Report15 Dec 2014

Tsegay wins at a canter in Quintanar – cross-country round-up


Samuel Tsegay taking the win in the men's race (© Unai Sasuategui)

World half-marathon silver medallist Samuel Tsegay from Eritrea ran to a commanding victory in testing conditions at the 33rd edition of the Cross Nacional Castellano-Manchego in Quintanar on Sunday (14).

Tsegay, who ran a half-marathon lifetime best of 59:21 to win the silver medal in Copenhagen, made his strength show on a muddy course by taking the lead from the start of the 10km race.

In the end, Tsegay won by almost a minute. In wet conditions, he crossed the finish line in 30:10 to defeat Girma Asmedirmicke from Ethiopia by 51 seconds with Jesus Nunez third on home soil in 31:21.

Tsegay, who also won last weekend in Aranda de Duero, became the fourth Eritrean winner in Quintanar, but the first since 2007 when Ali Abdallah took the spoils.

Likewise, marathon specialist Alessandra Aguilar took her second victory in as many weekends as she defeated a largely domestic field to regain the title she won back in 2010.

Aguilar, who finished a surprise fifth in the marathon at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last year, proved just as capable over the shorter distance of 6.5km as she won in 23:03 to defeat team-mate Sonia Berejano by seven seconds.

As is traditional in Quintanar, the winners of the senior races received their respective body weights in cheese, wine and chocolates which are all famously produced in the area.

Past winners of this race have included former world and Olympic champions such as Haile Gebrselassie, Berhane Adere, Gete Wami and Fernanda Ribeiro.

Elsewhere, Adel Mechaal and Marta Silvestre prevailed at the 32nd running of the Cross Nacional Fiestas de la Virgen in Yecla on Sunday.

In the past, some top-level international runners have been invited but this year’s race was almost completely devoid of competition from abroad.

Mechaal, a 1500m specialist on the track, won the senior 10km in 30:08 with Javier Guerra and Morocco’s Mourad El Bennouri second and third in 30:19 and 30:36 respectively.

The women’s race was a more competitive affair with Marta Silvestre winning the senior 6km race by four seconds ahead of Maria Urbina in 20:40.

Hill and Thweatt prevail in Bethlehem

World 5000m finalist Ryan Hill won in a close finish in the best attended edition of the USATF Clubs Cross Country Championships to date in Bethlehem, Philadelphia on Saturday (13).

Running for Bowerman Track Club, Hill demonstrated the best sprint finish over the final 200m to clinch the title over 10km in 29:08 ahead of Jacob Riley and Hill’s club-mate German Fernandez, who were both timed at 29:10.

On the comeback from injury, Matt Tegenkamp finished ninth in 29:23 in his first race since April.

In the women’s race, Boulder Track Club’s Laura Thweatt easily retained her title over 6km.

Thweatt, who reduced her 5000m PB from 15:36.85 to 15:04.98 over the course of the summer, took a gun-to-tape victory in 19:15 to defeat Tara Erdmann by 10 seconds.

The senior team competitions were won by Zap Fitness Reebok and Boston Athletic Association respectively.

More than 1700 runners competed in the 17th edition of this race staged this year at Lehigh University.

Steven Mills for the IAAF