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.
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.