Collegiate Road Mile National Championships Set for Tomorrow
2020 Collegiate Road Mile National Championships return to the Loudoun Street Mile Race
July 24, 2020 – Winchester, VA - The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) and the Shenandoah Valley Runners are set to welcome the 2020 Collegiate Road Mile National Championship back to Winchester, Virginia tomorrow morning. The 33rd annual Loudoun Street Mile will be host to the Collegiate Road Mile Championship for the second time in as many years and will offer prize money specifically reserved for college students with a total prize purse of $4,000.
The race will have a different look this year as the event follows the Virginia Department of Health and local COVID protocol as runners of all ages prepare to take the streets of Winchester. The point-to-point race course offers an opportunity for runners to set personal bests, and with a forecast of 73 degrees on race morning, conditions look good for fast times.
The women’s field features a stacked group of top runners who have had success from the 800m to the marathon. Expected to push the pace up front will be defending champion, Amy Cashin (West Virginia University/Australia) with Zoe Matherne (Dickinson College of Law), Kyra Lopez (Virginia Tech), and Spider freshman, Madison Trippett (University of Richmond) expected to chase.
Cashin, who is an All-American for the Mountaineers, will be looking to defend the title she claimed here last year. The 2019 Collegiate Running Association’s Road Mile Champion claimed last year’s event in record time (4:41.7) eclipsing the previous course best of 4:44.3 set in 2015 by Susanna Sullivan. Cashin comes into the race with an impressive resume which could be tested on the flat, mile course.
Matherne, who was a standout as an undergraduate at Holy Cross, holds school records in the outdoor 400-meter run (57.22), the indoor 800-meter run (2:08.07), the outdoor 800-meter run (2:06.91), the indoor 1,000-meter run (2:45.95), the outdoor 1,500-meter run (4:25:78) and the indoor one-mile run (4:47.18). She qualified for the NCAA Championships multiple times. Lopez, a Boise State University undergraduate, is finishing her eligibility at Virginia Tech as a graduate student. She has run 10:19 in the 3K steeplechase. Rounding out the top collegians will be Madison Trippett. The recent high school graduate is headed to the University of Richmond this fall. She has run 4:53.73.
Joining the top college women will be the Elite Open field which includes speedsters, Ericka Charles (New Balance RDU-800M PR-2:08), Aileen Barry (2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trails Qualifier-Marathon), Michelle Capozzi (LaSalle University graduate), Gina McNamara (University of Michigan graduate), Colleen Buckley (Bucknell University graduate) and Jacqueline Gruendel (University of Michigan graduate). Gruendel is the top ranked Master’s entrant in the woman’s field.
In the men’s race a new collegiate champion will be crowned, with last year’s champion Robby Creese not entered. The race should be a good one with Daniel Jaskowak (Virginia Tech), the 2019 Collegiate Running Association’s Athlete of the Year, expected to be in the mix. Jaskowak was a standout for the Virginia Tech Hokies as an undergraduate. He captured the 2019 Collegiate Trail Running Championship within the Thunderbunny 12K (Athens, Ohio) breaking the course record by over 13 minutes! He also placed 3rd in the 2019 Collegiate 10K Road Race Championship held within the Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond, VA.
This will be a race with Chase Weaverling (Blue Ridge College), Matthew Lange (George Washington University), Riley Fletcher (University of Richmond), James Heilman (McDaniel University), Stanley Peyton (James Madison University), Kevin Konyar (Bloomsburg University), Michael Wardian and Tyler McCarthy (Shenandoah University) expected to be pushing the pace.
The race will likely be aggressive from the start with Chase Weaverling, a University of Virginia standout as an undergraduate, leading the charge. He is a 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Marathon qualifier and trains out of Charlottesville under Chris Fox and Team Reebok-Boston.
Matthew Lange could be a threat to Weaverling and Jaskowak. He had a standout career at Furman University and comes in with the top entry mark. He is now in graduate school at George Washington University where he is also on the Track & Field/Cross Country staff. Additionally, look for Riley Fletcher to be a top 5 contender.
Michael Wardian is one of the top Ultra Marathoners in the world. In January 2017, he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in a record average speed of 2:45. He has held numerous world records in various running events. Tomorrow’s race will certainly be a drop down in distance and it will be exciting to see how fast he can go.
Along with the top collegians there is a strong group of Elite Open runners. Elias Graca could steal the day. He has run 1:50 in the 800M and has excellent leg speed late in races. If it’s close with 150M to go, he could have the edge. Additionally, add Ryan Taylor, James Belfatto and Kevin Shirk to the lead group.
“Even with the changes due to COVID-19 we know these are going to be great races within a great event,” said Collegiate Running Association Co-Founder Steve Taylor. “We are so excited to see this race after so many months without competitions. After the success of last year we were anxious to return to Winchester. Now college students at every level have an opportunity to compete in a Collegiate Road Mile Championships.”
Along with many festivals held throughout the year, Winchester is also the home of Shenandoah University and sits in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The small city of 25,000 hosts numerous charming shops, delicious restaurants, centuries-old architecture, numerous historical landmarks, and museums waiting to be explored following the races. Old Town Winchester offers convenience, charm, and a warm welcome to all.
“The Loudoun Street Mile is excited to continue our partnership with the CRA to bring the Collegiate Road Mile Championship back to Winchester,” said Mark Stickley, Loudoun Street Mile Director. Stickley added, "this continued partnership greatly raises the level of competition in the race and is an attractive opportunity for collegians, many of whom are looking for a race since the spring track season was canceled due to the pandemic. It will also bolster our mission of being a family-friendly event and fundraiser for The Laurel Center."
Participants will be chasing a total prize purse of $4000 with $1700 designated for the top three collegians. All money will be distributed equally among men and women. Additionally, this year we will also offer a $200 bonus to the winner(s) for a sub-4 minute mile (sub-4:30 for women). Collegians will also be eligible for open prize money.
THE RACE BASICS
STARTING LINE: All One Mile races will start at 1604 S. Loudoun Street near Blue Ridge Electric.
OPEN PRIZE MONEY: There will be prize money to the top 5 runners overall (based on gun time start) and first masters (equal for men and women): 1st - $500, 2nd - $250, 3rd-$150, 4th - $100, 5th - $75; 1st Masters (40+) - $75.
COLLEGIATE ROAD MILE CHAMPIONSHIP: Separate prize money for the top 3 collegians. This is open to anyone who has taken at least one college class (even on-line) in the first half of 2020. Eligibility must be verified through the Collegiate Running Association. There will be prize money for the top 3 -- $500 for first, $250 for second and $100 for third. Double-dipping with open prize money WILL be allowed.
AGE GROUPS AWARDS to top 3 in each age group: 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49 for men and women; 50-54, 55-59, 60-69, 70-79 & 80+ for men; 50-59, 60-69 & 70+ for women.
RRCA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Awards to Overall winner, Masters (40+) winner, Grandmasters (50+) winner, Senior Grandmasters (60+) winner. Winners will be moved up to highest category (e.g., if a 50-year old is the first finisher over 40, they will receive the Masters award. The 2nd 50+ year old will be recognized as the Grandmaster's winner).