Mile News

Ciattei, McArthur claim USA titles at Grand Blue Mile

April 23, 2024

Men's repeat champion crushes course record, just misses road Mile world record; women's champion celebrates debut road Mile

Contributed by Keenan Gray for USATF

DES MOINES, Iowa – Vincent Ciattei set out for redemption, while Rachel McArthur was there to prove her worth at the 15th Grand Blue Mile, host of the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships.

The streets of downtown Des Moines were treated to some fantastic racing at this year’s Championships, with Ciattei reclaiming the road Mile title (also 2022 national champion) on the men’s side in record-setting fashion and McArthur winning the women’s title in her road Mile debut.

The men’s race saw Ciattei, 29, take to the lead from the start and never lost sight of first, running wire-to-wire to the finish line in a course record time of 3 minutes, 57 seconds (3:56.97), just a hair off the world record time of 3:56.13 set by American Hobbs Kessler at the 2023 World Road Running Championship in Riga, Lativa on October 1, and breaking Clayton Murphy's course record of 3:59.96 from 2017.

“I’m sure in a day I’ll be happy that I won, but that hurt so bad,” Ciattei said. “I’ve been on the wrong side of small margins so often in my career. I thought today might be the day.”

Ciattei, representing Under Armour’s Dark Sky Distance, led the field through the first quarter-mile in 57 seconds, then reached the half-mile mark at 1:58, right on pace to match Kessler’s world record time.

Right on the heals of Ciattei were Club Northwest’s Mac Franks and Under Armour’s John Reniewicki and Alec Basten through the half-mile as they begin to press him before making the wide turn heading into the final 600 meters of the race.

As they rounded the turn into the final stretch, Ciattei threw in a surge to move away from Reniewicki, Franks and Basten. With no response, the trio couldn’t catch Ciattei over the final stretch.

Ciattei’s record-setting time was an improvement by five seconds after finishing third in last year’s field in 4:02.9.

“I think I was a lot more confident this year,” Ciattei said. “Last year, I had about seven weeks of training going into this race. This year, I had about seven months, so that makes a pretty big difference.”

Reniewicki and Basten finished second and third, clocking 3:58.5 and 3:59.9, respectively, to make it three men under the coveted 4 minute mark.

Abraham Alvarado, representing Atlanta Track Club, ran to fourth place in 4:01.04, with Franks rounding out the top five in 4:02.9.

McArthur, 24, ran with determination in her road Mile debut following a career-best 4:07.28 in the 1500 last Friday at Wake Forest. The former Colorado Buffalo crossed the tape first in 4:32.2 as she out ran Anna Camp Bennett to the line in 4:33.7.

Racing with patience, McArthur followed the veteran group of women through the first half-mile as Rachel Smith, who won the 2021 road Mile title here, led the pack through 67 seconds at the quarter mile and 2:17 at the half mile.

Just as the race began to pick up, Smith pulled up and stepped off the course with an apparent injury, giving McArthur the advantage for the first time.

The pack went to 10 women as they rounded the turn into the home straightaway, with McArthur up front alongside Camp Bennett and Annie Frisbie as racing began to pick up over the final 400 meters.

With 200 meters remaining, McArthur went to the arms and drove her legs away from the pack, creating separation by at least five meters in the closing stages of the race to cross the line in first.

“To be honest, I was among a lot of really talented women, so I thought I’d follow them,” McArthur said. “I was just thinking the last 600 meters everyone gets excited because the finish is there, but it’s still 600 meters, so I just tried to stay calm and when I felt good, I felt good.”

Michaela Degenero snagged a top three finish in 4:34.2, outkicking Alexina Teubel and Angelina Ellis, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 4:35.4 and 4:36.2.

Each national champion took home $5000 from a guaranteed $25,000 prize purse, and Ciattei also earning a $2500 event record bonus.

The Iowa Kidstrong Fun Run began the evening followed by 2,000 participants in the recreational division, and Herky the Hawk from the University of Iowa won the Mascot Madness Charity Challenge.

15th Grand Blue Mile: USATF 1 Mile Road Championships
BBTM Featured Event
Des Moines, IA, Tuesday, April 23, 2024

1) Vince Ciattei (AZ), 3:57*, $7500 (includes $2500 event record bonus)
2) John Reniewicki (MD), 3:59, $2500
3) Alec Basten (MD), 4:00, $1500
4) Abraham Alvarado (GA), 4:02, $1250
5) Mac Franks (WA), 4:03, $1000
6) Ben Veatch (MD), 4:04, $500
7) Shane Streich (GA), 4:05, $300
8) Jake Gillum (IL), 4:05, $200
9) Caleb Webb (AZ), 4:06, $150
10) Nick Randazzo (CA), 4:09, $100
*event record (previous record, 4:00 (3:59.96), Clayton Murphy (OH), 2017)

1) Rachel McArthur (VA), 4:33, $5000
2) Anna Camp Bennett (UT), 4:34, $2500
3) Michaela Degenero (CO), 4:35, $1500
4) Alexina Teubel (IA), 4:36, $1250
5) Angelina Ellis (AZ), 4:37, $1000
6) Anna Gibson (CA), 4:37, $500
7) Emma Grace Hurley (IN), 4:38, $300
8) Annie Frisbie (MN), 4:38, $200
9) Allie Wilson (IN), 4:41, $150
10) Melissa Tanaka (CA), 4:43, $100

Complete race results HERE.

The USATF 1 Mile Road Championships were the fifth stop on the 2024 USATF Running Circuit. Race videos and coverage are available and can be viewed with +PLUS subscription on

CREDIT: Drake Relays

Tags: vince ciattei (13) , usatf 1 mile road championships (19) , rachel mcarthur (1) , john reniewicki (1) , grand blue mile (48) , anna camp bennett (2)

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