Saturday, January 10, 2015

Garrett Heath of Brooks Beasts successfully defends Great Edinburgh Cross Country 4k title...

EDINBURGH, Scotland--If the 4k distance were still part of the IAAF world cross country championships, you'd have to put him in as one of the favorites to medal in Guiyang, China in March.

Garrett Heath (above/photo by Jeff Holmes via Twitter) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts successfully defended his title in the men's 4k invitational race at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country meeting at Holyrood Park Saturday.

Competing against an all star field that included reigning world cross country champ Japheth Korir of Kenya, Olympic 1500 meter champ Asbel Kiprop, Heath took command before the start of the second lap of the 2-kilometer loop,  opening up a 30 meter lead in the third kilometer, to win in a time of 12:11, eight seconds ahead of Korir.

Former Portland resident Dathan Ritzenhein, fresh off a victory on Tuesday at the Campaccio Cross Country 10k race in Italy, was third, followed by Kiprop.

Washington State hall of famer Bernard Lagat, competing in his first cross country race since September 2010 at the Dave Murray Invitational in Tuscon, was never a factor, finishing 15th in 13:07 under cold and windy conditions that got worse as the day progressed.

In the senior men's 8k, Bellingham native Jake Riley finished second in a time of 25:33, two seconds behind his former Stanford University teammate Chris Derrick.  Riley was in 8th place at the end of the first of four laps, but worked his way up.  On the final straight, Riley appeared to gain ground but ran out of real estate as Derrick, the two-time USA cross country champ from Portland's Bowerman TC took the win.

The 1-2 finish by Derrick and Riley led Team USA to the men's crown with a low score of 30 to 66 for Great Britain and 81 for Team Europe.

In the senior women's 6k, Angela Bizzarri of Seattle's Brooks Beasts finished 12th in a time of 22:32, as Great Britain's Emilia Gorecka won in 21:26.  Team USA finished second with 61 points behind Europe's 44.

Seattle Prep alum Joe Hardy, who competes for the University of Wisconsin, finished 12th in the junior men's 6k race for Team USA, running 20:57, as the Americans took the team title with a low score of 14 points.  Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy, running for Team Europe took the individual title with a time of 19:57.

In the co-ed 2 x 1k relay, Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts teamed with Heather Kampf to finish fourth in a time of 6:47, as England's B team won in 6:43.

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