Christo Landry Earns His First US Title In 46:41 As Stephen Sambu Wins 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run Run In Sprint Finish At 45:29

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by LetsRun.com, USATF.org and David Monti of Race Results Weekly
April 6, 2014

Editor’s Note: Most of the international race recap was written by David Monti, US race recap by USATF.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (06-Apr) – The men’s race at the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run Run, which also featured a USA championships division, played out similarly to last year’s contest with a torrid sprint finish.  Kenyan Daniel Salel (13:08/27:07 track PRs), who was awarded the victory last year in a photo finish over compatriot Allan Kiprono (27:42/61:44 road PRs) in 46:06, this time did battle with rising star Stephen Sambu (13:13/27:28/60:41 PRs), the 2013 B.A.A. Distance Medley series champion who was an NCAA star for Arizona.  This time Salel ended up second, and both he and Sambu were credited with same finish time of 45:29, the second-fastest winning time ever at this event.

“I like fast races,” Sambu told Race Results Weekly, trying to catch his breath.  “I like when we start hard; I like hard races.”

But Sambu said he was also ready to sprint, if needed.  Finishing fourth here last year, he knew that Salel had the experience on this course to time his finish perfectly.

“I was so careful about that,” Sambu said.  “He was right on my shoulder all the way.  So, I was waiting for him, waiting for him, until about 300 left.  Then, I start kicking hard!”

Like Daska, Sambu won $8000 in prize money in what was his second victory –and third podium finish– of the year.  Allan Kiprono, last year’s runner-up, got third in 45:47.

Christo Landry at the .US Nationals Championships last fall in nearby Alexandria, VA

Christo Landry at the .US Nationals Championships last fall in nearby Alexandria, VA.

American Race

A little less than a minute back, Christo Landry, 27, of Ann Arbor, Mich., was the surprise winner of the USA title in a very solid 46:41, the sixth-fastest time ever by an American (fourth-fastest on a record-quality course).  The Mizuno-sponsored Landry called his first national title a “monkey off his back.” In the overall race, Landry finished sixth.

Second place in the USA division went to former Oklahoma State standout Girma Mecheso, an Ethiopian-born runner who has had USA citizenship since 2010.  Just back from a training camp in Ethiopia where he trained under Haji Adilo, the coach of 2011 TCS New York City Marathon champion Firehiwot Dado, Mecheso was happy with his 47:22 result.

“The race was great, the sun was great, everything was feeling great,” Mecheso told Race Results Weekly.  “This is my first race as a professional.”

A quick early pace strung out much of the field, as Landry, Girma Mecheso, Mo Trafeh and a few others set the tone. The pack would slowly dwindle, as Landry pulled away, clearly establishing himself at the front.

“Every race there’s some hard decision you have to make, and mine was right around 5-K where I said I’m going to go with this group and see what happens,” Landry said in his post-race interview.  “I might blow up, but if you don’t take chances, why are you out there?”

Behind Landry, Mecheso, Trafeh and Ben Bruce ran closely together, with Mecheso eventually pulling away, picking up the runner-up finish.

With a pump of his first, Landry crossed the line victoriously, celebrating his first USARC win after finishing top five so many times over the past few seasons. Even more thrilling for the Ann Arbor-based runner was his 41-second margin of victory.

Two-time USA 10 Mile champion Trafeh settled for third in 47:27. Both Mecheso and Trafeh picked up big points in the USARC standings, as both look to challenge for the overall series title towards the end of the year.

The veteran Bruce ran an inspired performance in fourth place overall, with a finishing time of 47:33. Tim Young rounded out the top five with his 47:45 effort, while two-time Olympian Matt Tegenkamp finished sixth overall in 47:57.

2013 USA Club Cross Country champion Joseph Gray placed seventh overall in 48:04, as Tyler McCandless, Ian Burrell and Lucas Meyer placed well to round out eighth through tenth place.

Landry’s win secures him another 15 points in the USARC standings, moving him up to second place overall with 22 points. USA Cross Country champion and USA 15 km runner-up Chris Derrick remains in the lead with 27 points.

In all, 25 men broke 50 minutes. Quick take, top 10 US results and then full elite results appear below.

Quick Take #1 by LetsRun.com: Nice ‘wins’ for both Sambu and Landry. That being said, having an international race and US championship race in the same race makes it pretty awkward. We like the move Peachtree made recently – do one or the other (we’ve heard next year Peachtree will go back to being an international race). We combined the USATF press release and David Monti’s story here to try to recap the event fairly.

Top 10 Men’s 10-Mile Champs Results
1. Christo Landry 46:41
2. Girma Mecheso 47:22
3. Mo Trafeh 47:27
4. Ben Bruce 47:33
5. Tim Young 47:45
6. Matt Tegenkamp 47:57
7. Joseph Gray 48:04
8. Tyler Mccandless 48:21
9. Ian Burrell 48:42
10. Lucas Meyer 48:46

More: Women’s Race: Janet Bawcom Crushes Single-Sexed American Record By 76 seconds, Runs 53:22 To Win US Title, Finishes Second To Ethiopian Mamitu Daska
*MB: Official 2014 US 10 Mile Champs Thread – race is on live now (7:45 am Sunday)

About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA 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 $28,800 in prize money was awarded at the USA 10 Mile Championships.

The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (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 USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.


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