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RRCA Congratulates 2010 Roads Scholars Class

Arlington, VA - Since 1996, the Road Runners Club of America has awarded grants totaling over $330,000 through the Roads Scholar® program. The goal of the program is to assist American post collegiate 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 runners.
The RRCA Roads Scholar® selection Committee for 2010 included Carl Sniffen (Chair), Mike Morgan (former Roads Scholar), Joan Benoit Samuelson (Olympian), Keith Brantley (Olympian), Don Kardong (Olympian), Phil Stewart, Bee McLeod, Brent Ayer, and Jean Knaack.

The RRCA is pleased to introduce and congratulate the 2010 Class of Roads Scholars.

Stephan Shay

Stephan Shay is the youngest of eight children.  He graduated from Central Lake High School in Michigan where he was four-time all-state selection, four-time conference champion and three-time regional champion. He captured the state Division IV individual title as a senior and broke the state Division IV Cross Country record with a time of 15:35.  He set twelve meet or course records and was named academic all state on three occasions.  He won every meet during his senior season.

Shay ran for two years at Michigan State, coached by Walt Drenth.  He transferred to Brigham Young University for his last two years of college under the coaching tutelage of Ed Eyestone.  Shay was all-region in track and Cross Country at Michigan State and BYU. He was conference champion at BYU in outdoor track for the 10k, was a four-time qualifier for cross-country nationals, and qualified his senior year of college for the outdoor track nationals.

In his first year out of college, Shay has proven his abilities in distance racing.  He was 10th overall at the Gate River Run, the USA 15K Championship, and 5th overall at the USA Half Marathon Championship hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon with a time of 1:02:26.  Shay is currently being coached by Magdalena Lewy-Boulet and advised by coach Joe Vigil.

“I am extremely grateful for this award.  The Road Runners Club of America provides an essential stepping-stone for many striving runners to continue pursuing their dreams.  I feel honored and privileged to have been selected to represent this great program.  I would like to thank family, friends, coaches, mentors, and sponsors such as the RRCA for making the transition to the next level possible!” – Stephan Shay

Lindsay Allen

Lindsay Allen competed in high school Cross Country and track and field at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, California. She then went on to run for Stanford University. She was a member of four Cross Country Pac-10 Championship title teams and Stanford’s 2007 Cross Country National Championship. She currently holds the Stanford school record in the 3,000m Steeplechase and is a two-time NCAA DI National Championship qualifier and All-American in that event.

Since her 2008 graduation, Allen has been a member of McMillan Elite, a post-collegiate running team based in Flagstaff, AZ and coached by Greg McMillan. Allen competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials as wells as the 2009 and 2010 USA Track and Field Championships in the Steeplechase. New to the roads, Allen finished 10th in the US 5k Road Championships in 2009 and had her 10k debut at the US 10k Road Championships that same year. Also in 2009, she represented the United States in the Chiba Ekiden Relay in Japan, helping the US earn 5th place.

“I can’t thank the RRCA enough for this grant. It truly is life changing for me, allowing me to cut my work hours and work towards my dream of full-time professional running.”  - Lindsay Allen

Patrick Smyth

Patrick Smyth was a Cross Country and track standout at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, UT where he was eight-time varsity letter winner in the two sports.  In 2005 he was the Utah Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year and Utah High School Athletic Association Track Athlete of the Year. He was nationally ranked in Cross Country and track during his senior season.

At Notre Dame University, he was a seven-time All-American - three times in cross country, three in outdoor, and one indoor.  During his collegiate career, he was the two time NCAA Great Lakes Regional Champion in Cross Country, the Big East 5000m Champion, and the two-time Big East Outdoor 10,000m Champion. He was a three-time qualifier for the NCAA Cross Country Championships finishing as high as 11th in 2008. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2009, he finished fourth in the 10,000 meters.
Patrick holds the Notre Dame record for the most sub-14 minute 5000m races (10), including five sub-13:50 performances. He is also the school record holder in the 10,000 with a time of 28:25.85.

At the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships, he finished seventh. In his road debut, Patrick finished fifth at the USA 10k Championships. At the USA Men’s 10 Mile Championship he was third. He placed second at the 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships and then second at the USA Cross Country Championships to become a member of the World Cross Country team.  Patrick joined Team USA Minnesota in July 2009.

Jill Swope

Jill (Steffens) Swope was born and raised in Illinois where she was an All-State runner for Moline High School.  Her senior year she was the starting point guard of an Elite Eight MHS basketball team.  But at 5’3 a basketball career was out of the question, and she accepted a track scholarship to the University of Georgia after being charmed by the south.  At UGA Jill was a four-year team captain, 10k school record holder, 3-time SEC Champion and 10k All-American.  It wasn’t until racing the 10k at Stanford her senior year with a 67 second PR in a time of 33:21 that she decided to train post-collegiately.  Jill signed with New Balance and raced the 10k in the 2008 Olympic trials and decided while in Track Town USA that her new dream had found her. She hesitantly entered the 2008 20k National Championship as it was scheduled just five days prior to her wedding day.  In her first race over 10k, Jill stole the 20k National Championship in a 3-way battle to the finish in 1:08:47.  This qualified her to represent the United States in Brazil at the 2008 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships where she finished 30th in her debut Half Marathon.  In 2009 she finished 12th in the 10k at the USA Track and Field Championships and went on that summer to place 6th, 8th, 8th and 11th in four US National Championship races ranging from 10k-20k. Jill intends to hit the roads this summer and travel the country chasing faster times and her dreams simultaneously.

“A truly unique organization, the RRCA devotes time and resources to promote American distance running at the elite level. Being a Road Scholar recipient will allow me to pursue my dreams in running, and that is the greatest gift imaginable.  I would like to thank the RRCA for this incredible award, New Balance for putting superior shoes on my feet, Powerbar for fueling my races and recovery, and my husband, family, and coach for their relentless support.”  -  Jill Swope

Jeffrey Eggleston

Jeffrey Eggleston was born in Greece, NY and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007. He ran four seasons for the Cavaliers. In his first race after college, he finished an encouraging 10th at the US 20K Championship in New Haven. He followed this performance up by running 1:04:58 for his first half-marathon at the 2008 US Championship in Houston. During a brief stint with a training group in Michigan, he finished 3rd at the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago. For his performances on the roads that fall, he was named New England Runner magazine’s 2008 New York Runner of the Year.

In January 2009, he returned to Houston and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials by running a personal best of 1:03:58. In the summer, he moved to Flagstaff, AZ to prepare for his first marathon under the tutelage of coach Jack Daniels. His Fall racing highlights included: winning his third consecutive title at the Rochester Run for Hospice, 3rd overall and top American at the B.A.A. ½ Marathon in 1:04:16 and setting a 5K road best of 14:11 at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. In January, he made a strong marathon debut of 2:14:32 at the P.F. Chang’s Rock’n’Roll AZ Marathon in Phoenix.

He continues to train autonomously in Flagstaff and represents Team and Brooks.

“I am both honored and extremely grateful to be selected by the Road Runners Club of America as a 2010 Roads Scholar. Thank you for your generous level of support and the added street cred! I would also like to thank those who have been faithful and supportive of my post-collegiate running endeavors: my family and friends, Coach Jack, the USATF Niagara Association, Caroline of Empire Athletics and my two awesome sponsors and Brooks Sports. I look forward to following in the footsteps of past accomplished recipients while trailblazing my own path to success. The RRCA does a phenomenal job in promoting our sport, and I am excited to help perpetuate your mission as I transition from a student of the sport to a leading US athlete.” – Jeffrey Eggleston


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