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RRCA Announces Special Grant Winners for Upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials

09/22/2015
Five U.S. Distance Training Centers and 12 Elite Athletes to be awarded $57,000 as they prepare for the 2016 Olympic Trials - marathon and track; also Team USA bonus money for Rio 2016 Olympic Marathon qualifying Arlington, VA - The RRCA has announced the recipients of one-time special grants to support U.S. Distance Training Centers and elite U.S. athletes as they prepare for competition heading into the Rio Olympic Games qualifying marathon that will be hosted in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, February 13, 2016. "�The RRCA adds to its proud 50-plus year tradition of athlete support by awarding these special grants to U.S. Distance Training Centers as well as to athletes that we believe will help support a broad range of Olympic hopefuls as they prepare for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials - Marathon,' said Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director. "�We look forward to the 2016 Trials as our athletes chase their Olympic dreams.' The RRCA will award five grants in the amount of $5000 each, for a total of $25,000, to the following U.S. Distance Training Centers that support U.S. athletes focusing on either the upcoming marathon trials or the 10,000m track trials. "� ZAP Fitness, Blowing Rock, NC "� Greenville Track Club-ELITE, Greenville, SC "� Team USA Minnesota, Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN "� HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite, Flagstaff, AZ "� Team Run Eugene, Eugene, OR In addition, the RRCA will also award grants to support the following 12 athletes that have qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon and have not previously competed at an Olympic Games. This special grant project is separate from its annual Roads Scholar grant program. Each grant winner will receive $2500 plus any Roads Scholar grantee from the 2014-15 class or earlier will also be awarded an additional $500. MEN = 6 "� Josphat Boit, Mammoth Lakes, CA "� Aaron Braun, Alamosa, CO "� Jeffrey Eggleston, Boulder, CO - also RRCA Roads Scholar 2010 "� Craig Leon, Eugene, OR "� Mike Morgan, Rochester Hills, MI - also RRCA Roads Scholar 2005 "� Sean Quigley, Lafayette, CO WOMEN = 6 "� Annie Bersagel, Victoria, MN "� Esther Erb, Lambertville, NJ - also RRCA Roads Scholar 2014 "� Lauren Kleppin, Flagstaff, AZ - also RRCA Roads Scholar 2012 "� Heather Lieberg, Helena, MT "� Wendy Thomas, Windsor, CO "� Rebecca Wade, Dallas, TX To round out the financial support for the project, the RRCA will also award a bonus to the male and female athletes that earn spots on Team USA for the 2016 Olympic Marathon. Since 1962, RRCA has provided financial support to elite runners, and in 1996, Montreal Olympic Marathoner Don Kardong was elected as RRCA president and through his leadership, the highly successful Roads Scholar® program was launched. The goal of the Roads Scholar program is to assist post-collegiate American runners who show great promise to develop into national and world class distance running athletes. In 1997, during the second year of the Roads Scholar grant program, the RRCA gave a grant to a young, promising distance runner by the name of Deena Drossin (Kastor) who later won the bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon. Go to www.rrca.org/programs/elite-support-project/ for more information.

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