Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011 World Jr Mountain Running Championships (Day 5-RACE DAY)

A great day of racing for the U.S. Mountain Running Team at the
2011 IAAF World Mountain Running Championships...
Richmond Spider sophomore Ryan Lee (center above) led the U.S.
junior men's team with his 11th place overall finish
in the World Championship race.

Above: Lee joined Spider freshmen Clare Moretz
(who went on to place 30th in the JR women's race) and
Billy Fayette (who placed 28th in the JR men's race)  
for a photo prior to the races held on September 11, 2011 
under hot, dusty and dry conditions reaching into the 90's in Tirana, Albania.
(USMRT Photo)

Team USA Staff-
(R-L) Nancy Hobbs, Richard Bolt, Ellen Miller and Paul Kirsch
get ready for a busy day of racing where they would witness
two U.S. runners (Max King and Kasie Enman)
win World Championship titles
in the senior men and senior women's races!
(USMRT Photo)

The Spiders of Richmond made their presence known on September 11 at the 2011 IAAF World Mountain Running Championships (WMRC).  Sophomore Ryan Lee led the USA Junior Men's Team placing 11th over-all.  His performance is the 3rd best individual finish for the U.S. junior men in the 27th running of the WMRC. He was followed by Spider freshman Billy Fayette who finished 28th over-all helping the USA team to a 9 place team finish.

On the junior women's side the Spiders were also well represented.  Clare Moretz became the first female runner from Richmond to be named to the USA team.  She took advantage of the opportunity by using excellent closing speed to finish 30th in the junior women's race.

We couldn't be prouder of the efforts of these 3 student-athletes.  Both Lori and I believe this has been a tremendous opportunity and each of them took advantage of the experience.  It's my opinion, too often in our country we are inundated with information and stats and seldom do we pause to comprehend and understand achievements like this. Too often achievements at this level are not understood. So for a moment stop and think about what these three achieved in Albania. I believe it gains perspective.

Ryan (11th), Billy (28th) and Clare (30th) all finished in the top 30 in the WORLD. There are a lot of athletes in the World and a lot of people. Realize there were only 10 junior athletes in this World that finished in front of Ryan today. Again, it puts into perspective how well they raced after traveling to Europe, adjusting to countless circumstances (time zone changes, a foreign country, changes to nutrition, etc, etc.).  When you compete at the World Championship level you have to be ready to give your best effort, compete with confidence and adjust to things out of your control.  Athletes must be flexible to the circumstances they face. Given Billy and Clare are just beginning their freshman year and how they handled the pressure to perform for team USA, it’s an exciting achievement in our eyes.

Ryan and I talked about this World Championship race for the past year. He first had to put himself into position to earn a spot on the USA team. Through last track season he ran 14:33 for 5,000M and went on to perform well at the USATF Junior National Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Those achievements helped put him into position for his goal of making the USA Mountain Running Team. After he was selected he took advantage of the summer training. Most don’t know he missed several days of running due to a fall that required stitches in his knee. He worked through this accident and cross trained until given the all-clear from his doctor to return to running. He didn’t panic and pursued his goal of a top 20 finish with the passion it takes and the belief that is required. I know this sounds simple, but having a goal is one thing…Believing and pursuing that goal with pure, competitive passion and desire to achieve that goal is another. Ryan was determined in his approach, believed in our plan for his training and once he arrived in Albania he related his training to the course, seeing how he prepared which gave him confidence he could and would achieve his goal.

As coaches, Lori and I look at this as a victory. When an athlete sets a high goal and then relentlessly pursues it we get excited and although achieving the goal is important, we believe the path of discovery the athlete experiences in the pursuit of the goal is even more important. There is nothing more rewarding for an athlete than complete dedication to achieving a goal or goals. That complete dedication also provides an amazing classroom of learning that stays with you for a lifetime.

Well done Spiders! Well Done!!

Above is a video from Team Italy...Around the 4 and 6 minute marks you can see how steep the course was.

Here are a few quotes from each following their races:

RYAN LEE QUOTE following his 11th place finish at the World Championships leading the USA team:
"It was an amazing day...definitely one of the funnest races of my life. I fell 20 meters into the first single track downhill but I'm fine, just a little scratched up. I stayed in the top 15 the whole time and felt really strong the second lap which really helped. I definitely wish I had another year as a Junior (haha)...It was definitely really hot but they had water stations every 2K which really helped. There was so much dust on the course I couldn't see at times.  Thankfully those water stations were there so we could put water on our face to get the dust out of our eyes. It's an experience I will never forget."---Ryan Lee

CLARE MORETZ QUOTE after her 30th place finish...3rd USA team runner:
"The race was so amazing! I had a bad start and got caught behind a number of European's on the hill, but I caught up on the downhill. I actually sprained my ankle coming down the last hill trying to avoid a collision and I had to run the second half of the race hurting! It was still great and I sprinted fast at the end!"---Clare Moretz

BILLY FAYETTE QUOTE following his 28th place over-all finish...2nd USA team runner:
"It has been a hectic day. It was quite the privilege to run for the USA. The race was extremely interesting. I got out fairly hard place wise, maybe a bit to hard, but overall it was a good learning experience. The quick recap for me however is as follows: Out hard staying back of Ryan...sprained ankle on first half of first lap...got pushed on first downhill causing a fall and a drop of multiple places. Fell all the way back to 35th by early stages of 2nd lap. Moved back up to 26th on 2nd lap downhill...ending up in 28th. Crazy race. Great experience. Had a great day. I can't wait to get back to campus!"--Billy Fayette

"They were great. Ryan was in the zone and just did tremendously well. He ran his butt off and pushed it. I have such respect for him and his efforts. He was a well oiled machine out there...Clare has some amazing finishing speed. She ran out of course or she would have been another 5 or 6 spots higher. The girls got boxed in so it made it hard for them to pass on the single track. Clare is definitely green as a runner but wow, she has so much raw talent...Billy got banged up on the first lap, rolled his ankle and just totally gutted it out on the second lap. I could not have been prouder of his effort. He truly gave it his all and he was the 28th best mountain runner in the world in his first ever mountain race.

I am so proud of the way they ran.  As you can imagine, it was a pretty emotional day to witness the medal ceremony for World Champions, Kasie Enman and Max King...So glad they got to experience that too."---Paul Kirsh-USA Jr Team Leader

Clare Moretz next to the championships sign before the race. (USMRT Photo)

Junior men's and women's team members take a quick photo
prior to the race.
(L-R) Team members Krisztina Dearborn,
Billy Fayette, Clare Moretz, Ryan Lee, Lara Shegoski
and Oliver Bear Don't Walk IV. (USMRT Photo)

Junior men Oliver Bear Don't Walk, Billy Fayette and Ryan Lee.
(USMRT Photo)

(L-R) Team members Krisztina Dearborn, Lara Shegoski and Clare Moretz. (USMRT Photo)

(L-R) Team members Clare Moretz, Krisztina Dearborn
and Lara Shegoski. (USMRT Photo)

(L-R) Team members Krisztina Dearborn, Lara Shegoski
and Clare Moretz, . (USMRT Photo)

More of the Richmond Spiders in the start line area...
Billy, Clare and Ryan. (USMRT Photo)

Ryan Lee

Billy and Ryan would lead the U.S. team
with Ryan placing 11th  and Billy 28th in the
World Championship race for junior men. (USMRT Photo)

The "calm before the storm"!
Ryan Lee relaxes before stepping to the start line
to take on the World. 
Lee went on to finish 11th overall as the top U.S. junior finisher...
marking the 3rd best finish in history for a U.S. junior.
(USMRT Photo) 

Spider freshman Billy Fayette also relaxes before race.
Fayette went out hard with teammate Lee
positioning himself in the top 15 before taking a fall
on one of the steep downhills that reached 40% incline.
After the fall he would climb back to finish 28th in the race.
(USMRT Photo)

The junior women's race start.
Clare Moretz is seen on the right side of the photo (bib #340).
(USMRT Photo)

Moretz early in the race. (USMRT Photo)

Moretz and teammate Dearborn work for position.
(USMRT Photo)

Moretz tops the mountain near the 2500M point.
Shortly after this, on the downhill,
she would take a fall before regaining her footing
and finishing 30th in the race. (USMRT Photo)
Krisztina Dearborn finished 24th to lead the U.S. Junior Women
to an 11th place team finish. 
U.S. Jr Women Finishers:
Krisztina 24th 24:02,
Lara 29th, 24:34,
Clare 30th, 24:35
53 points=11th place team.

Clare Moretz closes fast to finish 30th.

Clare on her way to the finish of the
2011 World Jr Mountain Running Championships
where she finished 30th. (USMRT Photo)

The top of the mountain was flat for about 400M
before it took a serious drop over the side of the mountain
on steep, technical, single track trail. 
With temperatures climbing into the 90's during the races,
it provided for hot, dusty conditions.
(USMRT Photo) 
Ryan Lee and Billy Fayette at the start of the
2011 World Mountain Running Championships.
(USMRT Photo)

At 1.5k Ryan was in 7th place,
Billy was 12th place 
and Oliver was in the 50's.
(USMRT Photo) 
Lee coming down one of the steep, technical parts of the course.
Areas on the course reached 40% incline and 40% decline.
Notice his race number has been torn from a fall earlier
on the hill. (USMRT Photo)

By 3K the junior men had their fill of "Thrills and Spills" on the downhill
 Ryan held 15th place...Billy was in 25th...
and Oliver was in the 50s.

ABOVE:  On the 2nd lap Lee is shown running behind
a strong runner from Australia.
Lee would pull away from both of the runners shown here
defeating them by nearly 1 minute on the drop to the finish enroute
to his 11th place overall finish.
(USMRT Photo)

Lee is looking for a place to pass the Australian. (USMRT Photo)

By 6.5K Ryan had moved up to10th place...
Billy was in 25th...
and Oliver was 57th.

ABOVE: By the top of the mountain on the 2nd of 2 laps
Ryan Lee had found his groove for climbing
and was ready for a fast descent.
He finished 11th overall to lead the U.S. team
to a 9th place team finish. (USMRT Photo)
Ryan shows his speed as he sprints to the finish
of the 2011 World Jr Mountain Running Championships.

U.S.A. Jr Men's Results: Ryan 11th place in 39:15...
Billy 28th in 41:12...
Oliver 54th in 47:40...
Team Finish= 9th with 91 points.
(USMRT Photo)

After a great start with Ryan Lee...Spider freshman, Billy Fayette
used his high school mile speed (4:10) to close
the gap and finish 28th in the World Championship race
for junior men finishing as the 2nd U.S. runner. (USMRT Photo)

Oliver Bear Don't Walk was honored by his selection to carry
the American Flag during opening ceremonies...
Oliver is shown here on his 2nd lap and would finish in 54th place.
(USMRT Photo)

A British runner overcome with the heat
as temperatures climbed well into the 90's.
(USMRT Photo)

Yes...the race course was dry, dusty and hot
with temperatures reaching well into the 90's.
Just the way the U.S. team likes it.
(USMRT Photo)

A great photo showing part of the steep downhill
on the race course....
(USMRT Photo)

Another photo showing the steep, technical downhill
on the race course.
(USMRT Photo)

The senior men's race start...
In the center you see Ryan Woods and
Max King (with arm bands).

King would cross the line roughly 52 minutes
later in first place to be crowned
2011 World Mountain Running Champion.
(USMRT Photo) 

Ryan Woods on the downhill...
placed 49th among senior men.
(USMRT Photos)

USATF representative and team leader Nancy Hobbs
congratulates World Champion Kasie Enman on the Jumbotron. 
Enman and King swept the World Championships individual titles
for team U.S.A. on September 11, 2011.

MAx King provides and interview following his
World Championship run. (USMRT Photo)

Team USA athletes and staff relax at the awards ceremony
and excitedly await our National Anthem...twice. 
Once for Kasie Enman and again for Max King...
Both won World Championship tiles for the U.S. team.
(USMRT Photo)

Max King and Kasie Enman Crowned World Champions in Tirana, Albania
USMRT Article

 Tirana, Albania – September 11 – The USA set the bar at the 27th World Mountain Running Championships held today, September 11, in Tirana, Albania, showcased by the gold-medal performances of Huntingdon, Vermont’s Kasie Enman and Bend, Oregon’s Max King.


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