Crabill Leads Bruin Men at USATF Junior National Cross Country Championships

Feb. 10, 2007

Freshman Alex Crabill finished seventh at the USATF Junior National Cross Country Championships in Boulder, CO on Saturday, quite possibly earning himself a spot on the Team USA roster for the World Championships in Kenya next month.

Crabill, who ran 26:29 over the 8k distance, finished one spot shy of the top-six, which qualify for the World meet. However, one of the top-six finishers is most likely not going to be able to compete, thus giving Crabill the final spot. As it stands, Crabill is an alternate, but there is a 90% chance that he will be on the U.S. roster.

'My ultimate goal coming into this meet was qualifying for the World team,' said Crabill. 'I think I did better then even I expected. If everything works out, I will be honored to represent the U.S. at Worlds. It's a great opportunity for me.

The meet, which took place in zero degree weather, mud and snow worked into Crabill's hands as he hails from the Northwest.

'I'm from Washington, so I'm used to the mud and cold. The altitude really slowed the pace down and I think that helped in my favor because I was able to stay up with the lead pack.'

Fellow freshman Jake Matthews finished 12th in a time of 26:44 and because of Crabill's possible move onto the U.S. roster, Sullivan should be named to the NACAC (North American/Central American & Caribbean Cross Country Championships Team USA Roster.

Kevin Sullivan (26:54) and Marco Anzures (28:28), both freshman, finished 16th and 36th, respectively.

In the women's race, freshman Kelcie Wiemann finished 20th in a time of 23:31, as she beat several athletes from Pac-10 schools.

Head cross country coach Eric Peterson was unable to be with the team in Colorado as he was with the distance runners in Arkansas at the Tyson Invitational so assistant coach Scott Abbott took the lead in Colorado.

'Scott did a great job getting these kids ready for the meet and helping them stay focused in Colorado,' said Peterson. 'A lot of credit must be given to him for helping them today and during the past few months of training.'

'I'm really impressed with how we competed, especially in such adverse conditions as we had here - zero degrees, snow and high altitude,' said Abbott. 'No one expected these kids from SoCal to do so well, but we competed strong and worked hard the last three months to prepare.'

The NACAC Championships will be held March 3, while the World Junior Championships will be held March 24.

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