In his second road race, Matt Tegenkamp won the USA 20k championships, with a charge 650 meters from the finish, winning by 18 seconds. Renee Metevier Baillie takes the women’s 20k title, after recovering from achilles surgery.
TEGENKAMP AND BAILLIE
NEW HAVEN (USA, Sep 3): Eight kilometers into USA 20-K road running championships, hosted by the Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race, pre-race favorite Matt Tegenkamp was running in a big pack with the other top contenders including Tim Nelson, Brent Vaughn, Sean Quigley and Andrew Carlson. The problem was that he was 20 seconds behind former University of Oregon star Luke Puskedra who had just crossed that checkpoint in a swift 23:10, on his way to a 28:34 10-K split. Tegenkamp’s move–which actually came with 650 meters to go–was so powerful that he managed to gain 18 seconds to the finish line, clocking a championships record 58:30 in the longest race of his career. Second Puskedra got 58:48. It was second USA road racing title for Tegenkamp (he also won the 5-K in 2009) and he found the distance challenging. Three Kenyan-born athletes–Augustus Maiyo, Joseph Chirlee and Robert Cheseret–took the third, fourth and fifth places, respectively in 59:39, 59:54 and 1:00:00. Sean Quigley, who won the title in 2010, took sixth in 1:00:02. The women’s contest also came down to two athletes, Renee Metevier Baillie and Molly Pritz, both of whom are training for fall marathons. Baillie, 30, who’s only other national title was at 3000m indoors in 2005, said she felt strong despite having surgery on her right Achilles earlier this year. She simply outlasted Pritz over the final kilometers to get the win in 1:07:08 to Pritz’s 1:07:21. Like Tegenkamp, she won 9000 USD in prize money. Informs Race Results Weekly.