William and Mary All-American Emily Stites (Wyoming, Ohio) made her international debut Saturday morning, leading the junior women of Team USA with her seventh-place finish at the BUPA Great Edinburgh International Challenge. Stites ran 14:08 on the muddy Holyrood Park 4K course to finish as the top American runner.
Team Great Britain turned in an impressive performance in the meet, placing 1-6 behind Emelia Gorecka (13:46) to win the team title with 10 points (four athletes score). Gorecka was also the silver medalist at the European Junior Cross Country Championships last month. Stites' seventh-place showing was the best for anyone not on TGB, and she finished 21 seconds ahead of Euro Junior bronze-medalist Maya Rehrberg (13th) of Germany. For Team USA, Notre Dame's Molly Seidel was 12th overall in 14:35, with high-schoolers Sophie Chase and Anna Holdiman 14th and 15th, in 14:42 an 14:52, respectively.
Stites returns home this week to rejoin her Tribe teammates as they resume the indoor track and field season on Sunday Jan. 20, at CNU's Captains Invitational. If she chooses, Stites can also try for a spot on the U.S. junior cross country team at the IAAF World Championships later this winter. The national championships (and selection race for the world team) will be held on Feb. 2, in Clayton, Mo., with the world meet coming on March 24 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
2013 BUPA Great Edinburgh International Challenge
Junior Women's 4K - Holyrood Park
Top 10 Finishers
1. Emelia Gorecka (GBR) 13:46
2. Jessica Judd (GBR) 13:58
3. Rebecca Weston (GBR) 14:01
4. Alex Clay (GBR) 14:04
5. Bobby Clay (GBR) 14:04
6. Annabel Mason (GBR) 14:07
7. Emily Stites (USA) 14:08
8. Oona Kettunen (EUR) 14:11
9. Mariia Khodakivska (EUR) 14:25
10. Agnes Sjostrom (EUR) 14:25
1. Great Britain 10 (1,2,3,4)
2. Europe 38 (8,9,10,11)
3. United States 48 (7,12,14,15)