For Immediate Release
April 14, 2018 Contact: Info@CollegiateRunning.org
McDonald, Sachtleben win Collegiate 10k Road Race National Titles within the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K
RICHMOND, VA – The 19th annual Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger kicked off Saturday morning with an enthusiastic greeting from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, the official starter who then became just the second Governor of Virginia to participate in the race, and continued with excitement in the men’s and women’s races and throughout the field of runners, joggers, and walkers. For the fifth consecutive year the 10k again hosted the Collegiate Running Association 10k Road Race National Championships, which drew nearly two thousand college athletes to the streets of Richmond to compete for prize money.
Matthew McDonald (Georgia Tech/Atlanta Track Club), 24, an Atlanta, GA, resident and former track and field standout at Princeton University, took first place with a time of 30:10, finishing ahead of Miles Clikeman (University of Richmond), who came in at 30:42. McDonald was an Ivy League 10k champion in 2015 while at Princeton and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Under clear skies and temperatures near 70 degrees the gusting winds from the east were expected to impact the competitors on their return to the finish on the out and back course. A pack of 9 men were together through 2 miles before the group dwindled to four at the 5k point. Samuel Mueller (Auburn University/Rabbit Elite) was pushing the pace with McDonald, Clikeman and Ryan Roush (Youngstown State University) in tow. As they made the turn on Monument Avenue it would be McDonald to take over the lead and he would never look back. Clikeman, a sophomore at the University of Richmond, Mueller and Roush would make it a battle for second, however McDonald used a big negative split (15:16/14:56) to claim victory and the $2,000 prize for winning the collegiate title.
From the start it was a race for second in the women’s championship as Bethany Sachtleben (NOVA/Saucony), 26, of Alexandria, VA, won her first 10k title with a time of 33:37, followed by second-place finisher Letitia Saayman (Campbell University) at 35:24. Sachtleben won the 2017 Anthem Richmond Marathon last November in an Olympic Trials-qualifying time of 2:39:00. She is the 2016 Collegiate Running Association’s Female Athlete of the Year and is currently enrolled in graduate classes at Northern Virginia Community College while serving as a volunteer coach for her undergraduate alma mater, George Mason University.
Sachtleben pushed from the first step building up a commanding lead of 54 seconds at the half-way point crossing 5K in 16:46. She didn’t give her competition any hope over the second half closing the final 5K in 16:51 to claim the $2,000 prize for winning the collegiate championship, her second Collegiate Running Association title since 2016.
The race for second was not determined until after the 4 mile mark as Saayman, last year’s champion, Rachel Ward (University of Virginia/Ragged Mountain Racing) and Janel Blancett (Emory University/Atlanta Track Club) passed the 5K nearly together in 17:40. It would be Saayman who would pull away on the return trip down Monument Avenue using even splits to claim the $1,000 prize for the runner-up (17:40/17:44). Ward finished 3rd (36:03), Blancett in 5th (36:37) with Maddie Ivey (Metropolitan College of Nebraska) moving up to 4th (36:07).
In addition to nearly 2,000 college students from across the U.S., there were over 25,000 registered 10k participants, 1,330 children ages 5-12 participated in the Virginia529 Kids Run, which was also started by Governor Northam. More than 50 bands, spirit groups, and porch parties lined the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k course, in addition to thousands of spectators, providing entertainment throughout the event.
Full results are available at http://results.xacte.com/?id=1999. Registration is now open for the 2019 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger, which is set for Saturday, April 13, 2019. Registration can be found at www.sportsbackers.org.