For the first time in the 12-year history of the WMRA International Youth Cup, the United States will field a complete squad for this mountain running competition designed to showcase athletes who are 16 and 17 years old.
This year’s race will be held in Gagliano del Capo, Italy, on Saturday, June 24. Details on the competition can be found on the event website. The course for boys will be 5.3 kilometers and include 340 meters of ascending and 220 meters of descending over terrain to include a short section on asphalt, with the majority of the route on gravel road, and scenic mountain paths. The girls will run 3.85 kilometers with 250 meters of ascent and 130 meters of descent.
Gagliano del Capo is located in the Salento region situated in the southeast of Italy. The Ciolo Canyon connects the small town of Gagliano del Capo to the sea. The area is comprised of olive groves, natural landscape and a diverse ecology. Views of the seascape are constant on the numerous pathways surrounding the town.
Team USA includes a full scoring team of three boys and three girls and will be accompanied and led by two staff members, Nancy Hobbs, Colorado Springs, CO, and Mark Weeks, Colorado Springs, CO.
Introducing Team USA – Girls:
Joslin Blair, 16, Eagle, CO, “Running internationally will be an amazing learning opportunity and a chance to compete with runners my age on a global scale. It’ll be an honor to represent my country.”
Mary Fox, 17, Golden, CO, “I’m honored to be racing alongside runners from so many different countries and cultures.”
Soleil Gaylord, 17, Telluride, CO, “I am thrilled to be a member of the Team USA Youth Cup Mountain Running Team and to work with my teammates to represent USA in Italy. I cherish the opportunity to travel to a spectacular Italian venue with wonderful coaches at my side. I am looking forward to racing with so many world-class athletes and to be able to share this life-changing and empowering experience.”
Introducing Team USA – Boys:
Jamison Cartwright, 17, Brighton, CO, “Representing USA is a dream come true! When I watched the 2016 Olympics, I couldn’t help but notice how cool it is for those athletes to represent their country with honor. Proudly, I wear the same colors and will do whatever it takes to represent my country. I will do whatever necessary to bring myself and my country to success.”
Nathan Davis, 17, Ubana, MD, “I am proud to represent the USA on a global stage. I have been dreaming of this since I first started running at age five. I found mountain running when I was 11 and this is my first opportunity to show the world what i can do. At the moment I am in the middle of track season, so I will need to fine tune with more hill training along with extra strength training.”
Tyler Scholl, 16, Kremmling, CO, “The moment I received the news that I was selected to represent the U.S.A in mountain running, was one I will forever cherish. All of my training up until this point was to prepare myself for this significant event. I am truly ecstatic to represent this great nation.”
Says Hobbs, “I’m more than excited about the prospects of this squad on the international stage. Having a full scoring team is a first for USA at this world championship event, and I have no doubt this group of mature and talented athletes will set the pace for a solid performance in Italy.”