Deena Kastor at the US Olympic Trials (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Kastor takes Half Marathon title

Deena Kastor, the country's leading women's distance runner, was an easy winner of the USA Half-Marathon title in Duluth, Minnesota yesterday.

Kastor - expected to be a challenger for the Olympic marathon gold medal in August - claimed victory in a time of 1:10:30. Competing into a headwind, she won her 16th USA title when finishing well clear of Susannah Beck (1:15:03) and Cori Mooney (1:15:17).

Kastor slowed by the wind, said: "I was going to try to go out in around 5:15 pace and that would have put me at high-1:07s or low-1:08s.

"When I found the slight headwind, I just kind of wanted to have a strong run. I didn't want to exert myself or overdo and hurt my preparations for the Olympic Games."

1) Deena Kastor, CA 1:10:30
2) Susannah Beck, ME 1:15:03
3) Cori Mooney, ID 1:15:17
4) Rachel Kinsman, OH 1:15:20
5) Jenny Spangler, 40, IL 1:15:29
6) Kim Pawelek, NC 1:15:32
7) Debbi Kilpatrick-Morris, 40, OH 1:15:53
8) Deeja Youngquist, NM 1:16:25