Team USA set for World Cross Country Championships

03-19-2008

Contact:
Jim Estes
Associate Director of LDR and Marketing
USA Track & Field
317-713-4661

INDIANAPOLIS - USA Track & Field has named the members of the 2008 Team USA World Cross Country squad for the 36th IAAF World Cross Country Championships to be held in Edinburgh, GBR on March 30.

The senior men's 12 km squad will be led by recent USA men's 8 km champion Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.). Torres was the runner-up in the 12 km at the USA Cross Country Championships in San Diego and finished 13th in the 4 km at his last appearance at the World Cross Country Championships in 2005. Edwardo Torres (Boulder, Colo.)the younger (by ten minutes) twin brother of Jorge, finished ninth at the championships in February to join the U.S. team, marking the first time the brothers have represented Team USA together.

Joining the Torres brothers will be Pan American Games 5,000 meter Gold medalist Ed Moran (Williamsburg, Va.); 2006 NCAA Division I Cross Country champion Josh Rohatinsky (Portland, Ore.); 2008 USA Half Marathon Champion James Carney (Boulder, Colo.); two-time team member Max King (Eugene, Ore.); 3-Time NCAA Champion (DIII) Ryan Bak (Eugene, Ore.); NCAA Div. II 10,000m champion for Chico State, Scott Bauhs (Chico, Calif.), at 21 years old will be the youngest member of the senior men's team; and All-PAC 10 Conference athlete for Stanford University Jonathan Pierce (Blowing Rock, N.C.).

Experience will play a vital role for the senior women's squad as six-time Team USA harrier Katie McGregor (Minneapolis, Minn.) along with four-time team members Renee Metivier-Baillie (Boulder, Colo.), and Kathy Newberry (Williamsburg, Va.), lead the open women's team in the 8 km race in Edinburgh. Amy Hastings (Flagstaff, Ariz.), who finished 20th in the junior women's 6 km in 2003, will make her first appearance with the senior women's Team USA Cross Country squad. Completing the senior women's team will be four-time All-American at the University of Minnesota Emily Brown (Minneapolis, Minn.), and eight-time All-America at Notre Dame Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.).

McGregor's best finish at the World Cross Country Championships was 16th in 2003. Newberry's best finish came in 2004 with 25th place and Baillie's came with a 36th place finish in Mombasa, Kenya last year.

Junior Men

German Fernandez (Riverbank, Calif.), a senior at Riverbank High School in southern California and the USA Junior Cross Country champion, will lead Team USA's junior men to Edinburgh. The runner-up from the championships in San Diego Ryan Sheridan (New Rochelle, N.Y.) is the third consecutive Iona student to make a U.S. junior team for the World Cross Country Championships.

Joining Sheridan and Fernandez will be Emil Heineking (Hartsgrove, Ohio), currently a freshman at the University of Virginia, who turned in a solid performance at the USA Cross Country Championships placing third in the junior men's race, running 24:34 over eight kilometers; Bobby Moldovan (Fort Wayne, Ind.), a freshman at North Carolina State, Moldovan finished four seconds behind Heineking for fourth place in San Diego; Kevin Williams (Lakewood, Colo.), a senior at D'Evelyn High School in Denver, took fifth place at the championships, running 24:39 to earn a place on the Edinburgh squad; Benjamin Johnson (Albuquerque, N.M.), a senior at Albuquerque Academy, finished sixth at last month's USA Cross Country Championships to take the final roster spot, running 24:41.

Junior Women

Leading the Team USA junior women will be Alex Gits (Edina, Minn.), a freshman at Stanford University, who finished second at the USA Cross Country Championships last month, running 20:45 over six kilometers. Git's teammates include Emily Reese (Chamblee, Ga.), a high school senior from Chamblee High School, who ran to a third place finish in San Diego last month, finishing 6 km in 21:26; Marissa Treece (Maple City, Mich.) a freshman at Notre Dame, finished a solid fourth, running 21:33 at the championships to join Team USA; Duke University freshman Emily Schwitzer (Minnetonka, Minn.) earned her ticket to Edinburgh with a fifth place finish in 21:34; Lauren Saylor (Clovis, Calif.), a freshman at the University of Washington,made the teamwith her sixth place finish at the USA Cross Country Championships, running 21:36; Laurynne Chetelat (Davis, Calif.), a senior at Davis High School, finished seventhin 21:51 to take the final spot on Team USA.

Team Staff

The team staff for Edinburgh includes junior men's Team Leader Thom Hunt (San Diego, Calif.) who won the 1977 IAAF World Junior Cross Country title in Dusseldorf, West Germany. Scott Christensen (Stillwater, Minn.) will lead the senior men in Edinburgh, having led the junior men's team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2003; Olympian and five-time Team USA Cross Country squad member Gwyn Coogan (Exeter, N.H.) will lead the junior women; and the senior women's team leader will be Dena Evans (Palo Alto, Calif.) who served as Team Leader for the fourth place finishing junior women at the 2004 IAAF Cross Country Championships.

Edinburgh 2008 has attracted 78 IAAF Member Federations to make preliminary entries for the event. The championships, which have a history dating back to 1903 and which first came under the banner of the World Cross Country Championships as an official IAAF event in 1973, have an existing participation record of 76 nations which was set at the 2000 edition in Vilamoura, Portugal.

The venue for the 2008 championships is Holyrood Park, which hosted the European Cross Country Championships in 2003 and has been the venue for many editions of the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Race, which is an IAAF XC Permit meeting.

A total prize purse of $30,000 will go to the individual placing in the top-six in both the men's and women's open races, while winning teams in the open divisions will receive $20,000 and awards again reaching down to sixth for men's and women's teams.

For more information on the 2008 World Cross Country Championships, visit www.usatf.org.