Hiltz, Prakel win second USATF 1 Mile Road Championship titles
Hiltz sets event and USA Championship records at Grand Blue Mile; $27,500 prize purse awarded
DES MOINES – It was an evening of big finishes in Des Moines on Tuesday evening, as Nikki Hiltz and Sam Prakel kicked to victory at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships hosted by the 14th Grand Blue Mile.
The women’s race started first, as the gun sounded and the runners took to racing through downtown Des Moines. Katie Camarena led the way early, guiding a large pack of competitors through the first 400m in 66 seconds. Camarena and Jenn Randall continued to push the pace as they came through 800 meters in 2:14.
The field started to string out ever so slightly just before the 1200m mark, as the runners came through in 3:26. Camarena started to slide back, while reigning USATF Outdoor 1500m champion Sinclaire Johnson and Hiltz jumped to the lead and started to push the pace.
With 100 meters to go, Hiltz started to pull away from Johnson and with 20 meters left, Hiltz put in one final push to cross the finish in victorious fashion, earning their second USATF 1 Mile Road Championship title, having also won in 2019. Hiltz would edge Johnson 4:28 (4:27.97) to 4:29 for the win. The 28-year-old from Flagstaff also set event and USA Championship records (see results below).
Behind the lead duo, NAIA standout Addy Wiley was able to edge 2016 Olympian Colleen Quigley and experienced pro Shannon Osika in the final moments of the race, as all three runners crossed in 4:31, with Wiley taking third, Quigley fourth and Osika fifth.
In the men’s race, current Drake University All-American Isaac Basten led the early charge, bolting out and building a sizeable lead over the field, coming through 400 meters in 54 seconds, five seconds up on the rest of the field. He continued to push the pace through 800 meters in 1:54, when he stepped off the road and let the pack go by. They would pass through 800m in 2:03.
Once Basten let the field past, Casey Comber jumped to the lead and pushed the next quarter mile. The pack with Comber was sizeable, as most of the field was still in contact with a quarter mile remaining.
With less than 200 meters to go, Prakel powered around Comber and defending champion Vincent Ciattei and started his drive to the finish. Prakel, 28, pumped his arms furiously, focused on the finish tape, claiming his second USATF 1 Mile Road Championship title in 4:02 (4:01.21), also winning in 2020.
The next seven places would be earned within two seconds of one another, providing a thrilling finish for the fans lining the final stretch in Des Moines.
Comber edged Ciattei at the line, each finishing with a 4:03 time, while Nick Randazzo took home fourth in 4:04 with Kasey Knevelbaard and Jake Gillum also clocking 4:04 in fifth and sixth overall.
Both national champions took home $5000, and Hiltz also earning a $2500 event record bonus.
The Iowa Kidstrong Fun Run began the evening followed by 2,000 participants in the recreational division, and Drake University's very own mascot Spike won the Mascot Madness Charity Challenge.
The USATF 1 Mile Road Championships was the fifth stop on the 2023 USATF Running Circuit. Watch both races on demand on USATF.TV with a +PLUS subscription. The next stop on the USATF Running Circuit takes place on Saturday, May 13, as the USATF 25K Championships take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, hosted by the River Bank Run.
14th Grand Blue Mile: USATF 1 Mile Road Championships
BBTM Featured Event
Des Moines, IA, Tuesday, April 25, 2023
1) Nikki Hiltz (AZ), 4:28*, $7500 (includes $2500 event record bonus)
2) Sinclaire Johnson (OR), 4:29, $2500
3) Addy Wiley (IN), 4:31, $1500
4) Colleen Quigley (CA), 4:31, $1250
5) Shannon Osika (MI), 4:31, $1000
6) Alexina Teubel (IA), 4:31, $500
7) Alli Cash (WA), 4:32, $300
8) Jenn Randall (OR), 4:33, $200
9) Micaela DeGenero (CO), 4:34, $150
10) Helen Schlachtenhaufen (MA), 4:37, $100
*event and USA Championship records (previous record, 4:30 (4:29.7), Nikki Hiltz, 2019, and 4:30 (4:29.3), Emily Lipari, 2020)
1) Sam Prakel (WA), 4:02, $5000
2) Casey Comber (MD), 4:03, $2500
3) Vincent Ciattei (OR), 4:03, $1500
4) Nick Randazzo (CA), 4:04, $1250
5) Kasey Knevelbaard (AZ), 4:04, $1000
6) Jake Gillum (IL), 4:04, $500
7) Shane Streich (GA), 4:05, $300
8) David Ribich (OR), 4:05, $200
9) Craig Nowak (OR), 4:06, $150
10) Colin Abert (MN), 4:08, $100
Complete race results HERE.