Ben True was the men’s victor.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Janet Bawcom and Ben True emerged from deep fields to win the USA 15K Championships hosted by the Gate River Run on Saturday.
The USA 15K Championships are the second stop on the USA Running Circuit (USARC), which will conclude this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships. The top ten finishers from today’s race qualified to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
Bawcom jumped to the lead early in Saturday morning’s race with Alisha Williams and Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce on her heels. Mile by mile Bawcom wore down her competition, eventually pulling away to win her second consecutive USA 15k m championship in 49:44.
Williams took second in 50:01, while Rothstein-Bruce was third in 50:09.
“I am so excited to get another win,” Bawcom said. “For the first race in almost six months it was a good way to start, so I am excited.”
The women started 6 minutes and 35 seconds ahead of the men, with a $6,000 bonus going to the first man or woman to make it to the starting line. Bawcom made it to the line with 28 seconds to spare to claim the equalizer title over Men’s winner True.
On the men’s side, a pack of a dozen runners ran together through much of the race. Several athletes traded the lead, including notable front-runners True, Bobby Curtis, Ryan Vail, defending champion Mo Trafeh, Tim Ritchie, Sean Quigley and Christo Landy.
With only 800m remaining, True pulled away from the field to create a gap of two seconds as he crossed the line first in 43:38. Curtis was close behind in 43:40, and fellow Team USA cross country member Vail was third in 43:42. The top eight men finished within eight seconds of one another.
Today’s win marked True’s 4th USA Running Circuit Victory and puts him first in the 2013 USARC standings.
“I think a lot of people were waiting for Mo [Trafeh], the three time defending champion, and waiting for him to put his traditional move in, and I was just trying to stay in good position and counter that,” True said. “To be honest I kind of enjoy this racing a little more, especially with World Cross in two weeks.”