Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tacoma native Brie Felnagle takes national club harrier title at Jefferson; ex-Husky Katie Follett third...

Tacoma's Brie Felnagle (left/photo by Mike Scott) won the featured open women's 6-kilometer title at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships at the Jefferson Park Golf Course Saturday in South Seattle.

Under cold and cloudy skies at Jefferson, Felnagle, the Bellarmine Prep and University of North Carolina alum, who is coached by her high school coach Matt Ellis, took control of the race, winning by a four second margin (19:54-19:58) over reigning NCAA Division II cross country champ Neely Spence of Shippensburg (PA).

Just as surprising was that University of Washington alum Katie Follett, running for host Club Northwest, took third in the race in a time of 19:59.

Felnagle and Follett were in a group of five runners, but the Tacoma native pulled away from Spence with 1000 meters to go to take the win.

adidas/Team Rogue Elite out of Austin, Texas, led by Natalie Picchetti's 17th place finish, won their first ever team title over two-time team champions Boulder Running Company. Follett's third place finish gave host Club Northwest a third place team finish.

The open men's 10k race saw Jonathan Grey of Team USA Minnesota take command of the race at 6 km, quickly opening a 20 meter lead over a field that included defending individual champion Aaron Braun and World Championships 1,500 meter bronze medalist Matt Centrowitz (Eugene, Ore.).

Grey cruised to the individual title in 29:38 for a 10 second win over Braun while he edged Phillip Reid of the Asics Aggies as they finished in the same time of 29:48. Centrowitz took fourth in 29:50.

Braun's second place finish helped defending team champions McMillan Elite retain their title from 2010.

The top three finishers in the senior men's and women's races are eligible to run for Team USA at the BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country race in Edinburgh, Scotland on January 7th.

A record 1226 athletes competed at the 14th annual event, which featured America’s top post-collegiate club teams from across the United States vying for top honors and bragging rights as the nation's top cross country team. The championships offered a total prize purse of $30,000, with $25,000 going to the top open teams.

Complete results of the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships are available here.

NOTE: USA Track & Field contributed to this report.


Caitlin said...

Have to say it was great to see Brie take it and a great job to Katie! :)

Patti Stirk said...

Congrats to the winners & all ladies! We are PA proud of Neely Spence!

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