With a blistering turn of speed in the final half mile, Libbie Hickman won the US women's 5-kilometer road racing title Saturday with her victory in the Freihofer's Run for Women.
For the eighth straight year the Albany event served as the national championship.
Hickman, ranked both second and third in 1999 and 1998, knew that the caliber of field would be a real test of her race-fitness as she, too, builds towards the Olympic Trials and a spot on the US 10,000 meter team for the Sydney Games in September.
With a blustery wind buffeting the field at the start, it was anticipated that the early-going would be cautious. Sylvia Mosqueda, however, appeared intent on ignoring both the conditions and the superb field gathered around her. She bolted to the front immediately the gun sounded, gaining a full 20 meters advantage within the first 90 seconds of the race.
Hickman, who had settled in behind Mosqueda early, passed the Californian with a decisive final sprint to win in 15:35.
Blake Russell also outran Mosqueda, finishing second in 15:43 with Mosqueda third in 15:44.
"I struggled after the Marathon Trials and I had to take more time off than I wanted. This shows me that I can be a force (at the 10,000m trials in Sacramento, California, in July) and not just another body on the track,"
Hickman said - (AFP)
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