Carney, Asmerom lead Team USA to second at International Team Challenge
Mike Sandrock, Running USA wire
BOULDER, Colo. - (May 25, 2009) - Yesterday, James Carney celebrated his 31st birthday and then on Monday, Carney celebrated the nation's largest Memorial Day gathering by leading Team USA to a solid runner-up finish at the 12th International Team Challenge, part of the 31st Dick's Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER 10K.
Carney placed fourth overall in 29 minutes, 53 seconds, with teammate Bolota Asmerom one spot back. Fasil Bizuneh outsprinted Ethiopia's Gebo Berka on the stadium floor on the University of Colorado campus to place 15th, giving Team USA a total of 24 points. That earned the U.S. runners a three-way split of $27,500. Ethiopia, with 1-2 finishes by both its men and women, took both team titles.
Men's winner Tilahun Regassa, just 19, had only teammate Tadese Tola, winner of the Healthy Kidney 10K, and John Yuda of Tanzania for company after a 2 minute, 30 second opening kilometer. At the mile, passed in an incredible 4:10, Regassa was accelerating and looking like a middle distance runner.
"We hung back," said Carney, who along with Asmerom passed the mile in 4:27, "then we picked up the pieces when people shattered going into the neighborhoods. It worked out like we expected."
Regassa was 8:47 at two miles and looked to have a good shot at breaking Josphat Machuka's course and high altitude record of 27:52 from 1995. However, glancing over his shoulder several times down Folsom Street to the finish and smiling to the crowd, Regassa slowed climbing the final hill, finishing in 28:17, the third faster Boulder time ever.
The women's race was also fast in the early going, with the leaders passing the mile in sub-5 minutes, well under course record. Top Team USA finisher Tera Moody hung back in 5:18. "We went out way too fast," she said. "We wanted to be 5:30 (at the mile). I felt like I was jogging, and felt good until 4 miles. Mentally I was struggling after that. But the crowd was so loud at the end; winning some prize money helped."
The U.S. women earned $8000 as the fifth place team.
Up ahead, Ethiopia looked like it might take a 1-2-3 sweep, but ended up with a 1-2-6 team finish. Mamito Daska pulled away from teammate Teyba Erkesso to win in 32:48 to 33:02. Moody was the first U.S. runner, placing 14th in 35:43, followed by fellow Colorado residents Carrie Messner (16th, 35:52) and Alisha Williams (19th, 36:16).
"I have been racing a lot recently and would not have run today, except that it was for Team USA," said Messner, who, like Moody, is a graduate of University of Colorado. "The crowd was incredible. It was deafening."
Race director Cliff Bosley made some adjustment in the race program, with the Memorial Day celebration now coming after the finish of the professional races. The change worked to perfection. The Folsom Field football stadium was nearly full, and as if on cue, as the last note of the Star Spangled Banner sounded and the U.S. fighter jets passed overhead, thunder pealed in the darkening sky and rain began to fall.
"It was a bit of skill and a lot of luck," Bosley said afterwards. "It worked great."
As elite athlete coordinator Don Janicki put it, standing on the football stadium floor, "This is giving me goosebumps."
31st Dick's Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER 10K: 12th International Team Challenge
Boulder, CO, Monday, May 25, 2009
1) Tilahun Regassa (ETH), 28:17, $5750
2) Tadese Tola (ETH), 28:36, $3500
3) John Yuda, Tanzania (British Commonwealth), 29:16, $2500
4) James Carney (USA), 29:53, $2500
5) Bolota Asmerom (USA), 30:02, $1600
6) Gilbert Okari (KEN), 30:06, $700
7) Charles Munyeki (KEN), 30:08, $600
8) Franklin Tenorio (ECU), 30:12, $500
9) Alejandro Suarez (MEX), 30:14, $400
10) Teodora Vega (MEX), 30:20, $300
15) Fasil Bizuneh (USA), 30:51
1) Ethiopia, 19 points, $15,000
2) USA, 24, $27,500
3) Kenya, 37, $7000
4) Mexico, 39, $6000
5) Ecuador, 40, $4000
1) Mamito Daska (ETH), 32:48, $4250
2) Teyba Erkesso (ETH), 33:02, $3000
3) Yurika Nakamura (JPN), 33:29, $2250
4) Dulce Maria Rodriguez (MEX), 34:08, $1000
5) Millicent Gathoni (KEN), 34:11, $800
6) Ashu Kasim (ETH), 34:20, $700
7) Lidia Simon (ROM), 34:28, $600
8) Jane Gakunyi (KEN), 34:36, $500
9) Hiromi Ominami (JPN), 35:02, $400
10) Natalia Sokolova (RUS), 35:26, $300
14) Tera Moody (USA), 35:43
16) Carrie Messner (USA), 35:52
19) Alisha Williams (USA), 36:16
1) Ethiopia, 9 points, $15,000
2) Japan, 24, $10,000
3) Kenya, 30, $7000
4) Mexico, 37, $6000
5) Team USA 49, $8000
Deeper results at: www.BolderBOULDER.com.