BEND, Oregon -- Melissa Berry looks to defend her junior women’s title, while the men’s race is wide open at the 2017 USATF Cross Country Championships in Bend, Oregon on Saturday, February 4.
Berry won the 2016 edition of the meet and continued on to finish 18th at the NACAC Cross Country Championships last year. Berry will see competition from a strong field, including Oklahoma State’s Michelle Magnani, who was an NCAA qualifier during cross country season, Kloe Littleman, who found herself in the top 15 finishers at the 2016 USATF Cross Country Championship, and Natane Deruytter, who was the South Atlantic Conference runner-up and fifth at the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional before placing in the top 100 at the NCAA Division II Championships.
A trio of UCLA Bruins will also be competing in Bend, as Taylor Beaudoin, Grace McAuley and Lily Schmidt look for a victory after redshirting this past cross country season. Also in the hunt for a title are Clemson’s Logan Morris, who finished in the top 20 at the ACC Championships last fall, and UNC Greensboro’s Taylor Delaney, who was 11th at the Southern Conference Championships in 2016.
Paul Roberts leads the men’s field after representing Team USA on multiple occasions throughout his young career. The Colorado State-Pueblo product was on Team USA for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in China in 2015 and finished 14th at the Great Edinburgh XCountry International Challenge in 2016. As a high schooler, Roberts was fifth at Foot Locker XC and 11th at Nike Cross Nationals.
Roberts faces stiff competition from a slew of talented juniors, including Washington State’s Justin Janke and Washington’s Ryan Gregory, both of whom have top-tier finishes in the Washington 3A and 4A in their high school careers. There are also a host of collegians who redshirted the 2016 NCAA cross country season, so it’s truly anyone’s title to win on Saturday.
Action begins on USATF.TV +PLUS with the junior races in Bend at 3:10 p.m. ET/12:10 p.m. PT, followed by the seniors. Masters races will be available on demand following the conclusion of Saturday’s meet.
Fans can follow along on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook using #USATFXC.