The Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team will compete in the 25th World Mountain Running Championships in Campodolcino, Italy, on Sunday, September 6, 2009. Campodolcino is located in the province of Sondrio in the Lombardy region located approximately 100 kilometers north of Milan. This year’s team will arrive at the race venue in Italy on Thursday, September 3 and includes the following athletes: (*Ages are listed at time of World Championships)
Senior Men: Joseph Gray, 25, Lakewood, WA; Zac Freudenberg, 31, St. Louis, MO; Matt Byrne, 34, Scranton, PA; Tim Parr, 27, Gunnison, CO, Andrew Benford, 22, Ravenswood, VA, and Rickey Gates, 28, Boulder, CO.
Senior Women: Christine Lundy, 39, Sausalito, CA, Megan Kimmel, 29, Silverton, CO, Megan Lund, 25, Basalt, CO, and Brandy Erholtz, 32, Bailey, CO.
Junior Men: Tim Smith, 19, Roanoke, VA; Brandon Lord, 17, Hixson, TN; Dan Nafziger, 18, Harrisonburg, VA; Brian Rooney, 19, Arlington, VA
Junior Women: Megan Morgan, 17, Del Mar, CA; Alex Dent, 16, Scott Depot, WV; and Robyn Arnold, 16, Redlands, CA.
This year’s races are held on an up/down loop course (as opposed to even-numbered years when the events are held on uphill-only courses) with the senior men running approximately 13.02 km, the senior women and junior men running a distance slightly over 8.68 km, while the junior women run approximately 4.34 km.
The women’s team includes four athletes with the top three finishers scoring for the team. Six athletes will represent the men’s team with the top four finishers scoring. The junior men’s team includes four athletes with the top three scoring while the junior women’s team is comprised of three athletes with the top two scoring. Team manager Nancy Hobbs, Colorado Springs, CO, team leader Richard Bolt, Portland, Oregon, team manager for the juniors Dave Dunham, Bradford, MA, and women’s team manager Ellen Miller, Vail, CO will accompany the team to Italy.
At the USATF annual convention in Reno, NV, on December 6, the Mountain Ultra Trail Running (MUT) Council chose two races from which automatic qualifiers to the U.S. team will be selected. The USA Mountain Running Championships were hosted at Mt. Cranmore (11km) on June 28 in North Conway, NH. The top three U.S. men – Gray, Freudenberg, and Byrne – and the top U.S. woman finisher – Lundy – earned automatic berths on the team.
The Cheyenne Canon Mountain Race in Colorado Springs, CO, was the site of the second and final selection race on July 26 (approximately 8km for women and juniors and 12km for men) where the top two U.S. men – Parr and Benford – and the top two U.S. women – Kimmel and Lund – earned automatic berths.
After the final selection race, the remaining members of the senior squad, (one male – Gates, one female – Erholtz), were chosen by the Mountain Ultra Trail Council with input from the team staff based on results at the selection races, past World Trophy events, national and international racing experience including mountain, road, cross country, and track.
The junior team members were selected based on their running resumes and required a letter of support from a coach, parent, or mentor. Junior athletes must be at least 16 and not yet 20 in the year of competition.
To see how the team is doing at the World Mountain Running Championships you can follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/usmrt.