Saturday, February 19, 2011

Washington freshman Chelsea Orr from Sammamish wins NACAC junior harrier title...

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad--University of Washington freshman Chelsea Orr (left/photo courtesy Mike Scott, USA Track & Field) from Eastlake High School in Sammamish won individual gold in the junior women's 6 km to lead Team USA to a silver medal Saturday, at the seventh annual North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships at Queen's Park Savannah in Trinidad.

In the first race of the day, Orr ran patiently in the lead pack during the first 2 km loop before taking control of the race at about 3 km.

With about 400 meters remaining, Orr held a seven second advantage over Fiona Benson of Canada with Benson trying to close the gap but Orr went on to a six second win, running 13:54.

Julia Foster (Albuquerque, N.M.) was the second Team USA finisher, running 14:13 for seventh. Sarah Fakler (Phoenix, Ariz.) ran 14:43 to finish 10th and Alexis Goldsmith (Orland Park, Ill.) ran 14:52 to round out the team finisher in 12th-place.

Canada scored 15 points to take the team gold medal, Team USA scored 30 to take silver and Puerto Rico scored 61 points for the team bronze.

In the last few weeks, Orr has strung together a series of solid performances, starting with a personal best in the mile of 4:47.51 in the mile at the UW Invitational in late January, and a PR of 9:26.73 in the 3000 at the Flotrack Husky Classic last week.

Orr finished seventh at the USA Junior Cross Country Championships a fortnight ago in San Diego, and is the first alternate for the world championship team that travels to Punta Umbria, Spain next month.

Orr graduated from Eastlake with personal bests of 2:14.76 in the 800, 5:02.70 in the 1600, and 10:56.0 in the 3200m.

The USA Track & Field release can be read here.

NOTE: USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

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