Shalane Flanagan approaches the finish line in disbelief that she has won the 10,000m Olympic bronze medal (© Getty Images)
Olympic bronze medallist and American record holder Shalane Flanagan dominated the women's field to win her fifth title, while Brent Vaughn surprised the men's field to win his first title on Saturday (5) at the 2011 USA Cross Country Championships.
In addition to the national titles up for grabs in San Diego, open and junior men and women qualified to represent Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Punta Umbria, Spain, 20 March 2011.
In the women's 8km, Flanagan (Portland, Ore.) took an early lead and never looked back. Ahead by more than 10 seconds after the first 2 km loop, Flanagan steadily increased her lead and after 6 km led by 40 seconds.
In the end Flanagan cruised to a 41-second win, with Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) pulling away from Lisa Koll (Portland, Ore.) to claim the runner-up spot in 26:31, with Koll taking third in 26:41. Rounding out the Team USA qualifiers, Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland, Calif.) took fourth in 27:02, with Blake Russell (Pacific Grove, Calif.) was fifth in 27:06 and Alissa McKaig (Blowing Rock, N.C.) took sixth in 27:07.
In the men's 12km, a large pack ran together through 6 km before Vaughn (Blackhawk, Colo.) made his move, opening a nine-second lead over a chase pack that included Ed Moran (Williamsburg, Va.), Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore.), Ben True (Hanover, N.H.), Brian Olinger (Westerville, Ohio), Max King (Bend, Ore.) and Andrew Bumbalough (Portland, Ore.).
Over the final two laps this pack closed the gap on Vaughn but he held on for a comfortable six second win, finishing in 35:46. Bumbalough, claimed the runner-up position in 35:52, while Moran took third in 35:54. Tegenkamp finished in fourth, and True and Olinger rounded out the Team USA qualifiers in 36:03 and 36:05 respectively.
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