Despite tough windy cold weather on Wednesday (21) for 2021 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships in Des Moines, two veterans surprised all to win for the first time.
Eric Avila, who won the top section of the 3000m at the 2019 US indoor champs, but was denied a national title because Drew Hunter ran faster in the earlier section, yesterday perfected his last kick as he threw his arms out as he crossed the finish line to win his first US national title in 3:58.96 to Craig Engels’ 3:59.24 and Clayton Murphy’s 3:59.52. All three men ran their final lap in under 56 seconds.
In the female, Anna Shields, led early in the women’s race, but Rachel Schneider assumed the lead at the 1000m mark as the runners entered Drake Stadium. Shannon Osika moved into second at the bell, and those two was difficult to separate over the first half of the final lap. Osika was still right on Schneider’s shoulder as they rounded the final turn. But Schneider was simply too strong, powering away over the final 100 to win in 4:30.26 to Osika’s 4:31.27 thanks to a 64.08 final quarter.