by Graeme Shirley
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - (November 1, 2002) - Six down, two to go. Only the Horno Ridge run and the USATF San Diego Association Championship remain in the 2002 Dirt Dogs Cross Cross Country Championship Series, and most of the divisions are up for grabs. In fact, in all but one division, the races for $3000 in total prizes have gotten tighter.
The difficulty of the final two races ensures that the Dirt Dogs champions will earn their championships. On November 2, Horno Ridge will present a unique challenge: an 853 foot elevation gain in the first mile. Two weeks later the Association Championships expect to have many of the best runners in San Diego competing for the Association Championships, as well as the Dirt Dogs series points.
In the men's open division, Brian Culley moved within three points of Bryan Wallbank by winning the Balboa Boogie and taking second in the Triton Classic. David Kloz is but 6 points behind Wallbank and three behind Culley with his Eric Goldstein Memorial win. Thomas Kloos could add to the confusion, but would have to run Horno Ridge to be eligible.
Kathy Kasischke improved her score to the maximum 60 with her Triton Classic win, but Joey Bonfiglio pulled within four points at the Goldstein run. If either wins the Association Championship, she will win the series.
Dave Spinler's masters (age 40-49) wins at UCSD and Goldstein moved him within four points of Jim Walsh. Again, if either wins the Association Championship, he will win the series.
Kimberlee Rouse and Sandy Meister-Meredith are tied for women's masters (age 40-49) with perfect scores going into the championships. Rouse won the first three races, Meister-Meredith the next three.
Phil Camp's Goldstein win placed him within three points of Greg Wilson, who had maximum points after four races, leaving the men's masters (age 50 and up) to be decided at the championships.
Teri Fitzgibbons has dominated the women's masters (age 50 and up) division by winning five races.
Runners must run at least three of the first seven races, and run the Championship race (which is worth double points) to be in the final placings of the Dirt Dogs series.
For more information visit the Cross Country Championship Series page.