The US Mountain Running Team has selected their Junior Team Squad to represent the US in the Junior Men and Junior Women races as part of the World Mountain Running Championships in Casetta di Massa, Italy on September 14th.

The Junior Women see two returning team members while the Junior Men will have a whole new squad.

“I am excited at our prospects at Worlds, with two strong returning team members being complimented by some really talented additions.  We continue to appreciate the support of high school and collegiate level coaches, such as Rob Conner at Portland, Steve Taylor at Richmond, and Mark Wetmore at Colorado, who help to promote the team and supply top caliber runners.  We are fortunate they are able to see the value of providing an international racing experience to their student-athletes.” remarked Paul Kirsch, Team Manager of the US Junior Team.

The team includes:

Junior Women

2013 WMRC Junior Gold Medalist, Mandy Ortiz, of Eagle, Colorado, currently going into her sophomore year at the University of Colorado. Mandy was the US’s first ever Junior Team Gold Medalist in Poland last year.

Marisa Ruskan, 19, of Bridgewater, NJ, is going into her Sophomore year at the University of Richmond. In the 2013-14 season, she was the Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Rookie of the Year and a member of the All Conference Cross Country Team and NCAA All Region Team.  Most recently, Marisa was the highest finishing Junior athlete at the US Mountain Running Championships at the 2014 Loon Mountain Race.

2013 Junior Team member Tabor Scholl, 17, of Kremmling, Colorado. Tabor was a scoring member of the 2013 Silver Medal Junior Girls Team. Tabor is heading into her Senior year at West Grand High School in Kremmling and recently ran a 5:00 Mile at the Boulder, Colorado Pearl Street Mile, which took place at 1600 meters altitude.

Junior Men

Erik Armes, 17, of Coronado, CA, is going into his Senior Year at Coronado High School. Erik is a competitive triathlete who has PRs of 1:56 in the 800 meters, 4:13 at 1600 meters and a 15:53 5K Cross Country PR.

Peter Howe, 18, of Gilmanton Iron Works, NH is heading into his Freshman Year at Middlebury College in Vermont. Peter is an avid mountain and trail runner who was the 2011 Junior winner of the Cranmore Hill Climb and has a personal best of 4:03 in the 1500 meters and a 5K Cross Country best of 15:42.

Lucas Matison, 18, of Palo Alto, CA, is going into his Senior Year at Palo Alto High School. Lucas is an avid trail and mountain runner who also runs for Palo Alto. He has a Cross Country 5K PR of 16:08.

Jeff Thies, 19, of Huntington Beach, CA who is going into his Sophomore year at the University of Portland (Oregon). He was a member of the 2013 NACAC Cross Country squad and has a 5000 meter track PR of 14:22 and a 25:10 8K in Cross Country.

The team will be competing in Casette di Massa, Italy on September 14th.  To learn more about the World Championships, visit the WMRC2014 website.

The US Mountain Running Team can be followed online at any of the following places: