Woelfel, 17, and Welsch, 12, take top honors at 15K race
Youth was served at the XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run last weekend, as two minors scored major wins.
Seventeen-year-old Ryan Woelfel was the overall winner of the 15-kilometer race, and 12-year-old Kaytlynn Welsch was the top female. More than 100 runners participated in the event, which was completed on April 20 at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet, Texas.
"The conditions on race day were nothing to complain about," Woelfel said. "It was cold in the morning before the race, but when it came time to race it reached perfect running weather with little wind and clear skies."
Woelfel, who is a junior at Stony Point High in Round Rock, Texas, completed the course in 1 hour, 2 minutes, 51 seconds. His godbrother, 14-year-old Nathan Rankin, placed second with a time of 1:05:29.
(Race photo courtesy Rodney Welsch)
"The other top leaders that I was going against at the beginning were my godfather and godbrother which played to my favor because I knew what who I was running against, but I always get nervous over the other runners at the start, because you can never tell who is gonna be able to run what," Woelfel said. "I separated myself from the other runners a little bit after the first couple miles and was able to increase the led after about mile 5."
Woelfel is a member of his school's track and cross country teams, and he has won several races in recent years. However, he described this win as his favorite so far.
"This was one of my favorite overall wins because I really enjoy running 'true' distance races and also enjoy trail running more," he said. "Putting the two together made it even more enjoyable."
Christopher Chancey placed third overall, and Greg Rankin was fourth. Greg Rankin is Nathan's father and Woelfel's godfather.
Welsch was an impressive fifth overall with a time of 1:09:55, and continued her amazing run in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. Welsch, who is in the seventh grade at Alvin Junior High in Alvin, Texas, has entered three races in the XTERRA Texas Series in 2013, and has been the first overall female at all three races.
Welsch said she completed the entire race without drinking water at any of the aid stations along the course. "She had a good learning experience," her father, Rodney, said. "She said there wasn't anyone handing water out at the tables, so I explained it is a trail run and you have to fill your cup up yourself or bring your own water with you. She understands that now."
Tracie Akerhielm was a close second in 1:10:14. She has placed second to Welsch at all three races in the Texas Series this year.
Heather Welsch, Kaytlynn's younger sister, placed sixth among females. At 10 years old, Heather was the youngest runner in the event.
The next race in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series will be the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run at Spicewood, Texas, on May 18. To register for a race in the Texas Series or to learn more about it, please visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
About the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 21 kilometers. The top runners in every age group will receive points after each race that will count toward the overall series standings. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Texas at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Texas is one of 17 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington.