U.S. Team Prepares for 2008 NACAC Mountain Running Championships
Colorado Springs, CO — The Mexican Athletic Federation will host the fifth North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championship in Tepatitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, (located 50 km from Guadalajara) on Saturday, July 5. This uphill-only 13 kilometer event will act as a tune-up for NACAC teams in preparation for the World Mountain Running Trophy (WMRT) events to be held in Sierre Crans-Montana, Switzerland on September 14.
The U.S. hosted the NACAC event in 2004 and 2005, Mexico hosted in 2006, and Canada hosted in 2007. Team USA won the first two years, but didn’t compete in 2006. In 2007 Team USA was again victorious in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
“Jason Bryant has assembled a great group of athletes this year to represent the U.S. He will serve as both manager and athlete on the team. We are looking forward to the competition and hope to see the U.S. men and women bring home gold again,Û_åÂVbCrLf said USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council Chairperson Nancy Hobbs.
Bios of the 2008 team follow:
Kasie Enman, 28, Huntington, VT, is a member of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). She was the USATF New England Runner of the month for April 2008. At this year’s Mount Washington Road Race, she was runner-up to 2007 NACAC U.S. team member Brandy Erholtz. She was also a member of the open championship team at Mount Washington this year. Enman ran a PR of 2:37:14 to finish 11th at the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials. She won the 2007 Loon Mountain and Ascutney Mountain races in New England, setting a course record of 35:07 at Ascutney. In 2006, she was the U.S. Snowshoe National Champion. She twice represented the U.S. at Ras Nah Eireann International X-Country race in Ireland, placing third in 2005. She was a NCAA Division III All-American in cross country and is presently an elementary school teacher and High School x-country and track coach. Of the NACAC Championships Enman says, “I think we have a great team of women going, with three out of the top five from this month’s Mt. Washington Road Race making the trip. I’m looking forward to a strong U.S. showing and gaining some international mountain racing experience.Û_åÂVbCrLf
Carly Graytock, 29, Cambridge, MA, was a standout runner at Forest City Regional High School (Forest City, PA) and attended Bucknell University where she was All-Patriot League Cross Country: 1997-1999 and All-Regional (Mid-Atlantic): 1997, 1999. She finished fourth at this year’s Mount Washington Road Race and holds PRs of :35:41 (2004) for road 10 km, a :58:43 (2003) for 10 miles, a 1:16:42 for the half marathon, and 2:43:19 for the marathon (2006)
Alison Bryant, 28, Elkin, NC, finished in fifth place at this year’s Mount Washington Road Race. She ran for Notre Dame on the track and cross country teams. In 1998 she finished eighth at the NCAA 10,000m Championships timed in 34:32, at the same championships in 1999 she placed seventh. In 2001 she won the Colonial Half Marathon (Williamsburg, VA) in 1:17:34 and in 2006 set a PR for the marathon of 2:43:52 at the Twin Cities Marathon. She is employed as a physical therapist at Yadkin Valley Home Health in Jonesville, NC and is the owner/operation of On the Move Orthotics. “It is an honor to represent the U.S. at the NACAC Mountain Championships.Û_åÂVbCrLf
Jason Bryant, 35, Elkin, NC, is the 2008 Mount Mitchell winner and has impressive finishes at the USA 50 km Trail Championships and the USA Trail Marathon Championships in 2007. He owns Twin Oak Farms Nursery and is a log home builder. “Running hard, uphill, with good teammates – sounds like a fun day in Mexico. I know that we will give our best to represent U.S. mountain running.Û_åÂVbCrLf
Shiloh Mielke, 28, Weaverville, NC, was a member of the 2006 and 2007 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Teams. He has course records at the Shut In Ridge Trail Run. He is a sub 30 min 10 km runner with PRs of 14:35 for 5 km and 29:48 for 10 km. He won three two-mile NC state championships Û_åÂÌÜÒ97, Û_åÂÌÜÒ98, Û_åÂÌÜÒ99 and the mile state championship in Û_åÂÌÜÒ99. He was a scoring member in 2003 at Northern Arizona University cross country team which placed third in the NCAA. He attended Brevard College from 1999 to 2001 and Northern Arizona University from 2001 to 2004.
Aaron Saft, 29, Fletcher, NC, was the winner and set a course record at the 2007 USA Trail Marathon Championships timed in 2:30:53. He is a past winner of The Bear 5 Mile Mountain Run timed in 31:39 and placed first in course record time at the Springmaid Splash Extreme Trail 10 km in 38:29. He was on the 1999 NC State Cross Country team that finished third at the NCAA Championships. Saft was on four ACC Cross Country Championship teams and was an All-ACC performer. He was the first American at the 2005 Richmond Marathon. “As for expectations for NACAC, it’s hard to know what to expect when you don’t know your competition or what to expect from the course. I can only say I hope we (individually and as a team) are competitive and can bring home some hardware. I can only say I had a lot left in the tank after Mount Washington, so I’m looking forward to giving Cerro Gordo a good effort.Û_åÂVbCrLf
For additional information on the USA Mountain Running Program visit www.usmrt.com, www.trailrunner.com, and www.usatf.org.