Former Montgomery runner Kim Conley proved she is one of America’s elite distance runners taking 2nd at the USA Cross Country Championships in St. Louis today.
The big pre-race favorite was Shalane Flanagan the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 10,000 meters and a five-time national cross country champion.
Watching the live web cast of the race showed Flanagan charge to the front with only Conley brave enough to stay with here. The two quickly opened up a gap on the rest of an elite US field and ran alone thru splits of 2k 6:22, 4k 12:52, 6k 19:25. Conley’s former Viking teammate Sara Hall, who won this race last year in 26:50, was back in about 12th at the 5k mark.
Conley (26:06) stayed with Flanagan (25:49) until the final thousand meters. Hall past four runners over the last 3k of the race to finish in 8th in 27:12.
The course was described as very rough footing with extreme strong winds during the entire women’s race.
The US will send six women from this race to the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships scheduled for March 24 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Flanagan said in a post race interview that she would not be taking one of the six spots on the US team for the world Championships because she will be focusing on the Boston Marathon.
Conley is planning on competing.
“Good day at #USAXC. Have a ton of respect for @ShalaneFlanagan. Hungry for my own title one day!” from facebook
While Hall wrote on facebook. “Sometimes the races that aren’t always the best on paper are the ones you are most proud of. Today was one of those days for me”
If any of the 3rd-7th finishers turn down the trip to Worlds it will be offered to Hall.
Women’s results
Other results
Pre-race interview videos including Conley & Hall

Conley Earns SRA Athlete Of The Year Award