Brooke Rauber Wins U20 Championship, Will Represent Team USA

Just when you thought cross country was over, New York junior Brooke Rauber (Tully) proved otherwise.

On Saturday in Mission, California, the Tully High School junior took on a junior field at the USA Track and Field U20 Cross Country Championships and showed both her talent and potential, winning the 6K race in 22:11.

In winning the U20 Championship race, Rauber booked her ticket to the Pan American Cross Country Cup on February 29 in Victoria, Canada. It will be Rauber's first international competition. 

Competing in the Junior Open Division, Rauber was paired with both high school and freshman-aged collegiate runners. And out west, just shy of San Diego, Rauber would find a familiar face in Justus Holden-Betts (left), who now runs for Syracuse University -- but whom ran for local Baldwinsville before graduating last year.

The U20 race distance would also feature the traditional international length of 6K. Earlier in the year, running at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Pennsylvania, Katelyn Tuohy (North Rockland) took runner-up in her first stab at the 6K in 20:11.

On Saturday, the race went out slow, something more typical of collegiate efforts. At 2,000 meters, the pace began to drag, so Rauber put on a surge that would separate herself from the pack. Rayna Stanziano went with her but was unable to match the effort. 

Rauber crossed the line in 22:11, with a 37-second gap over second place.  She would have been seventh at the 6K split for the women's professional division.

The top three athletes now go on to represent Team USA in Canada later this year. This is the fourth rendition of the Pan-Am Cross Country Cup. 

Previous venues have been in Colombia (2015), Venezuela (2016) and El Salvador (2018). Rauber recently placed seventh at Nike Cross Nationals, and since then has maintained her speed on the track with a 4:28.79 effort for 1,500m.

The XC competition falls five days after the Section 3 Indoor State Qualifier, and provides one of the few opportunities for international racing after the demise of the Great Edinboro XC Challenge, which was won by Kelsey Chmiel (Saratoga Springs) for the final time in 2019.

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Full Results Below

2020 USATF XC Championships
                         Mission Bay, San Diego, CA
                              January 18, 2020
                           Overall Junior Women
                                 6K Distance

PLACE    BIB  NAME                 AGE   TEAM                             TIME
    1   #418  Brooke Rauber         17   Homer NY                         22:11
    2   #419  Rayna Stanziano       18   St. Mary's (CA)                  22:48
    3   #401  Kalea Bartolotto      18   Northwestern                     23:10
    4   #404  Bailey Brinkerhoff    18   Utah St.                         23:18
    5   #414  Sophia McDonnell      18   Bradley                          23:23
    6   #417  Abigail Osterlund     18   Northwestern                     23:25
    7   #410  Justus Holden-Betts   18   Syracuse                         23:37
    8   #407  Karlie Callahan       18   Utah St.                         24:04
    9   #409  Kayla Fortino         19   Northwestern                     24:06
   10   #406  Kayla Byrne           18   Northwestern                     24:25
   11   #421  Jasmine Turtle-Mora   18   Wings of America                 24:36
   12   #412  Reagan Hoopes         18   Utah St.                         24:40
   13   #420  Megan Terry           18   Utah St.                         24:45
   14   #416  Tiajhae Nez           18   Wings of America                 25:38
   15   #423  Yahaira Zuniga        18   San Diego Mesa Community Colle   26:01
   16   #415  Larissa McElroy       15   St. Stephens WY                  26:11
   17   #413  Whitney James         16   Window Rock AZ                   26:34
   18   #411  Shaelyn Honahni       17   Tuba City AZ                     27:16
   19   #403  Breana Biggambler     16   Flagstaff AZ                     27:21
   20   #402  Alexandria Bewanika   16   Wings of America                 27:49
   21   #408  Kendra Emery          14   Wings of America                 28:28