NEW YORK, NOV. 28 -- Pat Porter, running what he considered a subpar race, won the U.S. Cross Country Championships for the sixth consecutive time today in course-record time.
Porter, from Alamosa, Colo., covered the 6.2 miles over Van Cortlandt Park's testing course in 29 minutes 58 seconds, breaking the record of 30:34.2 held by John Mason of Fort Hays State.
Mason set the record in 1968, the last time the meet was held in Van Cortlandt.
Porter did not have an easy race. He beat James Farmer, a fifth-year senior at North Carolina, by three seconds as the top three finishers all beat Mason's old mark. Richard Nerurkar of England was third in 30:29.
Lynn Jennings, the 1985 women's champion and 1986 third-place finisher, regained the championship, winning handily in 19:35 over the 3.7-mile course. She was followed by three of her teammates from Athletics West. Nan Davis was runner-up in 19:47, followed by Kathy Hayes in 19:51 and Sabrina Dornhoefer in 19:56.
The men's and women's winners automatically qualified for the U.S. team that will compete in the world cross-country championships March 26, 1988 at Auckland, New Zealand. The other team members -- eight men and five women -- will be chosen in the U.S. trials at Dallas Feb. 13.
Porter's front-running victory put him only one behind Don Lash, who holds the record of seven consecutive national cross-country championships set from 1934 to 1940. Porter had been tied for second place on the all-time list with Willi Ritola of Finland, who won five times in 1922-23 and 1925-27.