September 6, 2004
Teva U.S. Women's Mountain Running Team Win Bronze Medal at Worlds
SAUZE D'OULX, Italy - (Sept. 4-5, 2004)
- The Teva U.S. women's mountain running team, on Saturday, September 4, earned
a spot on the podium with their bronze medal team performance at the World
Mountain Running Trophy - the best U.S. team finish ever (men or women).
Led by Eagle, Colo. resident Anita Ortiz who finished a gutsy 11th place after straining her ligament in the early stage of the race which caused numbness in her foot most of the 8.4K uphill course (857 meters of climb). Ortiz's time of 53:03 was a few minutes out of the first place time of 50:27 by Italian Rosita Rosa, the 1999 world champion. Second for Team USA was Laura Haefeli, Del Norte, Colo. in 15th place with a time of 53:41. Third U.S. was Erica Larson, Los Alamos, N.M. in 24th place with a time of 55:23 giving Team USA a score of 50 points, just one point away from a silver medal (Austria had 49 points). The final U.S. team member Lisa Isom, Vail, Colo. finished in 31st position in 56:39. The gold medal team was Italy with 14 points.
On the junior side, the U.S. men and women's teams finished 17th and 9th respectively.
On Sunday, September 5, with a score of 102 points, the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team senior men finished a solid 8th out of 27 teams. All of the men finished in the top 1/3 of the field, a first for the U.S. men. Led by Simon Gutierrez, Taos, N.M., who finished in 17th place, the men were delighted with their results.
"It was great to look back and see the blue team jerseys of the U.S. men behind me. I kept pushing to the finish knowing that the team was all working just as hard. It was really a motivator for me," said Gutierrez at the finish line.
Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand - who last Sunday finished 21st in the Olympic Marathon! - inmpressively won his fourth men's world title in 48:47 over Tesfayouhanis Mesfin of Eritrea who ran 50:04. Like their female counterparts, Italy won the men's title (44 points).
Paul Low was the second American to score in 19th position, Eric Blake and Tim Parr rounded out the scoring for the team in 28th and 38th respectively.
The U.S. team score was equal to that of the 7th place team, but the final scoring member is counted to break the tie. The 6th place team had 101 points.
In the open race over the same senior men's 10.1K course, Tom Borschel, Idaho Falls, Idaho and Teva U.S. Junior Team Manager was the overall winner. The top U.S. woman was Teva team alternate Kelli Low who finished second to a talented New Zealand runner who also ran in the senior race on Saturday.
Mountain Running Trophy
Sauze d'Olux, Italy, September 4-5, 2004
WOMEN - 8.4K
1) Rosita Rota, ITA, 50:27
2) Anna Pichrtova, CZE, 50:37
3) Andrea Mayr, AUT, 50:52
11) Anita Ortiz, USA, 53:03
15) Laura Haefeli, USA, 53:41
24) Erica Larson, USA, 55:23
31) Lisa Isom, USA, 56:39
TEAM - WOMEN
1) Italy 14
2) Austria 49
3) USA 50
20 scoring teams
MEN - 10.1K
1) Jonathan Wyatt, NZL, 48:47
2) Tesfayouhanis Mesfin, ERI, 50:04
3) Raymond Fontaine, FRA, 50:26
17) Simon Gutierrez, USA, 52:53
19) Paul Low, USA, 53:06
28) Eric Blake, USA, 53:31
38) Timothy Parr, USA, 54:41
41) Matt Levassiur, USA, 54:49
47) Andy Ames, USA, 55:08
TEAM - MEN
1) Italy 44
2) Eritrea 66
3) Switzerland 75
4) England 82
5) Germany 87
6) France 101
7) Austria 102
8) USA 102
27 scoring teams