NEW HAVEN – Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.), was top man in a three-way battle for the men’s title Monday at the USA 20 km Championships in New Haven, Conn., as Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.), took control before halfway to win the women’s crown. Gotcher was timed in 58:57, while De Reuck ran1:07:21. At 45, De Reuck is the oldest woman to win a major U.S. championship.
Defending 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 falling off the pack. As the leaders approached six miles, Gotcher rejoined the group and at 10 km 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.
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