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RRCA Congratulates 2007 Roads Scholars Class

The RRCA Roads Scholar® selection for 2007 committee was chaired by Carl Sniffen and consisted of Don Kardong, Deena Kastor, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Dan Browne, Freddi Carlip, Phil Stewart, Bee McLeod, and Jean Knaack.

The RRCA is pleased to introduce and congratulate the 2007 Class of Roads Scholars® 


Nate has been running for as long as he can remember. So when asked, it is difficult for him to pinpoint the exact moment when he got into running. He became a competitive runner by joining the cross country team in junior high to get in shape for basketball. He missed qualifying for the varsity cross country team in 8th grade by one place. This was a pivotal moment as he realized he was a better runner then a basketball player, and he should put more effort into running so he could make the varsity cross country team. Jenkins is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts – Lowell where he ran on the men’s cross country team. In 2003, he earned first place in the NCAA Northeast Region Championship which was his forth straight win. He was also selected as the NCAA Northeast Region Runner of the Year in 2003. In 2006, Jenkins was the 3rd fastest American at the Freescale Austin Marathon and placed 7th overall with a time of 2:15:28 in his debut marathon. 


Steve is one of four children, born to Terry and Kathy Meinelt of Topsfield, MA. When asked how he got into running, he jokingly admits that he discovered it by accident thanks to a high school soccer coach who required his players to run cross-country and/or track in the off-season. That early talent blossomed throughout high school, college and now at the post-collegiate, professional level. Yet despite his athletic prowess and academic achievements, Steve has always kept family and friends at the forefront of his core personal values. When he’s not training or racing, Steve spends his downtime reading, writing and enjoying family and friends.  Meinelt began his collegiate career at the University of New Hampshire then transferred to Georgetown University where he graduated.  At 23, Steve is one of the youngest qualifiers for the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials, doing so under the A Standard. He placed 9th overall, 2nd American, at the 2007 Chevron Houston Marathon with a time of 2:18:15. It was his debut marathon. In April 2007, he finished 11th overall at Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and was 1st American with a time of 48:45.


Patrick grew up in Yarmouth, ME and began his competitive running at a young age for the local summer track club. He competed throughout high school and after graduating ran for Brown University in Providence, RI. Tarpy commented that running became enjoyable for the first time at Brown because of the atmosphere created by his teammates and his coach, John Gregorek. While at Brown, Tarpy was part of the team that won the university’s first Ivy League Heptagonal Championship in cross country in 2003. Tarpy won the 10,000 meters at the 2005 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. Tarpy recently represented the USA at the 2006 International Chiba Ekiden, held in Chiba, Japan. The USA men’s team placed third at the event. Tarpy is pursuing a graduate degree at Providence College in Rhode Island as he pursues his running career. 


Michelle is a native of Iowa City, Iowa, was a seven-time state champion for Iowa City High School, and the sixth-place finisher at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 1999, the fall of her senior year. She went on to attend the University of Wisconsin, where she earned All-Big Ten honors and recorded personal bests of 9:35 (3,000), 16:47 (5,000), and 35:53 (10,000). She graduated in the spring of 2005, with a double major in Communications and Spanish, and moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend graduate school at Drexel University. Lilienthal is working on a two-year master’s program in Higher Education Administration, and she works full-time as an assistant in Drexel’s sports information department. Lilienthal made her marathon debut in November, 2005, where she finished third at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2:49:22. It was her second marathon that really turned heads. She finished 16th overall and was the second U.S. finisher at the 2006 B.A.A. Boston Marathon with a time of 2:40:23. Later that year she ran 2:35:49 at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon placing 4th.* On January 14, 2007 she kicked off the year with a 3rd place finish at the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon, running a 1:12:46. 


In high school, Emily participated in multiple athletics from basketball to volleyball to track & field. After high school she spent a year playing college basketball at Dakota Wesleyan in Mitchell, SD. The following year she transferred to Adams State College in Alamosa, CO where she tried out for and earned a spot on the cross country team under the direction of Coach Damon Martin. Mortensen ended her collegiate career with 12 NCAA II All-American titles, three team National Cross Country Titles, and two individual track titles.  In her debut marathon, Mortensen was the 8th place female overall at the 2006 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon with a time of 2:39:59. She was 8th place in the 10K at 2006 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships as well.


Alicia is a graduate of Campbell County High School, annually one of the nation’s top programs under now-retired coach Orville Hess. Craig was a six-time track and field All-American and four-time all-state performer. She was a two-time Foot Locker cross country finalist, placing third in 1999, and she won the 2000 National Scholastic mile. Craig was one of the most dominant distance runners in the NCAA during her years at Stanford. She broke the collegiate record in the 10,000m in 2004 at the Cardinal Invitational. As a freshman in 2003, Craig broke the 21-year-old Stanford record in the 10,000 when she won the NCAA title.*  After recovering from an injury, Craig has spent the last two years working to translate her collegiate success into success on the roads. She is off to a good start. At the 30th Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run on May 12, 2007, which served as the USA 25 K National Championship, Craig was the 3rd place female overall with a time of 1:29:30. She was immediately followed by the 4th place finisher and fellow RRCA Roads Scholar, Michelle

Photo: Top row: Nate Jenkins, Steve Meinelt, Patrick Tarpy
Bottom row: Michelle Lilienthal, Emily Mortensen, Alicia Craig

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