Strong Earns Second-Straight Top-15 USA Championships Finish
Feb. 19, 2006
NEW YORK CITY - Washington assistant coach Kelly Strong earned her second top-15 finish in as many days Sunday at the USA Cross Country Championships in New York City, falling just six places -- and 15 seconds -- shy of a berth on the U.S. National Team for April's IAAF World Championships in Japan. Husky freshmen Jordan McNamara and Chris Ahl also competed Sunday, placing 27th and 31st, respectively, in the junior men's race.
Having placed 13th in Saturday's open women's 6,000-meter race -- seven spots shy of the top-six finish necessary for Team USA qualification -- Strong returned Sunday in the open women's 4,000-meter race in a bid to secure her first U.S. National Team berth. Though remaining within a half-minute of leader and eventual U.S. champion Carrie Tollefson, however, Strong could not crack into the top-six, placing 12th in 13 minutes, six seconds. Asics teammate Sara Hall captured the final national-team berth in 12:51, edging Kara Goucher of Nike by less than a second.
The 27-year-old Strong is in her fourth year as UW's assistant women's distance coach, following a brilliant collegiate career at Arizona State. In addition to her coaching duties, Strong continues to compete professionally for Asics, and is the ninth-ranked women's steeplechaser in U.S. history.
Though none of the UW's four competitors at the two-day event were successful in earning spots on Team USA, Washington will have at least one representative at April's World Championships -- freshman Anita Campbell of Aldergrove, B.C., clinched a spot on Team Canada with a second-place finish at the Canadian junior nationals in December.
Campbell, 18, also competed for Team Canada at the 2005 World Championships, and will be the eighth Husky to represent UW at the world meet since 2003.
For complete results from this weekend's USA Cross Country Championships, visit www.usatf.org.