XTERRA Crowns Trail Running National Champions
Lake Tahoe, NV (September 29, 2007) -- In a snowy track and 40 degree weather, XTERRA runs by the rules of Mother Nature… but it's Drew Casselberry (22) of Incline Village, NV and Giovanna Mandy (29) of Truckee, CA that "Rule the Trail Running World". The speedy pair, along with other championship participants, qualified to run in the XTERRA National Championship after finishing at the top of their class in the XTERRA Trail Running Championship Series. Drew crossed the finish line in a time of 34 minutes and 38 seconds but was chased by Steve Baugh of Sylvania, OH - who came in a mere 5 seconds later with a time of 34:43. Kevin Tuck of Salt Lake City, UT followed suit to grab the bronze in a time of 37:43.
For the women, Giovanna was the queen of the event, crossing the finish line in 38 minutes and 31 seconds. For flying through the course she earned a roundtrip airfare from the West Coast to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines! Rachel Cieslewicz of Salt Lake City, UT was the next female to cross in a time of 40:45 and Michelle Racicot of San Diego, CA finished third in 46:46.
XTERRA NATIONAL CHAMPION TRAIL RUNNERS:
Listed By Age Group
Ethan Johnson 10 - 19 (M) Norris, TN
Drew Casseberry 20 - 29 (M) Incline Village, NV
Shane Van Cott 30 - 39 (M) Lehi, UT
Steve Baugh 40 - 49 (M) Sylvania, OH
Kevin Tuck 50 - 59 (M) Salt Lake City, UT
Michael Gonnerman 60+ (M) Sudbury, MA
Giovanna Mandy 20 - 29 (F) Truckee, CA
Robin Linfield 30 - 39 (F) O'Fallon, MO
Michelle Racicot 40 - 49 (F) San Diego, CA
Deb Schopp 50 - 59 (F) Ballwin, MO
The weekend of athletic competition at Incline Village was not solely for qualified athletes. Those who wanted to get active outdoors were invited to race in the XTERRA Nevada 5k or 10k Trail Running Race. In this open division, it was Neal Benson from Eugene, OR that won the 10k in a time of 34 minutes and 26 seconds. Second and third place men were only inches away; William Raitter and Jeff Huxhold, both of Reno, NV followed in times of 34:51 and 34:55 respectively.
Take note at the last names of the top two women, Sarah Raitter of Reno, NV proudly won the overall women's division in a time of 39 minutes and 53 seconds. Elise Benson of Eugene, OR followed, crossing the finish in 41:48. Shayla Swanson Bozeman, MT took third in 42:29.
It could not have been a more adventurous day for runners to get out in the majestic nature of Lake Tahoe - this adventurous 5k and 10k course had competitors ducking under and jumping over logs and wooden bridges while zigzagging on switchback trails.
BENEFICIARY: Here's the kicker… the proceeds from the XTERRA Trail Runs went benefit AYSO Incline Village; and $1,500 was raised for the organization!!
This Kid's Got Heart: A special applause goes out to Hunter Todd, 14 year old runner from Roseville, CA - who albeit bearing a serious heart condition, qualified to race in the 2007 XTERRA National Trail Running Championships and finished second in his age group in a time of 1 hour and 13 minutes. A freshman at Oakmont High School, Hunter has been running and competing for 7 years.
His achievements are extraordinary considering that he was born with a congenital condition known as the Tetralogy of Fallot; this condition consists of four distinct and serious malfunctions of the heart. Undergoing open-heart surgery at only nine months of age, followed by other related surgeries, Hunter's start in life was delicate, unpredictable, and filled with tests, medical specialists, and hospital stays.
While Hunter's heart is still closely monitored, as it must be for the rest of his life, he lives life with gusto: kayaking, biking, surfing, and-of course-running. He loves running with this dad, traveling to events and "hanging out XTERRA style". Win or show - Hunter is a champion who has achieved what many, even those with healthy hearts, have not done.
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