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RRCA Congratulates 2008 Roads Scholars Class

ARLINGTON, Va. - (July 24, 2008) - Since 1996, the Road Runners Club of America has awarded grants totaling $250,000 through its Roads Scholar® program. The goal of the program is to assist American post-collegiate road runners who show great promise to develop into national and world class road running athletes. The grants awarded by the RRCA go directly to the athletes to help support their goals of becoming world class athletes.

The RRCA is pleased to introduce and congratulate the 2008 Class of Roads Scholars®:

JOSH MOEN

Josh Moen, who grew up in the small northeast Iowa town of Fairbank, figured out he liked to run when he ran the physical fitness test one mile run in 4th grade. He had the fastest time of 8:16.

“My dad always ran and I thought that was cool so I went out for track in junior high and continued through high school,” explained Moen. “I didn’t accomplish much in my prep career, but I decided to try running at the NCAA Division III level at Wartburg College where I graduated in 2005”.

While at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, Moen hit his stride and graduated as a ten time All-American and five-time national champion. Following college, Moen started his professional running career, which included several years with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. He participated in several national teams including the 2005-07 Chiba Ekiden. In 2008, Moen was 4th at the USA 10K Championship, 6th overall at the Steamboat Classic 4 Mile in Peoria, IL and 14th overall at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.

JONATHON PIERCE

Jonathon Pierce was first exposed to road races by his mother around the age of ten. Shortly thereafter he started to run in the events and realized he enjoyed them. He continued to play other sports in school but would do summer fun runs and local 5Ks to help prepare for the fall soccer season. From junior high to sophomore year in high school, he played other sports, but it became clear that his calling was running. He ran indoor track as a sophomore, and at that point, he gave up baseball, then soccer to compete in track year round.

While at Stanford, Pierce set a freshman record in the 3000m steeplechase, and later was All-American in the steeplechase. He was a member of the NCAA Championship team in Cross Country. In 2007-08, Pierce was 11th at the US Cross Country Championships and was a member of the U.S. team in Edinburgh, Scotland for the World Championships. He finished 3rd at the USATF Club Championships in December 2007. Pierce recently competed in the steeplechase at the recent Olympic Trials.

“The Roads Scholars grant means so much to me, because it will allow and encourage me to continue on this path as I strive to attain new successes and face the challenges of professional running while staying afloat financially,” explained Pierce. “I am really excited about getting involved in longer races and the professional road running scene and this will support that pursuit. Thanks very much for this honor. I know that it will help me a great deal in the coming year.”

BRETT GOTCHER

Brett Gotcher grew up in Watsonville, CA and began running in 8th grade when his school started a Cross Country program. He ran cross country to get in shape for basketball, but ended up winning a few races and fell in love with the sport.

“I had a great coach in high school who brought me along slowly so that I could really enjoy running and not overdo it,” explained Gotcher.

He continued his running at Stanford University where he had the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Switzerland and at the Pan-Am Championship in Barbados. There he came away with the gold medal in the 10,000 meters.

A recent highlight of Gotcher’s running career was competing in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Gotcher currently lives in Flagstaff, AZ with the McMillan Elite training group where he is working on taking his running to the next level.

“Being honored with the RRCA Roads Scholar grant is going to help me make that jump to the next level,” remarked Gotcher. “At this point in my running career, every bit of financial assistance can make a huge difference. With this grant, I will now be able to take the time necessary to train at the highest possible level.”

SALLY MEYERHOFF

Sally Meyerhoff started running when she was about eight or nine years old. She participated in a youth track club that offered a month long running program with an event at the end. In middle school, she participated in cross country and would grow to love running, eventually dropping swimming as a sport. Meyerhoff ran for Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix where she was a nine-time Arizona state champion. She is currently coaching part-time at her high school alma mater.

Meyerhoff ran track and cross country at Duke where she was a 3-time All-American. In 2008, she ran her debut marathon, the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix, finishing with a time of 2:42:47. This qualified her for the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials where she finished 20th with a personal record of 2:39:39.

“The RRCA Roads Scholar grant is something I have been hoping for, for a very long time,” explained Meyerhoff. “When I found out I was chosen it truly made my day, and I wanted to yell with excitement. I feel incredibly honored to be chosen as a recipient and I intend to represent the RRCA at the highest level possible.”

JULIA LUCAS

Julia Lucas began running as a freshman in high school more for the social aspects as opposed to the competitive aspects. She would go on to win six North Carolina state titles for Myers Park High School, as well as the 2002 National Scholastic Indoor Championship in the mile.

“To the delight of my poor father’s heart I finally acknowledged athletics, and joined the only team I know wouldn’t cut me,” explained Lucas. “Who would have thought the geek in the knee socks would wind up a jock?”

Lucas attended North Carolina State, where she was a five-time All-American and a three-time ACC champion. She represented the U.S. at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in 2003. In December 2007, Lucas joined Team Running USA based in Mammoth Lakes, CA. She was 9th at the 2008 USATF Cross Country Championships held in February, and she recently ran the Central Park Challenge 8K, finishing 10th with a time of 26:46.

“Due in part to the RRCA’s support I’ve got no excuses. The resources that elite athletes require are now available to me,” explained Lucas. “All I worry about now is running as fast as I can and being worthy of all this support.”

EMILY MCCABE

Emily McCabe, a Queensbury, NY, native began her competitive running career when she was in junior high on the Queensbury modified cross country team. Thanks to the enthusiasm and inspiration from Coach Nancy Micich, she realized that she had the potential to excel in the sport. Along with varsity cross country and track, McCabe also competed on the varsity alpine ski team. After culminating her high school running career by becoming a member of the All-New York State Cross Country Team, she decided to continue her running career at the Division I level by becoming a member of the cross country and track & field teams at Cornell University.

Emily’s college running career blossomed her senior year during outdoor track in the Spring of 2006 when she earned All-Ivy accolades in the Outdoor 10,000 and 5000 meters, was the Outdoor ECAC Track & Field Champion in the 3000 meters and was a finalist in the 5000 meters at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships. Due to a season-ending injury suffered during her senior year in cross country, Emily had a remaining season of cross country eligibility to use while pursuing a Master’s degree at Duke University’s Graduate School in the Fall of 2006. She had her most successful collegiate season while competing for the Blue Devils, culminating in her 14th place overall finish at the 2006 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships earning All-American honors. Under the tutelage of Coach Kevin Jermyn, Emily’s professional distance running career got off to a great start.

“I believe I have shown a lot of potential to be a great road racer, especially at the longer distances,” explained McCabe. “The Roads Scholar Program Grant will not only provide me with support to enhance my running career and hopefully qualify to compete at more international competitions, but it will also allow me to become an active and involved member of the running community.”

The RRCA Roads Scholar® selection Committee for 2008 included Carl Sniffen (Chair), Don Kardong, Deena Kastor, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Mike Morgan, Phil Stewart, Bea McLeod, Brent Ayer and Jean Knaack.

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