News — Team USA Wins Big at 2009 NACAC Cross Country Championships

CAPE CANAVERAL — Clara Grandt (Morgantown, W.V.), Ryan Hill (Hickory, N.C.) and Stephen Pifer (Eugene, Ore.) won their respective races to lead Team USA to three team titles Saturday at the 2009 North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships. Nearly 100 athletes representing nine national federations competed in the fifth annual event at the Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville, Fla.

The day of racing began with the junior women’s 4 km as Emily Pritt (North Canton, Ohio), ran 13:18 to finish third, leading Team USA to a second-place finish behind Team Canada. Genevieve Lalonde led Canada to the team win, in 13:00, to finish 17 seconds ahead of Natoya Goule of Jamaica.

Molly Grabill (Poway, Calif.), Colin Ellis (Dallas, Texas), and Rolonda Jumbo (Santa Fe, N.M.), finished in ninth, tenth and 11th running 13:35, 13:40 and 13:47 respectively to complete the team score for Team USA. Canada scored 16 points for a 14 point win over the U.S., Jamaica finished third with 74 points.

In the junior men’s 6 km Team USA was grouped together at the front of the pack after the first 2 km loop and gradually separated themselves from all but Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed. Over the middle and final laps, Hill and Ahmed began to duel for the lead with Ryan Prentice (Normandy Park, Wash.), Griffith Graves (Abingdon, Va.), and Eric Fernandez (Ballwin, Mo.), close behind.
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