Team USA men win Silver at World Mountain Running Championships


Jim Estes
Associate Director of LDR and Marketing
USA Track & Field

Kamnik, Slovenia ---- The Team USA men tallied 71 points to win the team silver medal Sunday at the World Mountain Running Championships in Kamnik, Slovenia.

The men's race was held over a 12 kilometer course with more than 4,200 feet of vertical gain. The route started in a wide, grassy meadow and quickly merged into a paved and level roadway for the next kilometer. The terrain changed to a gravel road and started to climb. For the next 10.5 kilometers, the course varied from steep, rocky terrain through both forest and wide open spaces. There was one descent of 300' on this mostly uphill course.

Joel Gray led Team USA with a tenth-place finish, running 59:27 as Max King and Tommy Manning also scored top-20 finishes, taking 16th and 18th in 1:00:50 and 1:01:09 respectively. Eric Blake rounded out the scoring for Team USA in 27th position with a time of 1:02:04. Chris Lundstrom finished 59th overall in 1:04:34.

Samson Gashazghi of Eritrea won the individual title in 56:25 to lead his team to the gold medal.

In the women's race, Team USA was the first women's team to finish all four athletes over the 8.5 kilometer course. Led by Kristin Price in 12th-place in 53:19, Team USA took fourth in the team standings.

Brandy Erholtz finished in 15th position with a time of 53:57, with Nicole Hunt rounding out the scoring finish for Team USA in 17th position with a time of 54:08. Megan Lund finished in 21st position in 54:44.

Austria's Andrea Mayr won the race in 49:30. Italy won the women's team title with a score of 17, followed by Switzerland with 21 points, and Russia with 36 points. Team USA scored 44 to take the fourth team position.

In the junior women's 4.5 kilometer race, Hannah Valenzuela and Laura Beresford finished in 18th and 41st positions respectively which gave the U.S. junior women a 13th place finish among the 17 teams. Valenzuela was timed in 27:31, Beresford in 30:06, and Hannah Jumper in 36:27.

Turkey took the top-two individual places to score a team victory. Yasmine Can won the junior women's race with a time of 24:04.

The U.S. junior men all finished within one and a half minutes of one another led by Chase Caulkins, who finished in 27th place in 51:09 over the 8.5 km course. Cody Wells finished in 32nd position in 51:37, Chris York was timed in 51:57 for 37th position, while Paul Petersen finished in 52:40 for 41st place.

The junior men's race was won by Yossief T. Andemichael of Eritrea, in 42:30, more than three minutes ahead of the second place finisher Ridvan Bozkurt of Turkey, who led the Turkish team to a gold-medal finish. The Team USA junior men finished ninth out of 19 teams.

Full results available

Next year's World Mountain Running Championships will be held in Albania on September 11.