Collegians Ready For Road Mile National Championships
Stellar Fields to Compete for 2022 Collegiate Road Mile Titles
May 28, 2022 – Winchester, VA - The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) and the Shenandoah Valley Runners are set to welcome the 2022 Collegiate Road Mile National Championship back to Winchester, Virginia Monday morning. The 35th annual Loudoun Street Mile will host the Collegiate Road Mile National Championship for the fourth time in as many years and the RRCA National Road Mile Championship for the first time. There will be prize money specifically reserved for college students with a total prize purse of $5,100.
The event follows its traditional date of Memorial Day and will welcome over 400 runners of all ages to the streets of Winchester in waves of 50 runners per wave. The point-to-point race course offers an opportunity for runners to set personal bests, and with a forecast of 65 degrees on race morning, conditions look primed for fast times.
This will be the deepest men's field in Collegiate Road Mile Championships history with returning champion, Colin Cannon (George Mason University), joining Gavin Jenkins (Virginia Military Institute), Elias Graca (Northwestern University), Reid Sharkey (George Mason University), Hunter Jutras (George Mason University), Logan Broedner (George Washington University), David Butts (Hagerstown Community College), Jordan Bendura (University of Richmond), Idriss Idriss (Stevenson University), James Heilman (McDaniel), Brian Rich, William Evans and local favorite, Reed Davis (Shenandoah University) expected to be factors when the racing begins.
Colin Cannon (George Mason University) is back to defend the title he won last year. In 2021 he closed fast to edge the field on Loudoun Street. He holds personal bests of 1:53.02 (800M), 3:51.85 (1500M) and 4:10.38 (Mile).
With the depth of the field expect an aggressive start from Elias Graca who is looking to improve by two places over his 3rd place finishes last year (2021) and 2020. The Northwestern University graduate student has competed in this race several times and comes in knowing how to race this course. His excellent leg speed (1:50 in the 800M) could be exactly what he needs and if it is close with 150M to go, he could have the edge.
VMI great, Gavin Jenkins narrowly missed advancing to the NCAA Championships after running an impressive 3K steeplechase at the Virginia Challenge. The Keydet senior holds an impressive list of top marks including a 4:08.18 (Mile), 8:44.56 (3KSC) and 14:21.73 (5K).
George Washington University standout, Logan Broedner, finished a strong campaign for the Colonials where he recently won the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship in the 3K steeplechase.
George Mason University has two of the top ranked men entered. Reid Sharkey had a breakout season for the Patriots last year where he ran 3:49.57 (1500M) and 14:23.70 (5K). He will be joined by teammate, Hunter Jutras who ran 14:24.83 (5K) and 29:39.68 (10K) for the Patriots last season.
Jordan Bendura (University of Richmond) is also coming off a strong year for the Spiders where he set personal bests at every distance he ran. He recently placed runner-up in the Collegiate Trail Running Championships (Athens, Ohio) and 4th place in the Collegiate 10K Road Race Championships (Richmond, Virginia).
David Butts has been having a stellar career at the ever improving Hagerstown Community College (Hagerstown, Maryland) under legendary coach, Mike Spinnler. Over the weekend he competed in the NJCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 3K Steeplechase and the 5,000M. During the indoor season he qualified for the NJCAA Championships in the 800M, 1,000M, Mile, 3,000M, 4X800M Relay and Distance Medley Relay.
Iddriss Iddriss (Stevenson University) ran in the NCAA D3 Outdoor Championships over the weekend where he placed 11th (1:52.19). The Middletown, Delaware native is a NCAA D3 All-American in the 800M and multiple time MAC Champion. He holds personal bests of 49.11 (400M), 1:51.13 (800M) and 4:16.16 (Mile) and could be one to watch with his leg speed.
Local favorite, Reed Davis has recently completed his junior year at Shenandoah University and will be a potential top 10 performer. Additionally, look for James Heilman (McDaniel), Brian Rich, William Evans to be a top 10 contenders.
Along with the top collegians there is a strong group of Elite Open runners which includes Dartmouth graduate, Ben Szuhaj (7th overall in 2021), Zach Pistilli (8th overall in 2021), Marcelo Jauregui-Volpe (14th overall in 2021), Ryan Witters and Tyler McCarthy.
The women’s field features a stacked group of top runners who will be chasing the course record of 4:41.7 set by Amy Cashin (West Virginia University/Australia). Expected to push the pace among collegians will be Gina McNamara (University of Michigan), Peri Pavicic (George Washington University), Sydney Leiher (Syracuse), Anne Akagi (Charleston Southern) and Louisa Whittingham (George Mason University).
Gina McNamara, is well known at this event. She is always a factor as a member of the Georgetown Running Club. In 2017 she moved to Washington DC for work and is enrolled as a graduate student at her alma mater, the University of Michigan. Her pre-GRC tenure was spent as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, where Gina was 5-time Big-Ten finalist in the 800M for the Michigan Wolverines. She has since expanded her range to include road miles and holds personal bests of 2:07 for the 800M and 4:45 in the Mile.
Peri Pavicic, a George Washington University undergraduate and now, graduate student, she recently claimed the 2022 Collegiate 10K Road Race Championships in Richmond, Virginia. It was her first ever road race and she easily won in 35:13 to claim the $1,000 first place prize. She has personal bests of 4:30.32 (1500M), 16:39.94 (5K) and 34:45.42 (10K) on the track.
Sydney Leiher, a standout while at Syracuse University, has personal best marks of 2:48.95 (1K), 4:25.04 (1500M), 4:39.14 (Mile) and 10:23.38 (3KSC). She placed 7th here in 2021.
Charleston Southern University has sophomore, Anne Akagi competing. The Leesburg, VA native who attended St. Sebastion Academy, earned 2022 Big South All-Conference honors in the 3K Steeplechase where she placed 3rd. She also ran the 1500M and 5,000M.
Louisa Whittingham (George Mason University) had a great spring season for the Patriots. She earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors in the 10,000M, where she placed third. She followed that up with 11th place in the ECAC Championships 5,000M a week later. She holds personal best marks of 17:16.57 for the 5K and 35:39.64 in the 10K.
Along with the collegians, several open (non-collegiate) runners to watch include former course record holder, Susanna Sullivan, University of Richmond graduate, Maria Acosta and 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifiers, Sarah Bishop and Ann Mazur.
Leading the open athletes with be former course record holder Susanna Sullivan who has the 2nd fastest time ever run on the course of 4:44.3 set in 2015. Roughly two years ago she made a coaching change to Andrew Gerard (George Mason University) and her performances have flourished. A 2-time Olympic Trials qualifier, the Reston, VA resident has been on fire this spring including her recent win in the Penn Relays Olympic Development 5K. Her solo effort win of 15:29.02 was a personal best by 9 seconds. Earlier this spring she became the first local resident, since 1983, to win the prestigious Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (52:32). The fifth-grade teacher at Haycock Elementary School in Falls Church will be working through jet-lag since she placed 17th (32:12.77) in the USATF 10K Championships last night in Eugene, Oregon. If she can shake off the travel don’t be surprised if she threatens the course record!
Maria Acosta finished her graduate degree last fall at the University of Richmond. Before completing her eligibility for the Spiders she had an amazing career as a 3-time NCAA qualifier in the 800M and multiple time Atlantic 10 Conference Championship titles. She has a personal best of 2:05.13 for the 800M. Maria ran this event last year and now knows the tricks to the course, so keep an eye on her.
Auburn University graduate, Sarah Bishop is a 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier (2:42:46). She took eight years off running after college and then started again for stress relief after having four kids while working full time as a civil engineer. She is dropping down to spin her wheels for a quick, fun 1 mile.
Possibly the most famous runner in the race is Ann Mazur. The Pittsburgh, PA native completed her undergraduate work at Notre Dame and PhD at the University of Virginia. She is most known for her @RunnersLoveYoga page and clothing line, however she is an accomplished runner who qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier (2:44:47).
“It seems like we say this every year, but these are the deepest fields we’ve had in the four year history of the Collegiate Road Mile Championships,” said Collegiate Running Association Co-Founder Steve Taylor. “This is simply a great event and more and more people are hearing about the welcoming community. We are so excited and look forward to great races. Add the exceptional course, the welcoming community, and it’s easy to see why we believe this holiday tradition is becoming a destination event for our membership as the official kick off to summer and end to the college track season and academic year.”
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 for the fourth consecutive year,” said Mark Stickley, Loudoun Street Mile Director. Stickley added, "this continued partnership has greatly raised the level of competition in the race and is an attractive opportunity for collegians, many of whom are looking for a race at the end of their track season.”
"Additionally, we are also excited to host the RRCA National Road Mile Championships for the first time ever. Both the CRA and RRCA Championships will help us bolster our mission of being a family-friendly event and fundraiser for The Laurel Center", Stickley added.
Participants will be chasing a total prize purse of $5,100 with $1,700 designated for the top three collegians. All money will be distributed equally among men and women. Additionally, this year a $200 bonus will be awarded to the winner(s) for a sub-4 minute mile (sub-4:30 for women). College students will also be eligible to ‘double-dip’ 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 - $750, 2nd - $400, 3rd - $250, 4th - $175, 5th - $125; 1st Masters (40+) - $100.
COLLEGIATE ROAD MILE CHAMPIONSHIP: Separate prize money for the top 3 collegians. This is open to anyone who has taken or currently taking at least one college class (even on-line) since January 1, 2022. 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.
All-Time Top 10 Performance List (AS OF May 31, 2021)
1) 4:10.24....Colin Cannon (George Mason University)...2021
2) 4:12.50....Robbie Creese (Penn State University).......2019
3) 4:12.93....Theo Woods (Georgetown University).........2021
4) 4:12.98....Elias Graca (Georgetown University)...........2021
5) 4:13.21....Anthony Raftis (University of Virginia).......2021
6) 4:13.30....Dominic Stroh (Shippensburg University)..2019
7) 4:14.10....Daniel Jaskowak (Virginia Tech)...................2020
8) 4:14.20....Matthew Lange (George Washington).........2020
9) 4:15.29....Reid Sharkey (George Mason University)....2021
10) 4:16.20..Daniel Trettel (University of Maryland).......2019
1) 4:41.70....Amy Cashin (West Virginia University).......2019
2) 4:46.20....Bethany Sachtleben (Northern Va).............2019
3) 4:48.50....Amy Cashin (West Virginia University).......2020
4) 4:50.65....Zoe Matherne (PSU-Dickinson Law)............2021
5) 4:52.10....Bethany Sachtleben (Northern Va College)2021
6) 4:55.15....Gina McNamara (University of Michigan)...2021
7) 4:56.90....Maria Acosta (University og Richmond)......2021
8) 4:58.00....Gina McNamara (University of Michigan)...2019
9) 4:58.10....Candice Jones (West Virginia University)....2019
10) 5:05.30..Kendra Smither (University of Richmond)..2019