 mile course here, hoping to win her first USA 10-K national title. Racing her third 10-K or 10,000m contest in 21 days, the 30-year-old came in confident and with a plan in mind. "Three 10-K's is nothing compared to the marathon," she joked yesterday. Indeed, Hastings would conquer the challenge, winning the women's contest in a personal best of 32:16. Although she'd never run this race before, Hastings was well aware of the course's daunting profile: multiple hills with the hardest of all --Cardiac Hill-- climbing 123 feet (38m) between miles three and four. Letting Rachel Ward lead early, including the opening parts of Cardiac Hill, Hastings bided her time before making a decisive move at the hill's crest. Taking off and not letting up, Hastings sped away from chasers Ward and Sara Hall. However, the 2012 Olympian was nervous someone would catch her before the downhill charge towards Piedmont Park. "I knew I wanted to push it on the hills," she said. "I was able to pull away on the downhill, and after that it was just kind of running scared because I knew there were some pretty incredible women behind me and I didn't want to leave it to the very end." Neither Hall nor any of the other elite women would catch her, as Hastings broke the tape first, twelve seconds up on Hall (32:28) and third-placer Ward (32:36). "It feels incredible. It's always amazing to represent your country and go out there and run for the US," Hastings told reporters, an American flag draped across her shoulders. "But to do it and win on the Fourth of July, it feels even better. Happy Fourth to everyone!" Hastings said the win was extra meaningful considering some of her relatives are from the area. She will now turn her focus to marathon training, planning to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 12. Kellyn Johnson (32:49) and new B.A.A. High Performance team member Juliet Bottorff (32:55) rounded out the top five (it was Bottorff's professional road racing debut). Jen Rhines, who turned 40 on July 1, was seventh in 33:04 and the first masters finisher. Olympian Desiree Linden wound up 18th 33:40.
WILSON CLAIMS FAST WOMEN'S 800m TO CONCLUDE USA CHAMPIONSHIPS By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom and David Monti @d9Monti (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. SACRAMENTO (29-Jun) -- The 2014 USA National Championships came to a fast conclusion here at Hornet Stadium, as three women dipped under the two-minute barrier for 800m, led by 20-year-old Ajee' Wilson. The Neptune, N.J., native claimed her first national outdoor crown with a time of 1:58.70, separating from recent University of Oregon graduate Laura Roesler in the final stretch. Taking the lead from the start was Saucony's Molly Beckwith, who brought the field through a fast opening 400 meters in 57.75 seconds. Trailing Beckwith was IAAF World Championships bronze medalist Brenda Martinez, with Wilson a step behind. Sitting back in fifth was Roesler, the 800m NCAA Champion both indoors and out. "I wanted to run fast," Beckwith told reporters. "I wanted them, if they were going to beat me, I wanted to run under two minutes." Hearing the opening 400 meter split, Wilson was a surprised and a bit nervous. Yet, showing the acuity of an experienced racer, she quickly reassured herself. "I'm like, 'OK, don't think about that, just go. You've got the strength, you've got the endurance for it, you've been working really hard on being able to come through and still keep going,'" said Wilson. "I just tuned out the time and decided to keep going." Moving into the lead with 300 meters to go, Wilson made her claim for the win with authority. As soon as she went to the front, Roesler began a move of her own, surging from fifth to second in the span of 200 meters. Rounding the final bend, Wilson was ready to unleash the same finishing kick that earned her titles at both the 2013 and 2014 USA Indoor Championships. Although Roesler put up a good fight, it was no match for Wilson's final gear, as the Temple University student powered home in 1:58.70. Roesler finished strong in second, breaking 2:00 for the first time with a 1:59.04 mark. "I knew most of the girls in the race had a strong kick, but I used the big screen and looked up," said Wilson, referring to Hornet Stadium's video board. "I was peeking up and seeing how close people were. Yeah, luckily that was right there!" For Roesler, the sub-2:00 clocking was very meaningful. She has not yet signed with a shoe company, though has partnered with Pace Sports Management, an athlete representation group led by Ricky Simms. Running 1:59.04 will likely open up more doors for potential endorsements and entries into European meets. "I was pretty sure that no matter the race, I was going to run under two minutes today," she said. "This race might have thrown a little bit of a wrench in my plans in a good way. I'll just have to see." Passing Brenda Martinez with less than 100 meters to go was Beckwith and Maggie Vessey, who finished third (1:59.04) and fourth (2:00.17), respectively. Martinez would come across fifth in 2:00.18. "The girls are just tough. I just didn't have it the last 100," said Martinez, visibly frustrated and disappointed. "They just went around us and had more." SOLOMON REPEATS AS MEN'S 800M CHAMPION
Jun 29, 2014
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NEW FATHER BEN BRUCE WINS STEEPLECHASE HEAT FOR SON RILEY By Chris Lotsbom; @ChrisLotsbom (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. SACRAMENTO (28-Jun) -- Ben Bruce had extra motivation racing down the final stretch of Friday's 3000m steeplechase preliminary at the USA National Championships hear at Hornet Stadium. Clearing the final water pit and pulling away from Dan Huling, Bruce began to celebrate in style, interlocking his hands and bringing them side to side before finishing in 8:39.44. To the casual observer, the gesture may have raised an eyebrow. To those are familiar with Bruce and his wife, Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, it was a symbol of family love and pride. Ben was symbolically rocking a baby. Bruce, 31, made the rocking motion --then blew a kiss to the sky-- in honor of Riley Bruce, Ben's two week old son. On June 14, Stephanie gave birth to Riley, a healthy nine pound baby boy. Since then, the couple have been on cloud nine, frequently Instagramming pictures of the happy family. "It was amazing. It was a long, wearing night, all night long," Bruce recalled, the emotional joy of becoming a father in his voice. "Steph was pushing for five hours and it just gets your heart going because you can't help her. She's in pain. Once you see him come out it's amazing, just to hear him cry. It's great." Rothstein Bruce, also a professional runner, could not make this weekend's championships. Knowing that his wife and son would be watching, Ben wanted to make his first race as a father a memorable one. Bruce pushed the pace from the beginning before Huling, a member of the Bowerman Track Club, pulled into the lead. Over the final water barrier, Bruce appeared to say something to Huling, who turned his head twice in response. "I came over the last 100 [meters] and I said to Dan, I said 'I want to take this one for my son,'" recalled Bruce. That he did, pulling away after hurdling the final barrier. "Regardless of how the final goes, at least that was great to come back after becoming a father two weeks ago and race well... I guess it's something I can look back on. I'm just glad things felt OK out there." Interestingly, Friday's race was Bruce's first steeplechase since last year's USA Championships final, where he finished seventh in 8:36.82. Having transitioned primarily to road racing in the last twelve months --at least, in part, for financial reasons-- Bruce has moved farther and farther away from the oval. He won the Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon on June 1 (2:23:50), and his only steeplechase workout of 2014 came just last week. "First race as a father, I just wanted to get out there and compete," he said. "I've been doing this a long time, so some days you feel terrible and you can run well, and some days you feel great and do bad. I got through it." Bruce hopes his second race as a dad turns out like the first: with a win. It'll be very tough, considering the field of finalists includes Huling, American record holder Evan Jager and Olympic finalist Donn Cabral. "Jager and Huling are running really well right now, it's clear. You'd have to be a fool not to call them the favorites," he said. Though in the steeplechase, Bruce quickly added, anything can happen, especially considering forecasts call for a temperature of 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34C) during Sunday's final. "It's kind of wide open when it's hot and it's windy. Some people crack, some people have bad days. I'll just go out in the final and finish as high up as I can. Of course, he'll have two very special fans cheering from home in Flagstaff, Ariz. "Steph and Riley couldn't make it out here for this race, but we'll be traveling with that guy all over the world and country so he can see his parents race," he said with a beaming smile.
Jun 28, 2014
LAGAT GETS RECORD SEVENTH USA 5000M TITLE By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. SACRAMENTO (27-Jun) -- Another year, another national track title for Bernard Lagat. The 39-year-old from Tucson, Ariz., executed his patented finishing kick to perfection here at Hornet Stadium, biding his time and surging with a half lap to go in the men's 5000m. Firing on all cylinders down the homestretch, Lagat claimed a record seventh national crown in the discipline in 13:31.41. "It feels so good, man. I came over here, I've been training really well," said a smiling Lagat with son Miika by his side. "I was confident coming here, I was happy how the race went." From the start, it was clear the 5000m would be a game of strategy. Zap Fitness's Tyler Pennel led the field of 17 through one kilometer in 2:48.82, with Nike Oregon Track Club's Hassan Mead taking the front in the middle mile. At 3000m (8:19.69), all of the contenders were lined up awaiting the signal to go. Lap after lap Lagat stayed tucked comfortably in fourth, not worrying about the jostling in front or behind. "I knew this was going to be a tactical race, honestly. With the way it happened, I am comfortable with that kind of race. All I had to do was just watch where everybody is, try and stay out of trouble, and follow for a long time," he said, showing the wisdom of an experienced championship racer. "I ran a good race. Followed the guys and felt really good going into that last 800 meters." Bowerman Track Club's Andrew Bumbalough threw in a surge 600 meters from the finish, shaking things up and beginning the chase for home. Clear on his mind was Lagat's lethal speed, a cobra ready to pounce. "I always knew he was coming," said Bumbalough, who led entering the bell lap. "You run a little scared the last 200 meters." Lagat would swing wide in the final turn, overtaking Bumbalough and opening his stride all the way down the straightaway, capping a 54.8 second final lap. He is the winningest 5000m runner in American championships history, surpassing Greg Rice (six titles between 1938 and 1943). "Wait, wait, wait, because I always lose that patience," Lagat said with a laugh, explaining his thought process over the final circuit. "Just wait until it's the end." Bumbalough held on for second in 13:32.01, with Mead (13:32.42), Ryan Hill (13:32.82) and David Torrence (13:34.95) rounding out the top five. "It's a little bit, I guess, devastating," said Bumbalough when asked to describe Lagat's finish. "At the same time you've got to re-group and know there's others charging too and you better be willing to hold them off." # # # # # Reigning 800m champion Duane Solomon executed his pre-race strategy to perfection, winning the opening 800m semi-final in 1:45.61. Going out hard in 50.8 for 400 meters, Solomon was able to lead wire to wire, ultimately cruising through the line just ahead of Casimir Loxsom (1:45.80). With a hard charge, Robby Andrews went from third to last on the backstretch to third overall at the line, securing an automatic birth for Sunday's final in 1:46.47. "I'm happy with how I ran. These guys are good, but I'm just as good," said Andrews. When asked about battling fellow New Jersey/New York Track Club members Michael Rutt (fourth, 1:46.76), Brian Gagnon (fifth, 1:47.04) and Ben Scheetz (sixth, 1:47.09), Andrews was frank. "We're really good friends but, unfortunately, there are no friends on the track. We all train together every day, we all live together, we all respect each other a lot. But, at the end of the day, it's my job too. It's every man for himself." The second 800m semi-final proved to be exciting and filled with drama. In the span of 100 meters down the backstretch, Oregon Track Club Elite's Elijah Greer went from seventh to tied for first, battling with fellow Nike athlete Erik Sowinski out front. The pair continued to duel down the final straight as three others --Nick Hartle, Charles Jock, and Ryan Martin-- fought for the final two automatic qualifying positions. It was in the final meter that Hartle, a student-athlete at UCLA, reached out his arms trying to create a narrow path in which to assure his spot in the final. Making contact with Greer and Sowinski, Hartle appeared to grab the pair's vests and pull backwards. "I knew that it was going to be close and I didn't have position to go around the guys, so I just wanted to make sure I got to the line. I put my hands on Greer and Sowinski but I don't think it was excessive contact," explained Hartle. Despite the grab, Greer and Sowinski held on for first, 1:47.50 and 1:47.54 their times. Hartle crossed in third, but was later disqualified. Jock (1:47.58) and Martin (1:47.65) wound up third and fourth, both advancing on to the final. # # # # # Seeking his third consecutive 3000m steeplechase title, Evan Jager ran well within himself to win the first of two sections, finishing in 8:34.45. Sporting a red Bowerman Track Club vest, Jager finished ahead of fellow 2012 Olympian and early leader Donn Cabral, second in 8:34.77. Rounding out the top three was Cory Leslie (8:35.33). "We're going to have some guys at the front of the pack I think. It's not going to be easy," said Jager, describing the depth in the discipline this year. "It'll be really hot so it might not be fast, but it's not going to be easy [to retain the title]." For Sunday afternoon's final, temperatures are expected to be around 93 degrees, according to Weather.com. Racing in his first steeplechase since last year's USA Championships final, Ben Bruce claimed the second section in 8:39.44. Bruce became a father on June 14, as wife Stephanie Rothstein Bruce gave birth to the couple's first child, nine-pound Riley. "I came over the last 100 and I said to Dan [Huling, the eventual runner-up], I said 'I want to take this one for my son.' Regardless of how the final goes, at least that was great to come back after becoming a father two weeks ago and race well," Bruce said. On Saturday, finals of the women's 3000m steeplechase and men's 1500m will be held.
HUDDLE EDGES ROWBURY IN USA 5000M FINAL By David Monti, @d9monti (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. SACRAMENTO (27-Jun) -- With two laps remaining in the women's 5000m final at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium here tonight, Molly Huddle was nervous. The American record holder for the distance was leading Shannon Rowbury by only half a step, and knew that Rowbury --a two-time national 1500m champion-- had the edge on her in closing speed.
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Jun 27, 2014
KIM CONLEY THRILLS HOMETOWN CROWD WITH FIRST NATIONAL TITLE By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. SACRAMENTO (26-Jun) -- There's no place Kim Conley would've rather won her first national title than here at Hornet Stadium. In front of hundreds of family, friends, and supporters, the 28-year-old California native surged in the final 200 meters of the women's 10,000m, re-taking the lead and propelling herself to an emotional victory.
RUPP WINS RECORD SIXTH USA 10,000M TITLE By David Monti, @d9monti (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly all rights reserved. Used with permission. SACRAMENTO (26-Jun) -- Galen Rupp ran into the history books here tonight at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hornet Stadium, winning a record sixth national 10,000m title in 28:12.07. Coming into today's competition, he was tied with Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter with five titles each. Rupp, 28, the 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist, ran a methodical race. In the early laps he stayed tucked in the pack and let the kilometers tick away at a gentle pace, conserving his energy. He has his eyes on running a fast time at the Paris Diamond League 5000m July 5, and wants to have fresh legs for that race. "You know, I was trying to run as easy as possible," Rupp told reporters after the race. "I'm still planning on running Paris, so I didn't want to make it any harder than it needed to be." Rupp got his biggest challenge from two-time national cross country champion, Chris Derrick. With six laps to go, Derrick and Rupp pulled away from the field, and Rupp shadowed the former Stanford star, always staying half a step behind. Lap times fell to the 65-second range, but Derrick knew what was coming. "The closer you get to the finish line the more demoralizing it gets," Derrick lamented. Rupp didn't take the lead until there were 500 meters to go. He accelerated away from Derrick, capping the race in with a 60.4-second final lap. He would win by six seconds. "My whole plan all along was just to sit back and then go hard with a lap to go," Rupp said. Because Rupp has an Olympic medal, owns the USA 10,000m record (26:44.36), and three of the four fastest times ever by an American, tonight's sixth national title cements his position as America's best-ever 10,000m runner. He credited steady coaching throughout his entire career from Alberto Salazar for much of his success. "I think consistency in training is obviously the biggest reason why I'm at where I'm at today," Rupp observed. "Alberto talks about a long-term plan. His gradual progression in training --not loading my mileage up too early in my career, and not giving me too intensive workouts early in my career-- constantly building on that year after year has been tremendous." Rupp also said that he wasn't distracted by the fact his wife, Keara, is expecting twins any day now. "I talked to her beforehand and she said, 'don't worry, everything's good.' She's doing fine, she's doing great. Everything's normal with her." Derrick was timed in 28:18.18, and marathoner Ryan Vail finished third in 28:26.02, closing in a superb 58.1 seconds, two seconds faster than Rupp. "I feel good," said Vail who ran a personal best 2:10:57 at the Virgin Money London Marathon last April. "I'm in better shape than I thought I was coming off the marathon. It's amazing how fast it comes back when you have that base training." * * * * * * In preliminary action here today on the men's side, sit and kick affairs played out in the pair of heats for the men's 1500m. In section one, Oregon Track Club Elite's Pat Casey surged down the stretch to win in 3:44.41. Behind him, former football player and current New Jersey-New York Track Club athlete Ford Palmer charged past the rest of the field to finish second in 3:44.73. Palmer, who once weighed 185 pounds and gave up football due to concussions, attended Monmouth University before joining the New Jersey-New York Track Club this year under coach Frank Gagliano. Palmer said he used his underdog status as motivation to beat established players today like Garrett Heath and David Torrence. "To be honest, nobody knows who I am. I had no pressure coming into this race," said Palmer, who bares a resemblance to professional football quarterback Carson Palmer. "Although I've been running really well all year, nobody saw me coming. That's fine. Now they're going to see me coming Saturday." Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano relied on his sprint speed in heat two, timing 3:42.01 ahead of Lopez Lomong (3:42.32) and Will Leer (3:42.37). Leer, who was very vocal at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, spoke briefly about his decision to compete at this week's meet. Several other middle distance athletes who had been running well decided to skip the meet, including Matthew Centrowitz and Jordan McNamara. "Everyone had different reasons not to show up. I'm a little surprised I'm here myself. That's all I'm going to say about that right now. I don't want to get kicked out of the final," he said. Duane Solomon (1:47.19), Elijah Greer (1:47.29), and Michael Rutt (1:47.34) were the top three qualifiers in the men's 800m preliminary round.
34 WEEKS PREGNANT, MONTANO COMPETES AT USA CHAMPIONSHIPS By David Monti, @d9monti (c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. SACRAMENTO (26-Jun) -- Alysia Montano's streak of USA 800m titles was snapped today at four, but the 28 year-old from Canyon Country, Calif., couldn't be happier. In fact, she got a standing ovation from the small afternoon crowd gathered here at Hornet Stadium at Sacramento State University after she crossed the finish line of her preliminary dead last in 2:32.13.
Jun 26, 2014
The crew here at Flotrack has spent the last few days hoping to get you ready for the 2014 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, CA. Don't put away that bald eagle t-shirt that you used to cheer on Team USA during the World Cup just yet. The 2014 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships is here. Below are the links to the content to have you ready for #USAoutdoors:
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