Mineau Leads Team USA To Seventh at World Champ's

March 20, 2005

SAINT GALMIER, France - Washington freshman Jeremy Mineau placed 68th Sunday in his international cross-country debut, leading Team USA to a seventh-place finish in the junior men's race at the 2005 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in France.

Mineau was one of three Huskies competing at the two-day meet, including former UW competitors Christian Belz and Courtney Inman. Belz competed for his native Switzerland, while Inman ran for Team Canada.

A crowd of more than 28,000 spectators cheered Mineau and the rest of the junior men's field throughout the 8,000-meter race, held under a blistering sun at the St. Galmier Hippodrome.

Mineau was the fifth U.S. finisher overall in 27:10, two minutes behind U.S. leader and 20th-place overall finisher Galen Rupp of Portland. Team Kenya, led by individual champion Augustine Chogo, swept the top-five spots for a perfect 10-point score and its 16th world junior crown in the last 17 years, holding off second-place Ethiopia (37) and bronze-medal winner Qatar (75).

Former Husky Inman also ran an impressive race Sunday, leading Team Canada to ninth in the women's 4,000-meter short race with a 56th-place individual finish, good for third among Canadian women. The 2003 UW alum was making her second-consecutive world cross-country championships debut, while 2000 graduate Belz competed at the meet for the third time in his career, including an 18th-place finish in 2003. The Swiss Olympian was the highest-finishing European runner in Saturday's men's 4,000-meter short race, placing 28th in 12:19.

'Today was tough out there,' Belz said, 'it was very hot but super fast. It was a great race because the crowd was going wild and you had in the race every front runner that you have read about on the track and cross country scene. I heard that I was first European, so it's a great achievement for me.'

Washington has sent seven competitors to the world championships over the past three years, including a UW-record equaling three Husky runners in both 2003 and 2005. For complete results from this weekend's IAAF World Cross Country Championships, visit www.iaaf.org.

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