Dathan Ritzenhein and Shalane Flanagan dominated the men’s and women’s races in the USA Track & Field Cross Country Championships at Mission Bay Park on Saturday (16 Feb.)
Ritzhein won the men’s 12km race in 35:03 for a 26-second victory over former University of Colorado teammate Jorge Torres on the predominately flat grass course. Flanagan won the women’s 8km race in 25:26 to win by 1:10.
‘Ritz’ cruises - men’s race
The men’s race featured the first race between Ryan Hall and Ritzenhein since they finished first and second in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York in November.
Ritzenhein broke away from Torres and Hall on the third 2km loop en route to his second national title in four years. Josh Rohatinsky finished in third in 35:41. Edward Moran was fourth in 35:42. Hall faded to fifth in 35:50.
The top nine finishers in the men’s race and the first six in the women’s race will represent the U.S. team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh on 29 March.
Hall, though, will skip the World Championships in preparation for the London Marathon on 13 April according to his agent Ray Flynn, who said his client was in the midst of heavy training and did not taper for Saturday’s race.
James Carney was sixth in 35:56. Max King (35:57) and Ryan Bak (35:59) were seventh and eighth. Eduardo Torres, the twin brother of Jorge Torres, was ninth in 36:01.
Flanagan dominates - women's race
Flanagan, who has been training at altitude in Mexico, dominated the women’s race from the start to add the 8km crown to her 4km victories in 2004 and 2005. Rene Metivier finished second in 26:36 ahead of Emily Brown (26:37) and Katie McGregor (26:38). Molly Huddle was fifth in 26:52 with Blake Russell claiming the final World Championships berth in sixth in 26:54.
Hasay, Fernandez take junior crowns
California high school runners Jordan Hasay and German Fernandez won the junior women’s and men competitions.
Hasay, a junior at San Luis Obispo Mission College Prep who placed third in the 1500m at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Ostrava last summer, won the junior women’s 6km race for the second year in a row in 20:32.
Fernandez, a senior at Riverbank High, beat Ryan Sheridan for the title, 24:18 to 24:19 in the junior 8km race.
Kirby Lee for the IAAF