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Posted: May 10, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Torrence, Rowbury Win Inaugural USA Road Mile Titles

With sub-4 minute mile, Torrence nabs $10,000 time bonus

By Charlie Mahler, Running USA wire

MINNEAPOLIS - (May 7, 2009) - For one night at least, David Torrence was the happiest man in Minnesota.

The Oakland, Calif. resident sneaked by UCLA alum Jon Rankin to win the inaugural USA Road Mile Championship, held in conjunction with the 5th Medtronic Twin Cities 1 Mile on Thursday evening, and earned a $10,000 bonus for breaking four-minutes along with the $4000 champion's check.

Torrence, 23, topped 3:59.3 for the win, while Rankin ran 4:01.7 as national runner-up.

Olympic 1500 meter finalist Shannon Rowbury of San Francisco won the women's race, outlasting Mammoth Track Club's Sara Hall with a 4:33.4 mark. The Duke grad, however, missed the women's time bonus for a sub-4:28 performance.

Hall clocked 4:39.1 for second.

Summer-like weather with a slight headwind breeze greeted the nearly 3,000 participants competing in eight separate waves of the TC 1 Mile, run on downtown Minneapolis' Nicollet Mall. Cheer zones set up at the numerous restaurants and bars that line the route created a festive racing environment.

Torrence, the USA Indoor champion at 3000 meters this winter, didn't put himself in position to join the celebration until the race's final blocks. Finding Rankin's early pace - 58 seconds at 400 meters, 1:57 at halfway - too rich, he chased from well off the pace for the first half of the race.

In the final 400 meters, though, as Rankin ran wide on the course's single gentle turn, Torrence hustled by him along the curb and dug for the finish line and the five-figure bonus.

"I just stayed patient, bided my time," an elated Torrence said at the finish. "My experience in the downhill kind of came through in the end. I pulled through - I have no idea what happened those last 100 meters. All I heard was screaming."

At the pre-race media conference, lauding the rich time bonus, Torrence said he hoped whoever broke 4:00 would buy a round for the rest of the field.

"No worries," he said when reminded of the request, "I'm getting all these guys!"

Rowbury, 24, was in control of the women's race throughout, but a 70 second split for the second 400 - after an opening 64 - likely put the big payday out of reach.

"I think what may have happened was the split was a little quick at [400] and then I settled thinking, I'd run a 64, I don't want to push it too hard," explained Rowbury who like Torrence won her first USA road crown. "It probably happened right there."

The efficiently powerful multi-national champion pulled away from Hall, who had marked her from the start, in the final 400 meters.

"I had a lot at the end, but I didn't see the clock until it was too late," Rowbury said. "I ran the race the way I wanted to, I picked it up when I wanted to, I just was a little bit off because I didn't know the times."

Video highlights of the USA 1 Mile Road Championships and pre- and post-race video interviews with top athletes are available in cooperation with

5th Medtronic TC 1 Mile: Inaugural USA Road Championship
Minneapolis, MN, Thursday, May 7, 2009

1) David Torrence (CA), 3:59.3, $14,000*
2) Jon Rankin (CA), 4:01.7, $2500
3) Bobby Curtis (PA), 4:02.0, $1500
4) Darren Brown (TX), 4:08.0, $800
5) Jordan Fife (IN), 4:08.6, $500
6) Tommy Schmitz (WI), 4:09.6, $325
7) John Richardson (KY), 4:10.1, $150
8) Kyle Alcorn (CA), 4:11.0, $100
9) Adrian Myers (IN), 4:17.7, $75
10) Ryan Kleimenhagen (WI), 4:20.2, $50
*includes $10,000 bonus for breaking 4 minutes

1) Shannon Rowbury (CA), 4:33.4, $4000
2) Sara Hall (CA), 4:39.1, $2500
3) Sara Vaughn (CO), 4:41.3, $1500
4) Racheal Marchand (IA), 4:42.4, $800
5) Meghan Armstrong (MN), 4:42.5, $500
6) Ann Detmer (WI) 4:43.8, $325
7) Mason Cathey (IN), 4:45.6, $150
8) Carrie Tollefson (MN), 4:46.9, $100
9) Colleen Newhart (IL), 5:07.1, $75
10) Angee Henry (NE), 5:31.1, $50

For complete race results, go to

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