Monday, February 11, 2008

Getting Wet for Cross Nationals

As you may know, the Tyson Invitational will go down this weekend. And by "go down" I mean it will get crushed like a junior-high version of me by USATF Cross Nationals in the battle for "coolest event of the weekend."

Cross Nationals is probably my favorite race to follow each year, with the 12k distance enticing US distance runners of all different ranges to lace 'em up and get it on. This year looks to have a nice field on tap, as always. Some of the highlights, after the jump...
Ryan Hall
Fernando Cabadapants
Dan Browne
Jorge Torres

James Carney
Jason Lehmkuhle
Josh Rohatinsky
Ryan Warrenburg
Fasil Bizuneh
Andrew Carlson
Rod Koborsi
John Rankin
Patrick Gildea

Louis Luchini
Ed Moran
Max King
Don Sage
Clint Wells
Ed Torres
What other race has such an eccentric collection of top-line American stars, talented young guys poised for a breakout race in one of the major National Championships, and veterans who very well may run terribly, but whose names still grab your attention, on paper? I mean, Don Sage and Louis Luchini might never place on the National Level again. But you see that name on the entry list and can't help but wonder, Maybe, if he's as fit as he used to be....

Those guys don't get into the small fields at Track Nationals, and that's what makes Cross Nationals great: it's a veritable smorgasbord of potential match-ups and stories. We've seen attention-demanding performances from college guys such as Matt Withrow and Josh McDougal. We've seen veterans working outside the limelight re-assert their top-dog status (see Culpepper, Alan - 2007). We've seen young bucks like Ryan Hall declare their arrival with field-tooling domination.

I wait with baited breath.

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