Collegiate Running Association Mountain Championships Race Preview
Race will be held as part of the US Mountain Running Championships in Bend, Oregon
July 22, 2015 – Bend, OR - The Collegiate Running Association’s 2nd National Championship event in Mountain Running is taking place this Saturday, July 22, 2015, at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. The CRA Mountain Championships will be held in conjunction with the US Mountain Running Championships and will be open to both the general public and college students. Late registration numbers show that this championship will have more than double the amount of participants that competed in last year’s inaugural CRA Championship event. The race will award a $6,000 prize purse to the top five male and female college students, $10,000 in open-division prize money, and serve as the sole selection race for Team USA for the upcoming World Mountain Running Championships to be held in Wales on September 19.
Patrick Smyth (left) will look to defend his 2014 CRA Mountain Running Championships title. He will face stiff competition from 2015 CRA Trail Champion Joe Gray (right)
This year’s collegiate event will feature a superb elite field on both the men’s and women’s sides. Top entries in the men’s field include 2014 men’s CRA Mountain Running Champion, Patrick Smyth and 2014 US Mountain Running Champion and recent 2015 CRA Trail Running Champion, Joe Gray. Last year’s CRA Mountain Running Championship runner-up, Jordan Chavez, will also be racing just a week after helping Team USA earn a silver medal at the NACAC Championships in Mountain Running. The men will compete over 12k on a three-loop course, and the top six men overall will qualify to represent team USA at the upcoming World Mountain Running Championships.
A strong collegiate women’s field will also be headlined by two major names in the Mountain Running community this Saturday. 2014 CRA Mountain Running champion and 2012 World Mountain Running Championship bronze medalist Morgan Arritola will defend her title against Mandy Ortiz, who won the 2013 Junior World Mountain Running Championships and placed 3rd in the same race in 2014. This will be the first CRA National Championship for Ortiz. Other top challengers will likely be Amanda Lee, who was 5th at the 2014 GoPro Mountain Games 10k, and Corrine Malcom, an elite biathlete. The women will compete over 8k on a two-loop course, and the top four finishers will qualify to represent Team USA in the World Mountain Running Championships.
2014 CRA Mountain Running Champion Morgan Arritola is back in 2015
“The 2015 Mountain Running Championships might have the deepest and strongest elite fields of any CRA National Championships event to this point” said CRA co-founder Jon Molz. “The top two entries on both the men’s and women’s sides are not only prominent within the sport of Mountain Running in the USA, but on the international stage as well. These are national and in some cases world champions, and it’s even more impressive when you realize they are still pursuing education and taking courses on top of the necessary training to compete at that level.”
The 2015 Mountain Running Championships are slated to begin at 9:00am on Saturday with the women’s 8k championship race, followed by the men’s championship race at 10:00am. Follow the Collegiate Running Association on twitter for live updates and photos from the race.