Craig Lutz captured won Saturday’s USA Track & Field Cross Country Championships in Bend, Oregon. He finished the Senior Men’s 10K at River’s Edge Golf Club in 31 minutes, 40 seconds, holding off runner up Aaron Dinzeo by seven seconds.
“I felt great the first half, but I’m not going to lie to you, I felt pretty bad the second half,” Lutz told Dave Ross of Ross Running in a post-race interview posted on Youtube.
Click here to watch the race.
Lutz, 23, the former Flower Mound Marcus and the University of Texas standout, runs professionally for Hoka One One Northern Arizona Elite team. He joined the team in July after finishing UT as a four-time All American. Click here to learn more about Lutz’ coach Ben Rosario and his team.
Lutz earned $4,000 and a spot to represent Team USA at the March 4-5 Pan American Cross Country Cup in Venezuela. Lutz has been focused on the March 12 USATF 15K Championships in Jacksonville, Florida the week after Venezuela. Lutz hasn’t decided if he’ll race Venezuela.
“You never really want to pass up a U.S. jersey, but it’s early in the year,” he told Ross. “There’s a lot of racing to go.”
Lutz had not registered for Saturday’s race two week ago, he told Victoria Jacobsen of Bend’s newspaper, The Bulletin. He and Rosario looked at the entries and decided Lutz should open his season Saturday instead of mid-March. The cross country championships field was wide open, in part, because the Olympic Trials Marathon is Saturday, Feb. 13.
In November, Lutz raced the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas Half Marathon. He finished third in his debut half in 1:05:28, 28 seconds shy of the Olympic Trials Marathon B standard. He had run a 13:51 5K the week before, which was his personal best and an Arizona State record for the distance.
Lutz will focus on qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters on the track. He’ll also try to qualify in the 5,000-meters, he told Ross.
“You never know how the 10K is going to go so it would be nice to have the 5K, too,” he told Ross. “We’ll have a group of guys at Stanford going for the Olympic Trials standards.”