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Posted: March 11, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: USA 15-K Championships On Tap For Saturday

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

The 32nd edition of the Gate River Run will take place on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., and will serve as the USA 15 km championships for both men and women for the 16th time. A prize money purse of $58,000 is on the line, and eight Olympians have committed to the race, USA Track & Field reported.

Defending champion Andrew Carlson leads the men's field. In extremely winding conditions last year, Carlson won by nine seconds over Dan Browne, 44:12 to 44:21. He pocketed the $12,000 first prize plus an additional $5,000 "equalizer" bonus for getting to the finish line ahead of Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor who, with the other elite women, had a five minute head start.

"I'm from North Dakota so I'm used to wind," Carlson said after the race.

Carlson's key challengers will be Olympians Jorge Torres, Ian Dobson, Anthony Famiglietti and Dan Browne, who won this championship back in 2000. Other top athletes include Tim Nelson, Ed Moran, Fernando Cabada and Jason Lehmkuhle.

Olympian Amy Yoder Begley, the recently crowned USA indoor 3000m champion, leads the women's field. Her most significant rivals should be Olympians Elva Dryer and Amy Rudolph, plus former USA 10,000m champion Katie McGregor and the reigning USA cross country champion Emily Brown. Forty-four year-old Olympian Colleen De Reuck is also in the field.

The Gate River Run is part of the USA Road Circuit (USARC). The first ten USA 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 a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships will be doubled.

NOTE: You can see a complete list of champions from this race at this link:

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