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Drossin dominates at USA Cross Country Championships


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
(317) 713-4690

HOUSTON, Texas – Deena Drossin won her sixth U.S. women’s 8 km national title Saturday at the 2003 USA Cross Country Championships in Houston, Texas. Drossin easily defended her crown by winning the race in 29 minutes, 6 seconds.

Other winners today included 1996 Olympic steeplechaser Robert Gary in the men’s 4 km championship and Duke University’s Clara Horowitz in the junior women’s 6 km championship. In masters competition, David Olds won the U.S. men’s 6,113-meter title, and Carmen Ayala-Troncoso won the U.S. women’s crown over the same distance.

The action resumes Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park with the Junior Men’s 8 km Championship, followed by the Senior Women’s 4 km race at 10:45 a.m. This year’s USA Championships conclude with the Men’s National 12 km Championship at 11:15 a.m. The top-six finishers in the senior and junior races are eligible to represent the U.S. at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, March 29-30 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The following is a listing of the top-15 finishers in today’s races that determined roster spots for the 2003 World Cross Country Championships, along with quotes and a race in review for each contest. Full results may be found on the USATF Web site at:

SENIOR WOMEN – 8,078 Meters

1. Deena Drossin (ASICS), 29:06 2. Colleen De Reuck (Nike), 29:42 3. Milena Glusac (adidas), 30:17 4. Katie McGregor (adidas), 30:27 5. Jen Rhines (adidas), 30:29 6. Sara Wells (ASICS), 30:29 7. Amy Rudolph (adidas), 31:02 8. Elva Dryer (Nike), 31:19 9. Sarah Toland (Nike), 31:24 10. Dana Coons (adidas), 31:35 11. Ann Marie Brooks (Team New Balance), 32:05 12. Blake Russell (Team New Balance), 32:25 13. Katherine Newberry (Unattached), 32:33 14. Rachel Sauder (Team New Balance), 32:38 15. Meghan McLaughlin (Unattached), 32:58

TEAM SCORING: 1. adidas – 14; 2. Nike – 22; 3. U.S. Air Force – 49; 4. U.S. Army – 53; 5. U.S. Navy – 82.

RACE CONDITIONS: Temperatures in the high 60s. The course was muddy and treacherous.

RACE IN REVIEW: The rain stopped for the start of the four trips around the muddy, slippery and wet 2 km figure-eight loop by 59 senior long-course contestants. Deena Drossin took the lead immediately, completing the first west loop in 3:28. Strung out single file were Colleen De Reuck and Jen Rhines, with a pack of Shayne Culpepper, Katie McGregor, and Amy Rudolph together. This sequence continued through the first east loop (6:58), the second west loop (11:02) and the second east loop (14:01). During the third west loop (17:32), Drossin’s lead extended to 32 seconds ahead of De Reuck. The pack behind De Reuck consisted of Milena Glusac, Rhines, Sara Wells, and McGregor. Drossin also started lapping some of those at the back of the pack. At the end of the third east loop (21:16) it was still Drossin ahead of De Reuck, but the pack of four was strung out: Wells, Glusac, McGregor, and Rhines, with Rudolph in seventh place. At the end of the fourth west loop (24:40) it was Drossin, then De Reuck, then Glusac, with a pack of McGregor, Wells and Rhines fighting for the fourth, fifth and sixth team spots.

Drossin Notes: In winning her sixth career long course national title (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) Deena Drossin is now all alone in second place on the all-time women’s list. Drossin entered Saturday’s competiton tied with Doris Brown, who won five titles (1966, 1968-71). Three-time world cross country champ Lynn Jennings, leads the way with nine U.S. titles (1985, 1987-’93, 1996). Drossin also won the 4 km title at the 2000 U.S. Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., becoming the only woman in history to win the short and long course titles at the same event since the short course race was added in 1998. Known as America’s most dominant women’s long distance runner, Drossin won the individual silver medal, leading the Team USA women’s 8 km squad to the team silver medal at the 2002 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Dublin, Ireland. Drossin’s 2002 campaign also included an American record on the track at 10,000 meters (30:52.32) and world best for 5,000 meters on the roads (14:54). Drossin demonstrated her versatility by winning the 2001 U.S. women’s marathon title at the New York City Marathon in the fourth-fastest time in history by an American woman of 2 hours, 26 minutes, 58 seconds. It was the first marathon performance of her career. Although she is entered in Sunday’s U.S. women’s 4 km championships, Drossin announced after this afternoon’s race that she will not compete tomorrow.

Drossin Quotes: I came into this meet with enough strength to double, and I had every intent of doubling this weekend, but as I cross this finish line, I will not be doubling tomorrow…the only thing that I will be doing tomorrow here on the course is spectating….

It was so challenging to run on this course, no matter what your strengths are, whether you’re a speed based runner, or a strength based runner…this was a tough course for everyone out there, even coming out with a victory, it hurt really badly.

(On the chances for a team medal in Lausanne) I am optimistic about our chances…it’s something that I dream about, both for the team and as an individual. I am going to put in a good month of training at altitude at Mammoth Lakes, and be ready to run in Lausanne.

My plan going into the race was to stick with the lead pack for a good lap or so until I felt strong enough to go, but after seeing the course, I didn’t have the confidence that I could pull away like I wanted to, so I went from the gun and tried to push it from the start. The problem is, that running aggressively could work against you, especially going down the hill.

My arms were off to the side as I was coming down the hill, trying to do a balancing act…I felt like I was in flats out there…I wasn’t gripping anything.

Usually on a cross country course, you try to run the tangents, but it was so muddy because everyone else was running the tangents, so I found myself running wide, and I was able to stay on my feet.

Collen De Reuck: I was worried about today, but I had heard that a lot of the other girls were in great shape. Deena really blew us away, and I tried to hang on to her, but I couldn’t.

It was slow going. I tried to keep my stride short and work up the hills, but there was no traction. My form was off and I was all over the place, but it was fun out there. The point in the course where you go underneath the overpass and go up the steep hill was one of the easiest sections of the course.

It looks like we are going to have a pretty good team for Lausanne…just depends on how the Kenyans and Ethiopians run.

SENIOR MEN – 4,148 Meters

1. Robert Gary (adidas), 12:53 2. Dan Wilson (ASICS), 12:57 3. Luke Watson (Notre Dame), 12:57 4. Sandu Rebenciuc (U.S. Army), 12:58 5. Karl Savage (Unattached), 12:58 6. Dan Browne (Nike), 12:59 7. Chad Johnson (Nike), 13:00 8. Brad Hauser (Nike), 13:03 9. Ian Connor (Nike), 13:05 10. Mathew Gabrielson (Team USA Minnesota), 13:14 11. Bryan Berryhill (adidas), 13:16 12. Chris Dugan (adidas), 13:17 13. Mark Croghan (adidas), 13:19 14. Andy Downin (Nike), 13:24 15. Jonathan Riley (Nike), 13:26

TEAM SCORING: 1. Nike – 21 points; 2. adidas – 22; 3. U.S. Army – 54; 4. U.S. Air Force; 62; 5. U.S. Marines – 71.

Race In Review: Light rain continued to fall on a slippery, wet and muddy 2 km figure-eight loop done twice as 64 senior men took off at middle-distance breakneck pace to decide the short course team for Lausanne. After the first west loop (3:07), it was a huge pack, with Robert Gary and Sandu Rebenciuc at the lead. After the first east loop (6:10) it was Gary and Karl Savage leading the continuing huge pack. After the second west loop (9:19) a trio of Gary, Savage and Dan Browne led the group that only slightly began to string out. On the final east loop Rebenciuc and Luke Watson joined Browne, Gary and Savage and it was a sprint to the finish line.

Gary Notes: Gary’s victory is the first U.S. title of his career. A 1996 Olympic Games 3,000m steeplechaser, Gary finished ninth at the 2002 USA Cross Country Championships.

Gary Quotes: I didn’t plan to take the lead early, but once I was up there, I tried to keep things rolling. At the same time, I am not a very big fan of sitting back in cross country races. I wasn’t planning on slowing down and giving anyone a chance to get back into the race. In the 4K, I’ve tried to go out and hammer from the gun, unlike the 12K, where I’ve waited for things to happen.

Wilson Quotes: I ran a couple indoor races, but we were really pointing towards cross country. We had to change our race tactics for the conditions of the course, but it didn’t change what we wanted to do. Karl [Savage, training partner] and I both wanted to get out off the lead pack and just kind of work our way up. The roller-caster-like course, and obviously the mud, changed our thinking completely. We weren’t in the lead but we were about fifth or sixth and we just stayed right up front from there. Karl (Savage, fifth-place finisher) and I are not the fastest of guys, but we’ve got pretty good strength speed. I can’t run a 52-second quarter, but I can close with a 60 in the mud, and our work paid off today. We kicked hard and here we are, on our way to Switzerland!

JUNIOR WOMEN – 6,113 Meters

1. Clara Horowitz (Duke University), 23:34 2. Laura Hodgson (Univ. of Washington), 24:10 3. Amy Hastings (Arizona State), 24:19 4. Rebecca Walter (Univ. of Michigan), 24:21 5. Julia Lucas (North Carolina State), 24:25 6. Angela Homan (Auburn), 24:39 7. Valerie Lauver (University of Missouri), 25:10 8. Christine Bolf (Unattached), 25:20 9. Amber Harper (Unattached), 25:21 10. Nelly Anderson (Unattached), 25:31. 11. Laura Stanley (Unattached), 25:41 12. Rachael Forish (Metroplex Striders), 25:56 13. Jackie Zeigle (Univ. of Colorado), 26:18 14. Erin Henry (Unattached), 26:21 15. Noelani Kaneko (Univ. of Washington), 26:38

TEAM SCORING: 1. Reebok Aggie Running Club – 17 points; 2. Dallas Metroplex Striders – 30; 3. Wings of America – 32.

RACE IN REVIEW: Light rain was falling on this slippery, wet, and muddy 2 km figure-eight loop as 41 junior women set out to determine a champion. Leading after the west loop (3:48) was a pack of nine, headed by Angela Homan, Clara Horowitz and Laura Hodgson. After completing the east loop (7:36) Horowitz was ahead of the lead pack of eight by three seconds. After the second completion of the of the west loop (11:20), Horowitz still dominated, ahead of a lead group consisting of Hodgson, Rebecca Walter, Homan and Amy Hastings running together. After the second east loop (15:18), Horowitz led by 10 seconds over the lead group of four. After the third west loop (19:04), this top sequence continued. Horowitz ended her race as a convincing winner.

Horowitz Quotes: I have wanted to make the World team ever since I saw the USA jerseys and all the gear. Last year I ran at Junior Nationals in the track 5000 and I was third when the top two go, and I missed it by about less than half a second, so I was really bummed. The fact that I get to represent our country, even though it’s at a junior level, I’m just really excited.

Horowitz is a freshman at Duke University and attended Head-Royce High School in Oakland, California. Her 2002 graduating class totaled 69 students.

Hodgson Quotes: I got here late yesterday, so I didn’t get a chance to preview the course. I figured I needed to get out with the pack early, because it would be hard to make up the distance on women trying to make the team for Switzerland, so I went out a little bit more conservative than if we had seen the course yesterday. Everyone went out a little slower before Clara decided to go out and make a charge and go for it. Everyone was a little bit hesitant because of the way it was pouring earlier this morning.

Hodgson is a freshman attending the University of Washington, born July 25, 1984. She attended North Central High School in Spokane, Wash.

MASTERS MEN – 6,113 Meters

1. David Olds (So Cal TC), 21:42 2. Robert Winn (Unattached), 22:06 3. Ronnie Parks (Unattached), 22:10 4. Lance Denning (Run Rep Boulder), 22:27 5. Daniel Skarada (Boulder RR-40), 22:57 6. Joe Fabris (Reebok Aggie RC), 23:00 7. Kirk Udovich (Boulder RR-40), 23:02 8. Bill Lawrence (Boulder RR-40), 23:04 9. Tim Newell (Unattached), 23:13 10. Rick Bruess (Boulder RR-40), 23:15

David Olds Quotes: I ran and won the Fall Nationals in Rocklin (Calif.), and I thought the conditions there were bad, but it looked like today’s conditions matched that. I am fitter now than I was before the Fall Nationals. Once I got into the groove, I felt good. I felt like a jogger going up the hills.

MASTERS WOMEN – 6,113 Meters 1. Carmen Ayala-Troncoso (Team Run Tex), 23:49 2. Laura Bruess (Boulder RR-40), 25:29 3. Kelly Kruell (Team Oregon), 25:34 4. Meghan Arbogast (Team Oregon), 25:34 5. Jennifer Teppo (Team Oregon), 25:58 6. Dagny Barrios (Unattached), 27:05 7. Donna Moore (Team Run Tex), 27:13 8. Sherrie Keim (Unattached), 27:32 9. Lynn Doelger (Team Run Tex), 27:39 10. Karen Murphy (Boulder RR-40), 27:50

Ayala-Tronscoso Quotes: It was wet and muddy and wonderful out there. On the first lap, I was making mistakes by running and cutting the tangents, but in the second and third laps, wherever I remembered the spots, I ran safe.

For complete results from Saturday’s competition at the 2003 USA Cross Country Championships, visit our Web site at

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