Grand Slam Central


RODES CITY RUN

March 14, 2007

Anthem 5K winners still on the trail

By NATHAN CHAMBERS
BeyondTheDerby.com

The Louisville Triple Crown of Running series title remains in play.

Anthem 5K Fitness Classic winners Chris Swisher and Jamie King-O’Shea are expected to return to Louisville for the Rodes City Run on Saturday, according to series consultant Camille Estes.

Swisher and King-O’Shea need to win that race and the Papa John’s 10 Miler on March 31 to become the first Triple Crown champions since Susie Bush in 2004, although Swisher is questionable for the third leg.

Swisher, a 24-year-old former All-American at Miami (Ohio) University, beat defending USATF National Club Cross Country Championships winner Matt Downin in the Anthem 5K in a race-record 14:24 on March 3.

He once ran 10 kilometers, the distance of the Rodes City Run, in 30:24 on a cross country course in college. James Mutuse won the race for the fourth time in five years last March but recorded his slowest winning time, 31:10, and he probably isn’t in condition to challenge Swisher on Saturday.

Several of the other elite out-of-state runners who finished near the front of the Anthem 5K, including Downin, will not return for the Rodes City Run. But Indianapolis resident Abdelaziz Atmani, who was fifth in the Anthem 5K, is coming back. And among the locals, University of Louisville graduate student Wes Alkin, who won the 2006 Anthem 5K and settled for sixth this year, will make his Rodes City Run debut.

The 31-year-old King O’Shea, who was a four-time All-American at Eastern Kentucky University, also will be making her first appearance in the race. Other contenders include Indianapolis resident Erin Nehus, who finished just 0:03 behind King-O’Shea in the Anthem 5K; Bowling Green, Ky., resident Bonita Paul, a former Rodes City Run winner who was third in the Anthem 5K despite a recent knee injury; and Lucie Sulewski, who was fifth in the Anthem 5K.