Senior All-American Emma Kertesz continued her success on the national scene by finishing fourth at the USA Women's 10K Road Racing Championships in Boston, MA on Monday. Kertesz held her own among professional and Olympic runners, finishing with a final time of 32:51.40.
Kertesz placed 12th overall at the USA 5K Road Racing Championships last month, and now holds the highest finish by a Rocket at a USA Track and Field Championship event since former American record holder Briana Shook, who finished fourth at the 2005 USA Track and Field Championships in the steeplechase.
According to Toledo Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Kevin Hadsell, this race further establishes Kertesz as one of the elite runners in the NCAA.
"What an amazing fall for Emma as she heads into the indoor and outdoor seasons," Hadsell said. "There is a lot left in the tank for her since we really didn't do anything spectacular in our training to this point."
Kertesz patiently battled within a lead pack of 25 women for the first 2,000-meters. The pack had narrowed down to 12 women as they passed the 5,000-meter marker at 16:34.00. Kertesz steadily moved into seventh place at about 8,000-meters.
With 300-meters remaining in the race, Kertesz moved into third place for a close battle with professional runner Neeley Spence and two-time Olympian Jen Rhines. Kertesz was able to hold off Rhines down the final stretch, but was barely beaten at the line by Spence.
"Emma ran an incredibly smart and tough race," Hadsell said. "She kept her composure the first half of the race, which is important in the longer distances. She was able to close very hard at the end and surprised a lot of people, including herself."
Kertesz will now turn her attention to the winter as the Rockets seek to avenge their indoor and outdoor Mid-American Conference Runner-up finishes a year ago.