15th March 2021, Oklahoma, USA
Racing may still be paused in the UK, but British athletes based in the USA had a chance to shine at the NCAA cross country championships on 15th March. The championships were rescheduled from Autumn 2020 and held in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In the men’s 10km race, Conner Mantz from Brigham Young University was the first American winner since 2008, but the early pace was set by Wesley Kiptoo, who went through the first kilometre in a blistering 2 minutes 31 seconds. Preston Harriers’ Patrick Dever, running in the colours of Tulsa University, paced himself carefully. After 3 km, he was in 19th place, some 16 seconds behind the leader, but by 4km he was lying 17th and by 5km he was 16th and closing on the leading group. Dever continued to charge through the top class field, moving through to 7th at 8km and finishing in 5th place, only 5 seconds down on a medal winning position. In the 2019 championships, Dever finished 11th so this was a big improvement for him. Dever was the first finisher for the Great Britain team at the last World Cross Country Championships, held in Aarhus, Denmark in 2019.