spots on the USA junior national team on the line, four University of Washington freshmen will head to San Diego for Saturday's USA Cross Country Championships at Mission Bay Park, where they will race over a 6 kilometer course starting at 11:45 am.
The Huskies will be led by Katie Flood (left/photo by Paul Merca), the Pacific 10 Cross Country newcomer of the year, who was the top finisher for the Dawgs at the Pac 10, NCAA West Regionals, and NCAA championship meets last fall.
Flood is among the favorites to contend for one of the six positions on Team USA that will travel to next month's IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain, where one of her main competitors is high school senior Aisling Cuffe of New York, who was just named the 2010 Gatorade High School Runner of the Year in cross country.
Besides the world championship team that travels to Spain next month, athletes will have the opportunity to make the USA national squad that travels to Tobago for the NACAC Cross Country Championships in two weeks, a squad that Washington's Lindsay Flanagan competed on last year.
Also making the journey to San Diego for the Huskies are Mackenzie Carter, Liberty Miller, and Chelsea Orr.
Though she is not junior team eligible (athletes must be 19 years of age or under throughout 2011 to be eligible), Washington freshman Megan Morgan, who hails from nearby Torrey Pines HS in Del Mar, will run in the senior women's 8k race.
The last time the USA cross country championships were contested in San Diego, Washington's Lauren Saylor made the 2008 US junior team with a sixth place finish in 21:36. Saylor went on to place 38th at the world junior championships in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Washington State freshman Drew Jordan from Medford, Oregon will contest the junior men's 8-kilometer race at 12:30 pm, and attempt to become the second straight Cougar to make the USA junior team, behind current sophomore Andrew Kimpel, who was on the team that traveled to Bydgoszcz, Poland last year.
Courtesy of Washington State University, here is a video interview with Jordan giving his thoughts on the race:
Media partner RunnerSpace.com will have live online coverage of every race at the USA cross country championships, starting at 9:45 am, pacific time.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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