Atlanta Track Club Elite Athletes to Put on Show at Fast Break 5K

ATLANTA -- February 3, 2017 -- With enough runners to field almost four basketball teams, Atlanta Track Club’s elite team will have a noticeable presence on the starting line of the Atlanta Hawks Fast Break 5K at Philips Arena this weekend.In the women’s race, 800m specialist Megan Malasartewill be making her road racing debut in an Atlanta Track Club uniform. Malasarte, a Fayetteville, Georgia native and University of Georgia graduate recently joined Atlanta Track Club’s team of professional runners. Last weekend, she set a personal best in the 1,000m running 2:45.51 at the Terrier Classic in Boston. She is hoping to qualify for the USA Track and Field Indoor National Championships in March in the 800m, an event for which she holds both the indoor and outdoor record for UGA. Even though this weekend’s race is six times the length of her best distance, Malasarte isn’t worried.“Like they say, slow and steady wins the race,” she says. “I would just like to be smart in the first mile, focus in the middle and just race with whatever's left by that last mile. I want to have as much fun as I can.”Teammate and fellow newcomer Carmen Graves will feel right at home in the longer race. With a 16:08 5K personal best, the steeplechaser who comes to Atlanta Track Club by way of Roanoke College should be a threat to break the tape. Graves, who competed at the U.S Olympic Track and Field Trials last summer, is dealing with some Achilles problems but says she is still excited to race for the first time since the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in December.Carmen Graves at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida in December 2016“The Atlanta Hawks Fast Break 5k will be good strength work, and next weekend I will work on my speed endurance at Vanderbilt with a distance medley relay and mile,” says Graves.“I am focused on running a good 3k steeplechase this outdoor season, which requires the strength you need when running a 5K and the speed you need when running a mile,” she says.Complete women’s elite fieldJill ArnoldJanel BlancettHannah Chappell-DickCharlotte DavisCarmen GravesLacey KroutMegan MalasarteYolanda NgarmambeMorgan VanGorderKirsten WebergIn the men’s race, former Stanford University standouts Jim and Joe Rosa will be making their Atlanta Track Club debut. The twins are getting back into shape from recent injuries and in the process of training for the outdoor track season.“The race is really just to see where we're at in training. It's been a while since I've raced so it will be good to get a sense of where I'm at moving forward in workouts,” says Jim Rosa.Jim says he’s currently only running three to four days a week and swimming or biking the other days. . “The biggest thing that I am focusing on this year is being patient. From now until July is a long time and the idea is to just keep getting a little bit better every week from now until then,” he says.His brother Joe will race for the first time in nearly 15 months and says for him the race will not only be about getting used to the feeling of racing again but it will also be a test of current fitness and how much work lies ahead. “I embrace the chance to race when my fitness isn't great because it gives me a chance to give a great effort,” says Joe. If I keep fighting as hard as I can even when I’m not in great shape eventually  I'll be able to give the same effort in races where things are going great and that will translate into my best performances.”Both Rosas say they hope to stick with their Atlanta Track Club teammates James Dwyer, Matt McDonald and Andrew McLain.Complete Men’s Elite FieldDougie CoffedJames DwyerBrandon LasaterAndrew McLainMatt McDonaldPatrick PetersonJim RosaJoe Rosa