Team USA Junior Women Finish Fourth At 2004 World Cross Country Championships At Brussels

March 22, 2004

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Led by top finishers Amber Harper and UCLA freshman Alison Costello (Yorba Linda/Esperanza HS), Team USA's Junior Women's squad placed fourth Saturday (March 20) at the 2004 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, Belgium.

Saturday's races at Ossegem Park in Laken Brussels were held under cloudyskies with temperatures in the low 50s. Competitors also had to deal withbreezy conditions with a steady drizzle, along with an occasional downpour.The moisture caused the course to become wet and slippery with numerouspatches of mud.

Team USA's junior women's team took to the course first on Saturday andequaled its best ever placing at the World Cross Country Championships byfinishing fourth in the team competition with 120 points. Ethiopia grabbedthe top four places in winning the team competition with 10 points. Kenyawas the runner-up with 36 points, with Japan third with 67 points. Team USA'sjunior women also placed fourth in 1995 in Durham, England, and in 2003 inLausanne, Switzerland.

The U.S. was led by Amber Harper (Provo, Utah), who placed 24th, followed byAlison Costello (UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.) in 30th and Amanda Trotter (Palo Alto,Calif.) in 31st. Jennifer Barringer (Oveido, Florida) was 35th with Trotter'stwin sister Katy (Palo Alto, Calif.) 36th and Brittany Brockman (Waco,Texas) 60th.

'It was fun to be out there, but the race was really tough,' said Costello, who won the USA Junior Women trials on Feb. 7 in Indianapolis. ' This is a lot different than running against other collegiate runners. I love running with the Trotters. We ran together nearly the whole race and we became one unit and it was such a team race. The whole time they were talking and helping everyone else and we've developed a real bond.'

JUNIOR WOMEN 8 km

Individual Standings: 1. Meselech Melkamu (ETH), 20:48; 2. Aziza Aliyu(ETH), 20:53; 3. Mestawat Tadesse (ETH), 20:59, 4. Workitu Ayanu (ETH),20:59; 5. Chemtai Rionotukei (KEN), 21:04.

Team USA: 24. Amber Harper (BYU) (21:58), 30. Alison Costello (UCLA) (22:10), 31. Amanda Trotter (Stanford) (22:11), 35. Jennifer Barringer (22:19), Kathleen Trotter (Stanford) (22:20), 60. Brittany Brockman (23:04).

Team Scoring

1. Ethiopia - 10 points, 2. Kenya - 36, 3. Japan - 67, 4. United States - 120, 5. Russia - 160.

For more information on the 2004 World Cross Country Championships, Contact: Tom Surber, USATF Media Information Manager (Tom.Surber@usatf.org), 317-261-0500 x317, or visit http://www.usatf.org.

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