Wednesday, March 21, 2007

From Snowy New York to Sticky Mombasa

Team USA Minnesota's Matt Gabrielson (pictured) is in Mombasa, Kenya now, where it's, oh, 100 degrees outside.

He was in New York City through Sunday evening, finishing 11th at the USA 8K Championships, where they had to, you know, postpone the race for a day because it snowed so much.

What a difference 20 hours of flying makes!

The one-day delay in the USA Championship, however, didn't scramble Gabrielson's travel arrangements to Kenya for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, according to Team USA Minnesota's Pat Goodwin.

"He had an evening flight so it worked out," she explained. "Matt finished the race, did his cooldown with Chris [Lundstrom], and then was back to the hotel by 11:00. Chris had a 1:30 flight on Sunday so he had to hustle."

"Matt had lunch with Jorge Torres and a couple of other athletes and then headed for the airport around 5:00 p.m. along with Marty Rosendahl. They traveled via London to Naroibi and then flew to Mombasa - it was about a 20 hour trip. He called Dennis [Barker, his coach] and told him it was almost 100 degrees in Mombasa today."

Gabrielson is joined by Minnesota natives Rosendahl and Cack Ferrell on the USA squad in Mombasa. Tuesday's USA Track & Field media release for the event confirmed rumors that USA Junior Men's champion Elliott Heath of Winona is not competing in Mombasa after all.

Gabrielson isn't the only Team USA Minnesotan in action this weekend either. Lundstrom plans to race the inaugural ING Georgia Half Marathon in Atlanta on Sunday, according to the Team USA Minnesota web-site.

Forecast highs for Atlanta on Sunday: 82 degrees.

Photo by Victor Sailer, courtesy of Team USA Minnesota.

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