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Kampf Repeats, Heath Wins at USATF 1 Mile Road Championships


ST PAUL, Minnesota – Minnesota natives Heather Kampf and Garrett Heath each took home victories in exciting kicks to the finish Thursday evening at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, hosted by the Medtronic TC 1 Mile.


The USATF 1 Mile Road Championships are the sixth stop on the 2015 USATF Running Circuit. The top 15 finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the 2015 .US National 12K, which takes place on November 15 in Alexandria, Virginia.


The men’s race kicked off first, with the entire pack of competitors getting off to a modest start, no one in particular wanting to lead. At the quarter mile mark, Jeff See took over the lead, while Trevor Dunbar and Heath sat on his shoulder, with Aaron Braun just behind.


As the field passed the halfway mark, Braun shot to the lead, pushing the pace, doing his best to take the late finishing speed of some of competition out of their legs. As Braun pushed, See, Dunbar and Heath all remained in contention, while Frezer Legesse moved up into the top three.


With 200 meters to go, Braun continued to push, but Heath took off, blasting past Braun and See, kicking home for the win in 4:08.3 for his second USATF 1 Mile Road title. After finishing third in 2014, he’s back on top of the podium, where he found himself in 2013.


See never let up in his drive to the finish, coming in a strong second in 4:09.4, while Dunbar locked down a top three finish with a fine finish over the final 100 meters, crossing the line in 4:10.1.


Rounding out the top five, Braun hung on gamely, placing fourth in 4:11.2, as Legesse nearly nipped Braun at the line to finish fifth in 4:11.5. 2012 champion Craig Miller finished sixth in 4:11.9, hometown favorite Jonathan Peterson placed seventh in 4:12.0, while Brandon Hudgins, Robert Neirman and Ben Sathre rounded out the top ten.


In similar fashion in the women’s race, a large pack went out fairly conservatively early on, feeling out the pace and handling the relatively challenging first quarter mile of the course.


Nearing halfway, a pack of four clearly distinguished themselves, as defending champion Kampf, former University of Michigan teammates Rebecca Addison and Amanda Eccleston, as well as Rebecca Friday challenged for the lead.


Kampf took the field through three-quarters of the way, leading strong with her hometown fans cheering her on. The Team USA Minnesota runner challenged the other three with small bursts and with 200 meters to go it was a race to the finish between just Kampf and Addison.


For a few seconds it looked as though Addison would pull away to victory, but Kampf hung tough and surged to victory over the final steps of the race, crossing the line victoriously in 4:45.4, defending her title and winning her third USATF 1 Mile Road title. Addison finished second in an impressive performance, running a time of 4:46.5.


Eccleston would end up finishing third in 4:48.3, while Friday was edged by her Rogue AC teammate Kristen Findley for fourth, 4:55.5-5:00.2. Rounding out the top ten were Christy Cazzola, Team USA Minnesota’s Meghan Peyton, Gina Valgoi, Melissa Agnew and Carmen Graves.


The next stop on the USATF Running Circuit takes place on October 12, as the USATF 10 km Championships take place in Boston.


About the USATF Running Circuit

The USATF Running Circuit is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USATF championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $25,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships.


The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 1 Mile Championships, scoring is set as 15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.


The mission of the USATF Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.


Contributed by Scott Bush



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