April 23, 2013
For immediate release

LaBeaud’s personal record at Mt. SAC, Tapia’s strong Boston finish stand out

From the road to the track, the Sacramento Running Association’s Elite Team continues to deliver strong performances.

Natasha LaBeaud shattered her personal best by 25 seconds to win the Olympic Development 5,000 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays last Friday with a 15-minute, 50.34-second effort. SRA teammates Kim Conley and Lea Wallace also ran well, finishing 2-3 in the Invitational Elite 1,500 field with 4:10:03 and 4:10.79 efforts.

Kevin Pool, who manages the SRA’s Elite Team, was particularly impressed with LaBeaud’s performance.

“That was a huge race for her,” he said. “That was a breakthrough for her.”

SRA runner Alia Gray smashed her 5,000-meter personal best by more than 25 seconds with a 16:14.33 finish at the recent Stanford Invitational.

“Alia’s really nailing her workouts,” Pool said.

Pool was part of a strong SRA showing at the Boston Marathon, which was marred by the tragic bombing that claimed three lives and injured more than 200 people.

Daniel Tapia, who won the California International Marathon in December, strengthened his credentials to make the U.S. team for the World Championships by finishing ninth overall in 2:14:30. He was the second American finisher.

Pool finished 18th overall with a personal best of 2:18:59. Tapia, Pool and SRA teammate Cheyne Inman (2:31:05) combined for the top team time of 7:04:34.

The SRA’s Michelle La Sala also recorded a personal record with a 3:03:14 finish.

After the race, Pool went to his hotel room near the finish and saw the aftermath of the explosions.

“I was on the phone with my Mom telling her how the race went and I heard the first explosion and saw a lot of smoke coming out,” he said. “I just saw like all the people running away, all the emergency vehicles coming in.

“I’ve never been so happy to get home from a race.”

Other top SRA performances include Wallace winning the 800 at Sacramento State’s Mondo Mid-Major with a 2:02 effort, Tim Tollefson’s 8:56 steeplechase performance at the same meet and Camron Shahmirzadi’s victory at the Sacramento Zoo Zoom 10k in 33:49.7.

Wallace’s performance qualified her for a spot on the U.S. 4×800 team in the Penn Relays on Saturday.

SRA won the women’s team title at the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run, which served as USA Track & Field’s Pacific Association Championship, thanks to a 1-2-3 finish by Conley (56:21), Gray (56:52) and Lauren Jimison (56:56).

“They’ve really been stepping up,” Pool said of SRA’s athletes. “A lot of people have.”

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA events include the recently concluded Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run, the Gold Rush 100k on May 11, the Folsom Blues Breakout Half Marathon on Oct. 19, the California International Marathon on Dec. 8 and the Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run on Feb. 2.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.