NEW YORK -Two-time USA Cross Country champion Colleen De Reuck is entered to defend her 8 km title at the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships and World Cross Country Team Trials presented by Gleukos on February 18-19 at famed Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
De Reuck, of Boulder, Colorado, won last year's title in 27 minutes, 24 seconds, and then went on to finish as the top American (13th) at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Saint-Galmier, France. De Reuck has made the American team for the World Championships in each of the last four years. In 2002 she teamed with Deena Kastor to lead the United States team to a silver medal at the championships in Dublin, Ireland. De Reuck also took home the individual bronze medal (27:17) at that event.
"Cross country has always been a very important part of my running, and I am thrilled to return in 2006 to the USA Cross Country Championships in New York City," said De Reuck.
De Reuck and others will be running for a USA Cross Country Championships record total prize purse of $50,000-three times larger than last year's $16,000 purse. Another top contender entered is De Reuck's 2005 World Championships teammate Katie McGregor of Minneapolis.
De Reuck is one of the most accomplished distance runners in the world today. In several decades of competition she has represented both her native South Africa and the United States in numerous World Championship events, won several world-class marathons, and competed at the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Games.
Previously confirmed entries for this year's championships include five-time IAAF World Cross Country Championships qualifier Abdi Abdirahman and Lauren Fleshman, the United States' top woman in the 4 km at last year's IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
The Presidents' Weekend schedule features the men's open 4 km and women's open 8 km championship races on Saturday, February 18, and the women's open 4 km and men's open 12 km events on Sunday, February 19. The top six finishers in each championship race will earn a berth on the American team for the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, on April 1-2.
The USA Cross Country Championships Presented by Gleukos will be broadcast February 20 (late evening February 19) at 12:00 a.m. EST on ESPN 2.
For media accreditation contact Richard Finn in the Media Relations Department at the New York Road Runners at 212-423-2229.
For more information on the USA Cross Country Championships visit www.usatf.org.