UNITED States-based Ben Ashkettle fought back fatigue to conquer a powerful hometown contingent in the Victorian 15-kilometre Road Championship around Lake Wendouree on Saturday.A Ballarat assault led by Steve Moneghetti, Duer Yoa and Nathan Hartigan just came up short against Ashkettle on the road.However, with Ashkettle, of Doncaster, running on invitation, Moneghetti, Yoa and Hartigan took home the championship medals.For Moneghetti, it was his first win in the event in two decades.Although Moneghetti struggled to come up with the exact year of the latest of his previous successes in the state 15km road title, the veteran recalled the event being at Fishermen's Bend.Moneghetti said it was satisfying to have run so well on his ''home patch''.He grew up and still lives a stone's throw from the lake, which has been his training ground throughout his decorated international career and which, as a competitor, he has made his own.Moneghetti was surprised when he learnt that Ashkettle was ineligible to claim the championship and that he would be the recipient of the gold medal.With this being the first time Athletics Victoria has run the 15km road leg of its cross country and road (''XCR 09'') series at the venue, Moneghetti said it was satisfying that Ballarat athletics had figured so prominently in their own backyard.Moneghetti, who made the running with Ashkettle for most of the two laps of the circuit, looked like he might have the measure of the 20-year-old with less than 2km to go.Ashkettle had been complaining of calf trouble earlier and appeared to be struggling when he slipped to third behind Yoa.The University of Northern Arizona student admitted that all he was doing when he dropped to third was ''hanging on''.However, he rallied and finished the stronger in 46 minutes, 20 seconds. Moneghetti stopped the clock at 46:32, with Yoa just nine seconds adrift.Ashkettle had only flown in from the US two days earlier.He said while he was not what he would call tired in the run, he had been feeling his legs.With Arizona on the border with Mexico, Ashkettle did not rule out that it was possible he was feeling the effects of swine flu. He said while he could not be sure, he could not dismiss the possibility he had had it. Ashkettle, who has been based in the US for two years, has ambitions to be a marathon runner. He is now planning to run in the Launceston 10km before returning to the United States to focus on cross country.