The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) and USA Track & Field (USATF) are excited to announce the U.S. team members for the 15th Edition of the International U18 Mountain Running Cup in Saluzzo, Italy. Taking Place on June 26, eight 16 and 17 year old American athletes representing 4 states will tackle the technical 4.4km course through the town and into the foothills in the shadow of Monviso, the highest Mountain in Italy’s Piedmont Region.
This year’s team of athletes is a team with deep mountain roots, and great fitness to take the biggest stage in the sport of mountain running. This year’s team consists of 4 male and 4 female athletes representing West Virginia, Virginia, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
The women making up the team are: Victoria Rodriguez (Seven Valleys, PA), Alyssa Sauro (Williamstown, WV), Rosie Mucharsky-O’Boyle (Denver, CO), and Milaina Almonte (Edwards, CO). The men making up the team are: Garrett Stickley (Winchester, VA), Benjamin Anderson (Highlands Ranch, CO), William Wachter (Highlands Ranch, CO), Porter Middaugh (Avon, CO).
This year also represents two powerhouse high schools in Colorado; William Wachter and Benjamin Anderson both represent Mountain Vista High School as well as Porter Middaugh and Milaina Almonte who represent Battle Mountain High School.
The Ladies Team:
These ladies have a deep passion for the sport and have the talent to back up their appointment to Team USATF. From dominant performances in Cross Country to true speed and endurance on the track. They represent podium performances at Foot Locker, sub 5:00 clockings in the mile, and a number of sub 18:00 5K performers make this team something to watch in late June!
Victoria Rodriguez | Seven Valleys, PA
Victoria has been trail racing since 2016 traveling to Maryland and Pennsylvania to chase down fun courses. She boasts an 18:23 5K, 11:15 2 Mile and a 5:11 1600m. Victoria finished 2nd at this year’s Footlocker North East Regional freshman race in a field of 50 athletes. In her words about making Team USATF: “This opportunity is more than I could have asked for; to be able to represent my country. I’m looking forward to pushing myself and performing at my absolute best.”
Alyssa Sauro | Williamstown, WV
Alyssa is no stranger to hilly cross country courses and the hills of west Virginia. She has put those hills to use to propel her to a 6th place finish at the Foot Locker South Region Race as well as turning on the jets on the track. Alyssa has a 5K PR of 17:39, 1600m PR of 4:57, and an 800m PR of 2:18. In her words about making Team USATF: “I am extremely excited to represent Team USATF while competing in the sport I love. This seems like a great opportunity to meet new athletes from the United States as well as other countries! I am truly grateful for this experience.”
Rosie Mucharsky-O’Boyle | Denver, CO
Rosie has found her love for running covers the track, trails, and cross country courses all over Colorado. Living close to the Foothills of the rocky mountains allows her to train with her club team on trails on a weekly basis. Rosie has a5K PR of 17:37, 5:11 1600m PR, and an 800m PR of 2:17. In her words about making Team USATF: “I am beyond excited to represent team USA in Italy this year! I cannot wait to bring my best and leave it all on the course. This is a dream come true!”
Milaina Almonte (pictured top of page) | Edwards, CO
Living amidst the mountains of Colorado Milaina finds herself at home on the challenging terrain that she calls her backyard. Milaina is like her teammates on the U18 team – the track is where she trains in the spring as the trails begin to dry up from a long winter of snow. Milaina has a PR of 18:12 in the 5K, 5:10 in the Mile and 2:21 in the 800. In her words about making Team USATF: “Representing the US in Italy is an exciting challenge and honor. Trail running is always a rewarding experience, but trail racing in another country with talented teammates will be an incredible opportunity. I am really looking forward to seeing new places and meeting new people this summer.”
The Mens Team:
This is a team stacked with talent from Freshman state record holders, National High School Trail Championship runner-up, and a great deal of sub-16:00 5K runners. This team has some serious speed on the track with 3 of the boys clocking 2:01 800m efforts, and 3 sub 4:30 milers. If you’ve been keeping a close eye on that, Stickley last name of Garret Stickley, is the son of 2:18 marathon on Olympic Trials qualifier Mark Stickley. Mark represented the US Senior Men’s team four times in Cross Country. We’re not kidding when we say this team of boys has a lot of potential to be a podium contender in late June.
Garrett Stickley | Winchester, VA
Deep in the Shenandoah Valley you’ll find Garrett in the town of Winchester where he is coached by his father and Olympic Trials Qualifier Mark Stickley. Garrett is no stranger to tough terrain growing up on the mountains and trails of Appalachia. Garrett has a 5K Pr of 16:21 and an 800m best of 2:07. In his words about making Team USATF: “It excites me greatly to have such an amazing opportunity to become a better runner while traveling across the world to represent my country.”
Benjamin Anderson | Highlands Ranch, CO
Benjamin better known to his teammates as “Benji” is current Colorado Freshman 5K record holder, and has also taken his success to the track. He’s a teammate to William Wachter who will be joining him in Italy. Benji attends a High Altitude Camp every year and can be found conquering the 14,000 ft. peaks that are spread throughout Colorado. Benji boasts PR’s of 15:32 in the 5K, 4:18 in the mile and 2:01 in the 800. Benji on making Team USATF: “I am excited to represent the United States in Italy this summer. I know our country has great athletes and it’s a dream to run internationally with other athletes from around the world.”
William Wachter | Highlands Ranch, CO
William is the second athlete to come out of Mountain Vista High School, a teammate and training partner to Benji Anderson. Will is a dedicated runner who understand what it means to be a teammate and competitor. Under the tutelage of Coach Jonathan Dalby, Will has had great success including a win (above) at the Garmin RunningLane XC Championship Bronze Race. Will has a PR of 15:29 in the 5K, a 4:25 1600m and a 2:01 800m PR. Will on making Team USATF: “I am so blessed and thankful to have earned this opportunity. I’d love to be able to run for the glory of God and for my country, especially at such a big race like this! I feel well prepared to run against high level competition on a tough course. I’m looking forward to a lot of fun and memories in Italy!”
Porter Middaugh | Avon, CO
Porter has grown up in and around the mountains of Vail following in the footsteps of his older brother Sullivan and father Josiah who is a 15-time X-Terra National Champion. Porter has been a regular at the Vail Trail Series and Beaver Creek Snowshoe races since he was 6 years old. Training with the Battle Mountain XC team he’s on trails the majority of the fall season. Porter has a 15:26 5K PR , 4:26 1600m, and an 800m PR of 2:01. Porter Middaugh on making Team USATF: “Living in a trail running hot spot, it has been inspiring to see many of the US Mountain Running team members compete in the Vail Valley over the years. It will be a great honor to represent the USA in Italy this summer.”
U.S. Team Staff:
Lin Gentling is leading the U18 for the first time in Saluzzo, Italy. Lin has been an athlete member of two 100K national teams and a 100K national champion. She has led the U.S. 100K & 50K national teams in world championship events for several years. Lin brings a history of personal performance and experience on the international stage.
In leading the U18 team in Saluzzo: “Such an honor and privilege to work with this team of talented youth. Each has proven themselves as outstanding runners and excelled as athletes and students. We know this team will put forth their best effort as they compete against the best youth mountain runners in the world. There is no greater glory in sport than to represent your country in international competition.”
Andrew Simmons is also leading the U18 team for the first time in Saluzzo Italy. Andrew has coached 3 athletes to the team since 2017: Mary Fox, Colin Szuch, and Nate Schmitt. Andrew is the head coach of Peak Performance Running in Golden, Colorado. Andrew brings his experience as an endurance coach and youth coach to Team USA in Saluzzo, Italy.
Andrew on leading the U18 team in Saluzzo: “It’s exciting to lead the next wave of mountain runners as we return to international competition. It’s an honor and privilege to lead this talented team of student athletes. I’m excited to see what this team can do against the best in the world while representing your country on the biggest stage!”
Go Team USATF! Follow updates from the team in Italy on Twitter @USATF_MUT.