Most of us in the U.S. are in the middle of outdoor track and field but in Denmark this weekend the IAAF will be hosting the World Cross Country Championships. Youth Runner Photographer Steve Klotz is already there preparing to cover the competition.
There are three high school athletes on the USA Juniors Team. Grace Ping from Winnona, Minnesota and Heidi Nelson from Katy, Texas and part of the Track Houston Youth Track Club. Both girls are 15 years old. Carter Cheeseman, 18 years old is from Keller Texas. These athletes made the team by qualifying at the USATF Cross Country Nationals in Florida.
Grace Ping on the right
Steve will be posting photos and videos through the weekend but here are some links from IAAF that preview.
It has been 25 years since a European athlete last finished in the top 10 in the U20 men’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The last individual medallist – a gold one at that – from Europe came 10 years before that.
But Jakob Ingebrigtsen (1500m world rank: 8; 5000m world rank: 14) could be capable of rewriting both of those statistics when he lines up for the U20 men’s race in Aarhus.
The 18-year-old Norwegian caused a stir last year when he won the 1500m and 5000m at the senior European Championships in Berlin, setting a continental U20 record of 13:17.06 in the latter. One month prior he had set a European U20 1500m record of 3:31.18 in Monaco. Rest of preview here:
Between them, Ethiopia and Kenya have won all of the 26 women's U20 team titles in IAAF World Cross Country Championships history. Kenya have taken the top spot in 15 editions to Ethiopia's 11 and in all but six editions, they have occupied the top two spots. You have to go back 24 years to 1995 to find the last individual winner not from either of these countries too, when Annemari Sandell of Finland struck gold in Durham and the two countries have enjoyed a clean sweep of the individual podium in every edition since 1999, when Japanese athlete Yoshiko Fujinaga made the podium in third.
More about the USA Roster here.
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