America’s top mountain runners competed in the 26th Teva Vail HillClimb on Independence Day hoping for a berth on the Teva US Mountain Running Team. In addition to individual competition there was also a team competition as part of the First Annual North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships.
Newcomers to the sport Tim Parr, 22, Alamosa, CO and Matt Levassiur, 23, Alamosa finished one-two on the day to earn automatic spots on the Teva US Mountain Running Team. On the women’s side Laura Haefeli, 36, Del Norte, CO was first across the line to solidify her spot on the team which she had earned at the Mt. Washington Hill Climb on June 19.
Levaffiur and Parr set an early pace up Vail Mountain and the 7.6 mile course (shortened by .4 mile due to construction in Vail Village) with already named team members Paul Low, 30, Amherst, MA and Simon Gutierrez, 38, Taos, NM in pursuit. Close behind 2003 team member Peter de La Cerda, 32, Alamosa, CO who jockeyed with Gutierrez for the fourth spot through seven miles.
Xterra amateur champion and 2003 team member (alternate) Lisa Isom, 32, Vail finish second to Haefeli with Kelly Ryan, 35, Lakewood and Haefeli’s identical twin sister Ann Sorenson, 36, Bozeman, MT, and 2002 team member Julie Bryan, 36, Jackson, WY rounding out the top five.
In the NACAC competition for women Team USA comprised of Ryan, Kelly Low (7th woman), Rene Frazee (8th woman), and Kari DiStefano (14th woman) edged out Team Canada to earn the gold medal in the NACAC scoring. (Top two scored on the women’s team.) The men’s Team USA – Low, de La Cerda, Gutierrez, and Mark Werner (10th overall) were victorious in the men’s competition with Team Canada A squad finishing second and Team Canada B squad finishing third. (Scored top three finishers on the team.)
The Teva US Mountain Running Team will compete at the World Mountain Running Trophy in Sauze d’Oulx, Italy with the senior women, junior women, and junior men running on September 4 and the senior men and open athletes running on September 5. The full squad – 10 open athletes and two alternates, 5 junior athletes and two alternates – will be announced by August 1.
Top Finishers at the Teva Vail Hill Climb
1 TIM Parr, 22, CO, 47:48
2 MATT Levassiur, 22, CO, 48:28
3 PAUL Low, 30, MA, 48:35, $100
4 PETER DE LA CERRA, 32, CO, 48:53
5 SIMON GUTIERREZ, 38, NM, 49:02
6 MARK STENBECK, 25, CO 49:48
7 JASON LOUTITT, 30, 49:52
8 ANDY AMES, 41, CO, 49:57
9 PETER MAKSIMOW, 25, CO, 50:21
10 MARK WERNER, 32, ME, 50:36
1 LAURA HAEFELI, 36, CO, 57:32, $300
2 LISA ISOM, 32 CO, 59:49, $200
3 KELLY RYAN, 35, CO, 1:00:21, $100
4 ANN SORENSON, 36, MT, 1:00:39
5 JULIE BRYAN, 36, WY, 1:01:05
6 KELLY SMITH, 22, CO 1:01:28
7 KELLY LOW, 33, MA, 1:01:59
8 RENE FRAZEE, 30, CO, 1:02:23
9 MEGHAN DAY, 32, Canada, 1:03:02
10 JUDITH LEROY, 31, Canada, 1:03:18