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Feb-06-2007 17:29

Oregon Runners Ready For USA XC Champs

Also this weekend, a majority of Duck track and field athletes will compete in the Tyson Invitational, Fri.-Sat., Feb. 9th-10th in Fayetteville, Ark.,

runners
Freshman Bria Wetsch has finished top-10 twice before in the USA Junior XC Championships. Photo: goducks.com

EUGENE - The University of Oregon cross country teams will showcase several of the Ducks’ top current and former distance runners this weekend in the USA Cross Country Championships, Sat., Feb. 10th in Boulder, Colo.

The one-day meet will feature men’s and women’s senior and junior races held on the Flatirons Golf Course from 9:00 AM to 1:45 PM Mountain Time.

Athletes will compete for positions on the U.S. team for the upcoming 35th World Cross Country Championships, in Mobasa, Kenya, Sat., March 24th.

The Ducks entered one woman in the junior 6,000m event – freshman Bria Wetsch – and three men in the junior 8,000-meter race – freshmen A.J. Acosta, Kenny Klotz and Isaac Stoutenburgh.

Wetsch ranked top-four for the Ducks in both of her cross country appearances last fall in the Pac-10 and West Regional Championships (22nd/34th) and ranked second on the team in the latter event.

The Chaska, Minn., native also competed in the USA Cross Country Championships junior race in 2006 (eighth) and ’05 (10th), and the former prep state champion was also an eighth-place finisher in the 2005 Foot Locker Championships.

Acosta was a cross country redshirt for the Ducks last fall, and competed unattached in two races.

The Oceanside, Calif., native was a Foot Locker prep harrier champion in 2005, and this winter for the Ducks is an NCAA provisional qualifier in indoor track in the 3,000m with his personal best of 8:04.71.

Stoutenburgh and Klotz were also Foot Locker harrier veterans as seniors in 2005, and the duo also ran the USA cross country junior event in 2006 and finished eighth and 15th, respectively.

This past fall for UO, both competed in the postseason in various events and combined for six, top-eight finishes for the Pac-10 and West Regional champion squad that also tied for fifth in the NCAA Championships.

Also set to compete Saturday in the men’s senior open race are former Duck All-Americans Jason Hartmann of Nike and Eric Logsdon of Team XO.

Hartmann was a three-time cross country All-American in the NCAA Championships (37th in 1999, 35th in 2000 and 20th in ’02), while Logsdon claimed similar honors in 2002 (41st) and ’03 (29th).

Hartmann and Logsdon will be part of a revised meet format that will feature single senior races for the men (12,000m) and women (8,000m).

In recent years, separate men’s and women’s ‘short course’ 4,000m races were contested, but were dropped this year when the world federation (IAAF) also dropped the 4,000m event from the World Cross Country Championships.

More event information about this weekend’s event is located at USA Track & Field.

Information on the World Cross Country Championships is available at www.iaaf.org.

Also this weekend, a majority of Duck track and field athletes will compete in the Tyson Invitational, Fri.-Sat., Feb. 9th-10th in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Husky Classic, Sat., Feb. 10th in Seattle.


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