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FIVE TEAM USA MINNESOTA RUNNERS TO COMPETE APRIL 5 AT CHERRY BLOSSOM 10 MILER OR AT CARLSBAD 5000
Team USA Minnesota Press Release
Minneapolis/St. Paul - Five Team USA Minnesota distance runners will be in competitions at opposite ends of the country on April 5 when they race at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington, D.C. or at the Carlsbad 5000 on the southern coast of California.
Competing at the 37th running of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler will be Jason Lehmkuhle, Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle and Michelle Lilienthal. The event features a $40,000 prize purse with first place male and female each winning $7,500. There is a 10-minute advance start for the women's elite field beginning at 7:30 a.m. The race, with some 12,000 participants, is part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in the nation's capital.
Lehmkuhle most recently placed seventh at the USA 15k Championships in Jacksonville on March 14, was second in the 2008 USA Half Marathon Championships, second in the 2007 USA 10 Mile Championships and fifth at the USA Men's Olympic Marathon Trials. He has a best in the 10 mile of 47:48.
So far in 2009, Nicolini Lehmkuhle has placed seventh at the USA Half Marathon Championships in January, and 14th at the USA 15k Championships in March. She has also been a three-time champion of the Cow Harbor 10k and in 2007, she won the Medtronic TC 10 Mile. She has a best of 56:17 in the distance.
Lilienthal will be making her debut at the 10 mile distance although she has previously run 1:12:42 for the half marathon, 1:29:53 for the 25k and has a personal best of 2:35:51 in the marathon. Her credentials include third place in 2007 at both the USA Half Marathon and 25k Championships, and fourth place at the 2006 USA Marathon Championships.
Representing Team USA Minnesota at the Carlsbad 5000 will be four-time national champion Katie McGregor and 2009 IAAF World Marathon Championships qualifer Matt Gabrielson. Billed as the world's fastest 5 km road race with 16 world records, the race features 2 miles along the Pacific Ocean with a start and finish in downtown Carlsbad (located 40 miles north of San Diego). The men's invitational race at the 24th running of the event starts at 12:15 p.m. and the women's invitational race is at 12:17. A $67,600 prize purse features $5,000 for both the first place male and female.
McGregor most recently finished second at the USA 15k Championships on March 14. She is a national champion in the 25k, 10k road (twice) and 10,000 meters. She has also been a five-time qualifier for the U.S. World Cross Country team, has been a five-time champion of the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, and has run a best of 15:22 in the 5000m.
Gabrielson has a best in the 5000 meters of 13:30.68 and was the eighth place finisher in the 5000 at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track Trials. Last fall he was second at the USA Men's Marathon Championship, qualifying him to be a member of the U.S. team that will compete in the marathon at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin in August.
About Team USA Minnesota
Team USA Minnesota is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Formed in 2001, the purpose of the training center is to improve post-collegiate American distance running and to develop Olympians. The athletes are coached by Dennis Barker, head cross country and track coach at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Team USA Minnesota's major sponsor is Life Time Fitness (www.lifetimefitness.com) and its silver sponsor is the Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. (www.mtcmarathon.org). It is also supported by the New York Road Runners and the USA Distance Project. For more information, visit the web site at www.teamusaminnesota.org.