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American Distance Project News

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Top Performances at US Half Marathon Championships Lead to Five U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifiers

(Colorado Springs, CO) - With a myriad of rewards and opportunities on the line, five ADP runners came up smiling at the Sunday's U.S. Half Marathon championships in Houston, TX.

Wendy Thomas (adidas/BRC) posted her highest U.S. championship finish ever with a 4th-place and a personal best of 72:29, while teammate Mattie Suver finished 6th with a respectable 73:06. Thomas picked up $5,000 in prize money and a $1000 time bonus, while Suver earned $2000 plus $750 in bonuses.  With top-10 finishes, both are in the pool of candidates for selection to Team USA which will compete in the IAAF World Half Marathon Champions in Copenhagen, Denmark in March. While both women had earned 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying marks in the fall, Thomas with her marathon "A" standard of 2:36:01 and Suver's with a "B" standard of 2:41:18, both again exceeded the other qualifying standard based upon the half-marathon distance.

In the men's race, Joe Gray (Scott Sports) posted a nearly two-minute personal best of 63:42 and picked up $1,000 in bonuses, while Brandon Birdsong (adidas/BRC) debuted at 64:21earning $750 in bonuses along with Daniel Tapia (Mizuno) who was just off his personal best at 64:32.  All three qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials with their performances.

Heather Kampf Wins Bermuda Mile; Travis Burkstrand Wins NW Open Mile; USA Half Marathon Results

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Minneapolis/St. Paul – Jan. 20, 2014 – Team USA Minnesota’s Heather Kampf won the KPMG Bermuda Women’s Invitational Mile on Jan. 17, Travis Burkstrand won the mile at the Northwest Open on Jan. 18, and four athletes competed in the USA Half Marathon Championships on Jan. 19 with Meghan Peyton and Jon Grey each finishing in 12th place.

Kampf was the defending champion at the Bermuda Mile and posted 4:44.89 for the win this year, which was 5 seconds better than her time in 2013.  “It was really fun to be out here again and I felt a little more familiar and excited about coming back to try to defend my title,” Kampf told The Royal Gazette. 

“The last quarter I did feel fast.  I chose to stay with the race for the first half until we turned the corner, and then I just started feeling really good and thought rather than wait and see how this race comes out, I’m going to make it the way I want it to look and just went for it.  Usually what I tell athletes that I coach is you need to trust that feeling, when you feel a little antsy and you know you have more, to give it your all to the very end.”

Team USA Minnesota Runners to Start 2014 Season at USA Half Marathon Championships, Bermuda Mile and Northwest Open

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Minneapolis/St. Paul – Jan. 14, 2014 – Six Team USA Minnesota distance runners will start their 2014 seasons by competing this weekend in the USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston, the Invitational Bermuda Mile in Hamilton, and the Northwest Open at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse in Minneapolis.

The USA Half Marathon Championships will be held in conjunction with the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Jan. 19 and will feature deep fields of American men and women.  Team USA Minnesota runners Jon Grey, Ben Sathre, Meghan Peyton and Dani Stack will be among the field.

Grey set his personal best in the half marathon at the Aramco Houston Half in 2012 when he posted 1:02:55.  More recently he finished sixth at the 2013 Pittsburgh 10 Mile with a time of 47:38.  Sathre’s best races in 2013 occurred at the USA 25k Championships where he finished 10th in 1:17:42 and at the Shamrock Shuffle 8k where he was fifth in 23:19.

Dennis Barker Becomes Full-Time Coach of Team USA Minnesota; Resigns as Augsburg College Cross Country/Track Coach

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Minneapolis/St. Paul – Jan. 7, 2014 – Team USA Minnesota announced today that Dennis Barker, who has been coaching the team part-time since it was founded in 2001, has become the full-time coach of the long distance running training center.  Barker, who had been head cross country and track coach for men and women at Augsburg College in Minneapolis for 20 years, resigned his position there effective Jan. 1.

During Barker’s part-time tenure as coach at Team USA Minnesota he developed an Olympian in the 1500 meters and 20 national champions, including in the 1500 meters, 3000 meters and 10,000 meters on the track;  1 mile, 10k, 15k, 20k, 10 mile, 25k, half marathon and marathon on the roads; and 4k, 6k, 10k and an 8k team in cross country.  He also placed athletes on 28 U.S. World teams on the track, the roads and cross country and achieved 68 top three finishes in national championships.

ADP Athletes Garner Year-End Awards & Rankings

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(Colorado Springs, CO) - The American Distance Project closed out 2013 with a myriad of annual awards and rankings.

Newcomer Joe Gray (Scott Sports) earned both USA Track & Field's Lyndon Ellefson Memorial Mountain Runner of the Year Award and Competitor Magazine's Trail Runner of the Year. He was also named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week for December 18th after winning the U.S. National Club Cross Country Championships.

Matt Elliott (Brooks) was ranked by Track & Field News magazine as the 7th best U.S. 1500-meter runner for 2013, while Mattie Suver (adidas/BRC) was ranked as the 7th best American in the 10,000-meters.  Suver was also rated as the10th-best female Runner of the Year by Running Times magazine.