Competitors Endure Strong Winds and Snow
BY CLAY SHAW
VAN CORTLANDT PARK, THE BRONX, NY--A week after a 26-inch snowfall hit NYC, subsequent plowing and melting and re-freezing had the cross-country course hard and mostly snow free. The first World XC qualifier race, held February 18th, did get quite a winter snowy blast. The Junior Womens 6K competitors had to endure strong winds and sideways blowing snow. It was a tough shoot, but made for some interesting pix. The top 6 competitors from the 6 races represented the USA in the World XC Championships on April 1 & 2 in Fukuoka, Japan. The New York Road Runners who hosted the event wisely will award the bulk of the prize money to those who do go to Japan to represent the USA.
In the snowy Junior Womens 6K, Nicole Blood of Gansevoort, NY sprinted from the pack to win in 20:45, as the first six gals were just 3 seconds apart.
In race 2, the Open Mens 4K, Adam Goucher of Portland, OR outsprinted Dan Lincoln of Little Rock, AR by two seconds to win in 10:52.
In Race 3, the Open Women 8K, marathoners Blake Russell, 26:47, and Colleen DeReuck (age 41) 26:49, led the way.
On Sunday, February 19, it was cold, but sunny and less windy. In race 4, the Junior Men's 8K, Kiel Uhl of Iowa State led the way in 23:50, with two University of Arkansas runners--Scott MacPherson, 23:57, and Chris Barnicle, 24:03--taking the runner-up spots.
In Race 5, the Open Womens 4K, Carrie Tollefson of St.Paul, MN led the way in 12:32. Blake Russell doubled and finish 3rd earning a spot for both USA teams.
In Race 6, the Open Mens 12K, Ryan Hall of Woodside, CA hammered the field winning in 34:38. Twenty-seven seconds later, Jorge Torres of Boulder came in second in 35:05.
Fourth place finisher Dathan Ritzenhein of Boulder, CO running with an injury passed on the World XC, opening a spot for 7th place finisher Brandon Leslie of Albuquerque.
Race 1, Junior Womens 6K
1. Nicole Blood 20:45
1. Adam Goucher 10:50
1. Blake Russell 26:47
1. Kiel Uhl 23:50
1. Carrie Tollefson 12:32
1. Ryan Hall 34:38