2008 Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein (Portland, Ore.) and
Amy Yoder Begley (Portland, Ore.) will lead a strong U.S. contingent at
the 18th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships on October 11, in
September 22, 2009
Dathan Ritzenhein and Amy Yoder Begley are both coming off of an
impressive track season which saw Ritzenhein finish sixth at the World
Championships 10,000 meters, eleven days before going on to set a new
American record of 12:56.27 for 5,000 meters. Begley, the 2009 USA
champion at 10,000 meters went on to finish sixth in the women's 10,000
at the Berlin World Championships and won last weekend's USA 5 km
Championships in Providence, R.I.
The U.S. squad for Birmingham
will also include several of the top up and coming American distance
runners, giving Team USA an outstanding chance for a team medal in both
the men's and women's events.
The men's team will also include
recent USA 20 km champion Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.). Gotcher
has competed for Team USA on several occasions, including in 2003 when
he won the gold medal in the 10,000 meters at the Pan American Junior
Ritzenhein and Gotcher will join forces with
2008 USA 15 km champion Andrew Carlson (Flagstaff, Ariz.); Scott Bauhs
(Chico, Calif.), a multiple NCAA Division II Track & Cross Country
All-American at Chico State who finished fifth at the 20 km
championships; and James Carney (Boulder, Colo.), a past U.S. champion
at 20 km and the half marathon.
Joining Begley will be Desiree
Davila (Rochester Hills, Mich.), who has had an outstanding summer of
her own, running a personal best 2:27:53 to finish 11th in the World
Championships marathon last month. Rounding out the team will be
Serena Burla (Baldwin, Mo.), the runner-up at the recent USA 20 km
Championships; along with Amy Hastings (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Elva
Dryer (Gunnison, Colo.), who finished fifth and seventh respectively at
the 20 km Championships to earn their berths on the team.
total of $245,000 will be offered in prize money, with $30,000 going to
the individual champions and $15,000 to the respective men's and
women's team champions. The top finish for a U.S. team at this event
came last year in Rio de Janeiro where the Team USA women finished
fourth. The best team finish for a U.S. men's team was sixth in both
2005 and 2006.
For more information on Team USA at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, visit www.usatf.org.