Over the weekend, I attended the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships in West Chester, Ohio.
The national club cross country championships is perhaps the largest event for developing post collegiate or second-tier runners; i.e., those who are not quite national caliber runners, but are generally on the verge of reaching that level.
At the national club championships are also a masters' mens 10 km and a womens' 6 km races.
The winner of the women's open 6 km race was Delilah DiCrecenzo (center, competing in the 2006 USA nationals /photo by Paul Merca), the former Columbia University steeplechaser and current assistant coach at Byrn Mawr University outside Philadelphia.
Racing on a flat-but- slow/slushy/muddy course at Voice of America Park, the 2004 Columbia grad pulled away from Julie Culley in the last 200 meters to cross the line in 20:31 for the biggest victory in her career.
She told me afterwards, "It's a great feeling. The conditions were tough, but I felt like I was suited for the course with the way I run. I didn't slide as much in the mud. I was surprised at how well I felt, given the course conditions. I just tried to stay patient until the last quarter."
"Nobody really wanted to push the pace, and I was pretty confident with my speed, so I was just biding my time until the end."
"I'm good friends with the guys from Plain White T's. They called me a few days ago to let me know they've been nominated for two Grammys, so I'm really excited for them. It's a very unique opportunity, and a funny set of circumstances, but I'm glad to be associated with the song."To read my story on Delilah's victory, go here.
If you're a music fan, you'll recognize her as the inspiration for the Plain White T's Grammy nominated hit, "Hey There, Delilah". Here's the video:
Amby Burfoot of Runner's World, who competed in the masters' race, has a nice interview with DiCrescenzo, which you can read here.
By the way, props go to Seattle's Club Northwest for winning its second straight national cross country title in the men's 50+ age category.