Mexican Team Captures North American 5K Championship
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - (October 27, 2002) - Strong mid-race surges by both their men's and women's squads propelled the Mexican team to victory at Sunday's North American 5K Team Championship, headline event of the 14th Arturo Barrios Invitational 5K & 10K in Chula Vista, California.
Using a cross country scoring format where the first two runners of each gender for each three-member team score, the Mexican men led by race winner David Galvan and fifth place finisher Julio Valle tied the American men's squad with six points. But when Mexican national 1500 meter champion Dulce Maria Rodriquez out-sprinted Canadian national 1500 meter champ Emilie Mondor for the women's win, with Mexican national 10K and marathon record holder, Adriana Fernandez coming in third, the Mexican team scored a total of 10 points to take the title and $12,000 in team prize money. The U.S. finished second with 16 points (2-4 men, 4-6 women) and received $6,000. Canada took third with 21 points (3-8 men, 2-8 women) and earned $3,000.
The Mexican men managed to maintain their position after Teodoro Vega - who miscounted the laps - kicked one lap too soon and faltered to seventh place. Yet he was picked up by Julio Valle in fifth to go with Galvan's 13:47 win.
"I felt like I was at home with all the cheering," remarked Galvan of the Chula Vista crowd. "It was after the second lap when I pulled away, and decided to win the race for my team."
The American women led by defending Arturo Barrios 10K champion Colleen De Reuck and Californian Sylvia Mosqueda went out at 4:57 for the first mile. But it was Dulce Maria Rodriquez and Adriana Fernandez who took over in mile two, pushing hard to the front and separating themselves from the other competitors except for young Canadian Emilie Mondor who did her share of leading with the two Mexicans.
It was only in the final 200 meters that Rodriquez and Mondor, the two national 1500 meter champions, pulled away from marathon superstar Fernandez who was just weeks off her second place finish at the Berlin Marathon.
"At 4K I felt like I needed to pull away," stated women's champion Rodriquez. "It's very nice to run for my country and also for myself. I want the world to know who I am. I have only been training three years."
"It is a big responsibility for me to run with the team," said Fernandez, third overall in 15:36.
The men went out at 4:25 for the opening mile under overcast skies and gentle breezes by the Chula Vista Harbor just miles from the Mexican border. Two miles passed in 8:50 with Vega bolting too soon to the tape. But that move cut Galvan free from the pack, and he maintained his margin over American Bolota Asmerom to the finish, 13:47 to 13:54. World-class miler Kevin Sullivan of Canada, fifth in the 2000 Olympic 1500, moved up solidly to take third in 14:00, a road 5K personal best, but neither the Canadian men nor women had a runner in position to back up their leaders. Galvan and Rodriquez each earned an additional $1300 for their victories.
In the people's 5K race, Tom Kloos  of Oceanside broke the tape for the third straight year, with a time of 14:37. E. Castillo Aripez  of Ensenada was the first woman to cross in 18:29. San Marcos resident Nazario Romero  took first in the 10K men's people's race with a winning time of 30:28. Kathy Kasischke  of San Diego finished first on the women's side in 36:26.
FOX Sports NET will broadcast the North American 5K Team Championship on Friday, November 8 at 3:00pm and Monday, November 11 at 11:30am.
MEN 1. David Galvan 29 Mexico 13:47 $1300 2. Bolota Asmerom 24 USA 13:54 $700 3. Kevin Sullivan 28 Canada 14:00 4. Clint Wells 27 USA 14:01 5. Julio Valle 30 Mexico 14:05 6. Henry Dennis 28 USA 14:19 7. Teodoro Vega 26 Mexico 14:23 8. Jeremy Deere 27 Canada 14:26 9. David Milne 26 Canada 14:44
Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Services USATF Road Running Information Center 5522 Camino Cerralvo Santa Barbara, CA 93111 (805) 696-6232, fax (805) 696-6252 http://www.runningusa.org http://www.usaldr.org