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Athletics - 13. May 2008.

Higgins wins first USA 25 km Championship Title

GRAND RAPIDS - Paige Higgins (Littleton, Colo.) won her first USA road title in 1:30:49, Saturday at the USA 25 km Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Sunny skies and ideal conditions of 42 degrees and calm winds met athletes for the 15th running of the championships with the Fifth Third River Bank.

In the women's race, Higgins finished third overall behind Caroline Cheprkorir of Kenyan and Firehiwot Tesraye of Ethiopia to claim the U.S. title. Cheprkorir was timed in 1:29:31 for the overall win, with Tesraye taking second in 1:30:11. Kristin Price (Raleigh N.C.) took fourth overall and second in the championship division in 1:32:04 while Annie Gasway (Gurnee, Ill.) finished third in the championships in 1:35:08 and Linsey Smith (Madison, Wis.) finished fourth in 1:35:37. Kalin Ritzenhein (Eugene, Ore.), rounded out the top-five U.S. athletes in 1:35:31.)

This year's event also hosted the USA Masters 25 km Championships Kathy Wolski (Knoxville, Tenn.), winning the women's title in 1:39:27. Wolski earned $1,500 for the masters title.

USA Running Circuit

The USA 25 km Championship was the fifth stop on the 2008 USA Running Circuit (USARC) for men and the fourth for women. The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, features USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners. The fourteenth edition for the men and thirteenth for the women, the 2008 USARC has seven events for men and nine events for women.

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 a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships will be doubled.

The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $4 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.

For more information on the 2008 USA 25 km Championships visit www.usatf.org.

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