US Mountain Running Team - Senior Women

For immediate release - September 15, 2001
US Mountain Running Team - Senior Women
Arta Terme, Italy cloudy 55 degrees at start


The US Women's Mountain Running team posted an impressive ninth place finish
out of 22 teams to realize their best finish in the seven years of competing
at the World Mountain Running Trophy. The 8 Kilometer route climbed and
descended over rugged terrain including rock and leaf-strewn trails, grassy
footpaths winding through villages located near the start finish line in Arta
Terme,Italy (a small village about 2 hours north of Venice). Kari DiStefano,
42, Telluride, Colorado was first among the American women placing 21st. Her
time of 42:53 was well off the pace set by winner Melissa Moon, New Zealand
who finished in 38:02, but was the best finish for a US female runner at the
World Trophy competition. Originally an alternate on the team, DiStefano
stepped up to a team position when two of the original US team members -
Nikki Kimball, NY and Suzy West, VT - were unable to travel from the United
States. Wyoming's Julie Flynt Bryan was second for the Americans finishing
28th in a time of 43:53 followed closely by Danelle Ballengee, Dillon, Colorado
 who finished 31st in 44:33. Based on
their finish, the US women placed 9th among the 22 teams, just 2 points shy
of 8th position in the cross country-type scoring.
Shortly after the race, a beaming DiStefano enthused, "This was a fabulous
course, a bit technical in spots which is great for me. I passed about 5 or 6
women on the descent and was just out of reach of the group in front of me. I
was hoping for a top 20 finish as the race unfolded, but I am really pleased
with 21st and also with my time."
Bryan said, "I may have taken off a bit too hard and suffered a bit later
(she was ahead of DiStefano on much of the climb), but I'm happy with my
results. This was a great experience for me and I plan to refocus my training
to continue with the US Mountain Running program."
The junior men and women also competed today although the US did not field
runners in either category. Lea Vetsch, Switzerland won the junior women's 4K
race in 27:25 while Italian Stefano Scaini won the junior men's event in
34:21 (run over the same course as the senior women).
Tomorrow the 12K senior men's race and the open race will be held (open men
run 12K and open women run 8K). The US will field a full men's team, although
it is a different group than was originally scheduled to run due to two team
members Dave Dunham and Eric Morse unable to leave Boston's Logan Airport for
the trip to Italy. Dan Verrington, MA, winner of the US Mountain Running
Eastern selection race at New Ispwich, NH in May, will compete along with
Ryan Pauling, OR, Jeremy Wright, CO, and Brad Precosky, AK. Joining the four
original team members are Barney Griffith, AK and Jeff Adams, CA who were
traveling with the team and will round out the six-men squad.

In other news from the World Trophy events, the 2003 the Worlds will be held
in the US for the first time in its 19-year history. Alaska was awarded the
bid during the annual World Mountain Running Association congress meeting
held on Friday, September 14. In 2002 the World Trophy will be held in
Innsbruck, Austria on an uphill only course. (uphill only courses in
even-numbered years and up-down in odd-numbered years)
Report from Nancy Hobbs, USA Team Leader
trlrunner@aol.com