Team USA Minnesota Women Win Title at USATF Club Cross Country Championships; Jon Peterson Finishes 5th in Men’s Race

Team USA Minnesota Press Release
December 8, 2012

Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Team USA Minnesota women’s squad – Meghan Peyton, Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Jamie Cheever, McKenzie Melander and Heather Kampf – won the open women’s 6 km title at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships on Dec. 8.  In the open men’s 10 km race in Lexington, Kentucky, Jon Peterson finished fifth.

For the women, Peyton was 4th, Albertson-Junkans 5th, Cheever was 7th, Melander finished 11th and Kampf – who fell in the mud but got up and kept running – crossed the line in 63rd place.  

Three of the Team USA Minnesota athletes – Peyton, Albertson-Junkans and Peterson – automatically punched their tickets for the BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Team Challenge by finishing in the top six of their event at Club Cross.  The Challenge will be held in Scotland on Jan. 5.  Nine women and nine men will be on the U.S. senior teams for the event.

This was the first time that Team USA Minnesota sent a women’s team to compete at Club Cross.  In 2011, the men’s race was won by Team USA Minnesota’s Jon Grey.

“It was a hilly course and there had been lots of precipitation the last couple of days so it was slick and very muddy,” said Peyton.  “Even given the conditions, the race got out fast and we went through the first mile in 5:11.  I got out quick but in control so I would have enough to finish the race.  I was in 10th place in the first mile while my teammate, Jamie, went out with the leaders and was in a top group of four.

“Ladia and I were running together.  We caught up with Jamie in the last mile and went on to finish fourth and fifth.  It was definitely a strength course.  My legs were really burning toward the end but I felt strong.  We are all pretty happy with the team win.”

The last race of the day was the men’s 10 km.  “I wanted to get ahead of most of the crowd so I got out in the top 30 or so and waited for it to thin out,” said Peterson.  “It was quite muddy and mucky out there so it was true cross country.

“By the last mile I was in seventh place.  I started making a move with 800 meters to go.  I picked up the pace, made it hurt and outkicked two runners in the last 400 meters (including Alan Webb who finished seventh).  I knew I needed enough in me at the end to do a kick knowing who was in the field.

“It’s nice to be out there racing cross country again.  I’m really excited to be a member of the U.S. team that will compete in Edinburgh.  That was my goal.”

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