Conner Mantz Wins His Pro Debut, D’Amato Dominates at 2021 USATF Half Marathon Championships

by: USATF Press Release
December 4, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The final stop on the 2021 USATF Running Circuit presented by Toyota did not disappoint, as Keira D’Amato and Conner Mantz came away victorious at the USATF Half Marathon Championships presented by Toyota in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

On-demand race highlights and coverage of the USATF Half Marathon Championships, hosted by the Mortgage Network Half Marathon, are available and can be viewed with a +PLUS subscription on USATF.TV.

As the women’s race got underway, D’Amato, Allie Kieffer, and Natosha Rogers jumped to the front, putting a six-second gap on a chase trio of Erika Kemp, Makena Morley, and Lauren Paquette, coming through the 5 km split in 16:04.

The lead trio would run together until mile five, when D’Amato pushed the pace and was able to gap Rogers and Kieffer. D’Amato grew her lead quickly, coming through 10 km in 32:05, 12 seconds ahead of Kieffer, who had a nine-second lead on Rogers.

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D’Amato would continue to grow her lead, running nearly a minute ahead of Rogers and Morley, who were running second and third. Kieffer sat in fourth a couple seconds back of the duo, as was Paquette.

Over the next 5 km, D’Amato grew her lead to 1:34 over Rogers and Dakotah Lindwurm, who ran a tremendous 10th and 11th mile to move up into the chase, while Paquette started to pull ahead of Morley for fourth.

With the finish line in sight, D’Amato pushed the pace once last time, crossing the finish line with her arms raised and a smile on her face, finishing the half marathon distance in 1:07:55.

Rogers held off the late-race push from Lindwurm to place second overall in 1:09:36, having yet another fine USATF Half Marathon Championship performance. Lindwurm ran an excellent back half of the race to take third in 1:09:40, just ahead of Paquette, who ran to a fourth-place time of 1:09:46, her debut at the half marathon distance.

Morley held on over the final miles to place fifth in 1:09:57, edging out Erika Kemp, who placed sixth in 1:10:38. Kieffer faded a bit in the later stages of the race, but still place seventh overall in 1:10:44, while Maggie Montoya ran 1:11:21, Susanna Sullivan ran 1:11:58, and Jessie Cardin crossed in 1:12:08, as the trio took eighth through tenth.

While D’Amato ran a dominating performance to win Sunday, there was another race within a race, with Kemp and Morley battling for the 2021 USATF Running Circuit title. As the final race of the 2021 USATF Running Circuit season, Kemp entered Sunday’s action with a nine-point lead over Morley. 

Early on Sunday, it seemed as though Morley might pull away and claim the overall title, but Kemp’s strong finish helped her outlast Morley. Kemp’s sixth-place effort claimed her the overall USATF Running Circuit title with 62.5 points, just ahead of Morley’s 55 points. Emily Durgin finished with 49 points to place third overall, while Lindsay Flanagan and Annie Frisbie earned fourth- and fifth-place finishes with 34 points and 30 points.

Women’s Results from 2021 USATF Half Marathon Championships @ Mortgage Networks Half Marathon (Full results here)

1Keira D’Amato37Richmond,5:101:07:55
2Natosha Rogers30Denver,5:181:09:36
3Dakotah Lindwurm26Eagan,5:181:09:40
4Lauren Paquette35Flagstaff,5:191:09:46
5Makena Morley25Boulder,5:201:09:57
6Erika Kemp26Allston,5:231:10:38
7Allie Kieffer34Austin, TX5:231:10:44
8Maggie Montoya26Boulder,5:261:11:21
9Susanna Sullivan31Reston, VA5:291:11:58
10Jessie Cardin25Stafford Springs, CT5:301:12:08
11Tristin Van Ord27Blowing Rock,5:331:12:54
12Aisling Cuffe28Concord,5:331:12:57
13Melissa Dock39Boulder, CO5:361:13:32
14Mackenzie Caldwell25Boulder, CO5:361:13:36
15Kate Sanborn23Raleigh, NC5:381:13:55
16Emily Kearney26Johnson City,5:401:14:26
17Emma Spencer31Durham, NC5:401:14:29
18Kelsey Beckmann30Jacksonville, FL5:411:14:33
19Stephanie Sherman24Sylvania, OH5:411:14:40
20Annmarie Tuxbury27Barkhamsted, CT5:421:14:46
21Ann Centner30Tallahassee, FL5:421:14:52
22Nicolette St. Lawrence28Brooklyn, NY5:431:15:04
23Kelli Smith23Grand Rapids, MI5:431:15:07
24Regan Rome25Providence, RI5:441:15:20
25Gwen Jorgensen35Portland, OR5:441:15:21

Men’s Race: Mantz Outkicks Chelanga for Win

A large group led the men’s race early Sunday morning, with all of the pre-race top contenders in tow. Reigning NCAA Division 1 cross country champion Mantz led the way early, as Sam Chelanga, Lawi Lalang, and Augustus Maiyo also ran up front, as the pack found hit a groove, running 4:40 mile pace for the early miles.

As the men came through 10 km, Mantz continued to lead, with Chelanga, Maiyo and Morgan Pearson off his shoulder. Over the next 5 km, Pearson and Mantz would take turns pacing, while Maiyo and Chelanga right behind with Lalang. 

As the lead group passed through mile 10, Lalang started to drop off, while Clayton Young and Nico Montanez moved up. The pace continued to ratchet down, as the group formed a single file line, with Mantz and Pearson pushing ahead.

With a mile to go, it was now a three-man race, with Mantz, Chelanga and Montanez running together. Chelanga tried to push the pace and break up the group, but Mantz hung tough and wouldn’t concede any ground to Chelanga.

In a furious kick to the finish, Mantz showed his championship-level form, pulling away from Chelanga to claim his first USATF title, crossing the finish in 1:00:55 in his debut over the half marathon distance. 

Chelanga took home second place in 1:00:59, a strong finish to his 2021 USATF Running Circuit season, as Montanez placed an impressive third in 1:01:13, his second top three finish on the USATF Running Circuit season and less than two months after placing seventh at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 

Clayton Young, who won the USATF 15 km Championship title, the first race of the USATF Running Circuit season, finished fourth overall on Sunday in 1:01:18. Futsum Zienasellassie had another strong performance to take fifth in 1:01:21, as Maiyo finished well to take sixth in 1:01:33.

Olympian Leonard Korir took home seventh in 1:01:43, just ahead of Pearson, who claimed eighth in 1:01:47. Frank Lara and Lawi Lalang rounded out the top ten crossing the finish in 1:02:19 and 1:02:49, respectively.

While he didn’t race Sunday, Abbabiya Simbassa claimed the 2021 USATF Running Circuit overall title with 77 points, well ahead of the rest of the field, after claiming two USATF victories and two runner-up efforts during the 2021 USATF Running Circuit season.

Chelanga’s runner-up finish in Hardeeville gives him 48 points and a second place finish in the overall USATF Running Circuit standings, followed closely by Young, who claimed third with 47.5 points. Montanez finishes fourth on the season with 37 points, while Fred Huxham places fifth on the season with 30 points.

Men’s Results from 2021 USATF Half Marathon Championships @ Mortgage Networks Half Marathon (Full results here)

1.Conner Mantz24Provo,4:381:00:55
2.Sam Chelanga36Colorado Springs/CO, CO4:391:00:59
3.Nico Montanez28Mammouth,4:401:01:13
4.Clayton Young28Provo, UT4:401:01:18
5.Futsum Zienasellassie28indianapolis, IN4:401:01:21
6.Augustus Maiyo38Colorado Spring,4:411:01:33
7.Leonard Korir34Colorado Springs, CO4:421:01:43
8.Morgan Pearson28Broomfield, CO4:421:01:47
9.Frank Lara26Blouder,4:451:02:19
10.Lawi Lalang30Colorado Springs, CO4:471:02:49
11.Eric Hamer24Jamaica Plain, MA4:481:02:58
12.Sydney Gidabuday25Boulder,4:501:03:32
13.Joel Reichow28Saint Paul, MN4:511:03:38
14.Mark Parrish30Boulder, CO4:531:04:04
15.Turner Wiley28Issaquah, WA4:531:04:08
16.Allen Sumrall27Austin, TX4:531:04:13
17.Malcolm Richards39Sacramento, CA4:541:04:20
18.Daniel Docherty32Saint Paul, MN4:541:04:26
19.Donnie Cowart36Winston Salem, NC4:551:04:41
20.Alejandro Martinez Ambrosio24Boulder, CO4:561:04:41
21.Jason Weitzel25Greenville, SC4:561:04:45
22.Clint McKelvey29Arlington, VA4:571:05:02
23.Brandon Hudgins34Jamestown, NC5:001:05:36
24.Jarrod Ottman23Merrimack, NH5:031:06:18
25.Samuel Gerstenbacher24Lancaster,5:031:06:18

About the USATF Running Circuit

The USATF Running Circuit is a USATF 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 $40,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF Half Marathon Championships

The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF Half Marathon Championships, scoring is set as 22.5 for first, 18 for second, 15 for third, 10.5 ,9, 7.5, 6, 4.5, 3 and 1.5, 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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