Flanagan set to defend women’s title, Tegenkamp leads men’s field for USA Cross Country Championships
Olympic Bronze medalist and American record holder Shalane Flanagan (Portland, Ore.) and 2008 Olympian Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore.) lead the fields at the 2011 USA Cross Country Championships scheduled for Saturday at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, Calif. Flanagan will be seeking her fifth USA Cross Country title.
In addition to the national titles up for grabs in San Diego, open and junior men and women will qualify to represent Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships March 20 in Punta Umbria, Spain.
In the women’s race Flanagan, whose 12th place finish at the World Cross Country Championships last year in Bydgoszcz, Poland led Team USA to a third place team finish and a spot on the podium, will face training partner and NCAA 10,000 meter record holder Lisa Koll (Portland, Ore.); American Record holder at 5,000 meters Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) and 2007 World Championships bronze medalist at 10,000 meters Kara Goucher (Portland, Ore.).
Flanagan’s 2010 World Cross Country teammates Renee Metivier Baillie (Boulder, Colo.) and Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.) will be in the hunt for a Team USA spot, along with 2009 champion Emily Brown (Minneapolis, Minn.) and 2006 champion Blake Russell (Pacific Grove, Calif.).
On the men’s side, Tegenkamp, one of only five U.S. men to break 13 minutes for 5,000 meters, leads a field that includes Olympians Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.), Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.) and past Team USA harriers Scott Bauhs (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Bobby Curtis (Ardmore, Pa.); Ben Bruce (Eugene, Ore.); Ryan Vail (Portland, Ore.); and Bobby Mack (Raleigh, N.C.). Veterans Max King (Bend, Ore.) and Matt Gabrielson will both be seeking to make their fourth Team USA cross country squad.
The championships will consist of six cross country championship races for men’s and women’s categories with national titles on the line for junior, masters and open divisions. The nation’s premier cross country event, the Championships will feature $38,000 in prize money.
National championships will also be decided for masters men and women at 8 km with titles on the line in five-year age groups beginning at age 40 and up.
The fields will feature masters aces Pete Magill (South Pasadena, Calif.); Doug Bell (Greeley, Colo.); Colleen De Reuck (Boulder, Colo.), Carmen Ayala-Troncoso (Austin, Texas) and Kathryn Martin (Northport, N.Y.).
Fleet Feet Sports Boulder will be fielding a deep Men’s and Women’s Masters teams, Darren De Reuck will be leading his Running Republic of Boulder team, and the Boulder Road Runners will also be sending harriers.
The USA Cross Country Championships will be webcast in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com at www.USARunningCircuit.com beginning at live beginning at 9:45 a.m. PST.
For more information on the 2011 USA Cross Country Championships visit www.usatf.org.