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Blake braves snow to repeat at Junior Olympic XC Champs

from USATF - INDIANAPOLIS - Following an hour-long delay due to snowy conditions, Samuel Blake brought home another national cross country title, and the San Diego Road Runners and the Equalizers each brought home two team titles Saturday at the 2009 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, Nevada. The event featured more than 2,300 runners, with athletes aged 8 to 18 competing for boys' and girls' titles in five age divisions. The USATF Junior Olympic program age divisions are bantam (10 and under) racing over 3 kilometers; midget (11-12) racing 3 km; youth (13-14) racing 4 km; intermediate (15-16) racing 5 km; and young men/women (17-18) racing 5 km.
The 2008 midget boys champion, Samuel Blake (Los Gatos AA) was back again in 2009 to claim his second consecutive title, covering the 3 km course in 10:12. Runner-up Ryan Alexander of the Equalizers was 13 seconds back, finishing in 10:25.

O'Briens' Ammar Moussa, who took fourth just last weekend at the Nike Cross National Championships, won the Intermediate Boys competition in 15:54, finishing just ahead of teammate Luis Gutierrez who was the runner-up in 16:00. On the girls side, Team Idaho's Emily Nist dominated the competition, completing the course in 18:42. Runner-up Krista Menghini of the Blazers TC finished in 19:09.

Additional girls winners include Lauren Gregory (Fort Collins Track Club) in the Bantam division, Christine Bayliss (Roseville PAL Express) in the Midget division, Natalie Rathjen (Dal Metro Striders) in the Youth division and Michelle Hickerson (Team Idaho) in the Young Women's division.

Other winners on the boys side include EM Smith (Rapides Jr Runners) in the Bantam division, Ben Saarel (Team Provo) in the Youth division and Raymond McCormack (Lanier) in the Young Men's division.

The San Diego Road Runners captured national team titles in two divisions, winning national crowns in the Bantam Boys and Midget Girls divisions. The Equalizers also brought home two national titles, claiming the Bantam Girls and Youth Girls divisions.

Other team champions included the So Cal Road Runners in the Midget Boys division, Pleasant Heat in the Youth Boys division, Team Idaho in the Intermediate Girls division, Magic Valley Runners in the Intermediate Boys division, Buffalo Chips Running in the Young Women's division and Project 8 in the Young Men's division.

For more information, including complete results, on the 2009 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, visit