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RRCA Announces Grant Recipients

ARLINGTON, Va. – (July 8, 2011) – Since 1996, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has awarded grants totaling over $360,000 through the Roads Scholar® program.
The goal of the program is to assist American post-collegiate
runners who show great promise to develop into national and
world class road running athletes. The grants ($5000 per
athlete) awarded by the RRCA go directly to the athletes to help support
their goals of becoming world class distance runners. Deena Kastor (nee Drossin), the 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, was a 1997 grant recipient.

The RRCA introduces and congratulates the 2011-12 Class of Roads Scholars.

 

Tyler McCandless (Boulder, CO)
McCandless graduated from Northampton High School where he was a
District 11 Champion and record holder in the 3200 meter run
with a time of 9:13.01, as well as a PIAA State Medalist in
cross country and track and field. After graduating, McCandless
ran one year for the University of Maryland before
transferring to Penn State University. At Penn State, he flourished
under Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan, steadily progressing to a 29:15
personal best 10,000 meter and an All-American performance in
that event in the spring of 2010.

 

McCandless quickly showed
promise as a professional road racer with a 46:04 at the Utica
Boilermaker 15K, claiming top American honors. He was also the
top American finisher at the Buffalo Subaru Chase 4-Miler, and
he won the San Francisco Half-Marathon and set a course record
with a time of 1:05:02. In his debut marathon, McCandless finished 6th
at the 2010 California International Marathon in 2:17:22.

 

In 2011, he ran 1:05:38
at the USA Half-Marathon Championships and 45:17 at the USA 15K
Championships. He also won and broke the course record in
Denver, Colorado at the 2011 RRCA Colorado State Championships
10 mile in a time of 52:08 at 5,280ft elevation. He finished 8th overall
and top American at the 2011 Indianapolis Mini-Marathon with a
time of 1:05:09 and followed that with a 2:17:09 marathon
personal best at Grandma’s Marathon to finish 11th overall.
McCandless, 24, is coached by Brad Hudson and is sponsored by
Mizuno and Honey Milk.

 

“It is a great honor to
be chosen as a 2011 RRCA Roads Scholar, and I am very proud to
follow in the footsteps of many great athletes who have been
previously awarded this prestigious scholarship. I am very
thankful to the RRCA and all of the donors who make this award
possible. I’m very fortunate to have an amazing support system of family
and friends that make professional running not only possible,
but a dream come true.” – Tyler McCandless

 

Megan Duwell (Flagstaff, AZ)
Duwell is a 2005 graduate of West Bend West High School in West Bend,
Wisconsin, where she was class valedictorian and won Wisconsin
Division I state titles in the 800 meters as a sophomore and
junior. She ran for the University of Minnesota where she
graduated from the Carlson School of Management in May 2010.
Duwell finished her running career at the University of
Minnesota as a three-time All-American and a two-time Individual Big
Ten Conference champion. She steadily progressed and improved
throughout her collegiate career, leaving the University of
Minnesota as a school record holder in four events.

 

Duwell, 24, is currently a
member of Team USA Arizona, adidas-McMillan Elite located in
Flagstaff, Arizona. Since joining Team USA Arizona, Duwell has
achieved several top ten finishes including the USA 10K Championship
(7th), the USA Cross Country Championship (9th) and the Manchester
Road Race (10th). She was a member of the winning team at the
Club Cross Championship with fellow adidas-McMillan Elite
runners. Her 9th place individual finish at the USA Cross
Championships in San Diego to earn a spot to race at the NACAC
Cross Country Meet in Trinidad in February 2011. Duwell won
silver in the women’s 6K to lead Team USA women to the team gold medal.

 

“I couldn’t be more
honored to be a recipient of the 2011-12 Roads Scholar grant.
This grant will enable me to follow my dreams on
adidas-McMillan Elite and Team USA Arizona. It is grants such as these
that make it possible for developing professional runners to
fully focus on achieving their running goals as a career-
thanks for making that happen.” – Megan Duwell

 

Lex Williams (Hanover, NH)
Williams started running at a young age through the Hershey Track and
Field program, progressed through the Ann Arbor Track Club, and
ran for his middle school and high school cross country and
track teams in Dexter, MI. As a freshman at Dexter High School,
his cross country team made the first ever appearance as a
team at the Division 2 State Championship and placed sixth. In
his senior year in track, Williams won the state meet in the 2
mile, was runner-up in the mile, and was elected “Mr. Michigan
Track and Field” for the state of Michigan. Also as a senior he placed
third at the Nike Indoor Nationals in the mile and placed 4th at
the Nike Outdoor Nationals in the 2 mile in 8:56.

 

Williams attended the
University of Michigan where he trained under the guidance of
coach Ron Warhurst. While there he became a Big-Ten Champion,
All-American, Academic All-American and team captain. His collegiate
personal bests included 3:42.38 for 1500m, 4:01.72 for the mile,
7:55.59 for 3000m, 13:47.57 for 5000m and 28:34.28 for 10,000m.
At Michigan Williams met his current coach, Tim Broe, who was a
volunteer assistant for the team. Williams now trains with
Broe at In The Arena based in Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

Williams, 24, made his
professional road racing debut at the USA 8K Championships in
Carmel, Indiana, placing 8th overall. He followed that up a
week later with a 7th place finish at the Steamboat Classic in
Peoria, Illinois.

 

“I am very grateful for
my selection to the 2011 class of RRCA Roads Scholars. This
prestigious grant is extremely helpful in supporting young
post-collegiate runners like myself and will help immensely
while at the beginning of my professional career. I am truly humbled to
have been selected as a recipient, look forward to representing
the RRCA, and spreading the word about the opportunity you
have bestowed upon me as I continue to chase my dream.” – Lex
Williams

 

Meghan Armstrong Peyton (Richfield, MN)
Armstrong Peyton went to high school in Tualatin, Oregon, a suburb of
Portland, where she was a six-time State champion in the 1500m
and 3000m. She also competed in track and cross country at the
University of Iowa in Iowa City. Armstrong was a four-time All
American and was the 2008 Big Ten Champion in both the indoor
3000 meters and the outdoor 10,000 meters. She also holds the
Iowa school record in the 1500 meters of 4:17.41 and was a
two-time All American in the mile with a best of 4:40.59. Additional
collegiate achievements include a best of 33:28.00 in the 10,000
meters and a sixth place finish in the 10,000 at the 2008 NCAA
Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

 

After graduating in the
spring of 2008, Meghan was selected to be a member of the NACAC
Track & Field Under-23 Team, which competed in Mexico. At
NACAC, she finished first in the 10,000. She joined Team USA
Minnesota in September 2008. In 2009, Meghan competed at the USA Half
Marathon Championships, the USA Cross Country Championships, and
the USA 15K Championships. Her outdoor track season included
personal bests of 15:41.09 in the 5000m and 33:26.75 in the
10,000.

 

At the 2010 USA
Half-Marathon Championships, Meghan finished 11th with a
personal best of 1:13:56, and she won the ING Miami Half Marathon.
During the year she placed 4th in the USA 5K and 10 Mile
Championships and was a member of the Chiba Ekiden team. In
2011, Armstrong Peyton, 25, was 5th in the USA 15K
Championships.

 

“I want to extend a most
heart-felt thank you to the RRCA. To know that there are people
and groups like the RRCA out there to support me and other
athletes like myself is truly amazing. This grant will help me
to continue to strive to reach my dream of being one of our
nation’s best athletes. This support will also allow me to give back to
the running community by being my best every time I toe the
line, which will in turn, I hope, allow our entire sport to
advance…helping us all become stronger and faster.” – Meghan
Armstrong Peyton

 

Bobby Mack (Raleigh, NC)
Mack, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, currently lives and
trains in Raleigh. He attended North Carolina State University
where he ran cross country and track for Coach Rollie Geiger’s
Wolfpack. An all ACC and All-American Cross Country runner,
Mack set the pace for the Wolfpack leading the team to an ACC
title in 2004. After a couple seasons of injuries Mack returned
to top form and led the team to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in
2008.

 

Mack has continued
working with the NC State team as a volunteer coach. He
launched his professional running career by making the World
Cross Country Team and representing the USA in Poland at the 2010 World
Cross Country Championships.

 

The 2011 season saw him
drop his 10K time to 28:11 and earn his first national road
title at the USA 8K Championships in Carmel, Indiana. Other top
national finishes include top American and 5th overall in the
2011 Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston, South Carolina along with
a 7th place finish at the USA 10K Road National Championships at
the 2010 Peachtree Road Race 10K. Mack, 26, currently races and
works for a local running shop The Athlete’s Foot Cameron
Village in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

“It is very motivating to
receive the Roads Scholar grant. As I continue to train and
compete at the highest level possible, I want to thank the Road
Runners Club of America along with their donors for helping me
pursue my goals and staying active in my local running
community.” – Bobby Mack

 

Megan Hogan (Minneapolis, MN)
Hogan was a high school and college basketball star who left the
basketball team at Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass., to
transfer to George Washington University after her sophomore
year. It was at GW that she launched a collegiate running
career even though the school did not offer women’s track.

 

During her final year of
collegiate eligibility in 2010, Megan posted 32:34 in the
10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational, finished 6th in the
10,000 at the USA Outdoor Championships, was the Atlantic 10
Cross Country Conference Champion for the second year in a row, and
finished 8th overall at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. While
at GW, Megan received the Atlantic 10 women’s Cross Country
Performer of the Year Award as well as the Atlantic 10 Student
Athlete of the Year Award. Her coach named her one of the most
accomplished student-athletes in the history of GW athletics.
She was also a two-time All-American in cross country.

 

Megan, 23, made her
professional road racing debut at the 2011 USA 15K
Championships in March and finished third. On the track, she
posted a 40-second PR in the 5000m at the Mt. SAC Relays for a time
of 15:29.12. She joined Team USA Minnesota in 2011. She ran a
personal best 5K of 15:29 and came in 5th in the Freihofer’s
Run for Women.

 

“I am very excited and
honored to have received the Road Scholars grant, and I look
forward to successful performances in upcoming road races.” –
Megan Hogan

The RRCA Roads Scholar®
selection Committee for 2011 included Carl Sniffen (Chair),
Mike Morgan (former Roads Scholar recipient), Joan Benoit
Samuelson (Olympic gold medalist), Don Kardong (Olympian), Phil
Stewart, Bee McLeod, Brent Ayer and Jean Knaack.

 

For more information, go to: www.rrca.org

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