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Athletics - 10. March 2008.

Kastor takes USA 15 km title


JACKSONVILLE - Women's champion Deena Kastor (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), dominated the women's field at the 2008 USA 15 km Championships Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.

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In the women's race, Kastor led from the gun and was on her own to fight the wind. Running 49:36, Kastor earned her sixth national 15 km title. Katie McGregor (Minneapolis, Minn.) ran the majority of her race alone as well, taking the runner-up spot in 50:53 while Tara Storage (Beavercreek, Ohio) took third in 52:33, Mandi Zemba (Minneapolis, Minn.) fourth in 52:33 and Samia Akbar (Herndon, Va.) rounding out the top five in 52:35.

Athletes competed for a total prize purse of $61,500, with the men's and women's USA Champion earning $12,000 each.

This year's running once again featured the Equalizer Bonus, awarding $5,000 to the first male or female to cross the finish line, with the top-seeded women beginning 5 minutes before the men. The 5 minute "head start" is based on the time differential of the U.S. 15 km records: 42:22 for the men (Todd Williams, 1995) and 47:15 for the women (Deena Drossin, 2003), both set on the Gate River Run course. Carlson secured this year's Equalizer Bonus after catching Kastor as they descended the Hart Bridge.

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