Saturday, December 08, 2012

Team USA Minnesota Women Win USATF Club XC Team Title

The Team USA Minnesota women’s squad – Meghan Peyton, Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Jamie Cheever, McKenzie Melander and Heather Kampfwon the open women’s 6K team title at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Lexington, KY.  In the open men’s 10K  Jon Peterson finished fifth.

For the women, Peyton was 4th, Albertson-Junkans 5th, Cheever 7th, Melander 11th, and Kampf, who fell in the mud, got up to finish 63rd. Three of the Team USA Minnesota athletes – Peyton, Albertson-Junkans and Peterson – automatically qualified for the BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Team Challenge by finishing in the top six of their event.  The Challenge will be held in Scotland on January 5, 2013.  Nine women and nine men will be on the US senior teams for the event.

“It was a hilly course, and there had been lots of precipitation the last couple of days, so it was slick and very muddy,” said Peyton.  “Even given the conditions, the race got out fast, and we went through the first mile in 5:11.  I got out quick, but in control, so I would have enough to finish the race.  I was in 10th place in the first mile while my teammate, Jamie, went out with the leaders and was in a top group of four.

“Ladia and I were running together.  We caught up with Jamie in the last mile...It was definitely a strength course.  My legs were really burning toward the end, but I felt strong.  We are all pretty happy with the team win.”

“I wanted to get ahead of most of the crowd, so I got out in the top 30 or so and waited for it to thin out,” said Peterson.  “It was quite muddy and mucky out there, so it was true cross country.
“By the last mile I was in seventh place.  I started making a move with 800 meters to go.  I picked up the pace, made it hurt, and outkicked two runners in the last 400 meters (Sean Quigley and Alan Webb, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively).  I knew I needed enough in me at the end to do a kick knowing who was in the field.

“It’s nice to be out there racing cross country again.  I’m really excited to be a member of the US team that will compete in Edinburgh.  That was my goal.”

The Run N Fun womens' team finished 10th.  The Run N Fun B team was 14th in the men's team race.  Twin Cities Track Club had only two runners(Joe Moore in 9th and Mike Reneau in 13th) finish the men's race and one(Stephanie Price, 12th) the women's.  Full results can be found HERE.

This was the first time that Team USA Minnesota sent a women’s team to compete at Club Cross.  In 2011, the Club Cross men’s race was won by Team USA Minnesota’s Jon Grey.

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