Inside Athletics

McNeill second at NCAA cross country championships

Australian 10000m champion David McNeill has finished second in the NCAA cross country championships in Indiana.

The 23 year old, running for Northern Arizona University, finished 25 seconds behind Kenyan Samuel Chelanga, who dominated the 10km race from the outset. Chelanga ran aggressively from the gun, opening up a 9 second lead on the rest of the field by the 3km mark, with the gap widening to 28 seconds as he passed through the halfway mark in a swift 14:10. Chelanga's time of 28:41.3 improved on the course record set last year by Olympian Galen Rupp by 22 seconds.

Meanwhile, McNeill ran in a pack of three containing eventual third and fourth placegetters Chris Derrick and Barnabas Kirui until after the 8km point of the race. McNeill was able to build an 8 second margin over Derrick during the final 2km, crossing the line in 29:06.5.

McNeill will now turn his attention to defending his national 10000m title at the Zatopek:10 meet on 10 December. The race is the selection trial for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and is expected to be one of the highest quality in years.

Other Australians to compete at the NCAA cross country champonships were Rebecca Lowe (15th), Ben Ashkettle (59th), Brooke Simpson (60th), Genevieve Lacaze (96th) and Matt Gibney (124th).

Video courtesy of FloTrack.
Photo courtesy of Track and Field Photo