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US Mountain Team to be Chosen at Mt. Washington

U.S. Mountain Running Team to
be Selected at Mount Washington

 

Colorado Springs, CO
— The 2010 U.S. Mountain Running Team
will travel to
Kamnik,
Slovenia,
to compete in the 26th World
Mountain Running Championships on Sunday, September 5. This year‰Ûªs open team ‰ÛÒ
six men and four women ‰ÛÒ will be
selected at the U.S. Mountain Running Championships to be held at the Mt.
Washington Road Race on Saturday, June 19, starting at 10:00
a.m.

           
The increased support by the race‰Ûªs primary sponsor, Northeast Delta
Dental, was a contributing factor in choosing a single selection race for the
team this year.

‰ÛÏThe USATF
Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council, when considering a host for our selection
races, looks at the venue, the race management, and the support the event will
provide for our athletes. Mount Washington not only offers a well-managed event
with an incredible history (celebrating its 50th running in 2010),
this year organizers and sponsors stepped up to increase the prize money and in
doing so have amassed a field of competitors unmatched in U.S. mountain running
history,‰Û said USATF‰Ûªs Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council Chairperson Nancy
Hobbs. ‰ÛÏHaving a single selection race is something new for our program
(typically there are 2-3 selection races for the team), and means the athletes
have just one opportunity to earn a spot on the team. This opportunity will
become a reality for 10 of America‰Ûªs best on
Saturday.‰Û

The course will test runners‰Ûª strength and
endurance for the entire 7.6 miles from the base of the Auto Road with an
unrelenting 12 percent grade to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington,
the highest peak in the White Mountains of New
Hampshire.

           
The course provides elevation gains which closely mirror those found in
Slovenia‰Ûªs uphill-only route. In Slovenia, the men will run 12 kilometers with
more than 4,300 feet of elevation gain, while the women will run 8.5 kilometers
with 3,370 feet of elevation gain.          

Among the top U.S. competitors on Saturday
will be men’s and women’s defending champions, Coloradoans Rickey Gates of Boulder, and Brandy Erholtz, of Bailey. Gates is
only the fifth man ever to break the one-hour barrier on Mt. Washington, having
won last year in 59 minutes 58 seconds. Erholtz is looking for her third
straight victory and has her sights set on chasing down the women’s course
record, 1:10:08, set in 1998 by Magdalena Thorsell of
Sweden. 

Gates, a four-time mountain running team
member, is closely matched with at least two familiar rivals, two-time Mt.
Washington champion Eric Blake, New
Britain, CT who has also been on the mountain team four times, as well as Joe Gray, Lakewood, WA, who finished
fourth here in 2008 and then third in 2009, just behind Gates and Blake. Gray
has represented the U.S. twice at Worlds and was last year‰Ûªs USA Mountain
Running Champion. They’ll be joined by two-time mountain team members (‰Ûª08, ‰Ûª09)
Matt Byrne, of Scranton, PA, who was
sixth in 2008 and fourth last year at Mt. Washington and Zac Freudenburg, St. Louis, MO, seventh
in 2008; Max King, Bend, OR, who won
the USA Half Marathon Trail Championships on June 13; Jeffrey Eggleston, Flagstaff, AZ, who
ran a 2:14:32 in his debut marathon this year in Phoenix; Malcolm Campbell, Marietta, GA, who won
the 2008 Hogpen Hillclimb in Georgia; Timothy Parr, Gunnison, CO, a
three-time mountain team member, and Ryan Hafer, Colorado Springs, CO, both
past winners of the Pikes Peak Ascent; Luke Watson, State College, PA, a 2:15
marathoner; 2005 mountain team member Kevin Tilton, North Conway, NH; Kristopher Houghton, Albuquerque, NM, a
sub-30 minute 10k runner and third at last year‰Ûªs team selection race in
Colorado. One of the newcomers attracting special attention is two-time U.S.
Mountain Running junior team member, 19-year-old Zach Rivers, Victor, NY, who will
attempt to break the oldest mark in the Mt. Washington books ‰ÛÒ the course record
for runners 19 and under, 1:09:18, set by Sean Livingston in 1987.

           
Among the top women are four-time mountain team members Laura Haefeli, Del Norte, CO, who
finished third at Mt. Washington in 2008 while setting the women’s masters
course record, and reigning U.S. Mountain Champion Christine Lundy, Sausalito, CA;
two-time U.S. Mountain Running team member Megan Kimmel, Silverton, CO; Alison Bryant, Elkin, NC, who finished
third in 2007, fifth in 2008 and fourth last year; Nicole Hunt, Deer Lodge, MT, who placed
second in her last Mt. Washington appearance (2007 to win the U.S. Championships
and earn a spot on the mountain running team) behind the Czech Republic‰Ûªs Anna
Pichrtova; three-time mountain team member Rachel Cuellar, Albuquerque, NM; Kristin Price, Raleigh, NC, who won the
2009 U.S. Women’s Trail 10k National Championship; Megan Lund, Basalt, CO, the women’s
course record-holder in the Aspen (CO) Mountain Uphill, a 2008 U.S. Olympic
marathon trials qualifier, and a member of last year‰Ûªs mountain running team; Gina Lucrezi, Southborough, MA, leader
in the USATF New England mountain running series; Amber Moran, a 1:17 half-marathoner
from Arden, NC; and Rachel
Cieslewicz
, Salt Lake City, UT.

           
FOR A
COMPLETE LIST OF ENTRANTS
, sortable by
name, by state, or by hometown, visit the Mt. Washington Road Race web site,
www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com, and click on
Lottery Results.  The site also
includes a photo gallery, a history of the race, results from previous years,
and other information.

The U.S.
Mountain Running Junior Team will be selected based on running resumes. For
details visit
www.usatf.org and
www.usmrt.com.

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