COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Looking to capitalize on their medal-winning success of the last few years, the USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Executive Committee has selected some of the nation’s top junior cross country, track, mountain and trail runners to compete at the World Championships. Athletes from Alaska, Colorado, Utah, Texas and Virginia will be toeing the line for Team USA in September.
“Our program continues to grow each year with more and more student athletes applying for our team,” Noted Paul Kirsch, Team Manager of the Junior Mountain Running Team. “It is exciting to have the support of more and more coaches who really see the value in providing their athletes the chance to compete in a World Championship event.”
“The junior team has been an important development program for the US Mountain Running Team since 2002. After reviewing over 30 applications I’m confident this most recent crop of young runners is the strongest we’ve ever brought to the world championships. I’m excited to watch them race in Wales and think they have an excellent chance to win both team and individual medals.” said Richard Bolt, Team Leader for the US Mountain Running Team.
The teams will be competing on September 19th, in Snowdonia, North Wales at the 31st World Mountain Running Championships along with the senior men’s and women’s squads which were selected a week ago at the US Mountain Running Championships in Bend, Oregon. Unlike the men and women who compete in a qualifier race, the junior squads are selected by running resume and letters of recommendation, acknowledging the challenge of high school athletes’ ability to travel to a mountain running championship event. Juniors selected for the team must be between the ages of 16 and 19 of the competition year.
The world mountain running championships alternates between uphill only courses and up/down courses every other year. This year’s course in Wales is an up/down course with approximately 250 meters of elevation change per lap. The junior women will compete in a 4 kilometer single lap race, while the junior men will compete in an 8-kilometer two-lap event.
This year’s U.S. Junior Team includes:
Katie Bowe, 17, Midlothian, VA
Katie enters her senior year at Trinity Episcopal High School where she has been All State in both cross country and track the past three years. Bowe is a strong and powerful runner with an 18:44 5K Cross Country personal best and finished second overall at the Virginia Independent Schools Cross Country State Championships.
Lily Tomasula Martin, 16, Estes Park, CO
Lily was the Colorado 3A State Cross Country champion and 3200 meter track state champion with personal bests of 18:04 (5km XC) and 11:19 (3200m). Tomasula Martin attends Estes Park High School in Colorado and lives and trains at 9000 feet just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Allie Ostrander, 18, Kenai, AK
Allie was the 2014 Nike Cross Country Nationals Girls Champion and has a 5K cross country PR of 16:40. Ostrander has lots of mountain running experience, being a multi-time winner of the Junior Race at Mount Marathon in Alaska. In 2015, she broke the course record for women in the open race at Mount Marathon, finishing in second to mountain running star Emelie Forsberg. Ostrander enters her freshman year at Boise State in Idaho this fall.
Ben Butler, 18, Highland Ranch, CO
Ben will be a senior this fall at Skyview Academy High School and was the 2014 Colorado 3A Cross Country State Champion. He finished 14th at Junior Cross Country Nationals and has a personal best of 15:19 in the 5k and a 4:18 1600 meter track time at altitude.
Tayte Pollman, 18, Sandy, UT
Tayte enters his freshman year at University of Portland with extensive mountain running experience living in the mountains of Utah. Pollman has a 5K personal best of 16:09 and finished 6th overall as a junior at the 2014 Foothills 12K trail race, which has over 2600 feet of elevation gain. Pollman won the 2015 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase Race which is a 16 mile trail race with 3000 feet of elevation gain..
Levi Thomet, 18, Kodiak, AK
Levi is a three-time Alaska cross country state champion with a 14:43 5km personal best. He also holds the #7 all-time two mile time for a US high school runner with an 8:45. Thomet is also an accomplished hockey player and trail runner who looks to use his strength and speed in Wales on the two lap championship course.
Connor Wilson, 19, Fort Worth, TX
Connor enters his freshman year at the University of Portland this fall, with a 16:03 5K cross country personal best after four years competing for Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth. Wilson spends the summers training in Montana and this fall will be training side-by-side with fellow teammate Tayte Pollman at Portland as they prepare for the championship in Wales.
The juniors will join the men’s and women’s teams that include: Morgan Arritola (Ketchum, ID), Kasie Enman (Huntington, VT), Kimber Mattox (Eugene, OR), Allison Grace Morgan (Bend, OR), Andy Wacker (Boulder, CO), Joe Gray (Colorado Springs, CO), John Donovan (Incline Village, NV), Josh Eberly (Gunnison, CO), Andrew Benford (Flagstaff, AZ) and Ryan Bak (Bend, OR). Bak joined the team when Patrick Smyth (Santa Fe, NM) declined his spot due to work scheduling conflicts in September.
This is an official USATF team that receives partial funding for the trip to Wales. We encourage donations to help offset travel for our junior team members. Interested supporters can donate via our usmrt.com website (via PayPal), or send a check to the fundraising arm for the team, the American Trail Running Association, PO box 9454, Colorado Springs, CO 80932 and make a notation that the funds are for the US Junior Team.
To learn more about the US Mountain Running Team, you can follow them on social media at any of the following links: