- April 10, 2004 at 5:31 pm #1386
Wire 20, March 21, 2004
In this edition of the Running USA wire:
1) Brian Maxwell, PowerBar Co-Creator, Passes Away
2) Ethiopia Dominates 2004 World Cross Country Championships
Team Running USA sponsored by Nike
Supported by grants from the New York Road Runners and Atlanta Track
Copyright © 2004 Running USA
All Rights Reserved
NYRR 8000, New York, NY, March 27
*USA Men’s Championship
Carlsbad 5000, Carlsbad, CA, March 28
U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon, St. Louis, MO, April 3
31st USA Women’s Marathon Championship
Spirit of St. Louis Marathon, Half-Marathon, MO, April 4
American 100K Championship, Eagle, WI, April 4
Papa John’s 10 Miler, Louisville, KY, April 10
*USA Men’s Championship
Brian Maxwell, PowerBar Co-Creator, Passes Away
On Friday, March 19, Brian Maxwell, PowerBar co-creator, died of an
heart attack; he was 51.
A world ranked marathoner in the 1970s, the Canadian born Maxwell
PowerBar with his future wife Jennifer and UC Berkeley biochemist Bill
the mid-1980s and together, they launched the now ubiquitous sports bar
Maxwell, who lived in Ross, Calif., is survived by his wife and six
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bekele, Johnson and Ethiopia Golden at World Cross
Junior Women Lead USA Efforts in Brussels with 4th
By Charlie Mahler, Running USA wire
BRUSSELS, Belgium – (March 20, 2004) – Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele won
sixth World Cross title and brought himself half-way to an unprecedented
straight World Cross “double” with his victory in the Men’s 4K event,
Australia’s Benita Johnson won her country’s first-ever World Cross
established herself as an Olympic medal contender by winning the Women’s
at the 32nd IAAF World Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Bekele, the World Champion at 10,000 meters, and Johnson, a bronze
at the last World Half-Marathon Championships, each used storming final
the muddy 2K circuit at Brussels’ Parc de Laeken to seal their victories.
Bekele, soaked by a driving rain, broke away from countryman, and
medalist, Gebre Gebremariam to win his third straight World Cross 4K
11:31. Gebremariam ran 11:36. The expected challenges from Kenyan’s
Chebii and John Kibowen and Kenyan-turned Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen,
former Stephen Cherono, never fully materialized.
Johnson for her part accomplished what USA’s Deena Drossin could not in
year’s championships in Switzerland – she broke free from Ethiopia’s
Kidane, the 2003 World Cross Champion, with a powerful attack at the
her final circuit of the sodden course, to win in 27:17. Kidane ended up
third, in 27:34, behind teammate Ejagayhu Dibaba who ran 27:29.
Johnson, who finished 4th in the 4K event at World Cross in 2003,
a serious contender at 10,000 meters in Athens with her victory. The
24-year-old, who plans to compete in the Women’s 4K on Sunday, could
become only the
second women to accomplish that double. Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan, wife
Johnson’s coach Nick Bideau, accomplished the feat at the 1998 World
Bekele, an established master of such doubles having won the 4K and 12K
titles at the last two World Cross Country Championships plus the Junior
title in 2001, lead Ethiopia’s 4K men’s squad to the team title with his
of the three team titles the East African nation swept in today’s
Bekele’s 4K squad tallied 17 points to defeat Qatar and Kenya who had 39
52, respectively. The Ethiopian Junior Women won with a perfect 10 point
as they grabbed the top four places in the race. Ethiopia’s senior women
edged Kenya 26-30 in the 8K.
The American effort was paced by its Junior Women’s squad, which matched
country’s best-ever finish with a fourth place result. The pack-running
established itself well in the early-going – leaving the Ethiopians and
to themselves yet running near the front of the “rest of the world”
but couldn’t match the strong middle lap racing of the bronze medal-winning
“We all stuck together and it was awesome,” said top USA finisher Amber
Harper, as freshman at Brigham Young University. “There were a lot of
yelling at us that Japan was the team right in front of us. I know I
passed one of
their gals towards the end.”
Harper finished 24th in 21:58. She was followed closely by Allison
30th in 22:10, Amanda Trotter, 31st in 22:11, Jennifer Barringer, 35th
22:19, Kathleen Trotter, 36th in 22:20 and Brittany Brockman, 62nd in 23:04.
Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia won the Junior Women’s race in 20:48 for 6K.
The USA Senior Women’s team, medalists at the last two World
finished a surprising fifth considering it ran with only a single
member from either of those medal-winning squads. Great Britain took the
medal behind Ethiopia and Kenya with 74 points. France was fourth with
while the young Americans tallied 98 and the Australians had 99.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” offered top USA finisher Katie O’Neill
who finished 15th in 28:37. “It’s sort of crazy with the crowd and the
and I couldn’t get a sense of pace, so I decided to put as much effort
as I could, and luckily, things worked out. I just kept looking up and
to pass more people as I went along.”
Kathy Newberry finished 25th in 28:56, Team USA Minnesota’s Katie
member of last year’s bronze medal team, was 27th in 28:57, Anne Marie
Schwabe was 31st in 29:05, Laura O’Neill was 38th in 29:27 and Molly
Austin was 79th
Though the spread between the first and fourth members of the USA Men’s
team – the scorers – was a mere twelve seconds, that squad could only
seventh place team finish. 2003 USA 4K Champion and 2004 USA 12K runner-up
Gary led the team with a 33rd place finish in 12:12. Team USA Minnesota’s
Luke Watson was 36th in 12:17. Sandu Rebenciuc was 46th in 12:23, Jared
was 48th in 12:24, Ian Connor was 58th in 12:29 and Isaiah Festa was
“I think all of us thought we’d finish a couple notches higher,” Watson
“No one really blew up today, it didn’t seem. I think we all had
middle-of-the-road races. We needed a “low stick” and we didn’t have
that today. We had
great depth today, we just didn’t do as well as we would’ve hoped.”
Racing resumes Sunday with the Junior Men’s 8K at 1:15 p.m. local time
followed by the Senior Women’s 4K at 2:05 p.m, and the Senior Men’s 12K
at 2:45 p.m.
Ethiopians End Kenyan Cross Country Reign with Sweep
Bekele Completes Unprecedented Triple-Double
By Charlie Mahler, Running USA wire
BRUSSELS, Belgium – (March 21, 2004) – Consider it fair warning if the
doesn’t rise tomorrow morning. Yesterday’s certainties – death, taxes,
on the radio – may no longer be so tomorrow.
The Kenyans, after all, are no longer the lords of cross country running.
Kenenisa Bekele, extending to three his unprecedented string of
doubles with a 35:53 clocking over Brussels’ sticky 12K course, led
the Senior Men’s 12K team title at the World Cross Country Championships
Sunday, emphatically terminating Kenya’s eighteen-year string of
the men’s 12K event with a one-two-three sweep of the individual medals.
who won the 4K event yesterday, was joined by teammates Gebre
Sileshi Sihine on the medals podium.
Bekele’s win earned him his seventh World Cross gold. Gebremariam took
second silver of the weekend with 36:10 and Sihine grabbed the bronze
36:11. Yibetal Admassu sealed Ethiopian potentially sea-changing triumph
finishing 8th in 36:52. The team scored 14 points.
Kenya, which had not lost the premier men’s event at World Cross since
(also to Ethiopia), earned the silver with a 30 point score. World 5000
champion Eliud Kipchoge led Kenya with a fourth place finish. Ethiopia’s
neighbor Eritrea was third with 66.
Kenya’s defeat did not come as a complete shock to close observers of
distance running. Ethiopia had made gold medal inroads in other World
Cross events in
recent years. Kenya had already lost the steeplechase title – the track
most synonymous with Kenyan domination – at the World Track and Field
Championships last summer, although in that case the East African nation
some solace in the fact that the Qatari winner of the event was, until a
weeks before the event, a Kenyan citizen.
Whether Ethiopia’s victory is the dawn of a new dynasty or confirmation
two-superpower dynamic in the endurance wars remains to be seen. At the
the Brussels championships, though, Ethiopia fly home with five of the
team golds, four of the six individual golds and 14 of the 18 individual
For the United States teams, the second day of the championships was a
slightly dimmer version of the first day’s modest results. Shalane
junior at the University of North Carolina was a bright spot as the top
at the Championships with a 14th place finish in the Women’s 4K event.
USA’s Women’s 4K team placed 7th, as did the Junior Men’s squad. The
12K team placed 11th. For the first time since 1999 the Americans will
home without any harrier hardware.
“Those ladies are fierce competitors and I tried to come in with that
mentality,” Flanagan, who clocked 13:34, said. “This race helps me
realize how great
the world’s top runners are and how much harder I have to train.”
Behind the 2004 USA 4K champ was former Stanford star Lauren Fleshman
13:56, Christin Wurth 43rd in 14:21, Missy Buttry 60th in 14:33, Sarah
64th in 14:38 and Janet Trujillo 77th in 14:57.
Edith Masai of Kenya won her third straight Women’s 4K title with a 13:07
clocking. World 5000 meter champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia was
second in 13
:09, teammate Teyba Erkesso was third in 13:11. Ethiopia edged Kenya 19-21
the team gold, while surprising Canada took the bronze with 87. The USA
tallied 141 for seventh.
High school senior Ryan Deak of Aurora, Colorado led the USA Junior Men’s
squad with a 34th in 26:27 finish in 8K. Deak was followed closely by
freshman Forrest Tahdooahnippah 37th in 26:29. Joshua McDougal was 49th
26:50, USA Junior Champion John Janson was 55th in 27:03, Trent Hoerr
was 60th in
27:08 and Ian Burrell was 81st in 27:42.
“It went perfect,” said Deak. “I got a great start. I didn’t feel like I
going fast at all, but I was ahead of some Kenyans, so I relaxed about
next 100 yards and I relaxed up the hill and then relaxed to the first K
About the 6K mark I got a horrible cramp in the side of my stomach and
totally killed my last loop.”
Kenya won its lone team gold in the tightly fought Junior Men’s event
points, Ethiopia was second with 25 and Uganda was third 33. Meba
the inidividual crown in 24:01, Uganda’s Boniface Kiprop was second in
and Ernest Meli Kimeli was third in 24:16. The USA tallied 175 for their
Olympian Abdi Abdirahman led the USA’s Senior Men’s 12K squad with a
place finish in 38:08. American 5000 meter record-holder Bob Kennedy was
for the Americans in 44th with 38:28. Richie Brinker of Team USA
picked his way through the field in defiance of World Cross convention,
51st in 38:36, Dave Davis was 82nd in 39:30, Nolan Swanson was 93rd in
Joshua Eberly was 108th in 41:03. The team tallied 211 points for 11th.
“This was not a good day for us Americans at all,” Abdirahman said. “This
a real cross country course. This course shows your strengths and
“I didn’t feel good. I never did,” USA 12K champion Kennedy observed. “I
decent warming up, but I never felt right. For at least three kilometers
was in the position I wanted to be, with the idea that I would start
through the pack, but I went the other way.”
The 2005 World Cross Country Championships are set for St. Etienne-St.
Galmier, France on March 19 and 20.
IAAF World Cross Country Championships
Brussels, Belgium, March 20-21, 2004
Senior Women’s 8K
Senior Men’s 4K
Junior Women’s 6K
Senior Men’s 12K
Senior Women’s 4K
Junior Men’s 8K
Complete individual and team results at:
More Team USA coverage and quotes at:
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