Sunday, March 20, 2011

Washington freshman Katie Flood 19th in women's junior race at world cross country champs...

PUNTA UMBRIA, Spain--University of Washington freshman Katie Flood's (left/photo by Paul Merca) international debut performance was a strong one, as the Des Moines, Iowa native powered to a 19th place finish in the junior women's 6k race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at Estadio Antonio Gil Hernandez in the Spanish resort city.

At the 11:30 am start time, temperatures were approximately 68 degrees as the 92 runners began the first of three 2k loops around the Punta Umbria Multisport Centre.

After the first lap, run in 6:39, Flood found herself in 26th place, but gradually moved up three spots, after running the second lap in 6:52.

A final lap of 6:47 allowed Flood to advance four places to 19th, nearly catching #1 Team USA runner Aisling Cuffe of New Windsor, New York.

Afterwards, Flood said, "I started out slower than I normally would to gauge myself against the other girls. From 1K on, I just steadily tried to move up."

"I could see Aisling, and I thought to myself, 'I need to go with my teammate! Get to Aisling, get to Aisling, sand at the end we were one person apart."

"This is the coolest cross country race I've ever run in!"

Here's a video interview with Flood, conducted after the end of the race:

For Team USA, the highlight of the meet was Portland's Shalane Flanagan earning the first individual medal since Deena Drossin turned the trick in 2003, finishing third in the senior women's 8K race, clocking 25:10.

Team USA placed three more runners in the top-20 with Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.) and Blake Russell (Pacific Grove, Calif.) finishing 17th, 18th and 19th in 26:26, 26:27 and 26:30 respectively.

Alissa McKaig (Blowing Rock, N.C.) and Lisa Koll (Portland, Ore.) rounded out the U.S. finishers in 28th and 40th place, running 26:46 and 27:15.

The USA Track & Field release can be read here.

For more information on the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, please visit the meet's home page, linked here.

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