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News and Notes, Volume 13, Number 2


1. Mack wins Edinburgh Cross Country
2. Two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Olson passes away at 33
3. Team USA announced for NACAC Cross Country Championships

Mack wins Bupa Edinburgh Cross Country
Bobby Mack led Team USA at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country race as he won the senior men’s 8 km race in a time of 24:27. Mack’s efforts lead Team USA’s senior men to win gold, while Team USA finished third overall in the International Team Challenge when all divisions were combined.

Mack edged out Ayad Lamdassam of Spain by one second for the win. Mack was followed by teammates Jake Riley in 7th place (24:50), Craig Forys in 8th place (24:56). Team USA swept 10th through 12th as Elliot Krause (25:05), Sean Quigley (25:07) and Jonathan Peterson (25:08) finished within three seconds of one another.

Fresh off of her win at the USA Club Cross Country Championships, Mattie Suver finished on the podium in the senior women’s 6 km as she finished third in 21:00. Full Team USA Senior Women’s results: 7th Ladia Albertson-Junkans (21:08); 11th Brianne Nelson (21:14); 16th Addie Bracy (21:33); 18th Meghan Peyton (21:38); 20th Jamie Cheever (21:41); 21st Stephanie Price (21:43); 24th Sarah Boyle (21:59); 29th McKenzie Melander (22:58).

In the Junior Men’s 6 km race, Craig Nowak led the way with a third place finish in 19:02. Full Team USA Junior Men’s results: 6th Estevan De La Rosa (19:19); 9th Ryan Roush (19:34); 11th Tony Smoragiewicz (19:36); 12th Jacob Thompson (19:37); 15th Jake Leingang (20:00).

Emily Stites finished 7th in the junior women’s race 4 km race in 14:08 as the top finisher for Team USA. Full Team USA Junior Women’s results: 12th Molly Seidel (14:35); 14th Sophie Chase (14:42); 15th Anna Holdiman (14:52); 16th Caroline Kellner (15:08); 17th Taylor Manett (15:13).

Team USA finished third in the overall standings with 201 points. Europe finished first with 154 points, while Great Britain was second with 175 points.

Two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Olson passes away at 33
Following a 15-year battle with a persistent brain tumor, NCAA Division III national champion and two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Johanna Olson died on Jan. 3 at the age of 33.

First diagnosed with the brain tumor in the fall of 1997 during her freshman year at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Olson endured three brain surgeries and multiple treatments of chemotherapy and radiation over the next 15 years. In that time she also experienced success as an elite marathon runner by qualifying for the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2004 and 2008 and running a personal best of 2:43:27 in 2003 when she placed seventh at the Twin Cities Marathon. Her career at Luther College included six conference championships and seven All-American honors. On the third anniversary of her first brain surgery, Olson won the 2000 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.

Olson was forced to undergo surgeries in July of 2009 and September of 2011. But a tumor was still detected in July of 2012.Weakened by her illness and surrounded by family and friends, Olson set out to “ralk” (a combination of running and walking) the Twin Cities Marathon in October. She completed the race in 5:09:54, which was well over two hours slower than her lifetime best.

Preceding the Twin Cities Marathon, Olson appeared in a feature story on and in Fast Forward, USATF’s quarterly member magazine, where she said, “running is my center. If I can run, then I always know things are going to be okay. Through all the hardships that I have had running is that one thing that has kept me going.”

Olson attended Wadena-Deer Creek (Minn.) High School where she was a six-time state qualifier and three-time runner-up at the state high school cross country championships. In the fall of 2011 she was inducted into the Luther College Hall of Fame.

Olson’s family has been maintaining a blog on the events, which also includes information on her struggles with the illness here.     

Team USA announced for NACAC Cross Country Championships
USA Track & Field announced the names of junior and senior men and women and coaches that will make up Team USA for the North American Central American and Caribbean Cross Country Championships scheduled for January 26 in Jamaica.

Selection for the team was based on performance at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships in December. The teams will be led by coaches Don Janicki and Devon Martin. A complete roster for each team is found below.

Junior Men - Arya Bahreini, Estevan De La Rosa, Andrew Gardner, Ryan Roush, Garret Zuk

Junior Women - Bobbie Burgess, Erin Finn, Samantha George, Meghan McGovern, Regan Mullen

Senior Men - Craig Forys, Matthew Forys, Phillip Reid, Joseph Moore, Zachary Ripley

Senior Women - Allison Morgan, Sarah Boyle, Katherine Mackey, Stephanie Price, Kara Lubieniecki

For more information on the meet and the selection process can be found here.

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