2018 USATF Cross Country Championships

In Other Sports by Denise DevaneyLeave a Comment

This year’s Championships took place in Tallahassee, FL on February 3, 2018. The Championships consist of a Community 5K, Masters Women’s 6K, Masters Men’s 8K, Junior Women’s 6K, Junior Men’s 8K, Women’s 10K, and Men’s 10k.

The Community 5K includes everyone: men and women of all ages. Pol Ferrer lead the race of 8 runners from start to finish, leaving a minute and 11 second gap from second place Michael Niezgoda. The results had a range of times from Ferrer’s 17:03 finish to Angela Schwenkler’s 29:22. Ferrer ran his first split in 5:55 and averaged 5:29 over the 5k course. Niezgoda finished with a time of 18:14 minutes, averaging 5:52 per mile. Ferrer also happens to be the International Teams’ Coordinator for USATF.

Masters Women’s 6K had 33 runners compete. Jennifer Bayliss took first prize with a time of 22:14 minutes, averaging 5:57 per mile. At 2,176 meters, she was in 3rd place, but she made her way up to 2nd by 4,957 meters and then 1st by the finish. Sonja Friend-Uhl started the race in first place, but moved to 3rd by 4,957 meters. Maggie Shearer was in 2nd place by the 2,176 meter mark, fell to 4th at the 3,160-meter mark, but finished in 2nd place. Friend-Uhl was the only runner in the top five not sponsored by anyone. The top twelve women were all under a 7 minutes per miles pace for the whole 6,000 meters.

Masters Men’s 8K was a bigger event with 107 runners. Finishing in first was Kevin Castille with a time of 24:18 minutes, averaging 4:53 per mile! Castille will be 46 this year in July. Kevin Castille has a very interesting story of being a drug dealer in the 90s, but after being imprisoned, he turned his life around. He went back to running, something he had done since high school. He set records in the 3,000-meter, 5,000-meter, 10,000-meter, and the 10-mile. It’s still impressive that he’s running at this pace at 46. He had a 2:17 minute lead on second place Kent Lemme with a time of 27:35. He averaged 5:32 per mile. The top 21 finishers were under 6-minute pace for the race.

Junior Women’s 6K only had 14 runners. First place was Ashley Tutt from Northern Illinois with a time of 21:08 minutes, averaging 5:40 per mile. She ran in second place and moved up in time to beat Amanda Beach from Duke who ran a 21:13. Her teammate Michaela Reinhart finished third with a time of 21:17. Amanda Davis from Northwestern finished fifth with a time of 22:52 minutes. Also from Northwestern, Hannah Tobin finished in tenth with a time of 24:12. All the runners finished under 6:37 pace for the course.

Junior Men’s 8K had 20 runners. First place to represent Stanford was Connor Lane with a time of 25:04, averaging 5:02 per mile. Second place Tibebu Proctor from Washington ran 25:12. Coming in fourth for Minnesota was Hunter Lucas with a time of 25:22. He moved up from seventh place ahead of Kashon Harrison, Trevor Foley, and Steven Nez. There were four runners from the Florida Track Club, running times of 26:42, 28:33, 29:21, and 30:43, averaging 5:22, 5:44, 5:54, and 6:10 per mile, respectively. All of the runners averaged 6:10 minutes per mile or faster.

Fifty-six runners competed in the Women’s 10K, all representing different sponsors and schools. In first place was Emily Infeld with a time of 33:18 minutes, averaging 5:21 per mile! Infeld is sponsored by NIKE and runs for the Bowerman Track Club. Since she is a paid athlete, she cannot be on a collegiate team. NCAA rules state that you can’t accept money if you’re running for NCAA, so Infeld found a loop-hole and just runs for the track team. Courtney Frerichs is in the same boat as Infeld. She is also sponsored by NIKE and runs for the Bowerman Track Club. Frerichs finished in fourth place with a time of 33:55, averaging 5:27 per mile. The top 16 runners were under six-minute pace for the course.

Almost as many runners ran for the Men’s 10K with fifty-eight runners as the women’s 10K event. Leonard Korir came in first with a time of 29:16 minutes in front of three NIKE runners. Korir averaged 4:42 minutes per mile and ran for the US Army. Korir is known as an Olympic runner from the 2016 Rio Olympics. His 10K PR, personal record, is 28:09 from 2014, and his best half marathon time is 59:51, averaging 4:33, faster than his 10K time at the USATF championships. Korir barely made first place with Galen Rupp only a second behind him. Stanley Kebenei ran a 29:31 along with Evan Jagar for NIKE with an average of 4:45 per mile.

If you want to look at all of the results, here is a link https://results.usatf.org/2018XC/