Behling holds nothing back to defend Irvin 5K men’s titleThe 2008 Duluth East graduate was timed in 15 minutes, 49 seconds, 8 seconds ahead of Dane Moreland of Lake Nebagamon.
By: By Rick Weegman, Duluth News Tribune , Superior Telegram
Scott Behling didn’t save his sprint for the finish of today’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. The Duluthian needed it to defend his William A. Irvin 5K title.
Behling, 21, a junior-to-be at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, ran past Dane Moreland in the final stretch past the race’s namesake ore boat to win the 18th annual five-kilometer run Friday.
The 2008 Duluth East graduate was timed in 15 minutes, 49 seconds, 8 seconds ahead of Moreland of Lake Nebagamon.
“I usually have a kick at the end,” said Behling, who passed Moreland with about 100 meters to go. “I felt great at that point — a lot better than the rest of the race.”
Behling, Moreland and third-place finisher Adam Gellerstedt of Esko ran a tactical race together as a trio, toughing it out in the face of a stiff wind on the return leg of the 3.1-mile race.
“We took it easy in the wind and knew it would be a sprint to the end,” Behling said.
Moreland rounded the final corner in front, but Behling, who has run 3:58 in his specialty, the 1,500, outkicked him for a third straight top-two finish (he was second in 2009).
Behling will run the half-marathon today, a distance he said he likely will concentrate on after college.
Women’s winner training for U.S. Junior Nationals
Heidi Peterson admits she isn’t the best road racer.
The 19-year-old from Sartell, Minn., has her sights set on the track and used Friday’s run as a prep for next week’s USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Peterson, a sophomore-to-be at North Dakota State, won the women’s race in 18:34 — far off her best 5,000-meter time of 17:26 on the track, but 40 seconds better than runner-up Ariel Heitzman of Grand Rapids.
“I’m nowhere near 17:26 on the roads, but hopefully when I get on a track setting it will be much easier to do that,” she said.
Peterson, a 2010 Sartell-Saint Stephen graduate, had finished third as an eighth- and ninth-grader in her two previous Irvin appearances.
“So I’ve improved, and that’s good to see,” she said.
Peterson ran with Heitzman, 26, for about the first mile, then surged ahead and ran the final two miles as the lone female. She said the course was fast until the halfway point, when runners turned into the wind.
“That was hard, but I’m usually a good wind runner and I tried to use some of the bigger guys out there (as a wind block),” she said. “Since I’m pretty small, I tried to tuck in behind them.”
Recent Duluth Central graduate Amanda Boman was third in 19:29 and 46-year-old Catherine Long of Duluth was fifth.
-- Defending champion Carrie Tollefson was at the finish line but not as a competitor. The former Olympian from Dawson, Minn., missed the race due to injury, but was filming a podcast segment for her website www.ctollerun.org.
-- An unofficial total of 1,485 runners (588 men and 897 women) finished the race out of a record 1,770 who registered.
18th William A. Irvin 5K
Top 10 Men
1. Scott Behling, Duluth, 15:49; 2. Dane Moreland, Lake Nebagamon, 15:57; 3. Adam Gellerstedt, Esko, 16:04; 4. Mark Maronese, Thunder Bay, Ontario, 16:27; 5. Ryan Eason, Coon Rapids, Minn., 16:40; 6. Tony Meyers, St. Croix Falls, Wis., 16:45; 7. Matthew Welch, Duluth, 16:49; 8. Cam Green, Edina, Minn., 16:55; 9. Paul Giannobile, Minnetonka, Minn., 17:03; 10. Jared Smith, Minneapolis, 17:08.
Top 10 Women
1. Heidi Peterson, Sartell, Minn., 18:34; 2. Ariel Heitzman, Grand Rapids, 19:14; 3. Amanda Boman, Duluth, 19:29; 4. Talia Berndt, Plymouth, Minn., 20:00; 5. Catherine Long, Duluth, 20:23; 6. Laura Hughes, Mankato, Minn., 20:38; 7. Taylor Gibson, La Crescent, Minn., 20:39; 8. Halee Peterson, Cloquet, 20:49; 9. Abby Holak, Duluth, 20:59; 10. Tracy Hirigoyen, St. Paul, 21:11.