Soldiers sweep Armed Forces Cross Country Championships
February 5, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Army News Service, Feb. 5, 2013) -- U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program runner Spc. Robert Cheseret and Capt. Kelly Calway led the All-Army men's and women's teams to the 2013 Armed Forces Cross Country Championships, Feb. 3, at Forest Park in St. Louis.
On a cold winter day, Cheseret completed the slippery 12-kilometer course in 36 minutes, 44.1 seconds to win the Armed Forces men's gold medal. He finished 17th overall in the race that was run in conjunction with the 2013 USA Cross Country Championships. World Class Athlete Program, or WCAP, runners Spc. Joseph Chirlee (24th in 36:56.8) won the silver and Spc. Augustus Maiyo (25th in 36:57.4) took the bronze to complete an All-Army sweep of the Armed Forces men's medals.
"It went really good," Cheseret said after winning his second Armed Forces Cross Country title.
He also won the 2011 crown in San Diego, where he finished 11th overall.
"I hung in there with the lead group. We almost ran as a team: me, Maiyo and Joseph. We all hung in there with the lead group, and at the end I tried to pick it up and that's when I left those two guys, maybe around the fifth mile. I tried to go with the leaders until the last mile when I lost contact. They hammered it and they got me."
WCAP Spc. Kyle Heath (36th in 37:37.3) and Capt. Kenneth Foster (57th in 39:40.6) of Fort Huachuca, Ariz., completed All-Army's scoring en route to winning both the Armed Forces crown and overall men's team title. All of the WCAP runners are stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.
"I was really happy about winning this time around, especially this year we have more competition in the Armed Forces now with Maiyo and Joseph, so I was really happy to win the race," Cheseret said. "After the Army Ten-Miler and Marine Corps Marathon, we took some time off, and then we started putting on more mileage for this race. So we've been training specifically for cross country."
Along with outrunning runner-up All-Air Force (58 Armed Forces points), third place All-Marine Corps (80) and All-Navy (82), the All-Army men (18 Armed Forces points, 2:28:18 cumulative time) defeated squads from Boulder Running Company/Adidas (2:28:22), Hanson-Brooks Distance Project (2:28:55), Big River Running Company (2:41:36) and Sports Warriors Track Club (2:46:17).
Defending race champion Calway, of Fort Carson, won the Armed Forces women's 8-kilometer race with a time of 29:25.7 and finished 38th among women. Navy Lt. Gina Slaby (48th in 29:53.7) of the Defense Contract Management Agency in Tucson, Ariz., took the Armed Forces silver medal and Navy Lt. Amanda Rice (51st in 30:09.2) of the Dental Health Clinic in Atsugi, Japan, secured the bronze.
Maj. Emily Potter (53rd in 30:27.5) of Fort Bragg, N.C., 2nd Lt. Chelsea Prahl (55th in 30:40.7) of Fort Lee, Va., and Capt. Ashley Urick (56th in 30:42.5) of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., swept Armed Forces spots four through six to secure the women's team title for All-Army with 16 points.
"I don't think we've ever won [the team title] since I've been at Armed Forces, we've been pretty much beaten by Air Force every time," said Calway, a four-time Armed Forces competitor. "It was huge. I thought we had an awesome team going into it, but I didn't want to jinx it and say anything. I was just like, 'OK, I will run well and I hope everybody else does the same.' I was really pleased because I knew instantly. Usually, it's a little confusing, but I knew it was me and the two Navy girls, and then I saw all the rest of our team finish and I was like, 'Alright, we've locked this one up.'"
Lt. Rachel Beckmann (62nd in 31:28.0) of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center in Washington, D.C., and Seaman Stephanie Ingalls (64th in 31:33.2) of the U.S. Coast Guard in Norfolk, Va., teamed with Slaby and Rice for runner-up All-Navy (27).
Senior Airman Emily Shertzer (58th in 30:47.5) of Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., Lt. Col. Brenda Schrank (61st in 31:10.) of Andrews Air Force Base, Md., 2nd Lt. Katherine Ward (63rd in 31:29.2) of Barksdale Air Force Base, Md., and Maj. Elissa Ballas (66th in 31:46.0) of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, captured third place for All-Air Force (40).
Second Lt. Jesusah Olver (59th in 30:59.5) of Quantico, Va., led All-Marine Corps (58) as the eighth Armed Forces finisher. Capt. D'Arcy Harley (68th in 31:57.0), a Marine Corps Reserve from California, Capt. Angelica Valdez (73rd in 32:34.0) and Capt. Erin Demchko (78th in 33:18.5), both of Quantico, completed the women's scoring.
Back on the men's side, only Air Force 1st Lt. Matthew Williams (30th in 37:18.1) of Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston, Texas, broke All-Army's stranglehold on the top five Armed Forces spots with a fourth-place finish.
First Lt. Bradley Chronister (58th in 39:44.8) of ROTC University of Missouri, 1st Lt. Jacob Bradosky (59th in 39:48.6) of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and Capt. Jacob Johnson (70th in 40:49.8) of Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., rounded out the All-Air Force scoring.
Capt. Sean Barrett (49th in 39:07.8) of Quantico finished sixth in the Armed Forces division to lead the All-Marine Corps men to third place in the team standings. He was followed by Sgt. Richard Powell (65th in 40:41.8), from Texas, 2nd Lt. Michael Sheehan (74th in 41:27.1) of Quantico, and Capt. Richard Jennings (84th in 42:54.8) of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Lt. William Christian (62nd in 39:59.1) of Norfolk, Va., led All-Navy with an 11th-place Armed Forces finish and was joined by Lt. Stephen Slaby (73rd in 41:18.6) of Virginia Beach, Va., Lt. j.g. Patrick Fernandez (75th in 41:35.8) of the U.S. Coast Guard in Alexandria, Va., and Cmdr. Matthew Thomas (78th in 42:05.6) of the Pentagon in Washington.
Twelve men, Cheseret, Chirlee, Maiyo, Heath, Barrett, Foster, Chronister, Bradosky, Sang, Christian, Powell and Johnson, and five women, Calway, Slaby, Rice, Potter and Prahl -- will represent the United States at the Conseil International du Sport Militaire's 2013 Military World Cross Country Championships, scheduled for March 16, in Apatin, Serbia. The men will run both a long and short course.
Lt. Col. Liam Collins of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and Navy civilian James Felty of Bremerton, Wash., will serve as coaches. Ken Polk of the U.S. Armed Forces Sports Office at Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston will be the team captain.
The top six men's and women's junior and senior finishers earned a spot on Team USA for the 2013 World Cross Country Championships, scheduled for March 24 in Bydogoszcz, Poland.
Shalane Flanagan, the 2008 Olympic 10,000-meter bronze medalist who finished 10th in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympic Games, won her sixth senior women's USA Cross Country title with an 8K time of 25:49.0. Kim Conley, a 2012 Olympian, was second in 26:06.0, followed by seven-time USA cross country champion Deena Kastor, who finished third in 26:41.0 -- less than two weeks before her 40th birthday. She won her first national crown in 1997.
Chris Derrick, who holds the American collegiate record in the 10,000 meters and was selected as an NCAA All-American 14 times at Stanford University, led the senior men in 35:36.6, followed by 2012 Olympians Rathan Ritzenhein (35:44.1) and Matt Tegencamp (35:55.8).