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June 25, 2006

Low Victorious in Second Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Selection Race

LINCOLN, NH Paul Low outdistanced his nearest competitor by more than two minutes to win the inaugural Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln, NH on Saturday, June 24. The winner at Loon Mountain received an automatic berth on the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. However, Low, 32, Belchertown, MA earned his team spot at last week's Mount Washington Road Race (June 17) by finishing in the top three.
"The team spot at Loon does not go to the second-place finisher even if the winner is already on the team. The USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council now has the option of selecting two at-large spots, rather than just one. It will be up to the council whether that sixth spot will be filled," said Teva U.S. Mountain Team manager Rich Bolt.
With light rain on and off in the early morning leading to fog descending on the mountain, racers had the opportunity to run through the clouds twice, as two layers of fog blanketed the two peaks of Loon Ski area.

Low, 32, finished the 10 kilometer course in a time of 47:08, battling an average uphill grade of 10% with a half mile section reaching grades three times as steep as the Mount Washington Auto Road. Fellow New Englander Kevin Tilton, 24, Conway, NH bounced back from a disappointing 22nd place finish at Mount Washington to take second-place honors timed in 49:33. Tim Parr, 24, Flagstaff, AZ who finished ahead of Tilton at Mount Washington (in 14th position) settled for third while top master Andy Ames, 43, Boulder, CO finished in fourth.

"It was a fun course, I had a blast," remarked Low, looking remarkably fresh after tackling the North Summit of Loon Mountain.
Joining her husband on the championship podium was Kelli Lusk, 36, 18th place overall, who ran away from the women's field to finish nearly six minutes ahead of second-place female Sigrid Aas, 25, Conway. Top master was third-place finisher Dawn Heinrich, 44, Wolfeboro, NH.

The closest finish of the day was the battle for fifth place, where mountain and trail runner Ben Nephew of Mansfield, MA, edged out three-time Olympic Cross Country Ski Team member, Carl Swenson by just one second. "Carl would catch me on the uphills and I would pass him on the downhills," said Nephew. "On that last uphill section I was just able to stay in front of him."

Swenson was followed by co-race director and Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team junior manager Dave Dunham in seventh, David Hunt of Fryeburg, Maine in eighth, Tim Livingston of Conway, NH in ninth and Canadian Mountain running team member John Lofranco of Montreal in tenth.

In the Junior's race, 2005 Teva U.S. Junior Mountain Running Team Member Jon Horn of Chandler, AZ finished first in a time of 59:51 (16th overall). He was followed by Nathan Winebaum of Rye, NH in a time of 61:08 (19th overall). Winebaum was the top under-20 finisher at Mt. Washington.

On the Junior Women's side, 13 year old Haley Heinrich of Wolfeboro finished first in 85:08 (73rd overall).

The race also served as the USATF-New England Mountain Running Championships. Top spots in the open age divisions went to Low and Lusk. Dave Dunham was the top master, followed by Len Hall as the top finisher in the 50-59 age group, Peter Orni as the top finisher in the 60-69 age group, and John Parker as the top 70 and over champion. On the women's side, Dawn Heinrich was the USATF masters champion and daughter Haley was the under-20 champion. Lisa Doucett of Andover, MA was the top 50-59 champion.

The Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team will compete in the 22nd World Mountain Running Trophy race on September 10 in Bursa, Turkey. The final of three selection races will be held on July 9 in Vail, Colorado where the top male and top female finisher will be named to the team to join Low, Eric Blake, New Britain, CT, Laura Haefeli, Del Norte, CO, and newcomers Rickey Gates, Boulder, CO and Nicole Hunt, Deer Lodge, MT. An additional athlete for both the men's and women's squad will be selected by the 23-member USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council.

This year's Trophy races are uphill events (as opposed to odd-numbered years when the events are held on up/down courses) with the senior men running 12km, and the senior women running 8.5km. The women's team includes four athletes with the top three finishers scoring for the team. The top four finishers on the men's team will score. Team leader Richard Bolt, Portland, OR, junior team manager Dave Dunham, Bradford, MA, and women's team manager Ellen Miller, Vail, CO will accompany the team to Turkey.

Overall Results
Complete results available at 

1 Paul Low, 32 Belchertown, MA 47:08
2 Kevin Tilton, 24 Conway NH 49:33
3 Tim Parr, 24 Flagstaff, AZ 50:42
4 Andy Ames, 43 Boulder, CO 52:05 (first master)

Top Women
1 Kelli Lusk, 36 Belchertown, MA 1:00:46
2 Sigrid Aas, 25 Conway, NH 1:06:04
3 Dawn Heinrich, 44 Wolfeboro, NH 1:09:47 (first master)

For additional information visit the websites listed below:

USA Mountain Running Championships
Loon Mountain Race
Vail Mountain Trophy Race
World Mountain Running Association
USA Track & Field
World Mountain Trophy 2006
All American Trail Running Association
SportHill Clothing
180s performance gear
FuelBelt, Inc.


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