By ERIC X. VICCARO
CANTON, Ohio — Former Ste. Genevieve High School and current Puma distance runner Taylor Werner raced to a title this past Saturday.
Werner clocked in with a time of 18 minutes, 21 seconds to win the USA Track and Field women’s six-kilometer championship in downtown Canton.
This was a road race, beginning around the Malone University campus.
It marked Werner’s first USATF title as a professional runner, having joined Puma this past winter.
Werner was six seconds faster than second-place finisher Emily Durgin, a University of Connecticut graduate who currently runs for the Under Armour Dark Sky Distance team.
Both Werner and Durgin broke away from the lead pack during the final 1,000 meters. Taylor’s split time at the three-mile mark was 14:48. Werner used her closing speed to control the final part of the race.
“To be able to come out here, have confidence, and know that I can run with these women, it was an incredible experience,” Werner told the University of Arkansas’ Shawn Price.
Werner scored 15 points in the USATF Running Circuit standings, in a tie for second place with Emily Sisson, Sara Hall, Rachel Schneider and Anna Frisbie. Durgin is currently leading the ladder with 34 points.
In preparation for the road race, Werner told Price she was transitioning from training on a track to trails and bicycle paths.