March 20, 2011
PUNTA UMBRIA, Spain - Husky freshman standout Katie Flood concluded a whirlwind two weeks in impressive fashion today at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain. Flood placed 19th in the junior women's race as the second finisher for Team USA at the Punta Umbria Multisport Centre.
Flood, who was named the captain of Team USA, steadily moved up throughout the race and finished just behind top American teammate Aisling Cuffe, who was 17th in a time of 20:15 over the six kilometer course. Flood finished in 20:18. She was 26th after the first 2k lap, and moved up to 23rd heading into the final lap, then moving up into the Top-20 by the end of the race. As a team, the USA finished seventh as Ethiopia won the team title.
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Flood has already had one of the best freshman years in Washington history with the outdoor track season still to go. She was the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year in cross country in the fall, and capped a stellar indoor track season with a 10th-place finish in the 3,000-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships just over a week ago in College Station, Texas. Flood was the top freshman in the field at NCAA Indoors, just ahead of teammate Megan Goethals.
"I think it went pretty well. I started out somewhat slow and just gauged where I was in the pack," said Flood. "From 1k in I just tried to progressively move up."
"I would say this is probably the coolest cross country race I've ever run in and maybe will ever run in. It's so diverse and it's such a fun experience."
It's the second great performance by a Husky for Team USA in the past two months. Fellow freshman Chelsea Orr, a Sammamish, Wash. native, won the NACAC Junior Cross Country Championships last month in Trinidad, after barely missing joining Flood on the World Championships roster by one spot.
Senior Lauren Saylor was the last Husky to run in the World Championships, as she placed 38th in the junior race as a freshman in 2008.