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Strong Victories for Drossin, Broe and Cicero at U.S. Cross Country Championships

Strong Victories for Drossin, Broe and Cicero at U.S. Cross Country Championships
David Monti  Race Results Weekly

9 February 2002 – Vancouver, Washington USA - Both Deena Drossin and Tim Broe lived up their top billings at the U.S. Winter National Cross Country Championships here today, gaining solid victories in the senior women’s 8-K and senior men’s 4-K races, respectively.  But in the women’s junior race contested over 6 km, Maria Cicero of Boston College upset Stanford’s Sara Bei, who would only finish third.

Drossin, who said she was actually worried before the race about earning a top-6 finish necessary to qualify for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships next month, ultimately made it look easy, winning by 15 seconds over former South African, Colleen De Reuck.  Drossin, De Reuck, Elva Dryer, Jen Rhines, Amy Rudolph and Milena Glusac separated themselves from the field within the first 2 km loop of Fort Vancouver Park, effectively locking in their world team births.  The athletes were soon running to defend their positions.

“Deena was in total control of the race,” said De Reuck limping after the race because of a blister.  “You could just feel it.”

Rudolph and Glusac fell back slightly before the halfway mark in the race, with Drossin holding a slim lead over De Reuck.  As a breeze kicked up on the lower part of the course, Drossin just muscled her way ahead of the others, using the strength she built for her marathon debut last fall.

“I definitely felt the strength out there today because the fitness I showed today wasn’t evident in my training,” said Drossin.

With the team spots effectively claimed, the runners held their places to the line, with Glusac winning her personal battle with Rudolph for fifth place.

“I love it,” said Glusac, who somehow managed to finish the race without getting any mud on her legs.

The team the U.S. will be taking to Dublin is stronger than the team that finished eighth last year.   Drossin likes their medal chances.  “We could have a bad day and bring home the bronze medal, but I hope we can bring back something a little shinier,” she said, obviously buoyed by her fifth U.S.  8-K cross title.

Broe, the new U.S. record holder for 3000m indoors, won a frenetic men’s 4-K where he averaged two minutes and 52 seconds per kilometer (4:36 per mile) over the wet all-grass loop.  Halfway through the first 2 km circuit Broe, Robert Gary, Jonathan Riley, Bolota Asmerom, Bryan Berryhill, and Kyle Baker led a huge pack of 25 men.  Broe began to assert himself.

“It was sort of a plan to soften things up and see who was willing to go,” said Broe.  “I hate for it to come down to the last 100; it’s not my strong suit.  I just wanted to see who the players were at the halfway mark.”

The University of Colorado’s Jorge Torres was clearly a player, and had moved up to the front.  Torres was also working hard to break up the race.

“I was trying to stay within striking distance,” said Torres.  “After the 2-K distance I tried to push the pace a little bit.  Those guys are good kickers.  They can run fast.  I thought my strength could overtake them (and) try to push it so they got hurt a little bit in the middle.  It worked well, and I broke a lot of people.”

The 2 km mark was passed in 5:48 and Broe had a one step lead over Torres, with Dave Davis, Matt Lane and Tony Cosey chasing hard.  Ascending the final hill just before the finish straight, Broe pulled away from Torres, who was fighting to keep Cosey behind him.  Broe’s strong surge to the finish sealed his victory, with Torres holding on to second and Cosey finishing third.

“I’m getting there, you know,” said Broe who was reluctant to say that he was now America’s best middle distance runner.  “It’s not something I would have expected at this time last year and things just keep snowballing, so I’m pleased.”

So was Torres.  “Cross country is something that just comes to me naturally,” he said.  “God gave me this gift.  Today, I showed pretty good that I can go out and compete against the best.”

For Cicero, a freshman, winning the junior race was mostly about making the team.  “It was all about qualifying today,” she said.  “We all came here to qualify and go on.  The Worlds is a big race.”

She, Bei and Nicole Lee of Georgetown University were clear of the field at the end of the first 2-K loop.  Erika Odlaug, a senior at Deerfield High School in Illinois, seemed out of the picture for a podium position.

“I ran a really patient race, said Odlaug.  “I was way in the back at the start.  But I was hearing coaches say they went out too fast so don’t worry about it.”

Cicero pulled away from Bei up the hill before the 4-K mark and had built up a seven second lead.  She wasn’t going to be caught.  “I came in here confident of my fitness level and I think I’m ready to race,” she said.  “That’s what I came here to do.”

The race for the second and third positions was dramatic.  Lee was holding on to third behind Bei, but was tiring.  Odlaug got around Lee in the middle of the third loop, and began gunning for Bei as they headed up the hill before the finishing straight for the last time.  Odlaug kept her head and realized she could get second.

“The thing with hills, if you just keep the same effort you are on the flat then it doesn’t feel any different,” she postulated.  “I reeled her in kind of slowly.”

Bei, a freshman, was tired but finished third.  “A little bit near the end I started to feel the wear on me,” she said of the course.  “And you know, it’s a 6-K, too.  You run it the same as a 5-K in high school but you have a little bit longer to go after that.”

Cicero couldn’t surpress her smile when she was reminded that she was heading for a world championships for the first time.  “It’s amazing.  It’s like a dream.  I’ve been talking about this for about four years.  It’s always a dream but you never think it’s going to happen.”


SR MEN (4 km) -

1.         Tim Broe, adidas, 11:26

2.         Jorge Torres, Univ. of Colorado, 11:27

3.         Tony Cosey, adidas, 11:28

4.         Dave Davis, Unattached, 11:29

5.         Matt Lane, Nike, 11:30

6.         Bryan Berryhill, adidas, 11:33

7.         Andy Downin, Nike, 11:36

8.         Jonathan Riley, Unattached, 11:37

9.         Robert Gary, adidas, 11:37

10.        Mark Croghan, adidas, 11:39

11.        Jared Cordes, Wisconsin Runner, 11:43

12.        Sandu Rebenciuc, Army, 11:45

13.        Anthony Famiglietti, adidas, 11:47

14.        Ray Hughes, Nike, 11:47

15.        Emry Carr, Hanson’s Running, 11:50


TEAMS (score four athletes; only attached athletes score):

1.         adidas, 13 points [1, 2, 4, 6, (7, 9)]

2.         Nike, 30 [3, 5, 10, 12 (20)]

3.         Hanson’s Running Shop, 61 [11, 13, 14, 23]


SR. WOMEN (8 km) -

1.         Deena Drossin, Asics, 26:31

2.         Colleen De Reuck, Nike, 26:46

3.         Elva Dryer, Nike, 26:51

4.         Jen Rhines, adidas, 27:04

5.         Milena Glusac, adidas, 27:12

6.         Amy Rudolph, adidas, 27:18

7.         Sarah Toland, Unattached, 27:52

8.         Liz Wilson, Unattached, 28:02

9.         Amy Yoder-Begley, Asics, 28:03

10.        Sara Wells, Unattached, 28:05

11.        Magdalena Lewy, Nike Farm Team, 28:06

12.        Sarah Hann, New Balance, 28:12

13.        Kristin Harper, FILA Track West, 28:17

14.        Kim Fitchen, Nike, 28:18

15.        Rachel Sauder, New Balance, 28:28


TEAMS: (score four athletes; only attached athleted score):

1.         Nike, 22 points [2, 3, 8, 9 (12, 15)]

2.         adidas, 25 [4, 5, 6, 10]

3.         Asics, 32 [1, 7, 11, 13 (14)]


JR. WOMEN (6 km) -

1.         Maria Cicero, Boston College, 21:05

2.         Erika Odlaug, Unattached (Deerfield HS, IL), 21:19

3.         Sara Bei, Stanford, 21:26

4.         Nicole Lee, Unattached (Georgetown Univ.), 21:33

5.         Valerie Lauver, Unattached (Allen HS, TX), 21:40

6.         Kathryn Andersen, Unattached, 21:41

7.         Anne Bersagel, Unattached, 21:53

8.         Felicia Guilford, Wings of America, 21;55

9.         Jacqueline Zeigle, Asc Striders, 22:02

10.        Michelle Wale, Penn State Univ., 22:04

David Monti, Editor & Publisher, Race Results Weekly


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