Orlando, USACarmen DoumaHussar led the Canadian charge to renew their dominance at the 4th NACAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday (1 Mar) at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Douma-Hussar, the 2004 World indoor championships and 2006 Commonwealth Games 1500m silver medallist, took her first area title over the mud and grass after holding off the challenge of Jamaica's World Championships 3000m Steeplechase finalist and 2007 silver medallist Korene Hinds and an American trio led by Kathleen Trotter.
The 30-year-old from Ontario completed the 6km run in 19:24 minutes, ahead of Hinds (19:33) and Trotter (19:35).
Douma-Hussar, an Olympian in 2004, looks forward to competing in her seventh World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh, on 30 March, after missing the 2007 edition.
In the women's 4km junior race, Canadians were a class apart as they took five of the six top places, led by Kendra Schaff (13:03), followed by USA's Emily Reese (13:15) and 2006 silver medallist Sheila Reid (13:18).
Defending champion Lindsay Carson of Canada was relegated to fourth in 13:20 minutes.
Aleksandr Kuternin followed Schaff's successful path in the men's 6km junior in a close finish with USA's Ryan Sheridan, two seconds slower than the winner (17:21). Gregg Brendan of the US was third in 17:32.
Diego Borrego, the two-time defending champion did not attend as Mexico was the main absentee.
The host country found some consolation in the fourth and final race of the day as Thomas Morgan and Josh Simpson finished 1-2 in the men's 8km elite race and led the USA to the team crown.
Morgan, 26, and Simpson moved away in the fourth and final lap on the Orlando turf, before the former found an extra gear to claim gold in 22:42 minutes, six seconds faster than his countryman.
Dylan Wykes grabbed bronze for Canada after a 22:57-minute effort.
Canada took the other three team titles, both junior and the women's senior categories, always followed by the USA. Puerto Rico bagged three team medals.
After the first editions were held in Clermont, they stayed in Florida but moved to Orlando for the first time. The 2008 championships drew 61 runners from six nations. Saint Lucia and Bahamas were the two other countries represented.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF
Senior Men 8km -
1. Thomas Morgan, USA 22:42
2. Josh Simpson, USA 22:48
3. Dylan Wykes, Canada 22:57
4. Rob Watson, Canada 23:00
5. Bruce Benjamin, USA 23:00
6. Travis Laird, USA 23:12
1. USA 14
2. Canada 22
Senior Women 6km -
1. Carmen Douma-Hussar, Canada 19:24
2. Korene Hinds, Jamaica 19:33
3. Kathleen Trotter, USA 19:35
4. Serena Ramsey, USA 19:36
5. Erin Dromgolle, USA 19:37
6. Elizabeth Wightman, Canada 19:41
1. Canada 24 points
2. USA 25
3. Puerto Rico 47
Junior Men 6km -
1. Aleksandr Kuternin, Canada 17:21
2. Ryan Sheridan, USA 17:23
3. Gregg Brendan, USA 17:32
4. Nyial Majock, Canada 17:47
5. Kevin Williams, USA 17:51
6. Mohammad Ahmed, Canada 17:54
1. Canada 10 points
2. Puerto Rico 34
Junior Women 4km -
1. Kendra Schaff, Canada 13:03
2. Emily Reese, USA 13:15
3. Sheila Reid, Canada 13:18
4. Lindsay Carson, Canada 13:20
5. Paula Finlay, Canada 13:24
6. Genevieve Lalonde, Canada 13:25
1. Canada 13
2. USA 29
3. Puerto Rico 49