From Paul Merca
WEST CHESTER, Ohio - Led by Ryan Warrenburg's overall win, the men from ZAP Fitness won their second consecutive team championship, while the Run Ohio Racing Team won the women's title at the ninth annual USATF National Club Cross Country Championships today at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio.
In the town where the Voice of America transmitted news, music, and information to listeners throughout the world, the strains of the Plain White T's song "Hey There Delilah" was broadcast through the airwaves of Voice of America Park as Delilah DiCrecenzo (the inspiration for the Grammy nominated hit) of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania emerged victorious in the open women's race at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships
Running with the lead pack early, the former Columbia University steeplechase standout DiCrescenzo who was 11th in last year's contest in San Francisco, along with Serena Ramsey of Columbia, Missouri and Julie Culley of Baltimore, Maryland (Pacers Brooks), broke away shortly before the two mile mark.
Down the final stretch, DiCrecenzo separated herself from Culley and cruised to a two-second victory, running 20:31 over the 6 km course. Culley held on for second in 20:33, and Ramsey finished in third, running 20:41.
In a very close and hotly contested team race, the Run Ohio squad, led by former NCAA 10 km champion Leigh Daniel (eighth in 20:59), earned its first national title, with a score of 157 points. New Balance Boston took second with 159, and the Boulder Running Company/adidas finishing third with 160 points. The defending champion Boston Athletic Association finished fourth with 188 points.
Saturday's races were held under cloudy skies, with temperatures beginning in the high 30s and traces of snow on the course slowly turning to mud in spots as the temperature rose as America's top post-collegiate club teams came to Voice of America Park for the event, which featured open and masters races at 10-kilometers for men and 6-kilometers for women.
In the open men's race, former Arizona State University runner Ryan Warrenburg of Blowing Rock, North Carolina (ZAP Fitness) led three of his teammates across the line in the top eight positions, as ZAP successfully defended its national title, scoring 45 points to easily defeat Team Indiana Elite (77 points). The Asics Aggies finished third with 169 points.
Warrenburg, who finished 18th in this race last year, ran from the front, a move that was designed to stay out of trouble. Warrenburg opened up a lead shortly after the halfway mark, extending to a 9-second advantage at the finish, crossing the line in 31:47.
Patrick Gildea of Knoxville, Tennessee finished second in 31:58. Warenburg's teammate Jonathan Pierce finished third in 32:01
The master's women's championship saw Joan Mabe of Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Carrboro AC) overtake early leaders Lisa Goldsmith of Nederland, Colorado (Fleet Feet Boulder) and Christine Reaser (Dayton, Maine) of the Dirigo Racing Club with over a mile to go, as the former Team USA member, and 1995 USA cross county champion once known as Joan Nesbit, powered her way to the national title in a time of 22:48.
Additional individual national age group titles were won by; Lisa Goldsmith of Nederland, Colorado (40-44); Mabe (45-49); Joanne Harper of Portland, Oregon (50-54); and, Kathryn Martin of Northport, New York (55-59).
2005 champion Peter Magill of South Pasadena, Calif. (Fluffy Bunny Track Club) turned the tide on defending champion Tracy Lokken from Marquette, Michigan (Front Line Racing Team), as he was content to let Lokken lead the race. Magill asserted himself over the last 800 meters to regain the championship he won in Rochester, New York in a time of 34:21. Lokken held on for second in 34:29, with local masters standout Thomas Lentz of Cincinnati (RC Greater Cincinatti) finishing third in 34:59.
Magill's overall win led the Fluffy Bunny Racing Team (59 points) to the 40+ team title, while Club Northwest repeated as 50+ champions (64 points); the Front Line Racing Team (11 points) won the 60+ division; and GCS Triad (9 points) won the 70+ team title.
Individual age group titles were also earned by; Lokken (40-44); Magill (45-49); Thomad Dever of Terre Haute, Indiana (50-54); Terry McCluskey of Vienna, Ohio (55-59); William Dixon of Brattleboro, Vermont (60-64); Doug Goodhue of Milford, Michigan (65-69); Bill Spencer of Litchfield, New Hampshire (70-74); and, John Kick of Dunstable, Massachusetts (75-79).
Joan Mabe (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)-This is my first national club masters cross country championship. I never ran one of these when I was 40. I coach a new USATF elite development team called the Carrboro Athletic Club, and I wanted to preview the course for my athletes in the open men's and women's races, and once the gun went off, my competitive instincts took over.
Christine Reaser took out the pace, and she fell at one of the hay bales, so I took advantage of it. I heard Lisa Goldsmith breathing real hard, so I took a chance (with a mile to go) and took the lead, then pounded as hard as I could.
Peter Magill (South Pasadena, Calif.)-When I first ran this race, I was 42 years old, and got beat by a 45-year old. At that time, I thought to myself, 'I just got beat by a 45 year old!' I'm now 46, and I'm paying back the young guys who took it to me.
Tracy (Lokken) did all the work. Normally I would feel bad about that, but last year, I took the lead at 5 km to break up the pack, and carried Tracy and Danny Martinez with me, until I died and they went past me. So I figured it was fair
I fell at about 3 miles, but I didn't panic like I did in Portland in 2004. I took my time and gathered myself before running. I loved the fact that the other competitors took the time to say 'nice job' after getting back in the race. Only in masters competition will guys say that to you.
Delilah DiCrecenzo (Conshohocken, Penn.)-It's a great feeling. The conditions were tough, but I felt like I was suited for the course with the way I run. I didn't slide as much in the mud. I was surprised at how well I felt, given the course conditions. I just tried to stay patient until the last quarter.
Nobody really wanted to push the pace, and I was pretty confident with my speed, so I was just biding my time until the end.
I'm good friends with the guys from Plain White T's. They called me a few days ago to let me know they've been nominated for two Grammys, so I'm really excited for them. It's a very unique opportunity, and a funny set of circumstances, but I'm glad to be associated with the song
Ryan Warrenburg (Blowing Rock, N.C.)-This is my first championship of any kind at any level, so it's a special day. I felt like my fitness was better coming into this year. This is my second year out of school, so last year was a bit of a rough adjustment for me. I knew I could come in here and have a chance to win.
With the course the way it was, and with so many guys in the field, I figured it would be easier to run from the front and pick your spots through the mud. I wanted to stay out of trouble in the back and pick my way through the mud.
It will be fun to run my first World Cross trials in February in San Diego, and take a shot at trying to make the World Championships team. That's probably the toughest race I the country.
If we could get to the line healthy, I thought we'd have a chance at defending the title.
The USATF National Club Cross Country Championships featured the elite clubs from across the United States vying for top honors and bragging rights as the nation's best cross country teams. Over 110 clubs and 1130 competitors took part in the event.
For more information about the 2007 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, along with complete results, visit www.usatf.org.