2018 COLLEGIATE MOUNTAIN RUNNING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
For Immediate Release
July 8, 2018 Contact: Info@CollegiateRunning.org
Dalquist, Bracy win Collegiate Mountain Running National Titles
Record numbers for the Loon Mountain Race which served as both the U.S. and Collegiate championship race
July 8 - Lincoln, New Hampshire - The fifth Collegiate Mountain Running National Champions were crowned as part of the 2018 Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln, New Hampshire on July 8. The Loon Mountain Race also served as the U.S. Mountain Running Championships and was the only team selection race for the upcoming World Mountain Running Championships in Canillo, Andora on September 16. The top four men and women automatically qualified for the U.S. Mountain Running Team and the top three male and female college students split a $3,000 prize purse for their efforts, making the competition competitive in both races.
A record number of participants were on hand for the races as 75 college students from 16 states were registered in the Collegiate Running Association’s Mountain Running National Championships. With NCAA legislation (August 2013) permitting varsity NCAA DI athletes to accept prize money, the Collegiate Running Association provided $3,000 in prize money specifically reserved for college students who were enrolled in at least 1 college course at any level (undergraduate, graduate or post graduate) between January 1 and the day of the race. The 10.6K race included over 3,000 vertical feet of elevation gain. The final 1,000m ascent, fittingly called “Upper Walking Boss,” reached inclines in excess of 40%. Known in the running world as a race to put on your “bucket list,” competitors agreed that the Loon Mountain Race met every expectation.
Runners were greeted with blue skies and temperatures around 65 degree for the men’s 8:00am start. As a record number of runners toed the line, Austen Dalquist, an NCAA DI All-American for the University of Arkansas who has personal best of 4:00.66 in the mile and 13:50 for 5k, took the early lead among collegians. He settled into a quick early pace among a pack of the top U.S. and NACAC athletes. By the time he reached the infamous Upper Walking Boss, Dalquist was well ahead of the rest of the collegians. He crested to top of Loon Mountain in 55:07 to claim his first Collegiate Mountain Running title and the $750 first place prize.
In 2nd place for collegians was PhD student, Drew Best (UMASS). Best, who placed 5th in the 2016 collegiate championships, ran 57:57 to earn the $500 second place prize. Peter Butler (Western Washington University) and Johnny Hogue (University of Richmond) locked in battle for 3rd place, with Butler (58:44) distancing himself from Hogue (58:48) by a mere 4 seconds on Upper Walking Boss as they finished 3rd and 4th. Joe Simmons (Idaho State University), a member of the U.S. team for the NACAC Championships, rounded out the top 5 with a time of 59:38.
By the start of the women’s race temperatures were up to 71 degrees and slowly rising under the sun drenched skies, and as a result there was little hesitation among the field as the competitors attacked the course at a blistering pace early on. Addie Bracy (Hudson Elite/University of Colorado Denver), the defending 2016 and 2017 U.S. champion, quickly separated from the rest of the collegians in the field. She maintained a commanding lead among collegians and battled throughout the race with Allie McLaughlin (USA) and Citlali Cristian (Mexico) within the NACAC Championships portion of the event. Bracy went on the win the Collegiate Championship title running 1:00:26 finishing ahead of Amber Zimmerman (University of New Mexico - 1:04:30) and Kassandra Marin (SNHU - 1:08:11).
With personal best marks on the track of 9:53 (3KSC), 15:45 (5k), 32:37 (10k), 1:14:03 (1/2 marathon and 2:35 (marathon), it’s easy to see why Bracy is a force on the mountains and trails. Since transitioning off the track she has become a dominant force not just within the U.S., but also on the international scene. Bracy placed 7th in the recent 2018 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Czech Republic while leading the U.S. team. Last year she helped the U.S. team earn a silver medal with a sixth-place finish at the 2017 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy, just a week after her and her U.S. teammates won the team gold medal in the 2017 World Mountain Running Championships, also in Premana. Bracy lives in Longmont, Colo., where she trains with Hudson Elite and serves as the head cross country and assistant track & field coach at Erie High School. The former team captain at North Carolina is pursuing a master's in sport and performance psychology at the University of Denver.
Along with being named the fifth Collegiate Mountain Running National Champion, Bracy earned $750 for being the first college finisher, while Zimmerman claimed $500 for her second place effort and Marin claimed $250 for 3rd. Additionally, Bracy garnered an automatic spot on the U.S. Mountain Running Team for the 33rd World Mountain Running Championships. Rounding out the top 5 for women’s college students were Karley Rempel (University of Colorado/Canada), and Danielle Winslow (Boston College).
Collegiate Running Association Co-Founder, Steve Taylor, was ecstatic with the fifth running of the Collegiate Mountain Running Championships. “We are excited by the record number of collegiate athletes and overall participants who competed in the Loon Mountain Race. This is the 3rd year in the past five that the Loon Mountain Race has hosted our championship. It’s exciting to see two new champions crowned.”
“This race is not easy to describe in words because it’s so monumental. Chris, Paul and their staff put on a tremendous event which is reflected in the number of entries. Loon Mountain provides the same challenge to every person out there and that challenge helps make the event. The amazing views from the finish have to be earned by conquering The Boss. That last 1K is something everyone should experience if they consider themselves a runner. In its own unique way that climb gives you perspective on life.”
“The future of collegiate mountain running is extremely bright” said Taylor. “More students are looking for a new challenge and they are learning this discipline provides that challenge. It is pure head to head competition and the personal, private challenge you individually experience and face alone on a mountain like, Loon. We are looking forward to the future.”
CRA Co-Founder, Jon Molz reflected, “The CRA continues to be grateful for the support of all those associated with putting on the Loon Mountain Race. We had another great morning at Loon, with wonderful weather, competition, spectators, and organization. It’s a top notch event that continues to grow each year and we are proud to be part of that growth, having hosted our championships here three times. We were happy to see another collegian make the World Mountain Running Championship team (Addie Bracy) as well a great debut by our male winner, Austen Dalquist.”
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