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New individual champions, repeat team wins at 2016 JOXC

HOOVER, Alabama -- Out of a record 3,500 participants, ten triumphed and were crowned national champions at USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships at Veterans Park on Saturday, December 10.
On-demand video coverage is available on USATF.TV +PLUS; results can be found here.
Youth Athlete of the Year nominee Yamilet Lopez (USATF Pacific, Pacific Coast ShockWaves) kicked off the day with a dominating 2 km in the girls 8 & under, finishing 40 seconds ahead of second place in 7:44.56. Bradley Quezada (USATF Southern California) fought below-freezing temperatures to win the boys’ division in 7:37.94.
Bethany Michalak (USATF Colorado, Kokopelli) kept a steady lead on the girls 9-10 pack to finish 3 km in 11:53.91, just ahead of Alissa Graham. In the boys’ race, three runners maintained a slight lead over the main pack until Everett Capelle (USATF Southern California, South Orange County Wildcats) took off around the first hill. Capelle held off the competition throughout the remainder of the course to finish in 11:06.67, followed closely by Jason Parra.
Two-time 2016 Hershey Youth Indoors National champion Elizabeth Lucason (USATF Adirondack) started near the front of a large pack in the girls 11-12 3 km race, battling with Annabella Veltcheva for first place until around the 2 km mark when she sped ahead to win in 11:13.69. Aidan Cox (USATF New England, NH Thunder) grasped the lead in the boys’ race toward the halfway mark to become the national champion in 10:36.49.  
As the course changed slightly and runners explored the woods in the 13-14 girls 4 km, 2015 runner-up Grace Ping (USATF Utah) demonstrated her world record-setting talents by finishing 25 seconds ahead of second place. Aidyn Woodall (USATF Colorado, Parker Panthers), who won the last three JOXC championship titles, finished next in 13:46.17. Colin Peattie (USATF Pacific, Los Gatos Track Club) broke away from the main group close to 3 minutes into the race, delivering a hard fought first-place win in 12:19.34
Kaylah Grant (USATF Pacific, Los Gatos Track Club) took off early in the girls 15-18 5 km and never looked back. Grant completed the course in 18:47.85, 8 seconds ahead of runner up Jenna Strange. In the final race of the day, So Cal Roadrunners teammates Erik Gonzalez and Kevin Ramos Leyva (USATF Southern California) stuck together in a tight battle against 2015 winner Chase Kennedy for podium finishes. Gonzalez ran in 15:41.35, followed by 15:47.43 and 15:58.39, respectively.
Elite athlete and former JOTF champion James Harris was on hand to pass out awards and offer athletes encouragement.

Valley United Track Club and Parker Panthers were repeat team winners in their respective age groups.
8 & Under Girls
Valley United Track Club                  41
Pacific Coast ShockWaves                67
Walatowa Running                          108
8 & Under Boys
Pacific Coast ShockWaves                78
Valley United Track Club      '           79
Cougar Track Club                          106
9-10 Girls
Valley United Track Club                  53
Bowerman Track'                            138
New York Novas Track Club'            157
9-10 Boys
Parker Panthers                              61
Lightning Youth Running                 70
Valley United Track Club                 109
11-12 Girls
Parker Panthers                              49
Equalizers Track Club                      136
Valley United Track Club                  143
11-12 Boys
Pacific Coast ShockWaves                72
Sol Running Club                            141
Valley United Track Club                 149
13-14 Girls
Golden Running Academy               130
Equalizers Track                            179
Los Gatos Track Club                     180
13-14 Boys
Pacific Coast ShockWaves              113
Mt. Pleasant Track                         152
Los Gatos Track Club                     166
15-18 Girls
Los Gatos Track Club                     22
O’ Brien’s Army                             81
Potomac Valley Track                    105
15-18 Boys
O’ Brien’s Army                             77
So Cal Roadrunners                       84
Richmond Track & Field                 125
Ashley Mitchell
Marketing & Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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