Jacobs wins second 4K Title at USA Winter Cross Country Championships
10 February 2002 – Vancouver, Washington - Two-time World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Regina Jacobs ran away from a talented field in the final kilometre to win her second consecutive U.S. women’s 4K title at the 2002 Winter Cross Country Championships Sunday in Vancouver, Wash.
Jacobs won the race in 12 minutes, 55 seconds, and later announced that she will compete in the women’s 3000m steeplechase during the 2002 outdoor season (see details below).
Other winners today included 2000 Olympian Meb Keflezighi, who successfully defended his U.S. men’s 12K title by barely edging Abdi Abdirahman in an amazingly close finish, with both competitors completing the course in 35:45. In the Junior Men’s 8K championship, Tim Moore of Novi, Michigan won the race by a seven-second margin over the rest of the field.
Dathan Ritzenhein, who won the bronze medal in the Junior race at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships and was the runner-up in last year’s U.S. Junior Championships, placed fifth today in the men’s senior 12K race in 36:19.
The top six finishers in the senior and junior races are eligible to compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, 23–24 March in Dublin, Ireland.
The following is a listing of the top 15 finishers in Sunday’s races, along with quotes from selected athletes and a race in review for each contest. Complete results may be found on the USATF Web site: http://www.usatf.org.
SENIOR WOMEN 4 km
1. Regina Jacobs (Nike), 12:55
2. Carrie Tollefson (adidas), 13:01
3. Suzy Favor Hamilton (Nike), 13:11
4. Sarah Hann (New Balance), 13:20
5. Janet Trujillo (Nike), 13:22
6. Mary Jayne Harrelson (Nike), 13:27
7. Sarah Toland (Unattached), 13:32
8. Kim Fitchen (Nike), 13:33
9. Sara Gorton (Univ. of Colorado), 13:34
10. Priscilla Hein (Indiana Invaders), 13:35
11. (tie) Sally Hauser (Nike), 13:37
Kristin Schwartz (Nike), 13:37
13. Katie McGregor (adidas), 13:39
14. Marie Davis (Nike Farm Team), 13:44
15. Cheri Kenah (adidas), 13:45
1. Nike 10 points
2. Team Oregon 34
Race Conditions: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the low 40s and breezy.
The course has thick grass with a few slick spots.
Race in Review: 37 women toed the line for two loops of the 2-kilometre course. At the mile (5:02) and through 2 kilometres (6:30) the lead pack consisted of Carrie Tollefson, Regina Jacobs, Suzy Favor Hamilton, Cheri Kenah and Mary Jayne Harrelson, with Priscilla Hein five seconds behind. During the second lap, Jacobs pulled ahead for the victory, with Tollefson running strongly in second, putting Favor Hamilton into third. Sarah Hann also ran very strongly during the second lap, moving into fourth behind Janet Trujillo and Harrelson.
Jacobs Notes: Jacobs wins her second consecutive U.S. women’s 4K cross country title to add more luster to one of the most successful middle distance careers in U.S. history. A four-time Olympic qualifier and a two-time World Outdoor Championships 1,500m silver medalist, Jacobs’ victory today comes after a win in the women’s mile at last weekend’s Millrose Games. Jacobs also set a new world’s best in the women’s two mile last month at the adidas Boston Indoor Games, winning the race in 9:23.38, bettering the previous standard of 9:28.15 by Lynn Jennings in 1986. Last year Jacobs won her tenth U.S. Outdoor 1,500m title and she also won the national outdoor crown at 800 metres. The 1995 World Indoor 1,500m champion, Jacobs won the bronze medal in the 3,000 metres at the 1999 World Indoor Championships.
Jacobs Quotes: This was a really great race today. Carrie (Tollefson) really ran a great race today to keep it interesting. It was windy and cold, but not wet like they predicted. Suzy always has a great kick, so I tried to take it harder on the hills. This is a great race to meet Suzy at because it’s middle ground for us, totally different from our races on the track. The course is different than last year in that they added more turns, and it was a little more challenging. The tight turns reminded me of the Foot Locker course that the high schoolers run on.
Jacobs also mentioned that she will attempt to set a new American indoor record in in the 5,000 metres in February prior to the USA Indoor Championships March 1-2 in New York. The American record is held by Marla Runyan (15:07.33 set in 2001). Jacobs also said that she will try a different event during the outdoor season. “I’m excited about trying a new event like the steeplechase. It kind of resembles my life, in that there’s a lot of little barriers and then one big one. I’m excited to get back on the track. It’s always made me who I am. I’ll leave it to my coach to determine when I’ll race it.”
Jacobs’ coach and husband Tom Craig: “We’re serious about the steeplechase. She’s done some drills in November and December, then attended the men’s elite steeplechase camp in San Diego last December. Chick Hislop (Weber State head coach) thinks she has great potential. He’s serving as our advisor. We want to debut on American soil, but I don’t see us doubling at the U.S. Championships. Regina’s giving me more control over her racing schedule. We want to keep her rested and ready to go. She’s turning 39 years old later this season. We need to keep her healthy and at her best.”
Tollefson Quotes: The race is pretty much a blur. I just remember being in the lead, and leading those two Suzy and Regina, I just couldn’t keep up that second lap. I was doing the work and I needed to finish off in a different position. It was fun. I haven’t felt like this in a long time, where I felt in control and today I felt really good. I’ve put a lot of work in. This is cross country and there’s nothing like coming up to that chute with everyone yelling at you and knowing that you ran a great race.
Favor Hamilton Quotes: I’ve been training in Malibu (California) which is kind of nice. I go back to Wisconsin in a week. It (competing today) definitely woke me up again, to get back into competition. I needed this race more than anything to break up my training. I was training really hard and I just needed to back off a little bit to get ready for this race. This is totally different. Usually at this time I’m doing interval training on the track and I haven’t been on the track since last year. I’ve just been training on grass, so my husband and I were talking and just decided two weeks ago that I was going to do it (compete at Winter Nationals). I’m healthy. I had an injury about a month and a half ago, but I’m healthy now and just trying to get back into training and get into the fabulous shape like I was in in 2000. I’m right on schedule. I’m still shooting for that American record in the 1,500m, that I would love to achieve. It was a lot of fun. There’s a good chance that I would go (to 2002 World Cross Country Championships).
SENIOR MEN 12 km
1. Meb Keflezighi (Nike), 35:45
2. Abdi Abdirahman (Nike), 35:45
3. Alan Culpepper (adidas), 35:51
4. Matt Downin (New Balance), 36:00
5. Dathan Ritzenhein (University of Colorado), 36:19
6. Greg Jimmerson (Nike Farm Team), 36:27
7. Clint Wells (NYAC), 36:40
8. Dave Davis (Unattached), 36:57
9. Richard Brinker (Hansons Running Shop), 37:13
10. Peter Sherry (Fila), 37:20
11. Matt Thull (Wisconsin Runner Racing), 37:24
12. Chris Graff (Nike Farm Team), 37:26
13. Keith Dowling (adidas), 37:27
14. Mike Donnelly (Nike), 37:31
15. Shawn Found (U.S. Army), 37:35
1. Nike 28
2. adidas 44
3. Nike Farm Team 45
4. Hansons Running Shop 53
5. Team USA Minnesota 61
6. U.S. Army 86
7. U.S. Air Force 143
8. U.S. Marines 156
9. West Valley TC 160
10. Hoys-Excelsior TC 177
11. U.S. Navy 183
Race conditions: Temperatures in the mid-40s and mostly sunny with light breezes. The course has thick grass with occasional wet spots.
Race in Review: 113 athletes began a six-lap journey around the 2K course.
At the mile (4:34) and at 2 kilometres (5:41) it was a trio of Alan
Culpepper, Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman in the lead. The Hauser twins
(Brent and Brad) followed close behind (5:46) with Matt Downin and Terrence
Mahon, two seconds further back. At 4K: 11:39: Culpepper, Keflezighi,
Abdirahman, 11:52: Brad Hauser and Andy Downin, 11:58: Dave Davis and Brent
Hauser. At 6K (17:44): Culpepper and Abdirahman, 17:50: Keflezighi, 17:52:
Matt Downin, 18:06: Dave Davis. At 8K: 23:47: Culpepper and Abdirahman, 23:53: Keflezighi, 23:58: Downin, 24:16 Dathan Ritzenhein, Clint Wells, Greg Jimmerson and Dave Davis fighting for the sixth spot. At 10K: 29:53:
Abdirahman and Keflezighi, 29:58: Culpepper, 30:02: Downin, 30:22:
Ritzenhein, 30:28: Jimmerson, 30:29: Clint Wells. Abdirahman and Keflezighi engaged in a sprint to the finish, with Culpepper, Downin, Ritzenhein and Jimmerson rounding out the team.
Keflezighi Notes: Meb Keflezighi wins his second consecutive U.S. Cross Country title after a landmark 2001 season where he set the new American record in the 10,000 metres of 27:13.98 May 4 in Palo Alto, California. A personal best by almost 40 seconds, his AR performance bettered Mark Nenow’s 1986 standard of 27:20.56. The 2000 Olympic Trials 10,000 metre champion, the four-time NCAA champ placed 13th at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships and 23rd in the 10,000m at last year’s World Outdoor Championships.
Keflezighi Quotes: I won it last year and I won it again. It’s a great thrill. Culpepper went out pretty fast and I couldn’t let him go. I tried to measure a six-lap race and then Culpepper came back and Abdi came back and we had a great finish. I was a little concerned because I hadn’t run any races since August at the World Championships. I’ve been having great training runs and great training and when you’re fit you’re fit. At the end it was tough and we went all out. Abdi is a great competitor and we’re good friends. This time it was my turn to win.
Abdirahman Quotes: I wanted to win today, but didn’t. I’ve trained hard, although I haven’t done a lot of speed work, but I’ve shown I’m as strong as anyone. I knew it could come down to a kick at the end, and Meb ran tough. He ran a smart race, waiting behind. I can’t complain about the finish. You want to see the best people up there. I came here wanting to compete and I did.
Culpepper Quotes: I was running hard the whole way, I just couldn’t pick it up the last kilometre with those guys. I went out a little harder early, so that might’ve affected my finish. I’m not disappointed because I ran as hard as I could. These guys are some of the best Americans ever, and ran that way today. I’m not sure whether I’ll go to the World Championships, since my wife is due 10 days after the race. We’ll play it by ear and see how she’s doing and make a decision later on. Afterwards I’ll probably race the Bolder Boulder, and I’ll also race at the USA Championships. With the baby this year and no Olympics or World Track Championships, I figured this would be as good a year as any to try a fall marathon. I wanted to do it now before I get too old, but I haven’t decided which one yet.
Ritzenhein Quotes: I knew it wouldn’t be smart to go out with Meb, Abdi and Alan. I tried to keep more of an easy pace. At the Worlds it will be a whole new ballgame. I probably won’t be in the top three, but I’ll do the best I can.
JUNIOR MEN 8 km
1. Tim Moore (Novi, Michigan HS), 24:48
2. Rod Kaborski (Georgetown University), 24:55
3. Bill Nelson (Taft, California HS), 25:04
4. Zach Sabatino (Unattached), 25:16
5. Yong-Sung Leal (Unattached), 25:18
6. Robert Lockhart (Unattached), 25:18
7. Chris Esselborn (Unattached), 25:23
8. Michael Gioia (Unattached), 25:36
9. Peter Meindl (Unattached), 25:38
10. J.J. Duke (Arizona State University), 25:45
11. William Kiter (Unattached), 25:47
12. Seth Pilkington (University of Oregon), 25:49
13. Erik Grumstrup (Unattached), 25:55
14. (tie) Anthony Bachman (Wings of America), 26:00
Michael Hatch (Unattached), 26:00
1. Willamette University 19 points
2. Wings of America 19
*Williamette was awarded the victory when its last scoring team member placed ahead of Wings of America’s final scorer.
Race Conditions: Temperature 39 degrees under sunny skies with gusty winds.
The course is thick grass with occasional slick spots.
Race in Review: A field of 62 Junior Men toed the line, facing a gusty headwind as they began four laps around this 2K loop. At the mile (4:44) and at 2 kilometres (6:10) the entire pack remained together, with three at the front; Yong-Sung Leal, Bill Nelson and Chris Esselborn. At 4K (12:32) Nelson had a two second lead over the large pack, led by Zach Sabatino, Tim Moore and Bob Lockhart. By six kilometres (18:42) the pack had separated, with Moore in the lead. Rod Kaborsi was two seconds behind and 10 seconds behind was a trio of Lockhart, Nelson and Steven Haas. In the final loop, further separation kept the sequence of athletes relatively unchanged. Moore took the victory over Kaborsi, with Nelson, Sabatino, Lockhart and Leal comprising the team for Ireland.
Moore Notes: Tim Moore of Novi, Michigan, a senior at Novi HS, wins his first U.S. cross country title after winning the 2001 Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships in Orlando, Florida on December 8. He will attend the University of Notre Dame next year.
Moore Quotes: Comparing victories at this event and at Foot Locker: “Both are great championships to win, but for this race I took a little more relaxed approach. I was trying something new with the 8K and just trying to have some fun and I really enjoyed the longer distance. It basically went how I planned. I thought it would be a nice big pack the first two or three laps, with guys slowly falling off and that’s basically how it went. I’m pleased. Basically Worlds is just for fun for me now. It will be such a great experience to race against kids from all over the world. I think it will be a fun time.”
Kaborsi notes & quotes: A native of Houston, Texas. Graduated Jersey Village HS in ‘01. Currently a freshman at Georgetown University. Born October 4, 1983. “Moore really put a surge on at 5K, and I was eventually able to cover it. He did it at the same spot again at 7K, and that’s where he got away. I’ve been focusing on cross country nationals since the end of the collegiate season. We decided then to redshirt indoors, and I’m very excited about going to the World Championships. I almost had a teammate make it too, who finished 7th.”
Nelson notes & quotes: Attends Taft HS in Taft, California. Born September 11, 1984. His final three college choices are; University of Oregon, University of Colorado or University of Arkansas. It went okay. I got out fast, which is what I usually like to do. I was able to settle in and get my pace and with the longer distance I knew I could keep this pace. I wanted to go 4:55 pace, that way I could go under 25 (minutes). I was really pleased with my race.
For complete results from the 2002 USATF Winter Nationals, visit www.usatf.org.