Successful USA XC Championships at Mission Bay

San Diego, February 5, 2011 -- Shalane Flanagan and Aisling Cuffe continued to make themselves right at home in San Diego at the 2011 USA Cross Country Championships.
Flanagan won her second USA Cross Country Championship in two tries on San Diego's grassy Mission Bay Park course when she again dominated America's best distance runners to take the 2011 Women's title in 25 minutes, 47 seconds.  The time of the U.S. 10,000-meter record holder from Portland was slightly slower than her winning 8K effort of 25:26 here in 2008, but the result was the same -- a dominating victory, this time by 44 seconds over second-place Molly Huddle.

Meanwhile, Cuffe, a high school senior from Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, also found her way back to San Diego after running off with the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship in Balboa Park in December.  Just as she did in December, Cuffe opened up a substantial gap on the talented field early, and was never challenged.  She came home in 21:13, some 26 seconds ahead of surprising runner-up Molly Grabill of Poway.

The two victories highlighted a beautiful day of racing that attracted hundreds of runners and thousands of spectators to the 2-kilometer course at Mission Bay

Joining Flanagan as the Open Men's champion for 2011 was Brent Vaughn of Black Hawk, Colo.  His victory was not nearly as decisive as Flanagan's, but every bit as heart-felt.

Racing 12K, the men stayed in a large pack until the midway point.  Then, Vaughn went to the front.  The 26-year-old opened a lead and held it, celebrating in the closing yards what was to be a six-second victory in 35:46.

Racing 12K, the men stayed in a large pack until the midway point.  Then, Vaughn went to the front. The 26-year-old opened a lead and held it, celebrating in the closing yards what was to be a six-second victory in 35:46. Andrew Bumbalough, of Portland, Ore., finished second in 35:52, followed closely by Ed Moran of Williamsburg, Va., in 35:54. "It's gonna be great to put on that USA jersey,” said Vaughn. “I'm gonna have a hard time sleeping tonight (after dropping out of the USA Half Marathon last week) I didn't want to waste this opportunity. I've been working too hard to waste my fitness.”

In the Junior men's 8K race, Stanford University freshman Erik Olson, Novato, Ca., waited until late in the race to pull away to victory in 24:48. He was nine seconds faster than runner-up Maxwell Straneva of Binghampton, N.Y.  Open and Junior men and women qualified to represent Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships March 20 in Punta Umbria, Spain, as well as the North American, Central American & Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships in Tobago on Feb. 19.

The day began with a 4K Community Race, followed by Masters races for Men and Women that offered the chance for overall titles, as well as titles in five-year age-groups. Pete Magill of South Pasadena claimed the overall Masters men's title in 26:17 and Colleen De Reuck of Boulder, Colo., won the women's title in 28:47. Magill and Kathryn Martin of Northport, N.Y., claimed the Masters age-graded titles.  Complete results

Meet Photos:   Race Director, Thom Hunt, has put together a fantastic photo spread of Bobby Bettancourt photos all six of the USA Cross Country Championships and the Community Race.  Click the link, USA Cross Country Meet Photos, to view.

Meet Program Available On-line:   The official 2011 Cross Country Championships Program is now available for download.

Did you know?  History of National XC in San Diego:   The National Cross Country Championships have been held in San Diego twice before this year.  In 1971 the San Diego Track Club hosted the National AAU Cross Country Championships.  It was big news in those days.  Read the Sports Illustrated Article on the race.  Or better yet, check out the December 1971 San Diego Track Club Newsletter for the complete results and lots of other interesting items of the day.  The 2008 USA Cross Country Championships were also hosted by the San Diego USATF:  Results

Road Runner Sports Community Race:   Complete Results Here 

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