Webb Forced Out of 2006 USA Cross Country Championships

New York, February 14, 2006–American star miler Alan Webb has been forced to withdraw from the 12 km event at the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships and World Cross Country Team Trials presented by Gleukos this weekend due to illness, it was announced today by New York Road Runners officials.

Webb, 23, of Reston, Virginia, one of the race favorites, will not be able to compete in Sunday's race at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx because he has not recovered from bronchitis suffered after returning from Spain two weeks ago. He competed in two cross country races there as part of his preparation.

I was a wreck, said Webb, who added that he lost eight pounds during the illness. I couldn't run, and this was a pretty easy decision. It's a big bummer.

The men's 12 km race is a stacked field including defending champion Dathan Ritzenhein, 23, of Boulder, Colorado. Challengers include Abdi Abdirahman of Tucson, Arizona, the 2002 12 km runner-up and the fifth-place finisher at last year's ING New York City Marathon, and 2000 USA Cross Country 4 km and 12 km champion Adam Goucher of Portland, Oregon. The top six finishers qualify for the American team for the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, on April 1-2.

For more information on the USA Cross Country Championships presented by Gleukos visit www.usatf.org.