BYDGOSZCZ, Poland--In preparation for Sunday's IAAF World Cross Country Championships, members of Team USA selected its captains during its first team meeting Thursday.
Athletes earned their places on the Team USA roster at the 2013 USA Cross Country Championships in St. Louis, Mo., on February 2nd.
2004 Olympic women's marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), who has competed in ten world cross country championship teams in her illustrious career, was selected as the senior women's captain by her peers.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as a team captain. We have a great team, and it’s that sense of team camaraderie that makes it special,” Kastor commented about the honor.
Reigning USA Cross Country champion Chris Derrick (Portland, Ore.), who last competed in the 2009 world cross country championships as a junior team member, was selected as the senior men's captain.
“With the number of guys on the squad that have been on teams before, it’s a great gesture by them to select me as team captain,” Derrick said. “I almost forgot that they select captains for this team.”
Emily Stites (Williamsburg, Va.), a freshman at the College of William & Mary and the USA Junior 6 km champion last month, was picked by the squad as the junior women’s captain.
“It was quite a surprise that I was selected by the team to be the captain,” Stites said, adding that the group has bonded well during their first few days in Bydgoszcz.
Oklahoma State University freshman Craig Nowak (Stillwater, Okla.), who won the USA Junior men's 8 km title last month in St. Louis, and is competing as a member of a Team USA cross country squad for the second time in his young career, got the nod from his teammates as junior men's team captain.
“It’s a great honor to be selected, and I hope to represent the team well,” said Nowak.
For more information on the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, please visit www.usatf.org.