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US and Canada trade honours at NACAC XC champs

The United Stated and Canada confirmed their regional dominance over the grass and mud as they took the top honours at the 8th NACAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday (17) at Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Liz Costello of the U.S. and Cameron Levins of Canada lifted the senior titles, while Americans Shannon Osika and Jace Lowry dominated the junior races.

Costello completed the 3-loop 6km race in 20:26.52 to take the women’s title. Being the hosts paid dividends for Trinidad and Tobago as Tonya Nero claimed silver in 20:32.42, the only individual medal not won by Canadian or U.S. runners.

Laura Thweatt of the US rounded up the podium positions in third after a 20:33.62 effort. Canada’s defending champion Kathryn Harrison did not participate.

No Canadian woman ran in the senior race, but Cameron Levins made the Canadians proud by taking the men’s gold in a close battle with Christopher Landry of the U.S.

Runner-up on the same course last year, Levins ran the 4-lap 8km race in 24:04.13, six seconds ahead of Landry (24:10.61). Another American, Elliot Krause, settled for bronze in 24:20.05.

The 22-year-old from British Columbia made his debut at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships last year in Punta Umbria, Spain.

Shannon Osika led a U.S. sweep in the women’s junior 4km as she crossed the finish line in 13:40.40, ahead of Gabrielle Anzalone (13:47.50) and Macy Bricks (13:59.54). Third in 2011, Maria Bernard of Canada finished sixth this time.

In the men’s junior category, Jace Lowry was the fastest to complete the 6km race in 18:50.85, followed by his countryman Adam Braun (18:54.02). Canada, who swept all the medals in 2011, had to be content with the Benjamin Flanagan’s bronze (18:56.92).

The U.S. took all the team titles, followed by Canada in three of the four races. Trinidad and Tobago won silver in the women’s senior. The bronze medals went to Puerto Rico (women’s junior), Mexico (men’s junior) and Jamaica (men’s senior).

The NACAC Cross Country Championships, held for the third consecutive year in Trinidad and Tobago, drew over 100 runners from 11 countries.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF

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