Hoover, Ala. - Ammar Moussa and Christine Bayliss continued their winning ways from 2009 and once again turned in impressive performances that landed them atop the podium of the Young Men's and Youth Girls' races Saturday at the 2010 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships at Veterans Park in Hoover, Ala.
More than 2,000 young runners participated in the championship events. The athletes enjoyed a clear day of crisp Alabama weather. The USATF Junior Olympic program age divisions are bantam (10 and under) racing over 3 kilometers; midget (11-12) racing 3 km; youth (13-14) racing 4 km; intermediate (15-16) racing 5 km; and young men/women (17-18) racing 5 km.
The last race of the day played out in dramatic fashion as Moussa (Obriens Army) battled Raymond McCormack (Lanier Running Club) from the first mile all the way to the finish. Moussa won last year's Junior Olympic title in the Intermediate division and McCormack is the defending Young men's champion. The two ran away from the rest of the field and netted a lead of more than 30 seconds over their closest competitor. Moussa was successful in repeating his win in a time of 15:22, while McCoramck finished six seconds back in a time of 15:28.
Bayliss (Oak Hill Racing) was the sole female champion from last year who was able to replicate her success. She covered the 4 km course at 5 seconds per mile faster than her closest competitor to win in a time of 14:16.
Four other girls claimed top-honors by winning their divisions. Lauren Turner (Team Bliss) turned in a dominating performance with an 18 second lead to claim the Bantam title in a time of 11:37 for 3 km. Claire Graves (So Cal) broke the tape for the Midget Girls in 11:03. Samantha Hicks (Gate City Striders) led the Intermediate Girls race and clocked the fastest girls' time of the day in 18:40 for 5 km. Krista Menghini eclipsed her nearest competitor by one second to become the Young Women's champion with a time of 19:02.
The boys' competition had several close finishes, but at the end of the day, only one could win each race. Coleman Mitchell (Triangle TC) sped over the 3 km course in a time of 11:14. In the closest race of the day, Jacob Ogden (South O) narrowly edged out his closest competitor to win in a time of 10:17. In the 4 km Youth Boys' competition, Miguel Bautista (Equalizers TC) was the top runner of the day, clocking a time of 12:55. Parker Deuel covered the 5 km Intermediate Boys course in a time of 16:10.
In team competition, the Equalizers Track Club dominated the day with a total of four wins. The Equalizers claimed top honors for the Bantam Girls, Midget Girls, Youth Girls and Youth Boys. The following teams also earned a year's worth of bragging rights: Cougar Track Club (Bantam Boys), San Diego SoCal Road Runners (Midget Boys), Buffalo Chips Running Club (Intermediate Girls and Young Women), Hoosier Harriers (Intermediate Boys), Obriens Army (Young Men).
For more information, including complete results of the 2010 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, visit www.usatf.org .