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Coaching Athletics Quarterly

Cross Country

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Shelby Houlihan used a furious finish to best Molly Huddle in the senior women’s race, while Shadrack Kipchirchir outkicked the field to take the senior men’s title Saturday at the USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida.

STIRLING, Scotland -- Against the impressive backdrop of Stirling Castle, Team USATF’s Hillary Bor (Colorado Springs, Colorado) battled tough competitors and a brief misstep to come back and win his first SimplyHealth Great Stirling XCountry title.

Sydney Masciarelli of Northbridge, Mass. and Cole Hocker of Indianapolis captured first place titles at the 40thannual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) National Finals Presented by Eastbay today. Race conditions at Morley Field, Balboa Park in San Diego were ideal with firm terrain, sunshine and temperatures reaching 65 degrees.

London Culbreath of McKinney, Texas and Cruz Gomez of Donna, Texas, won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) South Regional today.  Culbreath, a junior at McKinney North High School, claimed the title in the girls’ championship race in 17:12.9.  Heidi Nielson, a sophomore from Katy, Texas, finished second in 17:15.7, and Brynn Brown of Denton, Texas, placed third in 17:17.2.  Returning to the FLCCC National Finals for the second time are Nielson, Adoette Vaughan (6th place) of Dallas and Alyssa Hendrix (7th place) of Riverview, Fla.

Emily Covert of Minneapolis and Cole Hocker of Indianapolis won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) Midwest Regional today.  In the girls’ championship race, Covert, now a two-time FLCCC National Finalist, claimed the title in 17:58.3. Taylor Ewert of Dayton, Ohio, placed second in 18:08.9, and Katelynne Hart, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., placed third in 18:14. Ericka Vanderlende (5th place) of Rockford, Mich., and Adelyn Ackley (6th place) of Mears, Mich., also join Covert as two-time FLCCC National Finalists.

We are entering week three of our Summer Training program. This program provides strength workouts, hill workouts, and a long run each week. Follow the workouts, and remember that the easy days are here for a reason. If you must, junior and senior athletes, the stronger ones, may consider Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning runs of 30 minutes.

Fast Running has an interesting article about a petition in the UK to make the senior men's and women's races at the English Cross Country Championships the same distances. The author, Robbie Britton, points out that the IAAF and Scotland now run 10k for both the men's and women's senior races and the response has been very positive amongst Scottish women's XC racers. Some of the men didn't like that their race was shortened from 12k to 10k, but the negative response has been minimal. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this petition in the UK and how other countries change their race distances over time. The World Cross Country Championship is now contested over the same distance for men and women, when will the USATF and/or NCAA Championships follow suit, if they ever do? Read Fast Running's article to get some more insight...

Historically male cross country races have always been longer than their female counterparts, but is it time this now changed?

INDIANAPOLIS -- Team USATF will have a talent-laden roster January 13, 2018 as it returns to Scotland to take on the world at the 2018 Great Edinburgh XCountry Challenge at Holyrood Park. At last year's event, the U.S. took top honors for the second time in three years with 149 points, beating out Team Europe (152 points) and Team Great Britain (208 points) for the title.

As mentioned by Inside the Games, Cross Country will be contested at the Youth Olympic Games next year in Buenos Aires. Other than the classical Olympic event of the marathon running off the track hasn't featured in an Olympic setting since Paris 1924. The legendary Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, won the most recent Olympic Cross Country race on a hot summer day in the French Capital.

Three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein of Belmont, Mich., has joined the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance project and will be coached by Keith and Kevin Hanson, Brooks Running announced today. Ritzenhein, 34, had previously endorsed Nike since wrapping up his collegiate career at the University of Colorado in 2004. Ritzenhein’s Nike contract expired at the end of 2016.

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