Four up-and-coming U.S. distance runners receive $5,000 each in financial support from RRCA
Arlington, VA – The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) congratulates its 26th Roads Scholar® class of Aaron Albert, Aidan Reed, Tristin Van Ord, and Joshua Yeager.
Since 1996, the RRCA has awarded $745,500 in grants that support aspiring professional U.S. runners. The goal of the program is to assist American post-collegiate runners who show great promise to develop into national and world class professional runners. The RRCA has provide grants to 144 athletes, including those selected in 2021 (73 women and 71 men). The grants awarded by the RRCA go directly to the athletes to help support their goals and training needs.
Aaron Albert (Baton Rouge, LA): Aaron began running in the 11th grade for Baker High School in Baker, Louisiana. Despite this relatively late start, he qualified for Junior Nationals and decided to run competitively in college. He walked-on at Mississippi Valley State University before transferring to the University of New Orleans. By the end of his college career, Aaron held school records in the 5K and 10K. After college, he transitioned to the roads and has steadily progressed each year by setting personal bests of 14:20 in the 5K; 30:35 in the 10k; 50:13 in the 10 mile; and 1:07:28 in the half marathon. Aaron’s personal best in the half marathon came at the 2021 RRCA Southern Region Championship, the Houston Half Marathon, where he took first overall. Aaron is currently representing RRCA member the Cajun Road Runner Club while being coached by Brock Moreaux.
Aidan Reed (Boulder, CO) Aidan was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Helena, Montana. He began to focus seriously on running in high school, competing in Cross Country and Track. He won the 2014 AA Montana State Cross Country Championship. Aidan’s success continued in college where he competed for Southern Utah University, winning two Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field 10,000m titles and helping the SUU team finish 9th at the 2020 D1 NCAA Cross Country Championships. After graduation, Aidan attended the RRCA’s 2021 RunPro Camp and joined the Roots Running Project in Boulder, CO. As a post-collegiate runner, he has won the 2021 Colleen De Reuck XC Classic, helped the Roots team finish 4th at the 2021 Michigan Pro Ekiden, and finished 11th at the 2021 USATF Club Cross Country Championships.
Tristin Van Ord (Blowing Rock, NC): Tristin Van Ord is a member of the On Zap Endurance team based in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. She was born and raised in North Carolina and attended Appalachian State University where she graduated with a degree in Sustainable Development. During her time in college, Tristin was a nine-time Sun Belt Conference Champion in various track events, and she set the school record in the indoor 5000 meters and the outdoor 10,000 meters. After graduating, Tristin ran her first marathon in 2019 and qualified for the 2020 Olympic marathon trials. While at Zap, Tristin has earned personal bests in the marathon, running a 2:32 at the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon, and 1:12 in the US half marathon championships.
Joshua Yeager (Minneapolis, MN): Josh began his running career in middle school at Center Point-Urbana Schools in Iowa. He quickly found a love for the sport. While in high school, he set school records in the 1600m, 3200m, and Cross Country 5,000m. Josh attended Drake University for his undergraduate studies. At Drake, he won the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Outdoor 5K in 2018 and was awarded the MVC Elite 17 award at the same meet. With NCAA eligibility remaining, Josh enrolled at South Dakota State University to compete while pursuing a graduate degree. At South Dakota State, he ran the South Dakota Soil record for the 3,000m, broke the school record in the 5,000m, won the 2021 Drake Relays University Division 3,000m steeplechase, was named Summit League Outdoor Track and Field MVP, and qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round. After finishing his graduate studies, Josh attended the 2021 RunPro Camp and moved to Minneapolis, MN to join Minnesota Distance Elite (MDE). Josh has represented MDE at the U.S. Championships 5K, hosted by the Abbott Dash in New York City, and at the Michigan Pro Ekiden.