Saturday, February 4, 2017

Washington's Gavin Parpart & Sedro Wooley HS standout Kristen Garcia earn Team USA spots in Bend...

BEND, Oregon—University of Washington freshman Gavin Parpart (left/photo by Paul Merca) earned a fourth place finish in the USA Cross Country Championships men’s under-20 8-kilometer race at the River’s Edge Golf Course to secure a spot on the national team that will compete in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in late March in Kampala, Uganda.

Parpart was part of a group that ran in the front of the pack, led by Washington State University freshman Justin Janke.  

Though it wasn’t Janke’s intention to lead at the end of the first of four 2k laps, he did so anyway.  Meanwhile, Parpart stayed patient and was third at the end of the second lap.

He was in a tight group of three, as 2015 world U-20 team member Paul Roberts of Colorado State-Pueblo took command, and eventually won the race in 26:05.

Isaac Harding took second in a time of 26:09, followed by Hamza Ali in third at 26:17, two seconds ahead of Parpart.

Janke finished eighth in 26:41.

Parpart’s Husky teammate Ryan Gregory finished 15th in 27:30.

Sedro Wooley HS standout Kristen Garcia, who competes for the Whatcom Tesseract club out of Bellingham, earned the sixth and final spot on the U20 women’s team, as she ran the 6k course in 23:43.

In the senior women’s 10k race, Inglemoor HS alum Tansey Lystad ran to a surprising 11th place finish, clocking 37:11 on a course that earlier in the week was buried in at least two feet of snow, before a herculean effort by volunteers from the Bend community cleaned up the course to make it manageable for the athletes to run.

Pasco HS and Boise State alum Marisa Howard ran to a 16th place finish, running 37:52.

Aliphine Tuliamuk took home the women’s national title in a time of 34:24 over the challenging course.

In the senior men’s 10k race, Lakes HS graduate Joseph Grey finished ninth in a time of 31:04, and could be in line for one of the six spots to the world championships, assuming at least three of the finishers ahead of him decline their spots on the team to Uganda.

Leonard Korir, an Iona College alum and 2016 US Olympian at 10000 meters, continued his early season hot streak to win his first national cross country championship, running 30:12.

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