Another national cross country title for Shalane Flanagan (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
Ritzenhein and Flanagan cruise to US XC titles
Running 34:34 for the open men's 12 kilometre race, Ritzenhein won his third national Cross Country title. Flanagan's 25:10 for the women's 8 kilometre was good for her fourth national cross country crown.
In addition to the national titles, the top-six men and women and junior men and women qualified for the US squad for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on 28 March in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Flanagan cruises to women's title
Flanagan took control of the race from the gun with two-time national 10 km Champion Molly Huddle the only one that tried to keep pace. By the end of the first 2-kilometre loop, Flanagan held a five second lead over Huddle. Over the final six kilometres Flanagan extended her lead to romp to a 51-second victory. Huddle held off a late charge by Amy Hastings to hold on for second, running 26:01. Hastings was timed in 26:09 while Magdalena Lewy Boulet took fourth in 26:09.
Renee Metivier Baillie and Sara Hall rounded out the Team USA qualifiers, finishing fifth and sixth in 26:26 and 26:37 respectively.
Patience pays off for Ritzenhein
In the men's 12 km, Ritzenhein was content to let Patrick Smyth and Scott Bauhs take the pace for the first four laps of the six lap course before making his move at nine kilometres.
While Ritzenhein's lead grew to 18 seconds over the final lap, Smyth continued to battle with Bauhs for second before pulling away to claim the runner-up position, running 34:52. Bauhs was timed in 35:01 while Ben Bruce, Bobby Curtis and Ryan Vail completed the qualifiers for the U.S. team, running 35:16, 35:22 and 35:25 respectively.
Greany takes junior women's title
In the junior women's race, Providence College freshman Shelby Greany broke away from pack of four runners to secure the victory on the final lap of the six kilometre race.
Greany ran 20:27 to finish five seconds clear of high school senior Emily Sisson who ran 20:32.
Gaining the final four spots to Poland were Juliet Bottorff of Duke who ran 20:32, followed by Georgetown freshman Emily Jones at 20:33. Laura Tremblay was fifth in 20:46, followed by Sophia Ziemian at 20:49.
Dunbar dominates junior men's field
Trevor Dunbar of Kodiak, Alaska, ran away with the junior men's eight kilometre championship, building up an early lead that extended to 17 seconds at the halfway mark, before cruising to a six-second win in 24:04.
Walter Schafer finished second in 24:10, followed by Andrew Colley of North Carolina State who ran 24:16.
Local favorite Andrew Kimpel of Spokane, a freshman at Washington State University, gave the home crowd something to cheer about, as he nabbed the fourth position, running 24:19. Michael Lynch finished fifth in 24:24, and Ammar Moussa earned the final junior spot in 24:28.
Jim Estest (USATF) for the IAAF
- Another national cross country title for Shalane Flanagan (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
- Dathan Ritzenhein en route to national cross country title No. 3 (Kirby Lee) © Copyright