Team USA Announced for Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country - International Challenge
INDIANAPOLIS - Team USA will travel to Scotland for the second Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country - International Challenge on Jan. 7, 2012.
Teams from the United States, Great Britain and Northern Ireland and a select European team will compete in men’s and women’s junior and senior races. Each country competing in the International Team Challenge will consist of nine athletes per team (six on the junior teams) with the first six athletes per team (first four on the junior teams) scoring. In cross country, the team with the lowest overall score wins.
After only a senior men’s race was held in the inaugural event in 2011, Team USA will be in full force in the second running of the event. Bobby Mack (Raleigh, N.C.) is the sole returning athlete after finishing sixth last year to finish as the second American en route to the team’s silver medal.
Mack will be joined by team captain Bobby Curtis (Ardmore, Pa.) who ran the second fastest 10,000m time by an American in 2011 with his 27:24.67 effort at the Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. Mack and Curtis will be joined by recent USATF National Club Cross Country Champion Jon Grey of (Minnetonka, Minn.) and Araon Braun (Flagstaff, Ariz.) who finished as the runner-up in the same race. The men’s squad is rounded out by Phil Reid (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Colby Lowe (Southlake, Texas), Justin Tyner (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Landon Peacock (Blowing Rock, N.C.) and Robert Cheseret (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Neely Spence (Shippensburg, Pa.) will lead the senior women’s team after finishing as the runner-up at the recent USATF Club Cross Country Championships. Spence will be joined by Alisha Williams (Colorado Springs, Colo.) who finished 4th in the same race and Sarah Porter (Blowing Rock, N.C.) the 2011 NCAA D-II 10,000m champion. Other team members include Katie DiCamillo (Providence, R.I.), Bethany Nickless (Santa Barbara, Calif.) Jamie Cheever (Minneapolis, Minn.), Laura Thweatt (Boulder, Colo.), Maggie Infeld (Washington, D.C.) and Betzy Jimenez (Austin, Texas).
The junior squads include a mix of outstanding high school seniors and collegiate freshman. On the women’s side, Aisling Cuffe (Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y.) a freshman at Stanford leads the team after being the top junior finisher for Team USA at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Kaitlin Flattman (Benton, La.) was recently named the SEC freshman cross country runner of the year and will be joined on the U.S. squad by her teammate Jessica Jackson (Neosho, Mo.) from the University of Arkansas. High school athletes include the top two finishers from the recent Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, Molly Seidel (Hartland, Wisc.) and Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich.), as well as the third place finisher from the Nike Cross Country Nationals, Katie Knight (Spokane, Wash.).
On the junior men’s side, Princeton freshman Eddie Owens (Brooklyn, N.Y.) leads the team after winning silver in the Junior Pan-American steeplechase in July. Other collegiate runners include Ohio State freshman Michael Bradjic (Bay Village, Ohio) and Oklahoma State freshman Kirubel Erassa (Grayson, Ga.). and Thomas Curtain (Leesburg, Va.) of Virginia Tech. The high school duo of Nathan Weitz, and Andrew Gardner both of Spokane, Wash. round out the squad.Weitz recently finished 3rd at the Foot Locker Championships while Gardner took 6th.