Uhl earned the opportunity to compete in the world cross country championships after he won the USA Junior National Cross Country Championships that was held February 19 in New York City. Uhl holds the top spot on the team of five that will compete in the junior competition.
Uhl left for Japan on Sunday and will be joined by head cross country coach Corey Ihmels who helped Uhl prepare for both the USA Junior Championships, as well as the upcoming world competition.
"Obviously leading up to the U.S. trials we put together a training program that is more cross country suited than track," said Ihmels. "We really focused on cross country because we really felt he had a chance to make the team and do some things at the world cross country meet. Since then we've been able to fine-tune things just a little bit. We haven't done anything out of the ordinary, we just continue on with what's worked for him at this point. We had two really good weeks of training, so he's ready to go."
At the World Cross Country Championship, Uhl will run in a field of over 100 runners against some of the best junior runners in the world.
"The world cross country meet is a unique race," said Ihmels. "In the junior race it's all of the best distance runners in the world in one spot racing against each other. Inevitably there are going to be future gold medalists in that race, that's just the way it is. The key for Kyle is just not to get caught up in the competition."
Uhl is the fourth Cyclone to win the junior national
championship and compete in the World Cross Country Championships. John Nuttall
(1986), Tim Wakeland (1983) and Ihmels (1993) are the three ISU athletes to win
the junior national championship and compete in the world championships before
"We've had four guys now accomplish it," said Ihmels. "That shows our history and our tradition, but we want to move forward with it."
Ihmels said he would also like this to start a new tradition for Iowa State runners with more competing at the same level Uhl has this year. Ihmels would like this to start a string of three or four guys who are able to achieve the same accomplishments as Uhl.
"We have a freshman that not only won the U.S. trials, but I think he can go onto the world meet and place really high," said Ihmels. "It just kind of shows where our program is headed and what we want to get accomplish. I think this is a big accomplishment for our program."
Results for the World Cross Country Championships can be found at www.iaaf.org following the completion of competition.
Uhl at ISU
Uhl was the number one cross-country runner leading Iowa State at every meet during the 2005 season. He earned a spot at the NCAA Championships where he finished 67th out of 253 competitors with a 10K time of 30:46. At the Midwest Regional, he was runner-up among 150 runners with a time of 30:55. He also helped the Cyclones to a sixth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships where he crossed the line in seventh (8K, 24:06).