ZAP rookie Amanda Vestri closed out her 2023 on a high note with a national championship with a victory at the US Club Cross Country meet in Tallahassee, FL on Saturday. Seven days removed from a ZAP record in the 5,000m on the indoor track, Amanda stormed to a decisive win, covering the 6k distance in 20:06 to win by 14 seconds.
The warm weather (80 degrees at gun time) didn’t impact Amanda’s strategy to make the racing hard early. Amanda took the lead from the gun, leading the chase pack by nearly 10 seconds at the 1,000m mark. As she passed along the crushed sea shells over the 2nd half of the roughly 2 mile loop, Amanda’s lead grew to 20 seconds. And as she made her way into the 2nd half of the course, she passed 4k in 13:08, 21 seconds ahead of 2nd place.
Amanda kept her foot on the gas, and although her lead shrunk slightly over the final 2k as the chase pack began racing each other her win was never in doubt in the 2nd half. Amanda stopped the clock at 20:06, just under 5:20 per mile pace, to win the race by 14 seconds to earn her not just her first national championship.
Amanda will take a light week of training this week after the back-to-back racing weekends before refocusing her training on the US Cross Country Championships on January 20th in Richmond, VA. The top 6 athletes in that race will earn a spot to represent the US at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
You can find the full results from the Club Cross Country Championships here.