PORTLAND, Oregon - Missy Buttry successfully defended her women's individual title Saturday at the 2004 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships at Portland Meadows race track in Portland.
The USATF National Club Cross Country Championships features the elite clubs from across the United States vying for top honors and bragging rights as the nation's best cross country teams. More than 60 clubs and 900 competitors took part in the event, which features 10-kilometer open and masters men's races and a 6-kilometer open and masters women's race.
Buttry, who won last year's race in Greensboro, N.C. by just a couple strides over 2002 NCAA Division I cross country runner-up Kate O'Neill, took complete command at the halfway point of the race held under mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the low 40s. She went on to win the race in 23 minutes, 7.85 seconds. Sabrina Monro was the runner-up in 23:48.39, with last year's third place finisher Katherine Newberry placing third again in 23:53.48. Former NCAA champion Kara Goucher was fourth in 23:57.99, with Maria Magdalena Sandoval fifth in 24:02.02.
In becoming the first athlete ever to successfully defend the women's individual title at this event, Buttry adds to her accomplishments this year that include winning her third consecutive NCAA Division III cross country title last month as a senior at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Following her win at Portland Meadows, Buttry, who was a member of this year's USA World Cross Country team, said patience was the key in the beginning. "My coach and I decided that with the course being so muddy that it might be a good idea to start off patient for a little bit," she said. "We decided that I would try to take the lead on the second or third lap. We wanted to make sure that when I made a move, it was a big move."
Southern California's See Jane Run won the women's team competition with 76 points, narrowly finishing ahead of the defending champion Farm Team (Palo Alto, Calif.) with 79 points. Boston Athletic Association was third with 84 points followed by fourth-place Wisconsin Runner with 108 points and Run AZ fifth with 166 points.
Former University of Colorado great Jorge Torres faced a tough battle against a strong field in the men's 10 km race before finally prevailing in 32:43.91. Torres won the 2002 NCAA Division I cross country title and placed 15th in the 5,000 meters at the 2003 World Outdoor Championships in Paris. This past February he finished third at the 2004 USA Cross Country Championships over12 km.
"My fitness was at a good level and I felt good, so I hope this is the beginning of a good season," Torres said. "I'm planning to run some cross country races in Europe and this was my first race of the season. I'll run two races over there before returning to run at the U.S. Cross Country Championships."
2000 USA 12 km and 4 km cross country champion Adam Goucher, who recently relocated to host city Portland, Ore., had a strong showing with his runner-up finish in 32:59.45. Jorge Torres' twin brother Edwardo was third in 33:04.04, with Jonathon Riley fourth in 33:04.74 and Josh Moen, the two-time NCAA Division III champion from Wartburg College, fifth in 33:07.28.
The Farm Team won the men's club championship with 89 points, upsetting the defending champions and runners-up this year, the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project (Rochester Hills, Mich.), who tallied 114 points. Northern California's Asics Aggie RC finished third with 191 points, with Sports Warrior TC fourth with 195 points and Wisconsin Runner Racing Team fifth with 216 points.
In masters competition, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso was the overall winner in 25:10.58, and Brian Pope was the overall men's winner in 36:03.65. Ayala-Troncoso had earlier won national masters cross country titles over 6 km in February and 8 km in November, while Pope had already won masters harrier titles at 5 km in October and 8 km in November.
The first ever Nike Team Nationals, a national club championship for teams composed of high-school-age athletes and younger competitors, also took place Saturday at Portland Meadows.
Sean McNamara of Kroy Cross Country Club in Elmhurst, Ill., was the individual boys winner completing the 5 km course in 15 minutes, 43.9 seconds. Brandon Bethke of the Beach Dudes Cross Country Club in El Toro, Calif., was the runner-up in15:55.5, and Robbie Barany of the Yakima Harriers (Yakima, Wash.) was third in 16:02.1. The Kroy XC Club won the team competition with 92 points. Stotan XC Club of Fayetteville-Manlius, N.Y., was the runner-up with 127 points, and Tyson's Army of Spokane, Wash., was third with 146 points.
Ramsey Kavan of 3-D Running in Yankton, S.D., won the individual girls's race in 18:05.37, with Brianna Felnagle of the Hilltop Belles in Tacoma, Wash., the runner-up in 18:15.72 and Nicole Blood of Kinetic RC in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., third in 18:20.72. A heavy favorite coming in, Kinetic won the team competition with 51 points. Sisu Cross Country Club of Aurora, Colo., was the runner-up with 125 points and 3-D Running was third with 154 points.
For more information on the Nike Team Nationals, visit http://www.niketeamnationals.com.
For more information on the 2004 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, including the complete results, visit www.usatf.org.