Monday, March 23, 2009

Off to Amman!!!

Once again, paulmerca.blogspot.com will offer coverage of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on Saturday March 28th from Amman, Jordan.

This will be the ninth consecutive year that I've had the opportunity to cover this meet, which has been the proving grounds for many of the world's top distance runners. Runners such as Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the USA's Dathan Ritzenhein, Asbel Kiprop from Kenya, Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands, and Great Britain's Paula Radcliffe have all made their worldwide mark on this event as a stepping stone to greater feats.

I arrive in Amman Wednesday night, and hope to post something that night or most likely, on Thursday morning. I will be assisting USA Track & Field as I've done in the past, working in media relations.

Team USA, and in particular, the men's junior squad, has a real shot at a possible spot on the podium, led by Oklahoma State University freshman German Fernandez. As many of you who follow track on the national scene know, Fernandez has been on a tear during the indoor season, having run 3:55.02, the sixth fastest time in the world this year, and a world junior best (the mile isn't recognized as a world record event indoors by the IAAF).

He'll have support from a pair of frosh that many saw indoors at the Dempsey this winter in Chris Derrick from Stanford, and Luke Puskedra from Oregon. Both finished in the top six at the NCAA indoor meet in College Station, Texas on the 14th.

Someone from either Ryan Hill from NC State or one of the Syracuse duo of Tito Medrano or Patrick DuPont will have to step up and run close to the big three in order for the Americans to have a shot at making the podium.

Oh yes, for those of you who are wondering--the world famous football is in its special place in the suitcase, ready to make yet another global appearance!

Looking forward to posting from Amman!

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