Nico Montanez wins first national title at the USATF 15-K Championships

Former St. Augustine standout runner Nico Montanez won the USATF 15-K Championships held in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday. Montanez recorded a time of 43:10 to earn his first national title.

Montanez (28) earned $10,000 in prize money for his win.

“It wasn’t a moment like that where I’m like, oh, I had the lead and time to go,” Montanez said in his post-race media interview. “This thing was planned, it was maneuvered, it was thought out, it was prayed for. This is something that has been on my mind. This is Andrew and Deena Kastor, both of my coaches. This is their recipe.”

Emily Sisson (30) of Phoenix earned a time of 47:28 to collect her fifth national title. Sisson also earned $10,000 plus a $5,000 bonus for crossing the finish line first in the gender challenge. According to the rules, the women were given a six-minute head start and Sisson crossed the finish line one minute and 42 seconds ahead of Montanez.


=Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and he earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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