Verdon Takes Third At USA XC Championships
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - University of Colorado freshman Carrie Verdon took third at the USA Cross Country Championships to earn a spot on the U.S. team which will compete at the IAAF World Championships on March 24 in Bydogoszcz, Poland.
Verdon finished the 6-kilometer junior's race in 21 minutes and 8.08 seconds. Verdon beat out a very close group of athletes that all finished within three seconds of each other. Kathryn Knight finished fourth in 21:09.3 and Samantha Nadel took fifth in 21:10.3. Sydney Scott placed sixth in 21:11.3. Emily Stites won the race in 20:27.3.
Verdon's third-place finish is the best for a Buff at the championships since 2005 when then-freshman Liza Pasciuto won the meet in 21:50.1 in Vancouver, Wash. That same year Buff-to-be Jenny (Barringer) Simpson placed third (22:03.9) in the juniors race.
CU sixth-senior Richard Medina was also racing in the men's open 12k race and finished 10th overall (36:20.2). Medina has only outdoor eligibility remaining for the Buffs and could head to Poland if some of the top finishers decide not to compete.
Former CU standout Dathan Ritzenhein took second in the men's open race; finishing in 35:44.1. He was just a couple of seconds behind Chris Derrick's finishing time of 35:36.6.
"I am a little disappointed," Ritzenhein said. "I wanted to win. I tried to give it all that I had. It was a really deep field and I think one of the best fields we have had at the USA Cross Country Championships in a while. I gave it a good hard effort. I would have liked to have won, but I gave it everything that I had.
"It was a big group. It felt like nobody really wanted to take the lead. I didn't really mean to be that close to the front. I tried to push it a little bit and finally things cleared out. With two laps to go I really started pushing it. At some point someone had to go."
Other former Buffs that competed in the men's race included Andy Wacker and Matt Tebo. Wacker placed 11th overall (36:27.2) and Tebo took 48th (38:42.6). On the women's side, Laura Thweat raced in the open 8k race and finished 14th (27:30.0).
USATF XC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Forest Park (St. Louis, Mo.)
Junior Women's 6k
(1. Emily Stites, unattached, 20:27.3) 3. Carrie Verdon, 21:08.8
Open Women's 8k
(1. Shalane Flanagan, 25:49.0) 14. Laura Thweatt, 27:30.0
Open Men's 12k
(1. Chris Derrick, 33:38.6) 2. Dathan Ritzenhein 35:44.1; 10. Richard Medina, 36:20.3; 11. Andy Wacker, 36:27.2; 48. Matt Tebo, 38:42.6