As those of you that follow the Spiders team know, York completed an excellent freshman campaign in June with his 7th place finish in the United States Track & Field (USATF) Junior (under 20) National 10K Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. During his freshman year he ran 31:28.32 in his first 10K on the track at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, VA on April 2nd… Later in the spring season he followed teammates Matt Llano (1st) and Tim Quinn (3rd) to place eighth in the 10K at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships with a PR of 31:26.91 on a hot day for Amherst, MA.
Thank you to Robert Stocks for the article below...
The Kamnick-Steiner Alps in Slovenia will be home to the
26th IAAF World Mountain Running Championships
on September 5th
Rearview Mirror: A Golden Opportunity
by Robert Stocks
The Winchester Star Assistant Sports Editor
August 18, 2010
Chris York heads back for the University of Richmond's preseason cross country camp this week, but before the rising sophomore puts on his team's red and blue colors, he will be wearing the red, white, and blue of Team USA.
York, a former state champion runner at Clarke County High School, has been selected to compete at the 2010 IAAF World Mountain Running Championships Sept. 5 in Kamnik, Slovenia.
"It's going to be my first time out of the country so I'm pretty excited," York said. "It's probably going to be the hardest race I'll ever run. I'm just going to try to soak it up because it's something that happens once in a lifetime."
York, 19, of White Post, will be the fourth Richmond runner to compete for USA in the World Championship event, which features athletes from 36 countries climbing 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) through the Alps.
To prepare for his sophomore season, York said he's been running 80 to 90 miles per week, and he's also been devoting some of his training sessions to running on more challenging terrain.
"The course is pretty rocky and uneven, so I've been going out on the Appalachian Trail," said York, who finished eighth (31:26) in the 10K at the Atlantic 10 Championships in Amherst, Mass., last spring. "I've been running the trail to just try to get used to uneven surfaces. It's not going to be [about] who's the fastest but who can run on the terrain and get comfortable out there."
The 26th World Mountain Running Championships would take most runners out of their comfort zone. Aside from climbing difficult terrain, runners must deal with the altitude of the Alps.
"[Chris] will be looking at an event that's all on dirt," said Richmond men's track and cross country coach Steve Taylor. "The trails that they use will be for ski slopes and for mountain biking. They tend to be very rough, and the terrain is steep with grades in excess of 20 percent.
"In places it will be a challenge to keep your legs moving. It's a 5-mile race, and it's unrelenting. It will climb the entire time and it will be at altitude. He'll top out at just under 7,000 feet in elevation. ... Anything over 3,000 feet you start noticing it."
Taylor said York made tremendous strides through his first year in the program, and his times helped him get the opportunity to represent his country next month.
York closed his stellar freshman season by finishing seventh in the 10K (32:41.43) at last month's U.S. Track & Field National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
"We're real happy to have Chris as part of our program," Taylor said. "He comes from Clarke County, and they've had a tremendously successful program. He had a great freshman year for us."
York said he plans to take about a month off from competition following the World Mountain Running Championships before making his debut for the Spiders at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh, Pa., Oct. 1.
But before that he plans on giving his best when he represents the U.S. in an international competition.
"The main goal is Team USA," York said. "We want to finish in medal contention - top three. There's four guys on the team and the top three score. We're all new to this, so we'll have to work together and hope for the best.
"I'm so excited to see the Alps and that part of the world. To wear a USA jersey over there - it's going to be great."
- Robert Stocks is the assistant sports editor at The Winchester Star