Monday, January 28, 2013

Fresh off a victory at UW Invitational, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle enters USA cross country championships...

Fresh off a strong victory in Saturday's 3000 meter run at the UW Invitational, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle (left/photo by Mike Scott) has entered this Saturday's USA Cross Country Championships at Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

The 8-kilometer race also serves as the selection meet for those wishing to represent the USA in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 24th in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The top six finishers in the senior women's, senior men's, junior women's, and junior men's races are eligible to run for the national team.

Felnagle, who won the 2011 USATF national club cross country title at Seattle's Jefferson Park Golf Course, will face a field that includes Olympic medalists Deena Kastor and Shalane Flanagan, Olympians Kim Conley and Magdalena Lewy Boulet, defending champ Sara Hall, and recent world cross country team members Delilah DiCrescenzo, Alissa McKaig, and Neely Spence.

Flanagan led Team USA to a team bronze medal at the last two world championships, held in Bydgoszcz in 2010, and two years ago in Punta Umbria, Spain.

Also entered in the senior women's race is Eastern Washington alum and 2012 USATF national club cross country champ Mattie Suver and Western Washington alum and former NCAA Division II champ Sarah (Porter) Crouch.

In the senior men's 12k race, Bellingham native and Stanford alum Jake Riley, the 2012 USATF national club cross country champ, will attempt to make his first world cross country championship team.

Riley, who now lives in Michigan and competes for the Hansons/Brooks Distance Project, faces off against Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp, along with defending champ Bobby Mack, and former world cross country championships team members Scott Bauhs, Max King, and Ben True.

Athletes with ties to the area entered include former Gonzaga assistant coach Forest Braden, and new Seattle area resident Matt Tebo, who just moved into the area with wife Jessica (Pixler), as she starts training with the newly-formed Brooks middle distance group.

In the junior women's race, University of Washington freshman Maddie Meyers, who ran a 4:43 1600m split on the Huskies' distance medley relay squad last Friday is entered, as she looks to earn her second career Team USA vest (she was on the 2011 world youth team in France, where she set a US high school record in the 2000m steeplechase).

Also entered in the junior women's race is Spokane's Katie Knight, the North Central HS senior and University of Washington commit, who finished third in last fall's Nike Cross Nationals, and has international cross country experience.  

Knight finished fourth at the 2012 BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International junior women's race.

In the junior men's race, Mead/Spokane HS senior Andrew Gardner, who competed for Team USA at last weekend's NACAC cross country championships in Jamaica, where he was ninth.  

Gardner, the reigning Washington state 4A cross country champ, was fifth at the 2012 BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge meet, and 11th at last fall's Foot Locker nationals in San Diego.

Ballard HS alum Alex Bowns, who now runs for the University of Portland, is entered in Saturday's junior national championships.

The entry lists for Saturday's USA Cross Country Championships are available here (click on the specific race).  The race schedule for the championships are available through this link as well.

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