By Jim Estes, USATF
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - (September 7, 2009) - Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) was top man in a three-way battle for the men's national title Monday at the USA 20K Championships in New Haven as four-time Olympian Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.) took control before halfway to win the women's crown. Gotcher was timed in 58 minutes, 57 seconds (#4 U.S. all-time individual - tie), while the evergreen De Reuck ran 1:07:21, a Masters world record. At 45, De Reuck is the oldest woman to win a major U.S. championship.
At the 32nd Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race, a Labor Day tradition, defending U.S. champion James Carney (Boulder, Colo.) led the early stages of the race, taking a pack of 12 men through the first mile in 4:34. By three miles, the lead pack was reduced to four men with Carney still in control and Gotcher, Mohamed Trafeh (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Jason Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.) following closely.
At five miles, Carney was still in command of the pace with Gotcher, 25, falling off the pack. As the leaders approached six miles, Gotcher rejoined the group and at 10K, Trafeh made a move that would drop Carney from the lead pack, making it a three man race for the title.
From seven miles on, Gotcher, Trafeh and Lehmkuhle would each take turns at the lead with Trafeh surging to the front to open small gaps on occasion. Just past nine miles, the three remained within a stride of each other as Trafeh and Lehmkuhle seemed to be well within their comfort zone.
At 12 miles however, it was Gotcher who surged to the lead, dropping Lehmkuhle as Trafeh held on. Entering the final 100 meters, Gotcher had one more gear and pulled away for a four second win and his first national crown.
Lehmkuhle held third in 59:04 as Andrew Carlson (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Scott Bauhs (Danville, Calif.) rounded out the top five in 59:26 and 59:46, respectively.
In the women's race, 2008 Olympic Marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.), took an early lead, passing the first mile four seconds ahead of the women's field in 5:18. By three miles she had a 12 second lead when Serena Burla (Baldwin, Mo.) began to press the pace of the chase pack, bringing De Reuck with her.
By five miles De Reuck had dropped Burla and overtook Boulet to cruise to a 17 second win, earning her second USA 20K title (also 2002). Runner-up Burla was timed in 1:07:38 with Boulet taking third (1:08:11). Rebecca Donaghue (State College, Pa.) and Amy Hastings (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) finished fourth and fifth in 1:08:39 and 1:08:58, respectively.
32nd Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race: USA 20K Championship
New Haven, CT, Monday, September 7, 2009
1) Brett Gotcher (AZ), 58:57, $8000
2) Mohamed Trafeh (AZ), 59:01, $4500
3) Jason Lehmkuhle (MN), 59:04, $2500
4) Andrew Carlson (AZ), 59:26, $1500
5) Scott Bauhs (CA), 59:46, $1000
6) Jason Hartman (OR), 59:52, $700
7) Fasil Bizuneh (AZ), 1:00:00, $600
8) Seth Pilkington (UT), 1:00:07, $500
9) James Carney (CO), 1:00:21, $400
10) Lucas Meyer (CT), 1:00:36, $300
1) Colleen De Reuck, 45, CO, 1:07:21, $8000
2) Serena Burla (MO), 1:07:38, $4500
3) Magdalena Lewy Boulet (CA), 1:08:11, $2500
4) Rebecca Donaghue (PA), 1:08:39, $1500
5) Amy Hastings (CA), 1:08:58, $1000
6) Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle (MN), 1:09:06, $700
7) Elva Dryer (CO), 1:10:09, $600
8) Jill Swope (GA), 1:10:22, $500
9) Sheri Piers (ME), 1:10:43, $400
10) Ilsa Paulson (NY), 1:11:11, $300
Full results at: www.newhavenroadrace.org.