by Graeme Shirley
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - (November 16, 2002) - If there had been pari-mutuel betting on the San Diego USATF Cross Country Championships, there would have been small payouts in all the divisions. After seven races in the Asics Dirt Dogs series, the fitness of the competitors had been well established, and the favorites ran true to form.
In the men's series, Brian Culley trailed David Kloz by two points, and Bryan Wallbank by one. But Culley was 2-0 against both, and Wallbank was 3-0 against Kloz.
On an unseasonably warm day on the Morley Field four-mile course, Culley let Wallbank do all the work for more than three miles. When he went by in the last mile, Wallbank couldn't respond, and Culley pulled away to a five-second victory, 21:25 to 21:30, capturing both the Association Championship and the Dirt Dogs series.
For the women, 40-year-old Sandy Meister-Meredith (24:32) was the first female San Diego USATF runner for the fifth race in a row, beating the next masters runner (over age 40) Kimberlee Rouse (26:34) by two minutes. Her dominant win of the Dirt Dogs series for the masters (age 40-49) division not only would have won the open division (ages up to 39), but would have done it with a perfect score.
Joey Bonfiglio (24:47) held off Kim Brown (25:01) and Kathy Kasischke (25:18) for the Dirt Dogs open division win. Kasischke finished second in the series for the second year in a row.
Dave Spinler (22:43) seemed to get stronger as the series progressed. He was the first masters runner again, posting a perfect score for the series.
Greg Wilson (24:25) and Teri Fitzgibbons (28:30) both capped unbeaten seasons for the age 50 and over divisions of the series.
Ursula Kremer (24:07) competed as an invited foreigner, ineligible for the championship, and was the the first woman to finish.
For more complete information on the championship race, visit the San Diego USATF Country Championships page.
For information, including final standings, on the Asics Dirt Dogs Series visit the Cross Country Championship Series page.