Story by COL Sean Ryan on 02/06/2018Army Spec. Leonard Korir of Fort Carson, Colo. defended his title at the Armed Forces Cross Country 10k Championship on 3 Feb. and led the Army team to its sixth consecutive title.
The race was held in conjunction with the USA Track and Field Cross Country National Championship, and Korir out-dueled two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp for top honors.
Korir, a 2016 Olympian himself, and 2017 World Track and Field runner for Team USA in London, threw in a surge with 800 meters to go to outlast Rupp.
Korir has been on a tear since running the second fastest half-marathon in U.S. history in New Delhi, India, becoming the second American to break sixty minutes under smoggy conditions, and last month won the International Greater Edinburgh cross country title for the second year in a row. Last year, he was the only Soldier to ever win the USATF cross country title, and this year repeats that feat.
Army runners packed up well and ran as a tight knit unit as Spec. Haron Lagat (Fort Carson, Colo.), the 2017 Army 10-mile champion claimed the Armed Forces silver medal, and Sgt. Augustus Maiyo (Fort Carson, Colo.) took home the bronze medal.
Rounding out the field for Army was Capt. Robert Cheseret (Fort Carson, Colo.), Sgt. Elkanah Kibet (Fort Carson, Colo.), Sgt. Evans Kirwa (Fort Carson, Colo.) and Michael Biwott (Grafenwoehr, Germany) scoring 15 total points, the highest possible mark in displacement scoring.
Korir said he used his resiliency and determination to win as this was one of the best cross- country fields ever assembled. "I was feeling focused this year on cross-country and knew this year would be competitive. I wanted to see where I was at fitness wise and winning the Edinburgh race prepared me mentally. I was also looking forward to the Tallahassee course as last year it was very snowy and cold in Bend, Ore., and I prefer the warmer weather and running through the trees with different terrains," said Korir.
The Air Force men had strong showings from Capt. Matthew Williams of Seymour-Johnson AFB, S.C. (8th place), and 1st Lt. Riley Coats of Peterson AFB, Colo. (9th place) leading them to team silver earning 58 points.
Completing the Airmen's run were 2nd lt. Kyle Eller (Kirtland AFB, NM), 2nd lt. Kristopher Houghton (Kirtland AFB, NM), Capt. Jacob Bradosky (Hill AFB, UT) and 1st Lt. Elliot Myers (Kirtland AFB, NM)
Marine Corps edged the Navy by three points to take third place.
The Army women continued their cross-country dominance by winning the championship for the fourth consecutive year led by Spec. Susan Tanui of Fort Carson, Colo. who took home the Armed Forces gold medal.
Tanui was the Army 10-Mile champion in 2017, made up for her 10th place finish last year by dominating the race by nearly three minutes.
Tanui added, "It is an honor to run in the championship race and I'm humbled to be a member of the Armed Forces team. To now qualify for the national team is amazing, and I credit my coaching and training. Being part of the World Class Athlete Program has allowed me the proper time to train and race, and the results are showing that."
Teammate Maj. Kelly Calway of West Point, N.Y. took Armed Forces bronze, with teammates 1st Lt. Jennifer Comfort (Scott AFB, Ill.) and Sgt. Esther Spradling (Fort Bragg, N.C.), placing 4th and 5th respectively, to easily beat the runner-up Air Force team by 15 points.
Calway, the team captain and 4x winner of the race, said "The team is looking good, all healthy with four returning runners. The course is very beautiful, and the loops make it a very unique course." After sustaining a stress fracture in November, Calway was nervous but wanted to see where she was at fitness wise, as this race will prepare her for the Boston Marathon in April.
Army's Staff Sgt. Claudia McNally (Fort Bragg, N.C.) and Maj. Nicole Solana (JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.) rounded out Army's team.
Air Force 2nd lt. Hannah Everson of Hurlburt Field, Fla. placed 2nd overall and took home the individual silver medal.
Teammates Capt. Katherine Ward (Goodfellow AFB, Texas), 2nd lt. Lindy Long (JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.) and Emily Shertzer (Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. placed 7th, 9th and 10th respectively, leading the women's team to the silver medal.
Navy women placed third with a total of 40 team points, with Marine Corps finishing fourth with 61 points.
The 2019 Armed Forces Championship will return to Tallahassee next year. For complete coverage, visit www.armedforcessports.com for results, photos and more.
FINAL WOMEN'S TEAM STANDINGS:
1st Place - ARMY (13 points)
2nd Place - AIR FORCE (28 points)
3rd Place - NAVY (40 points)
4th Place - MARINE CORPS (61 points)
FINAL MEN'S TEAM STANDINGS:
1st place - ARMY (15 points)
2nd place AIR FORCE (58 points)
3rd place MARINE CORPS (81 points)
4th Place NAVY (84 points)
INDIVIDUAL MEDAL WINNERS WOMEN
GOLD SPC Susan Tanui (Army), Fort Carson, CO (34:39)
SILVER 2d Lt Hannah Everson (USAF), Hurlburt Field, FL (37:10)
BRONZE MAJ Kelly Calway (Army), West Point, NY (37:29)
(Note: Tanui finished sixth overall in the Nationals)
INDIVIDUAL MEDAL WINNERS MEN
GOLD SPC Leonard Korir (Army) Fort Carson, CO (29:17)
SILVER SPC Haron Lagat (Army) Fort Carson, CO (29:47)
BRONZE SGT Augustus Maiyo (Army) Fort Carson, CO (29:54)
(NOTE: Korir won his second straight Men's Open National Championship. Teammates Lagat and Maiyo finished tenth and twelfth respectively in the National)
WOMEN'S ARMED FORCES TEAM SCORING SUMMARY (10K)
(Note: Team determined by adding the displacement finish of top four runners)
1st place SPC Susan Tanui Fort Carson, CO (34:39)
3rd place MAJ Kelly Calway West Point, NY (37:29)
4th place 1LT Jennifer (Hannigan) Comfort, Scott AFB, IL (38:06)
5th place SGT Esther Spradling, Fort Bragg, NC (38:48)
(19th place) SSG Claudia McNally, Fort Bragg, NC (42:34)
(22nd place) MAJ Nicole Solana, JBLM, WA (43:32)
Coach: COL Liam Collins, West Point, NY
2nd place 2d Lt Hannah Everson, Hurlburt Field, FL (37:10)
7th place Capt Katherin Ward, JB Goodfellow AFB, TX (39:23)
9th place 2d Lt Lindy Long, JBLM, WA (40:45)
10th place TSgt Emily Shertzer, FITG AGS, PA (40:56)
(15th place) Maj Charlotte Portlock, AFIT/DET 215, Bloomington, IN (41:45)
(18th place) Lt Col Brenda Schrank, JB Andrews, MD (42:28)
Coach: Col Douglas Wickert, Las Vegas, NV
6th place LT Katherine Irgens, NROTC, U. of Washington (38:54)
8th place LTJG Annie Beveridge, North Island, CA (40:21)
12th place LTJG Rachel Slater, NAS Whidbey Island, WA (41:26)
14th place LTJG Carly Leary, USS Gabrielle Giffords (41:30)
(16th place) PO2 Stephanie Irizarry, USCG Aviation Training Center, Mobile, AL (41:54)
(24th place) LT Courtney Pollman-Turner, Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL (49:28)
Coach: Mr James Felty, Bremerton, WA
11th place 1stLt Niki Funkhauser, Camp Lejeune, NC (41:19)
13th place Capt Angela Grdina, MCB Quantico, VA (41:28)
17th place Capt Mollie Hebda, Camp Pendleton, CA (42:03)
20th place Maj Erin Demchko, Monterey, CA (43:01)
(21st place) - GySgt Sara Pacheco, MCB Quantico, VA (43:09)
(23rd place) LtCol Lauren Edwards, Washington DC, (45:12)
Coach: Mr. William Stearns, MCB Quantico, VA
MEN'S ARMED FORCES TEAM SCORING SUMMARY (10K)
(Note: Team determined by adding the displacement finish of top five runners)
1st place - SPC Leonard Korir, Fort Carson, CO (29:17)
2nd place - SPC Haron Lagat, Fort Carson, CO (29:47)
3rd place - SGT Augustus Maiyo, Fort Carson, CO (29:54)
4th place CPT Robert Cheseret, Fort Carson, CO (30:02)
5th place SGT Elkanah Kibet, Fort Carson, CO (30:04)
(6th place) SGT Evans Kirwa, Fort Carson, CO (30:06)
(10th place) SPC Michael Biwott, Grafenwoehr, Germany (31:33)
Coach: COL Liam Collins, West Point, NY
8th place Capt Matthew Williams, Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC (31:10)
9th place 1st Lt Riley Coats, Peterson AFB, CO (31:28)
12th place 2d Lt Kyle Eller, Kirtland AFB, NM (32:18)
13th place - 2d Lt Kristopher Haughton, Kirtland AFB, NM (33:09)
16th place Capt Jacob Bordosky, Hill AFB, UT (33:46)
(27th place) 1st Lt Elliot Myers, Kirtland AFB, NM (38:02)
Coach: Col Douglas Wickert, Las Vegas, NV
7th place 2ndLt Lucas Stalnaker, Okinawa, Japan (31:03)
14th place 1stLt Kyle King, MCB Camp Pendleton, CA (33:25)
17th place 2ndLt Justin Weaver, Fort Leonardwood, MO (33:56)
20th place PFC Victor Njoroge, Okinawa, Japan (34:28)
23rd place Maj Luke Rodina, Okinawa, Japan (35:37)
(25th place) Capt Christopher Curry, Okinawa, Japan (36:21)
(26th place) - LtCol Joseph Galvin, Fort Lauderdale, FL (36:47)
Coach: Mr. William Stearns, Quantico, VA
11th place LCDR William Christian, Norfolk, VA (31:37)
15th place LT Matthew DeVillers, Seattle, WA (33:33)
18th place - LT Patrick Hearn, NSWC Corona, Norco, CA (33:56)
19th place LTJG Kevin Petow, USCG Sector San Francisco, CA (34:02)
21st place PO3 Seth Kolosso, Great Lakes, IL (34:34)
(22nd place) PO2 John Walker, USS Boise (35:02)
(24th place) PO1 Justin Turner, NOSC Pensacola, FL (35:58)
Coach: Mr. James Felty, Bremerton, WA