Pasciuto Wins XC Junior National Title
VANCOUVER, Wash.--University of Colorado freshman Liza Pasciuto became the Buffs' third USA Junior National Cross Country Champion in as many years when she covered the Vancouver National Historic Site 6k course in 21 minutes, 50.1 seconds, a comfortable 13.8 in front of the race runner-up. With the win, Pasciuto is one of a six-member delegation that will run in next month's IAAF World Cross Country Championships, March 19-20, in Saint Galmier, France.
Also advancing to the World Championships Saturday was senior Renee Metivier, who finished seventh in the women's open 8k race in 28:32.0, and was the highest finishing collegian. Despite first alternate status (the first six in each race advance), she was immediately added to the world roster as one runner ahead of her forfeited her position.
The Buffs' domination in the junior men's race came ended at two straight titles Sunday when Colorado freshmen Bradley Harkrader (25:46.6) and Chris Pannone (26:07.8) finished seventh and 11th, respectively. Harkrader, who must settle for first alternate title, was edged by 4.4 seconds at the finish to Oklahoma State's Ryan Vail who claimed the last roster spot.
It was a banner weekend for the Colorado distance programs. In addition to Pasciuto and Metivier advancing to the World championships, alums advancing from the open men's 4k race include 1998 NCAA Cross Country Champion Adam Goucher, and 2002 NCAA Champion Jorge Torres, who crossed the finish in fifth place (11:44.1).
Torres made it two-for-two, as he finished second in the men's open 12k Sunday to former CU teammate and 2003 NCAA Cross Country champion Dathan Ritzenhein who dominated the 12k loop in 36:59.9. Torres' qualifying time was 37:14.2. The 2005 world teams will be the third for alums Goucher (1998, 99, 05), Torres (1998, '02, 05) and Ritzenhein (2001, '02, '05) .
In Sunday's women's open 4k, Shayne Culpepper earned her first trip to the world championships with a runner-up finish to 2002 and '03 NCAA Cross Country winner Shalane Flanigan who edged Culpepper by 2.7 seconds.
USA Cross Country Championships
Vancouver Historic Site (Vancouver, Wash.)
Junior Women's 6k (CU Runners Only)
1. Liza Pasciuto, CU 21:50.1
Junior Men's 8k
7. Bradley Harkrader, CU 25:46.6
11. Chris Pannone, CU 26:07.8
Open Women's 8k
7. Renee Metivier, CU 28:32.0
24. Molly Austin , Nike 30:25.7
30. Brianna Torres, Run AZ 30:48.1
Open Men's 4k
2. Adam Goucher, Nike 11:39.1
5. Jorge Torres, Reebok 11:44.1
32. Steve Slattery, Nike 12:26.6
Open Women's 4k
2. Shayne Culpepper, Nike 13:27.0
18. Carrie Messner, Asics 14:27.0
30. Carrie Zografos, Boston AA 15:03.2
Open Men's 12k
1. Dathan Ritzenhein, Nike 36.59.9
2. Jorge Torres, Reebok 37:14.2
48. Oscar Ponce, Boston AA 40:52.5