Posted by: Joe English | March 15, 2009

Racing — Famiglietti, Yoder Begley win USA 15 km Championships

JACKSONVILLE – Olympians Anthony Famiglietti (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Amy Yoder Begley each won close races for the respective men’s and women’s titles Saturday at the USA 15 km Championships in Jacksonville, Fla. Famiglietti used a last-second burst of speed to hold off Tim Nelson (Portland, Ore.), running 43:36 to win the men’s race by one second, while Yoder Begley kicked past Katie McGregor (Saint Louis Park, Minn.) in the final 400 meters to win the women’s race by six seconds in 49:51. This marks the 16th year that the championships have been hosted by the Gate River Run.

The elite women’s race started the day under cool, cloudy conditions as Yoder Begley, McGregor, Emily Brown (Minneapolis Minn.), Elva Dryer (Gunnison, Colo.) led more than 50 of the top U.S. women through the opening miles.

By six miles, the race was down to three contenders with Yoder Begley, McGregor and Brown running stride for stride through eight miles when McGregor attempted to break her competitors as they started across the challenging Hart Bridge towards the finish. However, Yoder Begley remained close, waiting until the finish was in sight to move to the front and claim her first USA 15 km title.

Brown easily held on for third in 50:03 as Dryer and Melissa White (Rochester Hills, Mich.) completed the top-five, running 50:40 and 50:45 respectively.

The men’s race saw a sizable pack of nearly 30 men pass the first mile in 4:39, though Famiglietti was not to be seen in the front of the pack until a decisive surge to the lead at three miles. By the time he hit 5 km in 14:31 Famiglietti had ten meters on the chase pack that included fellow Olympians Ian Dobson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.), as well as USA Cross Country runner-up Nelson, Fazil Bizuneh (Flagstaff, Calif.) and 2004 Olympian Dan Browne (Beaverton, Ore.).

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