Guest post written by US Youth Skyrunning Team Leader Ryan Kerrigan.
The following athletes and coaches will represent the United States at the 2018 Youth Skyrunning World Championships.
Tanson Chan – Millbrae, California
“I am really grateful and excited for this opportunity to represent our country and meet like-minded youth who are just as passionate about trails as I am.“
A couple of personal achievements include accidentally breaking multiple people’s glasses during soccer (something I still feel bad about), touring internationally with my choir, and not being able to flex my foot straight. I also can whistle for as long as I want.
John Henry Bardes – Waitsfield, Vermont
Result: 18:16 5k cross country at Maine XC Festival of Champions
“When in Rome run. And when competing for Team USA , be grateful for the opportunity and to the people who made it happen… and also try and win (I suppose that’s also an objective).”
“I have won two prestigious prizes to date (that I know of): A wooden spatula for best smoothie in a cooking class in elementary school, and the Harwood “Black and Gold Award” in 8th grade for being an exemplary student.”
Noah Campbell – Montpelier, Virginia
Result: 15:50 5k Cross Country at MileStat.com Invitational
“The 2018 Youth SkyRunning World Championships serves as opportunity for athletes from all walks of life, cultures, and nations to come together through a shared passion for running. I am humbled for this incredible opportunity to promote international camaraderie and competition and push myself to the limit at the top of the world while representing the United States on foreign soil.”
“My first exposure to competitive running was being chased around the barnyard by my malevolent pet rooster, Bucko, who hunted me mercilessly in my early years. I became an Eagle Scout at the age of 13. This school year, I have earned All-State Honors in Cross Country, as well as in the 3200M in Indoor Track. I have committed to the University of Richmond in distance running.”
Brendan Magill – Moretown, Vermont
“For me, representing the United States team is special because I can be an ambassador for American Skyrunning.”
Result: 16:58 5k cross country at Maine XC Festival of Champions
“I was runner-up in the 2017 Ski the East Freeride Tour, and this year I’m the principal clarinet in the Vermont All-State band. Achievements I’m proud of include hiking the Long Trail end-to-end in 2016 and winning the Big Air Award at the Jay Peak extreme skiing competition in 2017.”
Sophia Sanchez – Kings Beach, California
“Knowing that I will have the opportunity to compete against some of the most talented youth athletes from all over the globe has inspired me on a whole new level. I am beyond excited to continue working hard towards getting stronger and faster, and am thrilled to have the chance to share this experience with hard working runners such as myself from all across the country.”
Sophia currently holds the record for the Drifter Uphill time trial, which is one of the most brutal uphill running trails in California, as it takes place at nearly 7,000 feet elevation.
Erin Magill – Moretown, Vermont
Results: 2nd Place Vertical Kilometer 2017 Youth SkyRunning World Championships, 3rd place 15k 2017 Youth SkyRunning World Championships.
“I am looking forward to turning some heads with the other American youth SkyRunners. Coming back for our second year in this competition, I’m proud to be part of a stronger team that should be able to compete with the top SkyRunning teams from the other countries.”
Remington Hobson – Montrose, Michigan
“I have run a 5:13 1600m, 2:20 800m, and a 19:01 5k. A goofy nickname my cross country friends call me is Rem-Dawg. I am excited to accept the invitation to run in Italy!”
Seth Nolen – Manitou Springs, Colorado
“I have always wanted to go on a ‘racecation’ and being able to run for team USA, against international competition, in Italy is a cherry on top. I will run my best to make the states proud!”
Results: 4th and 3rd overall at the 2016 and 2017 Cheyenne mountain run, 9th overall at 2016 Barr Trail Mountain Race, 3:32 Pikes Peak Ascent time, and my pr half marathon is a 1:29 at the Disney World Marathon Weekend race.
Achievement- I was crowned the 2017 Manitou Springs Fruit Cake Toss King. I won by doing a series of throwing tasked (using a fruit cake) the overall best that day. I got to sit/ have my name painted on the “throne”.
Gordon Gianniny – Gunnison, Colorado
“I’m super excited to represent the USA at the Youth Skyrunning World Championships both for the chance to compete at an international event and for the opportunity it presents to further the sport. Youth Trail Running is a relatively unknown sport in the US, so it’s pretty awesome to be a part of an event like this that brings it into the spotlight a little more.”
Personal Best Times: .
Vertical Kilometer: 52:02
50km: 3:35:48 – Trail Marathon: 3:28:44 – 50mi: 7:42:13
Madison Hart – Gunnison, Colorado
“I love races that present challenges. I enjoy the process of training to succeed at the hard races. I would love the opportunity to be able to race hard for the US with other devoted athletes my age! “
- Ran 22:14 at the Javelina 100 Mile
- 7:22:30 at the 2017 Trail Rail Run 50 mile in St. Regis, Montana
- 4th female at the 2017 Crested Butte 55k
- 3rd overall female at the 2018 Zion 100k
Achievements/ Hobbies: Avid baker (bakes a mean loaf of Olive Bread) and am working on getting better at Gardening. My spirit animal is a fox (quiet, yet fiery!)
Naiya Budler – Manitou Springs, Colorado
“I am incredibly excited and honored to represent the U.S. in the Youth SkyRunning Championships. I can’t wait to race on an international level with people who love trail running as much as I do!”
- 1st place in age group in the 2016 Barr Trail Mountain Race (12.6 miles)
- 1st place in age group in both the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Winter Series (4 races, 37.4 miles)
- 1st place in age group in the 2016 Cheyenne Mountain Run (9.25 miles)
- 1st place in age group in the 2017 and 2018 Rescue Run (10k)
Fun fact: I lived in a school bus, a tent and a yurt before living in a house.
Mikey Connolly – Seward, Alaska
“I love to be in the mountains and I would love to run as a participant on the team. It would be an honor to run on the team. I don’t know what my life would be without mountain running.”
Results: Alyeska Climbathon, Alaska, First Place Overall, 12 laps of Mt Alyeska in ten hours, 26 miles, 22,000 feet of elevation gain. Twelfth place overall in the Alyeska Cirque Series Race, Alyeska, Alaska.
“My nickname is Spud and my fun fact is that my dog fought off a grizzly bear and saved my mom and my sister from being mauled last summer. I have done some dog sled races also!”
Jackie Dubnicka – Hartland, Wisconsin
”My goal for every sky race is simply not to pass out and fall off the mountain side! In all seriousness, I feel incredibly blessed to be representing my country, and I cannot wait to show the world what this Wisconsin girl is made of.”
Fun fact about myself: I am working on a research grant right now with my professor to study concussion reporting among club student athletes. The grant is in collaboration with the NCAA and the US Department of Defense. I am learning a lot about market research while also doing something that I love!
Naia Tower-Pierce – East Burke, Vermont
“Representing the USA at the 2018 SkyRunning Youth World Championships is an absolute honor. I love Europe’s mountains and terrain with all of my heart. There are no words to describe how excited I am to be representing the USA and to run in Italy as part of the SkyRunning team! I can’t wait to be around athletes who are dedicated to running and that love running mountains. I am eager to watch and run with other dedicated athletes.”
- Completed multiple 50k trail races
- Youngest Jay Peak 25k finisher
- XTERRA Trail Running World Championships division winner
- Hiked Camino de Santiago
- Crewed for UTMB, UTMR, and paced for VT100
- Among top finishers in national youth cybersecurity competition
Coach John Kerrigan – Duxbury, Vermont
“On a blue bird day as bald eagles soared over the mountains of Andorra. I watched our American youth runners run along the knife edge ridge of Mt. Coma Pedrosa from my vantage 1km below the ridge line. It was not until that exact moment that I understood the true meaning of SkyRunning.”
As runners persevered along the rocky summit. It looked like they were literally dropping out of the azure Andorran sky.
Observing our kids huge smiles at the finish, and later at the awards ceremony I watched as several of our Vermont/USA runners took the podium with the best runners from Italy, Spain and the native Andorran’s. All of our weeks of preparation,planning, and travel all seemed worth it!! I am very much looking forward to our return with double the number of enthusiastic young American runners”
Coach Ryan Kerrigan – Stowe, Vermont
“I am tremendously excited and humbled to be leading a unique canvas of wonderful young American runners whose talents outgrow their running shoes and also include nordic, biathlon and big mountain skiing, equestrian, paddling, choir and karaoke I’m told.
Skyrunning races are longer, more technical events compared to more traditional mountain and cross country courses which highlights different talents. As coach I feel these young athletes really got the sauce right!
More than great runners, these are great young people and I think they will relish the opportunity to learn while turning up the heat on their European competitors with a style all their own.”