The 2013 U.S. Mountain Running Team will compete at the 29th World Mountain Running Championships on Sunday, September 8, in Krynica – Zdrój, Poland. The race courses will run through the Jaworzyna Mountain starting on a downhill and running down /up over loop trail and mountain terrain. There are both junior and senior categories for the competition with 37 countries slated to compete.
The junior men and women will race 9 kilometers, and 4.65 kilometers respectively with the men running up to four athletes for a team with the top three scoring. The women run up to three for a team with the top two scoring. In order to compete as a junior athlete, the individual must be at least 16 in the year of competition and not yet 20.
The U.S. junior team is selected based on resumes, and coach or mentor letter of support. This year’s squad includes some returning team members as well as newcomers to the team and represents three states – California, Colorado, and Texas – with both high school and collegiate talent.
The junior men’s squad includes Jordan Chavez, 19, Southlake, TX, who will enter his sophomore year at the University of Richmond this fall, Cal Deline, 17, Vail, CO, who will enter his senior year at Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy in the fall, John Lawson, 18, Forest Knolls, CA, who will attend UCLA in the fall, Danny Martinez, 19, Alhambra, CA, who will enter his sophomore year at the University of Portland – Portland – this fall.
The junior women’s squad includes Emma Abrahamson, 16, Carlsbad, CA, who will enter her senior year at La Costa Canyon High School in the fall, Mandy Ortiz, 18, Eagle, CO, who will enter her freshman year at University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall, and Tabor Scholl, 16, who will attend West Grand High School in the fall as a junior.
Paul Kirsch, manager of the junior team says, “The number of quality athletes applying for the junior team is just getting larger each year. This shows how the word of our program as an opportunity to compete internationally in a World event keeps growing. I can’t say enough about coaches like Steve Taylor from the University of Richmond, Rob Conner from University of Portland for supporting our program with some of their students.
“The course this year, with its down/up format, is going to need a strong mix of strength and pure speed and when you look at some of the times of our boys and girls this year, I think we will have a strong showing in Poland.”
The senior athletes were selected based on their finish at the USA Mountain Running Championships held at the 26th Cranmore Hill Climb presented by Northeast Delta Dental, on July 21. The senior women, like the junior men, will race 9 kilometers while the senior men will race 13.56 kilometers. The women can run up to four with the top three scoring for the team. The men can run up to six on the team with the top four scoring.
The senior men’s team includes three veterans on the team and three newcomers representing four states. Joe Gray, 29, Renton, WA, is a six-time team member, Max King, 33, Bend, OR, is a three-time team member, and Glenn Randall, 27, Mesa, CO, is in his second year on the team. Newcomers include Zachary Ornelas, 22, Ann Arbor, MI, Ryan Hafer, 27, Colorado Springs, CO, and Alex Nichols, 28, Colorado Springs, CO.
For the women Morgan Arritola who was the winner at Cranmore, turned down her spot. Therefore every athlete moved up one spot at Cranmore for team consideration. The team includes 2012 returning team member Stevie Kremer, 29, Crested Butte, CO, newcomer and 2008 Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, 39, Oakland, CA, two-time team memberMegan Kimmel, 33, Silverton, CO, and Christine Lundy, 42, Sausalito, CA, who has the most experience on the team with this year being her fifth appearance.
“As manager of the women’s team, I am thrilled to have such a seasoned team of exceptional athletes on this year’s squad,” said U.S. women’s team manager Ellen Miller, “We welcome back Stevie Kremer, Megan Kimmel and Christine Lundy, and we are excited to add cross country and marathon running great, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet – joining for her first year in competitive mountain running.
“The women’s field at the qualifying races has deepened each year and it is clear that mountain running is attracting more, and faster women every year. I have great hopes, with this team of exceptional female mountain runners, of maintaining a USA spot on the team podium at the World Championships in Poland. It is an honor for me to work for the U.S. mountain running program and to serve this group of athletes.”
According to team leader Richard Bolt, “We have an amazingly talented team for the World Mountain Running Championships (WMRC). Unfortunately Morgan Arritola declined her spot on the team, but Stevie Kremer was seventh at the 2012 WMRC and won the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and Magdalena proved she could run technical trails fast. Both Megan and Christine are seasoned veterans on the mountain team and will certainly race strong. On the men’s side, we have defending up/down World Mountain Running Champion Max King and six-time team member Joe Gray who has a string of top-15 finishes at the WMRC against really tough fields. I’m most looking forward to seeing our fresh, young talent run in Poland – Zach, Ryan and Alex.”
Follow the team on Twitter @USMRT and learn more about the U.S. mountain running program atthis link.
Each athlete is a member of USATF, the national governing body for the sport, which provides partial funding and team uniforms to the team. Additional funds are raised through the American Trail Running Association (ATRA), a Colorado not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to represent and promote trail and mountain running. Donations to the team are 100% tax deductible and can be made payable to ATRA (earmarked for the USMRT), PO Box 9454, Colorado Springs, CO 80932.