INDIANAPOLIS - 2004 Olympians and reigning national cross country champions Colleen De Reuck, Shalane Flanagan and Dathan Ritzenhein will lead Team USA at the 33rd IAAF World Cross Country Championships, March 19-20 in Saint-Etienne/St. Galmier, France.
Athletes earned their places on the Team USA roster at the 2005 USA Cross Country Championships held February 12-13 in Vancouver, Washington.
The winner of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Women's Marathon Team Trials in St. Louis, Colleen De Reuck captured her second consecutive U.S. women's long course title last month in Vancouver in qualifying for this year's world championships team.
De Reuck made her first Team USA appearance at the 2002 World Cross Country Championships in Dublin, Ireland, where she won the individual bronze medal, and along with silver medalist Deena Drossin, led team USA to a team silver medal. De Reuck made her second Team USA appearance at the 2003 World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she placed eighth overall in the long course event, and Team USA again won the team bronze medal.
A three-time Olympian for her native South Africa, De Reuck became a U.S. citizen on December 11, 2000, just after finishing 31st at the 2000 Olympic Games in the marathon. She finished ninth in the 1992 Olympic marathon before placing 13th in the 10,000m at the 1996 Olympics. De Reuck placed 39th in the 2004 women's Olympic Marathon in Athens.
Finishing second to De Reuck at the 2004 USA Cross Country Championships, veteran Katie McGregor placed fifth this year in Vancouver to earn her spot on the Team USA roster. McGregor will look to improve on her 27th place finish in the long course event last year in Brussels. The women's long course roster also features Katherine Newberry, who placed 25th in the long course race at the World Championships in Brussels last year. Also keep an eye on Laura Turner (formerly Laura Heiner), a four-time NCAA cross country All-American while at Brigham Young University, who placed eighth at the Nationals in Vancouver.
Strong women's 4 km team
Shalane Flanagan will headline the U.S. women's 4 km team after successfully defending her U.S. women's short course title at the 2005 National Championships. With her win in Vancouver, Flanagan added to her impressive list of accomplishments that include winning the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Division I women's cross country titles while at the University of North Carolina. Also in 2003, Flanagan was the runner-up in the 5,000 meters at the 2003 USA Outdoor Championships. Also that year she won the ACC 5,000m title and was the runner-up in that event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Flanagan competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens after placing third in the 5,000 meters earlier that summer at the Olympic Trials in Sacramento. She ended the 2004 season ranked #4 at 3,000m and #3 at 5,000m in the U.S. by Track & Field News.
Flanagan leads a potent women's 4 km team, 2003 U.S. women's short course champion and 2004 Olympian Shayne Culpepper, NCAA 5000-meter record holder Lauren Fleshmen, and three-time NCAA Division III cross country champ Melissa Buttry, who won the U.S. national cross country 6 km titles in 2003 & 2004, and placed third this year in Vancouver. Culpepper, Fleshman and Buttry will team up with Flanagan in France, along with 2004 Olympic Women's Marathon Trials fourth-place finisher Blake Russell, who placed fourth in the short course race and third in the 8 km race last month at the USA Championships.
Ritz leads the men
The Team USA men's squads will be led by Dathan Ritzenhein, who won the 12 km U.S. title convincingly last month over a strong field. Ritzenhein proved his fitness coming into this cross country season with his surprise win at the 2005 Reebok Cross Country Challenge on January 9 in Belfast, Ireland, against a talented international field. The 2003 NCAA cross country champion while at the University of Colorado, Ritzenhein won the junior men's bronze medal at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships. A 2004 Olympian at 10,000 meters, Ritzenhein placed 24th at the 2002 World Cross Country Championships in Dublin, Ireland.
Joining Ritzenhein on the men's long course squad will be Ian Dobson, a three-time NCAA cross country All-American while at Stanford, and 2005 USA Half-Marathon Championships runner-up Matt Gabrielson along with 2005 U.S. Cross Country Championships seventh-place finisher Paul Kezes. 2005 USA Half-Marathon Championships third-placer Jason Lehmkuhle also is on the squad, as is University of Wisconsin red-shirt freshman and 2003 Foot Locker cross country champion Matthew Withrow, who placed fourth in Vancouver
Former Buffaloes head 4 km team
University of Colorado alum Jorge Torres will compete in France after finishing as the runner-up in the men's 12 km race at Vancouver, 15 seconds behind Ritzenhein. Torres also placed fifth in the 4 km championship last month in Vancouver. He will compete only in the short course race in France.
The 2002 NCAA Division I cross country champion, Torres finished third in the long course race at the 2004 U.S. cross country nationals, and last competed on the U.S. world cross country championships team in 2002 when he was 11th in the open men's 4 km race.
Following an injury-riddled 2004 season, 2000 Olympian and 1998 NCAA cross country champion Adam Goucher looked strong in finishing as the runner-up in the men's 4 km race at this year's nationals. The only man ever to win the short and long course races at a USA Cross Country Championships (in 2000), Goucher last competed at the World Cross Country Championships in 1999 when he placed 12th in the short course race in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Other members of the U.S. men's short course squad include Luke Watson, a seven-time All-American at the University of Notre Dame, who placed 36th in the 4 km race at last year's World XC Championships in Brussels and 61st at Lausanne, Switzerland in 2003. Dave Davis qualified for his third U.S. World Cross Country Championships team after placing 82nd in the long course race last year in Brussels, and 2004 NCAA cross country All-American from Liberty University, Joshua McDougal, qualified for the trip to France with his fourth-place finish in Vancouver, after placing 49th in the junior men's race at the 2004 World Cross Country Championships in Brussels. By qualifying for this year's men's short course team, McDougal joins Dathan Ritzenhein as the only athletes ever to compete on a U.S. world junior cross country team one year, and compete on a senior team at World Cross Country the following year.
Former Stanford University great Donald Sage, the 2002 NCAA Outdoor 1,500m champion, is also on the men's short course team after placing third in the 4 km race at nationals.
Rupp spearheads youth movement
The Team USA junior contingent for this year's World Cross Country Championships will be led by 2005 national champions Galen Rupp and Liza Pasciuto.
A member of the Nike-funded Oregon Project, Rupp dominated the field in the USA Junior Men's 8 km championship race in Vancouver, winning by a nine-second margin over runner-up Stuart Eagon, who also will compete in France.
As a prep senior at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., Rupp last summer set the U.S. high school record at 5,000 meters (13:37.91), to go along with his national records at 2,000m (5:18.5) and 3,000m (8:03.67). Despite incurring a foot fracture in his foot in November, Rupp ran smoothly across the Fort Vancouver course in winning the national junior title last month.
In the Junior Women's 6 km championship, University of Colorado freshman Liza Pasciuto broke away from Jenny Barringer with about 300 meters to go to win the national title. Pasciuto, a native of Riverside, Calif., placed 13th at the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships to help the Buffaloes win the national title. Pasciuto trains with Colorado's Renee Metevier, who was the runner-up at the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships and will compete in the women's long course race in France. Barringer returns to the World Cross Country Championships after placing 35th last year in Brussels.
2005 IAAF World Cross Country Championships Team USA Roster (Alphabetical by event including Name/Place & time at 2005 U.S. Champs/Residence)
Senior Men's 12 km: Ian Dobson (6th in 37:33, Stanford, Calif.); Matt Gabrielson (8th in 37:54, Apple Valley, Minn.); Paul Kezes (7th-37:40, Eugene, Ore.); (Jason Lehmkuhle (5th in 37:33, Minneapolis, Minn.); Dathan Ritzenhein (1st in 36:59, Boulder, Colo.), Matthew Withrow (4th in 37:32, Madison, Wisc.).
Senior Men's 4 km: Dave Davis (8th in 11:57, Portland, Ore.); Adam Goucher (2nd in 11:39, Portland, Ore.); Joshua McDougal (4th in 11:41, Lynchburg, Va.); Donald Sage (3rd in 11:40, Stanford, Calif.), Jorge Torres (5th in 11:44, Boulder, Colo.); Luke Watson (10th in 12:01, Minneapolis, Minn.).
Junior Men's 8 km: Hakon Devries (3rd in 25:27, Stanford, Calif.); Stuart Eagon (2nd in 25:22, Madison, Wisc.); Christopher Landry (4th in 25:33, Williamsburg, Va.); Jeremy Mineau (5th in 25:40, Seattle, Wash.); Galen Rupp (1st in 25:13, Portland, Ore.); Ryan Vail (6th in 25:42, Stillwater, Okla.).
Senior Women's 8 km: Colleen De Reuck (1st in 27:24, Boulder, Colo.); Katie McGregor (5th in 28:04, St. Louis Park, Minn.); Renee Metivier (7th in 28:32, Boulder, Colo.); Kathy Newberry (4th in 28:01, Williamsburg, Va.); Chelsea Smith (9th in 28:39, Provo, Utah); Laura Turner (8th in 28:37, Provo, Utah).
Senior Women's 4 km: Melissa Buttry (3rd in 13:29, Waverly, Iowa); Shayne Culpepper (2nd in 13:27, Lafayette, Colo.); Shalane Flanagan (1st in 13:24, Pittsboro, N.C.); Lauren Fleshman (5th in 13:30, Palo Alto, Calif.); Amy Mortimer (6th in 13:38, West Roxbury, Mass.); Blake Russell (4th in 13:30, Marina, Calif.).
Junior Women's 6 km: Jennifer Barringer (3rd in 22:05, Oviedo, Fla.); Erin Bedell (2nd in 22:03, Plano, Texas); Christina Fiduccia (7th in 22:20, Raleigh, N.C.); Lindsay Flacks (4th in 22:05, Stanford, Calif.); Liz Pasciuto (1st in 21:50, Boulder, Colo.); Lindsey Scherf (6th in 22:08, Cambridge, Mass.).
2005 IAAF World Cross Country Championships Schedule
March 19, 2005: 2:30 p.m.: Junior Women's 6 km; 3:20 p.m.: Open Men's 4 km;
4:00 p.m.: Open Women's 8 km.
March 20, 2005: 2:25 p.m.: Junior Men's 8 km; 3:15 p.m.: Open Men's 12 km;
4:15 p.m.: Open Women's 4 km.
For more information on the 2005 World Cross Country Championships, visit www.iaaf.org.