March 21, 2003
UCLA distance great Mebrahtom Keflezighi, who recently won his third consecutive USA 15k title, has two upcoming elite races - the 31st annual IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 29-30 in Lausanne, Switzerland and the USA 8km Championships in New York City's Central Park on April 5.
At the World CC Championships, Keflezighi, a two-time USA 12km cross country champion, will lead Team USA's men's long course squad. Team USA's 12 km squad will be looking to get back on the medal stand after grabbing the team bronze medal (third-place) at Ostend, Belgium in 2001 (Keflezighi was on that USA team).
At the USA 8km Championships, Keflezighi leads a group of four members of the 2003 U. S. World Cross Country team who will run in New York City. The field for this year's race is shaping up to be the strongest and deepest of any 2003 USA road championships, featuring a strong gathering of America's best runners from track, the roads and cross country. Total guaranteed prize money is $20,000, with a $25,000 bonus for breaking the USA 8km record of 22:04 set by Alberto Salazar in 1981. The USA men's 8km Championships joins the New York Mini 10K (June 7) and the New York City Marathon (Nov. 2) as the cornerstones of the newly named NYRR Professional Racing Series.