Saturday, February 5, 2011

Washington frosh Katie Flood makes USA squad for world cross country championships...

SAN DIEGO--Replicating Lauren Saylor's effort in the 2008 USA Junior Championships on this same course, University of Washington freshman Katie Flood (left/photo by Paul Merca) earned a berth on Team USA with her third place finish at Mission Bay Park Saturday.

Flood, who was touted as one of the favorites to make the team, went out early, but high school senior Aisling Cuffe from New York pulled away from the field to secure the victory in 21:13.

In the battle for second,Molly Grabill, a senior in high school from nearby Poway,  tussled with Flood.  Grabill inched forward, and opened a four second gap at the finish over Flood, finishing in 21:39, while the Husky freshman crossed the line in 21:43.

Washington frosh Chelsea Orr, who was in contention for one of the six spots for next month's world championship team that travels to Punta Umbria, Spain, faded in the last kilometer and finished seventh in 22:22.

Orr will travel to Tobago in two weeks as part of the American junior squad that competes in the NACAC Cross Country Championships.

Mackenzie Carter placed 16th in 23:10.

In recalling the last lap of the race, Flood said that "with about 1k to go (Grabill) made her move and I stayed back."

Describing the Mission Bay course, she said that it was deceptively tough, considering that when she ran on the course on Friday, it looked flat."

"Overall, I wished that I would have run faster, but I'm glad that I qualified for the team, which is what I came here to do."

"I'm excited to make the trip to Spain. It really didn't hit me until a few minutes after the race."

The USA Track & Field release is available here...

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