Athletes Bound Through Boulder
BY CLAY SHAW
BOULDER, CO--The USA XC has found another solid venue in Boulder. A very successful XC meet in 2006 in New York was followed by a superbly organized event by Pete Julian. The meet was held on the snowy Flatirons Golf Course on February 10. Boulders altitude was a concern, but the athletes performed well in the six races, with altitude-based athletes winning all the adult races. In the first race of the day, on a mostly snow-covered course, Patty Murray of Boulder dueled with Utahs Michelle Simonaitis for the first few laps of the 8K before pulling away to win in 29:54. The Masters men were led by Michelles husband, Dennis, who won in 26:28.
In the Junior womens 6K race (19 & under), Jordan Hasay of San Luis Obispo, CA, a 15-year-old, led from the gun to win in 21:44. Hasay, who never raced at altitude before, said that she felt terrible, but looked good in her runaway victory. College freshmen Bona Jones of NC State (21:58), and Kari Hardt of Arizona State (22:04), took the second and third spots, respectively.
In the mens Junior 8K race, Elliot Health of Winona, MN won in 26:07, with Kenny Klotz of the University of Oregon taking second in 26:18. Matthew Tebo of the University of New Mexico took third in 26:22.
In the womens 8K, superstar Deena Kastor of Mammoth Lakes, CA won very easily in 26:47. Shalane Flanagan of Portland, OR, who had just set a USA 3000m indoor record, gave running with Kastor a go for a bit, but thought, what was I thinking, and took second in 27:48.
Kastor won by over a minute, while Flanagan had distanced herself from the rest of the field. Third place was earned by Kara Goucher of Portland, OR in 28:01. Lauren Fleshman of Palo Alto, CA was fourth in 28:26. Renee Metivier of Boulder took fifth in 28:35 and will head the USA XC delegation to Mombasa, Kenya. The first four opted out, with Kastor running the Boston Marathon. In the mens Open 12K, Dathan Ritzenhein of Boulder took off with a large lead only to be overtaken around 10K by Alan Culpepper of Lafayette, CO.
Culpepper would surge to a strong finish with a 37:09 with thousands of fans cheering every step on the now very muddy course. Adam Goucher of Portland, OR took second in 37:35, Ritzenhein held on for third in 37:47. Jorge Torres of Boulder made it a top four sweep for University of Colorado alums with a 38:07. Michael Spence of Ogden, UT took fifth and, like Metivier, will head the USA XC team to Kenya. Spence finished in 38:15.
1. Dennis Simonaitis, 44, Draper, UT 26:28
1. Elliot Heath, 18, Winona, MN 26:07
1. Alan Culpepper, 34, Lafayette, CO 37:09
USA XC team: Spence, Sabatino, Bizuneh, Carlson, Gabrielson, Rodriguez, Shay, and Rosendahl.
1. Patty Murray, 41, Boulder, CO 29:54
1. Jordan Hasay, 15, Arroyo Grande, CA 21:44
1. Deena Kastor, 33, Mammoth Lakes, CA 26:47
USA XC team: Metivier, McGregor, Newberry, Osburn, Ferrell, Duerbeck.