August 24, 2008
2008 USA 100 km Team Announced
USA Track and Field has named the 2008 USA 100Km Team which will compete in the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 100 Kilometer World Cup on Saturday, November 8 in Tarquinia, Italy. This year’s team includes some first time members and also seasoned team members. The following athletes will represent Team USA (in alphabetic order)
Greg Crowther, 35, Seattle, WA, finished eleventh at the 2007 World Cup 100Km in a personal-best time of 6:52:52, helping the U.S. men earn a bronze team medal – their first podium-worthy finish since 2000. He was also the 2007 USATF ultrarunner of the year on the strength of national-championship victories at 50Km (road) and 100K, (road). His previous race results include a 20th place at the 2005 World Cup 100Km and a win at the 2006 Sunmart 50-mile World Trail Challenge. "My first World Cup experience [in 2005] kind of rejuvenated my running career, and my second one [in 2007] provided perhaps the greatest moment of that career to date," Crowther said.
Adam Lint, 25, Seattle, WA, will be competing with the USA 100Km National team for the first time in Italy. Lint posted three top finishes at National Championship events in 2008 (third at the 50Km road in 3:14, third at the 100Km road in 7:19, and second at the 50 mile trail in 6:59). He has competed in marathons and ultras since 2001and has logged over 30,000 training miles, enabling him to gradually improve every year to finally reach an elite competitive level. Among Lint’s other accomplishments are a fourth place finish at the 2006 JFK 50 miler and competition of the 2007 Badwater 135 mile Ultramarathon, making him the youngest ever to complete that event. Lint completed his Graduate work in May 2008 and earned a Masters degree in Geography from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. When asked how he felt about representing the USA, Lint remarked, “My feelings on being named to represent my country at an international level are summed up in this phrase PURE ABSOLUTE BLISS.”
Howard Nippert, 43, Colorado Springs, CO, will compete on his 10th USA National Team (1993 World University Games, 1999-2003, 2005-2008 IAU World 100Km Cup). Howard’s goal had been to finish in the top-10, but following his fifth place finish in 2006 in Seoul, South Korea, he revised his goal saying, “Once you’ve been in the top five, just a top-10 finish is no longer acceptable.” Howard has seven top-15 finishes and four top-10 finishes and has been the top U.S. finisher in World Cup the past six years. He is a personal coach for runners of all ages and abilities. Nippert is a member of USATF’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council. No American athlete has raced more miles in a USA jersey than Howard (over 522 miles).
Chad Ricklefs, 41, Boulder, CO, has been competing in ultramarathons
at a national level since 1998 and reached an all-time high in his career in
2007, placing 17th overall at the 2007 IAU 100 Km World Cup. Chad’s time of 7:01
was a personal best and helped the U.S. team capture the bronze medal behind
Japan and Russia respectively. He is a former National 100Km Road Champion,
winning the 2002 USATF National Championships in 2002. In 2004 Ricklefs was the
National 50 Mile Road Champion and he also posted the fastest 50 Mile time of
the year – 5:24. Prior to competing on the road, he enjoyed success on the
trails, having won the prestigious Leadville Trail 100 Mile in 2000 and 2002.
Ricklefs has also been named the USATF Ultrarunner of the Year. When not
training or competing, Ricklefs is an Environmental Planner. He lives in Boulder
with his wife Samantha.
Steve Stowers, 42, Berkeley, CA, placed second in the 2008 USA 100Km National Championships at the Mad City 100Km in 7:14. Two months previously Stowers won the 2008 Jed Smith 50 mile with a PR of 5:39. Stowers competed in his first ultramarathon in 2003 after 16 years of competing in triathlons including eight finishes at the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon World Championship. “I’m honored and thrilled to be named to the 100Km national team. It’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to compete as a member of Team USA against the best 100Km runners in the world.” When not running, Stowers is a biomedical researcher at UC Berkeley.
Michael Wardian, 34, Arlington, VA, won the 2008 USA 100Km National Championships at Mad City 100Km in 6:56:57 where he earned his automatic qualifier. Wardian also won the 2008 USA 50Km Road Championships in March in a Championship Record of 2:55:05, was the 2008 USA 50 Mile Trial Champion with a victory at the White River 50 Miler in July of 2008 in the third fastest time ever on the course of 6:52:50, and second in the 2008 USA Trail Marathon Championships. Wardian also has competed in the last two Olympic Marathon Trials (2004, 2008). Wardian is excited to be a part of the USA 100K team and looking to help the USA bring home a Gold Medal from the event and seeking an individual Gold Medal also. When not running, Wardian is an International Ship Broker in Washington, DC, and lives in Arlington, VA, with his wife, Jennifer and their two-year-old son, Pierce, and their two dogs, Nikki and Maggie. “I am so excited to be selected to the USA 100Km World team and I am honored to be a member. I have been training for years to earn the right to wear a 'USA' singlet and now I have my opportunity and I will do all in my power to be worthy of that honor. I plan to run my guts out to help the USA bring home a 'Gold' medal from the event and I can't wait to get to Italy and compete.”
Devon Crosby-Helms, 26, San Francisco, CA will compete in her second World team. With just two years of ultrarunning experience she has posted impressive results both on roads and trails. In her first ultramarathon, she placed 7th in the 2006 National 50 Km Trail Championship. She won the 2007 Jed Smith 50 Km in 3:32, posting one of the fastest times for American women in the distance in the past 10 years. In 2007 she has also won the Napa Valley Marathon (RRCA National Championships), Quicksilver 50 Km and placed second in her 100 Km Debut at the Mad City 100 Km National Championships. In 2008, she followed up with victories at Chuckanut 50k, Leona Divide 50 miler and Vermont 100 miler, her 100 mile debut.
Meghan Arbogast, 47, Corvallis, OR will compete for the team for the first time. She comes from a background of road marathons where she has competed in the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Her ultra running accomplishments include 2 top-ten finishes in Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, three Master's Championship titles at Where's Waldo 100k as well as overall Champion last year. Last year she set course records at Where's Waldo 100k and the McKenzie River 50k. She followed this with a 3rd place Master's at Twin Cities Marathon National Master's Championship, and 2 months later set an age group record at California International Marathon (2:45). Meghan is a Massage Therapist and High School Cross Country coach, mother to 22 year old daughter Ruby, and married to Brian Arbogast.
Connie Gardner, 44, Medina, OH is a six-time team member. In 2006 she finished 23rd in 8:27:20 and in 2007 Connie finished in 18th place in 8:15:14. She won the 2006 Toronto 100Km National Championships, the USA National 100 Mile Trail Championships at Rocky Raccoon, the Umstead 100 Mile setting a new course record, the Laurel Highlands 70 Mile, and the Buckeye Trail 50Km. She won the Sunmart 50 Miler in 2005 timed in 7:16:27.
Kami Semick, 42, Bend, OR, excels on both road and trails, ranging in distances from the marathon to 100Km. She is the 2006 National 50Km Trail Champion, and a close runner-up to Nikki Kimball in the 2006 & 2005 50 Mile National Trail Championships. Semick has had many wins and course records during her ultra running career. Most recently she won the 2007 Miwok 100Km. Additional standout performances include a course record win of 6:13 at the Helen Klein 50 Mile, and a strong 50 mile trail finish at Sunmart 50 in a time of 6.42. This is Semick's third consecutive 100Km National Team. Last year she finished in eleventh position among the women with a 7:56:38. "It was the most painful experience of my life," Semick said initially then added, "Childbirth was maybe tougher, but it was shorter." Semick and her husband and six-year-old daughter live in Bend where they own and operate a small software company.
Carolyn Smith, 43, Milwaukee, WI, is a versatile ultra-distance runner competing at distances ranging from the marathon to the 24-hr run. She is the 2008 100Km National Champion and a former 24-hr National Champion. Smith has competed in the Olympic Marathon Trials and has represented the USA on both the 100Km and 24 hour National Teams. At the 2005 World 24 hour Championship she finished 11th and helped the U.S. women’s team secure the bronze medal. This will be Smith’s third time as a member of the 100Km National Team. Smith, a family practice and sports medicine physician, is also a member of the Executive Board of the American Ultrarunning Association.
Julie Udchachon, 38, North Pole, AK, will compete on her third World team this year. In 2006 she posted a 8:08:32 to finish 16th among the women and in 2007 she finished 16th again with a time of 8:14:04 . Udchachon is the 2007 National 100Km Champion running the event under very difficult conditions (cold and wind) in 8:09:04. She is the 2005 50Km National Trail Champion. She won the Seattle Last Chance 100Km in 2006 and was second at the JFK 50 Miler in 2005 running a time of 6:40:53. Founder of the Alaska Snowshoe Club, Udchachon was instrumental in bringing the National Snowshoe Championships to Alaska in 2004. Udchachon lives with her husband Jimmy and son Najim in North Pole.
Staff for this year’s squad includes team leader Lin Gentling of
Rochester, MN. Gentling has been 100Km Team leader 14 times and brings a wealth
of experience and enthusiasm to the team. She was a member of the 100 Km team in
1991 and 1992, as well as the 1991 100 Km national champion. In 2007 Gentling
won her age division at the USATF Masters Marathon Championships at Twin Cities
Marathon. Gentling has coached athletes for 16 years, helping over 800 runners
reach the marathon finish line.
On his second 100 Km team staff will be Mike Spinnler of Hagerstown, MD, who will serve as assistant team leader. Spinnler has been the race director of the JFK 50 Mile, America’s oldest, largest and most prestigious ultra marathon, since 1993. In addition to serving on two prior National Team staffs, Spinnler brings years of coaching experience to the table, having coached at the collegiate level from 1983-2001. He currently pursues a very successful competitive cycling interest.
Lion Caldwell has been named team physician. This will be Lion’s 13th time traveling as support staff to the U.S. 100 Km Team. He currently serves as Chief of Health Services at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center, Cape May, New Jersey. He is Board Certified in Family Practice with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine and has been a competitive ultra marathon runner since 1978.
The team receives limited funding and the athletes will pay for the majority of their trip to Italy out of their own pockets. Expense for team travel (airfare alone) last year totaled more than $15,000. The Fund for National Ultrarunning Teams, Inc., has been set up as the fundraising arm for the Team. Donations are welcome and encouraged. Send your donation made payable to: Fund for National Ultraunning Teams, PO Box 1807, Madison, WI 53701-1807.
2008 USATF 100 km Team Qualification Guidelines
May 8, 2007 - August
Team Announced: August 24, 2008