Derrick, Who Arguably Was The Greatest American To Never Win An NCAA Title While In College, Wins US Title in 1st Race as a Sponsored Pro
February 2, 2013
Chris Derrick – national champion.
Derrick, the former Stanford Cardinal, best known until this point as being arguably the greatest American runner not to win an NCAA title (Derrick ran 27:31.38 for 10,000m last year, was NCAA runner-up 3 times, and missed the US Olympic team at 10,000m by one spot) didn’t wait long in his professional career to win a national title. In his first race as a sponsored pro, Derrick pulled away from Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp over the final two kilometers to win the 2013 USATF Cross Country title in St. Louis, Missouri.
Ritzenhein, the three time US XC champion (2005, 2008, 2010), held on for second as Derrick’s training partner Matt Tegenkamp finished third.
Ritz Breaks Up Pack at 8k
There was a large pack up front for most of this race as the main contenders were content to run together at a modest pace (just a little over 3:00 a km through 8km) on a cold (temps in the 40s) and windy day in St. Louis. The field featured 10 sub 28 minute runners.
At roughly the 8k mark, the most credentialed XC runner in the field, Dathan Ritzenhein (2001 World Junior bronze, 2003 NCAA champion, 3 time US Champion), went to the front and broke open the race.
Only Tegenkamp and Derick could stay with him and soon it was a three man race between the three fastest 10,000m runners in the field.
Last year at the Olympic Trials, these three raced for the final two Olympic spots at 10,000m behind winner Galen Rupp, and Derrick came out with the short end of the stick.
Here it was different. At around the 10km mark, Derrick went to the front and pushed for home. Ritzenhein was able to stay closest, but soon Derrick broke Ritz. Now it was a question of whether Derrick would be able to maintain the lead to the finish. Derrick would lengthen it. Coming down the homestretch Derrick looked behind him and saw that elusive national title was his.
Derrick Reacts to His First National Title
Afterwards, Derrick was elated to have won his first national title. He said on the USATF broadcast on Runnerspace.com, “It feels good. I knew from my training I had a chance. I grow a lot of confidence from my coach’s (Jerry Schumacher) confidence. He said I didn’t need to do anything special. Jerry told me I was fit and to go for it.”
Go for it he did. Describing his push for home Derrick said, “I sensed a little bit of weakness just before 2k to go and I decided to go for it… I think I learned at the Trials that I can run with anybody and I was just trying to win.”
Derrick described Ritz’s move that broke up the field at 8km as a “hard, hard move.”
Derrick indicated he plans to run the World Cross Country Championships in Poland in March assuming coach Jerry Schumacher doesn’t alter his plans. Derrick said, “Jerry is notorious for changing his mind. World cross is one of the greatest races on the planet. I’m looking forward to going there and suffering.”
It was a good day for coach Schumacer and his Nike Oregon TC team. In addition to Derrick and Tegenkamp in first and third, team member Elliott Heath was fourth.
Unofficial Leader’s Splits (From broadcast and meet announcer)
2k – 6:05
4k – 12:09 (6:04)
6K – 18:14 (6:05)
8k – 24:19 (6:05)
10k – 30:00 (5:41)
12K -35:38 (5:38)
OPEN MEN’S 12K
Presented by the ST. LOUIS TRACK CLUB
|1||33||CHRIS DERRICK||22||35:38.6||4:47||NIKE / OREGON TC ELITE|
|3||105||MATT TEGENKAMP||31||35:55.8||4:50||NIKE / OREGON TC ELITE|
|4||49||ELLIOT HEATH||23||35:56.1||4:50||NIKE / OREGON TC ELITE|
|9||103||JAMES STRANG||28||36:17.1||4:52||BOULDER RUNNING COMPANY/ADIDAS|
|10||71||RICHARD MEDINA||23||36:20.3||4:53||UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO|
|11||112||ANDREW WACKER||24||36:27.2||4:54||BOULDER RUNNING COMPANY/ADIDAS|
|12||58||ELLIOT KRAUSE||22||36:29.6||4:54||UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISO|
|13||70||HASSAN MEAD||21||36:37.1||4:55||NIKE / OREGON TC ELITE|
|14||81||SEAN QUIGLEY||27||36:37.6||4:55||BOULDER TRACK CLUB|
|17||20||ROBERT CHESERET||29||36:44.1||4:56||U.S. ARMY|
|19||85||JACOB RILEY||24||36:47.2||4:56||HANSONS-BROOKS DISTANCE PROJEC|
|20||9||SCOTT BAUHS||26||36:48.8||4:57||NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB (NYAC)|