February 7, 2015
After altitude-based runners won the junior boys and girls races, University of Colorado grad and Boulder-based Laura Thweatt (thread Who the F is Laura Thweatt? Well done) continued with a dominating performance at the 2015 USA Cross Country Championships in Boulder, Colo., as she won the women’s 8k race by 31 seconds in 27:41.
Thweatt pushed the pace from the get-go. Fifteen minutes into the race, the lead pack was down to three – Thweatt, Sara Hall and Neely Spence.
Nineteen minutes in, it was down to just Thweatt and Hall.
Twenty-three minutes in, it was the Laura Thweatt coronation as the Saucony-sponsored runner was all alone and would end up winning by a ton as Sara Hall would fade to fifth. Mattie Suver ended up second with 40-year-old Jen Rhines third.
After the race, Thweatt was thrilled to have won as she told USATF.tv the following:
“Wow I can’t believe it’s real. I can’t believe that just happened.
“They gave me a run for my money today. It was a tough field and it could have been anyone’s day. I knew I was going to run as hard as I’ve ever run to get the win and that’s what I was trying to do. If anyone was going to beat me, they were really going to have to go for it.
“It was just a great field. A ton of great women.
“I cant tell you how many times I’ve been outkicked doing that (leading from the gun).”
Next up for Thweatt is the a trip to Guiyang, China, for the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
“Hell yeah,” said Thweatt when asked if she’s be going to China. “This is a team I’ve wanted to make since forever. I can’t wait to represent the USA.”
1) A dominant and much-deserved first national title for Laura Thweatt.
The last time Boulder hosted a U.S. XC Championship with World XC selection implications, in 2007, former University of Colorado stud and hometown favorite Alan Culpepper thrilled the fans in taking the men’s title. It was a little different today as Thweatt, who competes for the Boulder Track Club, won the women’s open race today. Unlike Culpepper, Thweatt was far from a stud in her days at the University of Colorado (15:57/33:49) but she’s improved dramatically under coach Lee Troop and is now a national champion.
2) Jen Rhines – Makes The Team At Age 40
Thweatt’s win was impressive, but it wasn’t unexpected. She won the U.S. Club Cross Country Championships in December and a local XC race in Boulder last weekend. What few people saw coming was that three-time Olympian Jen Rhines, at 40 years old, would finish third and make Team USA for the World Cross Country Championships. At Club Cross, Rhines was just 19th overall, barely edging out Emily Lipari to finish as the #4 woman on the Boston Athletic Association team. Less than two months later, she is third at USAs.
Rhines was the NCAA cross country champion in 1994. How long ago is that? Mary Cain wasn’t born until 1996.
Unofficial Top 25 below
1 Laura Thweatt
2 Mattie Suver
3 Jen Rhines
4 Brie Felnagle
5 Sara Hall
6 Elaina Balouris
7 Angela Bizzarri
UPDATE: Full results are posted here.
— USATF (@usatf) February 7, 2015
Results will be posted eventually on the USATF website.
More: Discuss the race on our messageboard: 2015 USA XC Champs! Official Live Discussion Thread!
*Who the F is Laura Thweatt? Well done