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W&M's Emily Stites Set to Race at World Championships
Updated: Tuesday 03/15/2013 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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William and Mary freshman Emily Stites (Wyoming, Ohio) will be taking her talents to Eastern Europe next weekend, leading the junior women of Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.  The world championships will take place at 7:00 a.m. Eastern (12 p.m. local) on Sunday, March 24, in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Stites earned her spot on Team USA after winning the U.S. junior title last month in St. Louis, winning the 6K race by more than 20 seconds.  It was the first open championship (not just NCAA or AIAW) for a Tribe woman since 1933, and the first-ever for any W&M freshman (men or women).  This will be the second appearance for Stites in the red, white, and blue, after she was the top American at the BUPA Great Edinburgh Challenge early in January over a 4K course.

This run of excellence on the national and international level is nothing new for Stites this season.  In the fall, she ran 26th at the NCAA Championships for All-American honors, and was the fourth-fastest rookie at the event from any team.  Also the Rookie of the Year in the Colonial Athletic Association, Stites continued to run well on the small indoor tracks, setting Tribe freshman records in the mile, 3,000m, and 5,000m.  The latter was a 16:05.71 two weeks ago, that was the fastest junior race in the world this indoor season and ranked her 29th indoors according to the IAAF.

This is the 24th edition of the world cross country championships to include a junior women's race, and the 15th to be held over 6K.  The best American finish at that distance came in 2008, when Alexandra Gits took 13th, and the best-ever U.S. junior finish was in 1991, when Melody Fairchild was the bronze medalist (4.4K).  Bydgoszcz was also the site of the 2008 junior track championships, when Betsy Graney '11 competed in the 3,000m steeplechase for W&M and Team USA.

While Stites is representing her country in Poland, the rest of the Tribe track and field programs will be hosting the Tribe Invitational on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23.  The two-day track meet will include athletes from over a dozen schools, and serve as the outdoor opener for W&M.

IAAF World Cross Country Championships
Team USA Junior Women's 6K
Coach: Magdalena Lewy-Boulet
2008 Olympian (Marathon)
Emily Stites William and Mary
USAT&F XC National Champion, 26th at NCAA XC Championships, #1 World Junior Indoor 5,000m in 2013, Top American (7th overall) at BUPA Edinburgh
Erin Finn West Bloomfield HS (Michigan signee)
NB Indoor Nationals 5,000m Runner-up, USAT&F XC Runner-up, NACAC XC Champion
Carrie Verdon Colorado
USAT&F XC Third Place, 136th at NCAA XC Championships, 7th Mountain Regional, 16th Pac-12 Championships
Kathryn Knight North Central HS (Washington signee)
USAT&F XC Fourth Place, Nike XC Third Place, Third American at 2012 BUPA Edinburgh
Samantha Nadel Georgetown
USAT&F XC Fifth Place, 126th at NCAA XC Championships, 32nd Mid-Atlantic Regional, 16th Big East Championships
Sydney Scott West Virginia
USAT&F XC Sixth Place, 24th Mid-Atlantic Regional, 26th Big 12 Championships

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