Mitch Ammons (left) and Kobe Yepez break away in the 46th annual Capitol 10,000

To say Mitch Ammons is having a great year is a bit of an understatement. The 33-year-old Austin runner, a member of Bat City Track Club, won the highly competitive Run for the Water 10 Miler in a swift 50:43 last November and in December, qualified for the 2024 Olympic Marathon trials, posting a 2:16:48 to easily duck under the 2:18:00 qualifying standard at the California International Marathon.

And despite jumping into the Statesman Capitol 10,000 coming off a heavy training week, Ammons dominated the race.

“I’m pretty excited for Mitch to win one of the largest 10K races in the United States right here in Austin,” said his coach Jeff Cunningham of Bat City Track Club. Anytime you can run 4:54 per mile for a hilly 10K on tired legs, you know you’re really fit. This just continues an amazing string of racing that is a breakout year for Mitch.”

Around 17,000 runners lined up at the start on the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, under clear 60 degrees skies. A break-away pack of about 10 runners including Ammons, Kobe Yepez, Jeffery Stein, Matthew Williams, Rio Reina and Rory Tunningley, headed north on Congress Avenue at the sound of the starting horn.

However, the first mile, passed in 5:10, proved a bit slow for Ammons’ liking, so he decided to speed things up.

“My plan was not to lead until at least halfway,” said Ammons. “But after we went out in 5:10, I thought, ‘well this is going to take forever,’ so I just started pushing it.”

That’s exactly what he did, opening up a sizable gap on Yepez, a senior at The University of Texas and the only runner to maintain any contact with Ammons after mile two.

Ammons broke the tape on Riverside Drive in 30:24, more than a minute ahead of Yepez’s 31:05. Stein, a 2018 Marine Corp Marathon champ, was third in 31:26.

Gabriela DeLeon, a talented track and cross-country runner for UT Arlington, took the women’s race, with Savannah Boucher, not too far behind. Although Allie Kieffer, a world-class marathoner and winner of the 2023 3M Half Marathon led early on, but stepped off the course less than halfway through and did not finish.

DeLeon worked the hills on Enfield Boulevard, hitting the 5K split at 17:32. At that point, Boucher, a National Junior College champion runner from New Hartford, NY who now lives in San Antonio, was just three seconds behind.

DeLeon ran negative splits, clocking 17:07 for the second half and breaking the tape in 34:39. Boucher held on for second in 35:01, ahead of Austin’s Christine Ramsey, third in 35:22.

Upcoming Races: Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 a.m., the Bobcat Prowl 5K at Country Estates in San Marcos. Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 a.m., the Cinco de Mayo 5K/10K in Downtown Lockhart.