The US Ultra Trail Team has podium in their sights for 2017 IAU Trail Championships

UPDATE: YiOu Wang has withdrawn from the team due to a scheduling conflict.  She will be replaced by Corrine Malcolm.

The USATF Mountain, Ultra Trail Council is proud to announce members of the US Ultra Trail Team scheduled to compete at the 2017 IAU/ITRA Trail Championships June 10, in Badia Prataglia, Italy. The US team of 6 women and 6 men will tackle the technical 50 km loop course through Riserva Statale Badia Prataglia along the mountainous Tuscany region of Italy, located Southwest of Bologna. A Strava segment for the race course can be found here. The top three US finishers will score for the team in each gender division.

This year marks the third year the event has been designated a “world championship” by the IAAF, and the second year the American team will receive partial funding from USA Track & Field.

This year’s team members come from seven states and range in age from 24 to 52. For the women, Megan Roche, Ladia Albertson-Junkans, YiOu Wang, Keely Henninger, Caitlin Smith, and Anita Ortiz. For the men, Cody Reed, Hayden Hawks, Andy Wacker, Mario Mendoza, David Roche and Tyler Sigl.

Comments from US Ultra Trail Team members:

YiOu Wang, 31, San Anselmo, CA :
“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to compete again at the World Championships as a member of Team USA. I look forward to spending time with my fellow trail runners from the US and having a strong day in the Italian hills.”

YiOu Wang at the 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile (Photo by Richard Bolt)

Ladia Albertson-Junkans, 31, Seattle, WA:
“Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity to represent our country, see new places, meet new people, and run my heart out with women from around the world. What an honor and privilege — thank you!”

Ladia Albertson-Junkans at the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships (Photo by Richard Bolt)

Keely Henninger, 24, Portland, OR, Nike:
“I am beyond honored to join such a stellar group of ladies and I am looking forward to challenging myself at the international level and helping team USA bring home some hardware!”

Keely Henninger (Photo by James Kao Photography)

Anita Ortiz, 52, Eagle, CO, Salomon:
“I am extremely honored to be chosen for Team USA to be competing at the 2017 IAU Trail Championships, June 10 in Badia Prataglia, Italy. It will be exciting to travel with the other US athletes and visit with the many friends from other countries that I’ve made over the years. The race looks to be a great challenge in a beautiful area.”

Anita Ortiz at the 2005 World Mountain Running Championships

Caitlin Smith, 36, Oakland, CA, Salomon:
“I am thrilled to be part of the team! I cannot wait to represent the US alongside some of the toughest and fastest trail ladies! Italy is one of my favorite countries and I can’t wait to take on their trails. Looks like I need to get my trail legs in gear for June!”

Caitlin Smith at the 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile (Photo by Richard Bolt)

Megan Roche, 26, Sunnyvale, CA, Hoka One One:
“Every time I put on a Team USA jersey, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. I can’t wait to race with my inspiring teammates in the Italian hills!”

David and Megan Roche at the 2014 World Mountain Running Championships (Photo by Richard Bolt)

Hayden Hawks, 26, St. George, UT, Hoka One One:
“I am very grateful to be selected to represent the USA this year at the IAU Trail Championships! I had many races to choose from, but chose to run this event because I love representing my country that offers me so many freedoms and also have a strong desire to win another team title and win an individual world championship as well, with those three letters on my chest! I love competing at the highest level of competition and believe the World Championship offers that opportunity.”

Hayden Hawks at the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships (Photo by Richard Bolt)

Mario Mendoza, 31, Bend, OR, Skechers:
“I believe our team this year is really hungry and excited to have another opportunity to perform well at the IAU Trail World Championships. This race gets more competitive every year, but I am confident that Team USA has the talent and heart to bring home a solid result.”

Mario Mendoza at the 2017 U.S. Snowshoe National Championships (Photo by Richard Bolt)

Cody Reed, 25, Flagstaff, AZ:
“Running in a Team USA jersey is something I have always dreamed of doing but I never thought that I’d actually have the opportunity to actually represent the US abroad at a world championship race. I am so honored to represent my country this year at the international and world championship level in the trail 50k.”

Cody Reed at the Tamalpa Headlands 50k (Photo by Tamalpa Headlands 50k)

David Roche, 28, Sunnyvale, CA, Hoka One One:
“I will never forget my first experience on Team USA, hearing the Italian crowd chanting “OO-SA” “OO-SA” as the US runners streamed by in the World Mountain Running Championships. It is an incredible honor to wear red, white, and blue in Italy again, where the people are amazing, the trails are beautiful, and the pasta is unlimited. US trail running is increasingly becoming a force on the international stage due to the efforts of all the runners and supporters that came before us. Hopefully we can have a fitting tribute to those path-blazers by racing with passion, speed, and most importantly, lots of smiles.”

Tyler Sigl, 31, Seymour, WI:
“I am thrilled and honored to once again have the opportunity to represent the USA at the trail world championships. I can’t wait for the experience of traversing the Italian terrain with some of the best trail runners in the world!”

Tyler Sigl at the 2016 Cayuga Trails 50 Mile (Photo by Richard Bolt)

Andy Wacker, 28, Boulder, CO, Adidas:
“I’m ecstatic to make my first IAU World Championship team! I know my years of experience playing Mario Kart, love of pasta, and knowledge of various types of classical architecture will come in handy in Italy. We have assembled an incredible team! It will be a wonderful experience to test America’s best 50kers against the world on such a beautiful backdrop: the Appenine mountains in Badia Prataglia!”

Andy Wacker at the Lake Padden Trail Half (Photo by Richard Bolt)

These athletes were selected to the team based on performances at the 2016 IAU Trail Championships; selection races at the 2016 Headlands 50K, 2016 North Face 50 Mile, and 2017 Chuckanut 50K, as well as resume submissions as outlined in the published selection criteria.  Over 20 talented trail runners submitted resumes for this years team.

US Ultra Trail Team staff members will be Richard Bolt and Jason Bryant. Jason is an avid mountain/trail runner, member of the USATF Mountain/Ultra/Trail Council and has been a team leader for previous IAU Trail and WMRA Long Distance events. Richard raced in three Olympic Trials in cross country skiing, is a two-time athlete on the US Mountain Running Team and has been a team staff member at 18 World Championship events. Jason and Richard will be posting team updates from Italy on Twitter at:

The following athletes won selection race earning automatic selection based on the published criteria but declined their spots: Max King (Chuckanut 50K), Zach Miller (TNF 50) and Magdalena Boulet (TNF 50).