Although the USA Cross Country Championships are primarily designed for professionals to prepare for the track season and qualify for the World Cross Country meet, a number of collegiate runners will take part in both the junior and open races.
NCAA cross country All-American Jonathan Peterson of UC Davis will open up his 2011 season in the open men’s 12 kilometer race. Peterson was the surprise 14th place finisher at the NCAA cross country championships in November.
Stanford redshirt senior Kate Niehaus is entered in the women’s open 8k. The 33:55.33 10k runner has one outdoor season of eligibility remaining this spring.
California natives Erik Olson of Stanford and Matt McElroy of Oklahoma State make their return to the Golden State in the junior boys race. Both are favorites for qualifying for the World Junior team.
Katie Flood leads a strong University of Washington contingent that will be contesting the junior women’s 6k. Included are Simi Valley High grad Liberty Miller and Torrey Pines High alum Megan Morgan. Read Paul Merca’s story on the UW team here.
For more on the USA Cross Country Championships, visit our coverage index page here.