CROSS COUNTRY GU Freshmen Represent U.S. Distance Runners Go to World Championships By Scott Homa Hoya Staff Writer

They proved they were among the best in the country at the U.S. Junior National Cross Country Championships in February, and last weekend, two Georgetown freshmen got their chance to take on the world.

As part of the six-member U.S. men’s and women’s junior national teams, Rod Koborsi and Nicole Lee battled over 100 of the world’s best distance runners at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, held in Dublin, Ireland on March 23-24.

The event featured some of the top professionals in the world, including U.S. stars Suzy Favor-Hamilton and Carrie Tollefson, who competed in the senior division.

Facing off against traditional distance powers like Kenya and Ethiopia, the U.S. entered the meet with modest expectations, yet fared very well despite the intense competition.

The junior men’s team scored 113 points for seventh place overall and the junior women tallied 87 points to finish fifth. Kenya won on both the men’s and women’s sides, with the Kenyan men scoring 13 points, and the women earning 18 points.

Team scores are calculated based on a combination of the top four finishers for each nation, and both Koborsi and Lee scored points for the U.S.

Koborsi claimed the men’s team’s top finish by covering the 8,000m course in 25:14 for 30th place overall. Lee turned in another tremendous effort in the 6,000m women’s race, timing 22:10 to take fourth on the team and finish 40th overall.

Executing the same strategy that Assistant Coach Patrick Henner had for him at junior nationals, Koborsi ran a tactical race, holding back in the early laps to preserve energy for later in the contest.

Koborsi was in 40th place when completing the first lap in 7:54, but gradually moved up, holding 33rd (13:54) at the 4,000m split, and accelerating into 30th place (19:37) in the third lap, which he held for the duration of the contest.

Lee was 43rd (9:00) at the end of the first lap, and worked up to 38th (15:35) at the 4,000m mark before falling back into 40th.

For both athletes, the race caps off a highly successful freshman-year campaign. Koborsi finished first for the men’s team at the NCAA Championships in November, and Lee helped guide the women to a school record-tying third place finish at nationals.

Both athletes are expected to redshirt the outdoor track season.

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