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Olympians and elites ready for USATF Club Cross Country Championships


SPOKANE, Washington — One of the deepest quality fields will converge upon the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex for Saturday’s open races at the 2019 USATF Club Cross Country Championships.

Video will be available on demand on USATF.TV+, click here to watch.


The top four athletes in both the women’s open 6k and the men’s open 10k races will select themselves for spots on Team USATF for the Great Stirling Cross Country International Challenge in Stirling, United Kingdom on January 12, 2019.


In addition to athletes competing for spots on the plane to Great Britain, many of the country’s top clubs will compete for bragging rights, including defending men’s team champions Tinman Elite from Colorado, and reigning women’s team champions Hanson’s-Brooks Original Distance Project.


The women’s open 6k race begins at 12:45 pm, followed by the men’s open 10k at 1:30 pm, Pacific time.


Olympic 1500m gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz returns to cross country

A trio of 2016 US Olympians are entered, including Olympic 1500 meter champion Matthew Centrowitz, who is making his first foray into cross country since his days as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon. Centrowitz now resides in Seattle, where he is a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Washington.


Along with Centrowoitz, Hillary Bor, who was seventh in Rio in the steeplechase, and Ben Blankenship, who was eighth in the 1500 meter finals, are entered.


Other men’s notable entries include Trevor Dunbar, Kirubel Erassa, Andrew Kimpel, Craig Nowak, Luke Puskedra, and Ryan Vail, all of whom have run for Team USATF on various national teams in cross country, along with 2018 world indoor championships 800m bronze medalist Drew Windle.


Two of the top women’s entries include 2018 IAAF world indoor championships eighth place finisher Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts, along with 2018 NACAC steeplechase champion Mel Lawrence of Oiselle.  Both were members of the 2008 University of Washington cross country team that won the NCAA title.


Other notable individuals include former national cross country team members Shelby Goose, Molly Grabill, Marisa Howard, Cally Macumber, Emily Pritt, and Carrie Verdon.


Tinman Elite and the Hanson’s-Brooks Original Distance Project look to repeat as national club cross country champions

In the team race, the Colorado-based Tinman Elite will be led by Morgan Pearson, who was fourth last year in Lexington, Kentucky, along with George Parsons, who was ninth last year.


The Hanson’s women’ squad returns all three of last year’s top scorers— Chelsea Blaase, Anne-Marie Blaney and Olivia Pratt, and will be joined by Dana Herrick and Sydney Devore as the Michigan-based squad attempts to repeat as national club team champions.


Last year’s second place team, the Boston Athletic Association, and the third place squad, the Cal Coast Track Club, return as one of several clubs that look to unseat the Hanson’s squad.


Perhaps the biggest threats to the Tinman Elite in the men’s race is the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts, and the Hanson’s-Brooks Original Distance Project.


The Brooks Beasts will be led into battle by 2015 USATF national club cross country champion Garrett Heath. He will be joined by former Utah State All-American Dillon Maggard, and a trio of middle distance standouts moving up in distance—2016 NCAA indoor mile champ Henry Wynne, 2018 NCAA Division II 1500 meter champ David Ribich, and 2018 NACAC 1500m champ Izaic Yorks.


Hanson’s-Brooks counters with one of the most decorated distance runners in American history in three-time Olympian, and three-time USATF cross country champion Dathan Ritzenhein.


He will be joined by defending USATF club cross country champion Ian La Mere, and last year’s third place finisher Ryan Mahalsky.  Oregon alum Shadrack Biwott, who was third at this year’s Boston Marathon, gives the Hanson’s added firepower.


The link to entries for the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships is available here, while the link to live results is available here.


Contributed by Paul Merca, USATF Cross Country Council

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