Happy with his race last Saturday at the Bupa Great Edinburgh International cross country race, Team USA Minnesota's Matt Gabrielson has decided to compete at the USA Cross Country Championships on February 5 in San Diego, rather than the USA Half Marathon Championships a week earlier in Houston.
Gabrielson announced the decision is THIS Team USA Minnesota media release.
The Drake University alumnus finished in 18th place in the men's 8.2K in Scotland, helping the USA team to a runner-up finish in team competition.
"I was very pleased with my race, Gabrielson said. "While it wasn't a total peak performance, based on how I felt, not getting any side stitches for the first time in a long while in a race and my positive competitive mindset, I would say it was the best start to a year of racing that I have had in a long, long time. I was very fired up for the coming year afterwards."
Gabrielson original plan was to compete in the USA Half Marathon Championships on January 29.
By competing at the USA Cross Country Championships instead, Gabrielson hopes to qualify for the fourth IAAF World Cross Country Championships in his career. Gabrielson made the USA team in 2006, 2006, and 2007.
In 2010, with the two events a month apart, Gabrielson finished ninth at the USA Half Marathon in a personal best 1:03:43 and 10th at USA Cross Country.
"I have never had a great race in the three times I have represented the U.S. at World Cross," Gabrielson said. "My career is nearing the end, and it would be wonderful if I could have one more shot at a top-40 finish or even better at this event."
"I had such a fantastic time last weekend and felt very happy with my result, so I just want to run another cross country event rather than 13.1 miles at this point," he added. "That was the first thing that crossed my mind when I finished in Edinburgh."
McGregor Headlines USA Half ... 2010 USA Running Circuit champion Katie McGregor will compete at the USA Half Marathon in Houston, race organizers announced earlier this week.
McGregor, who won three USA Championships on the roads last year, will face Olympians Jen Rhines and Magdalene Lewy Boulet and 2010 USA Half runner-up Serena Burla at the event.