Bracy, Wacker, Colorado junior foursome tackle World Mountain Running Championships in Andorra


Colorado members comprised half of the sixteen Team USA spots at yesterday's (16-Sept) 34th World Mountain Running Championships held at Grand Valira ski area in Canillo, Andorra.

The senior men’s and women’s races featured a challenging mix of mountain roads, dirt single-track and steep ski slopes climbing 3300’ over 11.9 km to the summit of Andorra’s Grand Valira ski area. The juniors started further up the mountain running the last 7.3 km of the senior course to end at the same mountain-top finish. The junior race climbed 1800 feet; most of which came in the last 3 miles.

In the open women's race Addie Bracy of Longmont ran to a 20th place finish competing the 11.9 km climb in 1:13:16.  She was the second Team USA runner to cross the line.  The trio of Annie Bersagel (17th; 1:11:57; Olso, Norway), Bracy, and Allie McLaughlin (26th; 1:14:07; Nashville, TN) scored 63 points to place fifth in the team competition.

In the men's open race Andrew Wacker, like Bracy, was the second finisher for Team USA as he crossed the line in 26th place running 1:01:52.  Joseph Gray of Edmund, WA finished fourth in 57:08 to lead Team USA to a sixth place team finish.  Gray's training base is Colorado Springs.  The third Team USA scorer was David Fuentes of Texas in 32nd place running 1:02:40.  Matt Daniels of Boulder finished 44th in a time of 1:04:11.

The entire four-person Junior Women's Team USA squad was comprised of Coloradans.   Leading the team to a sixth place team finish was 16 year old Anna Shults of Longmont who finished 14th in a field of 57 finishers.  Her time was 47:15.  The 14th place finish was the best of all the Team USA athletes on the day.  She was followed across the line by Joslin Blair, 16, (18th place; 48:21; Eagle, CO), Quinn McConnell, 18, (25th place; 50:06; Erie, CO), and Soleil Gaylor, 18, (45th place; 54:35; Telluride, CO).

In the Junior Men's race David Cardenas, 18, of Clifton, CO finished 42nd running 44:53

Anna Shults (14th place) – “Today, my goal for the race was to run fearlessly. I really wanted to focus on staying mentally tough when it got difficult. I loved having all the U.S. fans out there screaming for me and being able to race with some of the best girls from Colorado was truly an amazing experience.”

Joslin Blair (18th place)  – “Running in this race was an amazing experience. The course was definitely the hardest one I’ve ever run and a great learning experience. The mountains of Andorra are absolutely stunning as well. It was such an honor to race for the US!”

quotes and information courtesy of American Trail Running Association

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