Pacific Assocation of USA Track and field

2007 PACIFIC ASSOCIATION AND USATF WESTERN REGIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SUNDAY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mark Winitz
Pacific Association/USATF Communications Manager
Tel: (650) 948-0618 Direct


PACIFIC ASSOCIATION AND USATF WESTERN REGIONAL
CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SUNDAY


FOLSOM, Calif. - November 15, 2007 - San Francisco's Golden Gate Park 
serves as the venue for the 22nd Annual Pacific Association/USA Track & 
Field Cross Country Championships this coming Sunday, November 18. The 
venerable event also hosts the USATF Western Regional Cross Country 
Championships.

The event features an expected 450 competitors representing USATF club 
teams located within Pacific Association boundaries (northern California 
and northwest Nevada) and from the U.S. western region. Top club teams 
will proceed to the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships 
(December 8, West Chester, Ohio) as they vie for bragging rights as the 
nation's top cross country team.

On Sunday, the women's race starts at 9:00 a.m., followed by masters men 
(age 40 and over) at 9:45 a.m., and open men at 11:00 a.m. All women 
compete over a challenging 4-mile course composed of grassy meadows, 
pedestrian trails, and bridle paths. All men compete over a 6-mile 
distance. All races start and finish at Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate 
Park (located at 30th Avenue and JFK Drive). Multiple loop courses for 
both men and women guarantee superb viewing opportunities for spectators.

Among open women, the Oakland/Berkeley-based Transports adidas Racing 
Team will defend their 2006 USATF Western Region and PA/USATF titles. 
Also expected to field title-contending teams are Southern 
California-based See Jane Run, the two-time national club champions, the 
Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area's Asics Aggies Running Club, and 
San Francisco's Impala Racing Team. See Jane Run, led by Shannon 
McConville (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) won the Southern California USATF 
Cross Country Championships on November 10.

On the open men's side, Transports adidas, Asics Aggies, the Bay Area's 
West Valley Track Club, and Sacramento's River City Rebels are poised for 
title-vying performances.

Last year, John "JT" Service (Asics Aggies, residence: San Jose, Calif.), 
and Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Transports adidas, Oakland, Calif.) were 
crowned individual USATF Western Region and PA/USATF open division 
titlists. This year, the men's field is too deep to call. On the women's 
side, Anita Giusti (West Valley Track Club, Mountain View, Calif.), a 
former Dutch national cross country team member, appears very fit, having 
already won four PA/USATF cross country races this season. Others to 
watch include Asics Aggies teammates Kara June (Santa Maria, Calif.) and 
Heather Gibson (Piedmont, Calif.).

Top masters competitors include Jim Sorensen, 40, of Fremont, Calif. who 
set pending U.S. masters national records at 800 meters, 1,500m, and the 
mile distance this year on the track, and Rosemarie Lagunas, 45, of San 
Jose.

The PA/USATF Cross Country Championships is the culminating race on the 
nine-event PA/USATF Cross Country Grand Prix circuit. Sunday's 
competition, which brings out the top competitors from all teams, might 
hold some significant changes in both the individual and team standings. 
PA/USATF conducts individual and team competition in age-group categories 
through age 70 and over. Some of the most inspiring performances occur in 
the older age divisions, as mature athletes, too, strive for the highest 
possible place to score for their team.

"Cross country is primarily a club sport with people going really hard," 
said Meet Director Tim Wason, who has organized cross country races in 
San Francisco for 20 years. "It's a highly visual, group, family, and 
team sport. We have a group of people, many of them in their 50s, 60s, 
and older racing their hearts out for their [club] peers."

In the 1980s, the Pacific Association and the San Francisco-based 
Pamakids Running Club brought two USATF cross country national 
championships to Golden Gate Park, distinguished by grassy meadows, a 
network of dirt trails, and a polo field looped by a large equestrian 
oval. In the 1990s, the Pacific Association's pioneer cross country Grand 
Prix circuit made Golden Gate Park a mainstay of harrier activity, not 
only for the association's hardy club competition, but as a host for club 
teams from throughout the west. Today, the PA/USATF Cross Country 
Championships, traditionally held in this park, are one of the largest 
and most competitive post-collegiate cross country races in the U.S.

For more information about Pacific Association/USATF cross country 
programs, and for complete results following the race, visit 
www.pausatf.org.

The Pacific Association is the largest member association of USA Track
& Field (USATF). We serve northern California and northwestern Nevada. 
USATF is the National Governing Body for track and field, long distance
running, and race walking in the United States. For more information 
about the Pacific Association, visit our Web site at 
www.pausatf.org.