For the first time in the history of US mountain running the team took home two team medals as the women's team repeated with a Gold medal performance and the women's junior team scored silver. In addition Laura Haefeli took home the first ever women's individual medal with her third place finish.
The day of racing over the 4KM course with 1000 feet of climb and descent commenced with the junior women. The field of 53 of the best mountain runners under the age of 20 sprinted out of the sport stadium in the mountain town of Ovronnaz. The Teva US team was led by Anna Lieb who took fourth place in 21:23 missing silver by just 17 seconds. The race was won by Lara Tamsett of Australia in 20:48. Maria Dalzot ran 21:48 to place eight. Kathryn Helmerick took 30th place in 23:45 in the field which featured runners from 22 countries. In the junior women's competition the top two runners score. The team took second place with 12 points. The field of 17 full teams was led by Australia with 4 points. The women were excited to be the first us junior team to medal. Dalzot was happy with her result and noted ^`I m looking forward to 2010, I want to come back on the senior women's team.
The second race of the day under brightening skies and rising temperatures (between low 60s to mid 70s) was the junior boys which consisted of the same 4K loop run twice. The team was led by Christian Thompson in 17th place, running 38:25. The top finisher was Geoffrey Kusuro (Uganda) who led the field of 76 runners representing 24 countries. Jonny Stevens was the second US finisher taking 44th in 41:19. Alex Jodidio was 59th in 43:06 and Zach Rivers took 63rd in 44:20. The team scored 120 points (three athletes score) to place 11th in the field of 16 complete teams.
The third race to be contested was the senior women's which also consisted of two laps of the 4K course. Laura Haefeli led the US team taking third in 41:19. Anna Pichrtova was the overall winner in 39:11. Christine Lundy finished 8th in 42:23 followed closely by Rachael Cuellar in 12th place in 42:40. Anita Ortiz finished 31st in 44:29 in the field of 86 runners representing 30 countries. The team bested 19 other full teams to take the Gold with 23 pints (three score) and for the second consecutive year beat the Czech Republic by one point.
The final race of the day was the senior men's, which featured three grueling laps of the 4k course with a total of 3000 feet climb and descent. 145 runners from 34 countries toed the line. Marco De Gasperi (Italy) a former world champion as both a junior and senior runner was again victorious and a crowd favorite as his Fan Club was out in full force. De Gasperi ran the three lops in an amazing 51:49. Six time world champion Jonathan Wyatt who was not competing while recovering from a recent injury called the course VERY TOUGH.
The Teva US team was led by by Payton Batliner who placed 25th in 56:13. Shiloh Mielke was 37th in 57:10. Rickey Gates and Clint Wells closed out the team scoring finishing in 57th and 58th respectively, both with 58:43. Simon Gutierrez was 65th in 59ö04 and Paul Low was 118th place in 1:04:36. The team placed 9th in the field of 25 complete teams.
Team Manager for Juniors
Teva US Mountain Running Team