Two-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein (Eugene, Ore.) and top U.S. finisher at last year’s World Cross Country Championships Emily Brown (Minneapolis, Minn.), have entered the 2009 USA Cross Country Championships, USA Track & Field announced Thursday. The championships will be hosted by the Montgomery Country Road Runners Club at the Agriculture Farm Park in Derwood, Maryland on February 7.
In addition to the national titles up for grabs in Derwood, open and junior men and women will qualify to represent Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships March 28 in Amman, Jordan.
The runner-up at last weekend’s USA Half Marathon Championships, Ritzenhein will be seeking his third USA Cross Country title. He will face competition from fellow Beijing Olympians Jorge Torres (Boulder, Colo.) and Anthony Famiglietti (Knoxville, Tenn.).
Also vying for men’s team positions will be 2008 NCAA 5,000 meter champion Bobby Curtis (Ardmore, Pa.), along with 2007 NCAA Cross Country All-Americans Brent Vaughan (Boulder, Colo.) from the University of Colorado and Sean Quigley (Philadelphia, Pa.) from LaSalle University.
Brown, who finished third at the 2008 championships and was 18th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in leading the U.S. women to a fourth-place team finish, will join 2008 Olympian at 10,000 meters Amy Yoder-Begley (Portland, Ore.) and training mate Katie McGregor (St. Louis Park, Minn.) in the race for the women’s title.
Highlights of the 2009 USA Cross Country Championships will be televised on February 15 during ESPN coverage of the Tyson Invitational. The championships will consist of six cross country championship races for men’s and women’s categories with national titles on the line for junior, masters and open divisions. The nation’s premier cross country event, the Championships will feature $47,000 in prize money.
For more information on the 2009 USA Cross Country Championships visit www.usatf.org.