asics Greenville Track Club-ELITE - a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program
ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE's Austin Steagall defended his title from 2017 as he ran to victory in the 39th Annual Greenville News Run Downtown 5K. Running his first race in two months, he opened his 2018 competitive schedule with a time of 14:54 over the rolling course in downtown Greenville, SC.
Steagall followed Greenville's Cole Atkins, a former member of ZAP-Reebok's elite program and now a Skechers athlete, for the first mile before taking the lead and never looking back. While the time was well off Steagall's course record of 14:14 (set last year), he accomplished his primary goal of defending his victory. Atkins finished second in 15:01.
"I followed the plan my coach and I had developed a few weeks ago and just ran for the win," explained Steagall following his post-race cool down. "This is my first race of the season and we'll be targeting some indoor track meets starting next week at Clemson."
The race is the unofficial kick-off each year for the road racing season in Greenville. This year the finish line was moved from S. Main Street to E. Broad Street due to the relocation of The Greenville News into their new facility. The course is certified under USATF procedures. There were 1656 official finishers on a sunny, but very chilly morning.
GTC-ELITE was established in 2012 and produced four qualifiers for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles. The post-collegiate, Olympic development program is sponsored by ASICS, the 45-year-old Greenville Track Club, Greenville Health System, ScanSource, Joy Real Estate, the Bare Minimum Track Club, generous individual contributors and partnerships with Performance Therapy, Carolina Spine and Rehab, Boston Bill Sunglasses, Roll Recovery products, FinalSurge (on-line training log), The ATI Running Academy, ElliptiGO, NormaTec Recovery Boots and Cocoa Elite recovery products.