Freshman Trent Hoerr qualified for the U.S. Junior Men's team after finishing third at the USA Cross Country Championships.
Feb. 9, 2004
University of Illinois freshman Trent Hoerr finished third in the Junior Men's 8 km race at the 2004 USA Cross Country Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., and qualified for the 2004 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, Belgium on March 20-21. Hoerr becomes the first Illinois runner to qualify for the U.S. Junior Men's team. Last season, sophomore Jason Bill finished eighth and was an alternate.
With temperatures in the 20's and snow on the ground, Hoerr navigated the course in 24:24. At 2 km, Hoerr, from Morton, Ill., was among a pack of 10 runners who broke away from the field. That pack remained tight until the final 2 km when the top six moved ahead slightly. From there, the leader, Paul Janson, surged ahead and secured the win, crossing 10 seconds before Hoerr and the second place finisher, Ryan Deak. The top six finishers qualified for the team.
"The plan was just to go out," Hoerr said. "I wasn't going to go out and take the lead. My intention was just to qualify for the team, stay with the pack through the first three laps.
Hoerr continued, "The race felt slow through the first two laps, then McDougal took off, and six of us went with him. With a lap to go, there were still six of us, and then we started stringing out."
"We knew he had a chance to make the team," head cross country coach Paul Pilkington said. "He's been working extremely hard and his time today was almost 50 seconds faster than his top time in the fall. The progress he's made has been incredible."
Hoerr will be joined on the team by Pete Janson (University of Colorado), Ryan Deak (high school), Forrest Tahdooahnip (Stanford), Josh McDougal (high school) and Ian Burrell (University of Georgia).
For complete race results, visit www.usatf.org.