December 06, 2019
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Kenyan runners sweep Beach to Beacon overall titles; Ellsworth’s Curts wins Maine’s men’s crown

Joel Page | AP
Joel Page | AP
Joyciline Jepkosgei, of Kenya, left, speaks with Joan Benoit Samuelson, right, at the finish line after winning the women's division of the annual TD Beach To Beacon 10K road race Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Kenyan runners swept the men’s and women’s overall divisions of the 22nd annual TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday morning.

Twenty-eight-year-old Alex Korio paced the estimated 6,500 runners across the finish line, capturing the men’s overall title with a time of 27 minutes, 34 seconds for the 6.2-mile route.

Korio’s time was just six seconds off the men’s course record of 27:28 set by Kenya’s Gilbert Okari in 2003.

Kenyan steeplechaser Jairus Kipchoge-Birech (28:28) and Bashir Abdi (28:35) of Belgium were next, followed by Australians Brett Robinson (28:43) and Callum Hawkins (28:55) to round out the top five.

Scott Fauble, 27, of Flagstaff, Arizona, was the top American finisher in sixth place overall in a time of 28:59.

Another Kenyan, 25-year-old Joyciline Jepkosgei, pulled away from defending champion Sandrefelis Chebet-Tuei to capture the women’s overall title in 31:05. Chebet-Tuei was second in 31:37, 16 seconds off her winning time in 2018.

Charlotte Purdue of Great Britain was third in 32:17, followed by the top American in the field, Emily Infeld of Portland, Oregon. Infeld, a former Georgetown University standout who was timed in 32:39.

Dan Curts, 23, of Ellsworth was the top Maine men’s finisher, with the former track and cross country standout at Ellsworth High School and Iowa State University placing 12th overall in 29:26.2 to win the battle for in-state supremacy by more than a minute over defending Pine Tree State champion Ryan Smith of Farmington (30:27.1).

“There’s so many good guys in that field who are not only national champions but guys vying for Olympic teams, especially in the marathon for the lot of those guys, so it was cool to run with most of those big names for most of the race.”

Curts remained among the leading pack throughout the race.

“The course kind of rolls throughout so I just wanted to go out and be up there with the guys,” said Curts, the Big 12 Conference 5,000-meter champion in outdoor track this past spring. “It’s more like a cross country race than a track race so you can’t have everything planned out that way. You have to run by feel a lot more so it’s more pure running, which is a lot of fun when you get down to it.

“But all the top Americans were right there and I felt comfortable with that pace so I figured I go with them. There was no real thinking, just running.”

Will Geohegan of Brunswick, the 2014 Maine men’s champion, was second among the Maine contingent in 30:47.8, followed by two-time former Maine Beach to Beacon winner Jesse Orach of Auburn (31:16.2) and 2015 Maine men’s titlist Ben Decker of Falmouth 31:56.4.

Sixteen-year-old Sofie Matson of Falmouth, the two-time Class A cross country state champion who will be a junior at Falmouth High School in the fall, won the Maine women’s championship by running a 5:48 per mile pace good for a finishing time of 36:01.

That was a half-minute faster than runner-up Corey Dowe, 26, of Farmington, who was timed in 36.34.4. Others in the Maine women’s top five were Heather Gallant, 38, of Wayne (36:58.7), Sheri Piers, 48, of Falmouth (36:59.5) and Susie Fitzpatrick, 28, of Kennebunk (37:00.4).

Piers was the Maine women’s masters champion, while Michael Gordon, 40, of Portland won the in-state men’s masters crown with his time of 32:29.0.

Winning overall titles in the wheelchair division were 51-year-old Tony Nogueira of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, in 22:51 and Michelle Wheeler, 32, of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, in 30:25.

 



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