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Army team runs to win in St. Louis

Distance runners sweep to victory at recent Armed Forces championships

Published: 11:57AM February 14th, 2013

Tim Hipps

U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program runner Spc. Robert Cheseret, seen here competing in the finals of the 5,000 meters at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials in Eugene, Ore., won his second Armed Forces Cross-Country Championship while leading the All-Army men to the team title Feb. 2 at Forest Park in St. Louis.

SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program runner Spc. Robert Cheseret and Capt. Kelly Calway led the All-Army men’s and women’s teams to the 2013 Armed Forces Cross-Country Championships, Feb. 3, at Forest Park in St. Louis, Mo.

On a cold winter day, Cheseret completed the slippery 12-kilometer course in 36 minutes, 44.1 seconds to win the Armed Forces men’s gold medal. He finished 17th overall in the race that was run in conjunction with the 2013 USA Cross -Country Championships. World Class Athlete Program, or WCAP, runners Spc. Joseph Chirlee (24th in 36:56.8) won the silver and Spc. Augustus Maiyo (25th in 36:57.4) took the bronze to complete an All-Army sweep of the Armed Forces men’s medals.

“It went really good,” Cheseret said after winning his second Armed Forces Cross-Country title.

He also won the 2011 crown in San Diego, Calif., where he finished 11th overall.

WCAP Spc. Kyle Heath (36th in 37:37.3) and Capt. Kenneth Foster (57th in 39:40.6) of Fort Huachuca, Ariz., completed All-Army’s scoring en route to winning both the Armed Forces crown and overall men’s team title. All of the WCAP runners are stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.

“I was really happy about winning this time around, especially this year we have more competition in the Armed Forces now with Maiyo and Joseph, so I was really happy to win the race,” Cheseret said. “After the Army Ten-Miler and Marine Corps Marathon, we took some time off, and then we started putting on more mileage for this race. So we’ve been training specifically for cross country.”

Along with outrunning runner-up All-Air Force (58 Armed Forces points), third place All-Marine Corps (80) and All-Navy (82), the All-Army men (18 Armed Forces points, 2:28:18 cumulative time) defeated squads from Boulder Running Company/Adidas (2:28:22), Hanson-Brooks Distance Project (2:28:55), Big River Running Company (2:41:36) and Sports Warriors Track Club (2:46:17).

Defending race champion Calway, of Fort Carson, won the Armed Forces women’s 8-kilometer race with a time of 29:25.7 and finished 38th among women. Navy Lt. Gina Slaby (48th in 29:53.7) of the Defense Contract Management Agency in Tucson, Ariz., took the Armed Forces silver medal and Navy Lt. Amanda Rice (51st in 30:09.2) of the Dental Health Clinic in Atsugi, Japan, secured the bronze.

Major Emily Potter (53rd in 30:27.5) of Fort Bragg, N.C., 2nd Lt. Chelsea Prahl (55th in 30:40.7) of Fort Lee, Va., and Capt. Ashley Urick (56th in 30:42.5) of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, swept Armed Forces spots four through six to secure the women’s team title for All-Army with 16 points.

“I don’t think we’ve ever won (the team title) since I’ve been at Armed Forces, we’ve been pretty much beaten by Air Force every time,” said Calway, a four-time Armed Forces competitor. “It was huge. I thought we had an awesome team going into it, but I didn’t want to jinx it and say anything. I was just like, ‘OK, I will run well and I hope everybody else does the same.’ I was really pleased because I knew instantly. Usually, it’s a little confusing, but I knew it was me and the two Navy girls, and then I saw all the rest of our team finish and I was like, ‘Alright, we’ve locked this one up.’”