Sacramento Running News

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Conley Grabs Second at Cross Country Nationals

February 12, 2013 By: John Blue Category: Cross Country, General Running News

Kim Conley leading the field. (Photo by Clay Shaw)

Kim Conley leading the field. at this year’s XC Nationals (Photo by Clay Shaw)

By John Schumacher

Olympian Kim Conley, who runs for the Sacramento Running Association’s Elite Team, earned a spot in the World Cross Country Championships with a second-place finish Saturday in the U.S. Cross Country Championships in St. Louis.

Conley, a former UC Davis standout, ran with winner Shalane Flanagan for six kilometers in the 8k race before Flanagan pulled ahead in the final 2,000 meters. Flanagan finished in 25 minutes and 49 seconds, with Conley crossing the line in 26:06 and Deena Kastor grabbing third in 26:41.

“It was very fun to race Shalane for as long as I did as she is someone I have looked up to for many years,” said Conley, who joins the U.S. team heading to Bydgoszcz, Poland for the world championships on March 24.

“I laid everything I had out there but she was stronger over the final 2,000 meters. I’m thrilled to be a part of a great team going to Poland for the world championships.”

Conley, who used a training grant from the Sacramento Running Association to earn a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in the women’s 5,000 meters, said she’s focused on becoming a world-class runner.

“Making the (Olympic) team had changed my mental approach,” she said. “It’s a different approach in my training now that I know that I’ve made an Olympic team and it’s not a lofty dream to make a world championship team. I believe that I can be at that level instead of hoping I can be at that level.”

Conley was recently honored as the Athlete of the Year at the Sacramento Running Association’s Hall of Fame and Annual Achievement Awards dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

Conley in the home stretch at XC Nationals. (Photo by Clay Shaw)

Conley in the home stretch at XC Nationals. (Photo by Clay Shaw)

1 Comments to “Conley Grabs Second at Cross Country Nationals”

  1. Mark Murray says:

    While this is another great achievement for Conley (and Flanagan), it’s disappointing that virtually the rest of our elite US women appear to have skipped the chance to be a part of the XC team we send to the worlds. Where are the other 9 women that represented the US at the Olympics? They can’t all be injured. While it’s impressive to see Kastor is still able to make a US Championship team at 39, her 3rd place finish was 52 seconds behind Flanagan over just 5 miles. In contrast, at last years 10k trials, the top 6 women finished within 11 seconds of each other. Yet it appears that Flanagan was the only one of that group that competed Saturday.

    I fear the answer lies in $$–too little financial reward getting in race shape in early February.

    I could say the same for some of the top US Men (neither of the top 3 from last year’s 5k appeared to race, including the top US distance runner, Galen Rupp). But–other than Rupp–it appears that most of the top men from last year’s trials 10k raced this weekend.


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