She Kept the Faith
Dalton Kuhar (Scottsville, VA) has traveled a tough road in the past year. After making a commitment to herself to train hard and to be the best runner she could be, she suffered a number of setbacks, none of which came as fault of her own. Despite missing a number of scheduled races and having weather, sickness, a vehicle accident, and a number of other factors that prevented her from competing, she continued to train consistently and relentlessly. At points she felt that she was not progressing, but she never backed down. It all came out in the wash last Saturday, November 8 at the VISL State Championships held at Woodberry Forrest High School where Dalton was crowned state champion. Dalton lead early in the race, with the field giving chase, but at one point she was sent off course and upon realizing she’d been steered wrong, had to backtrack and then work her way back into the lead. At the end of the race, a competitor attempted to pass Dalton, but she fought back, refusing to give up her spot as leader. She sprinted to the finish, in first place, claiming her first state championship.
She Brought Her “A” Game to Italy
On a day when the easy thing to do was fold up or back off, Devon Crosby-Helms (Seattle, WA) came to compete. While many athletes went out quite fast over the beginning kilometers of the IAU 100Km World Cup in Tarquinia, Italy, Devon went out with a plan. As the race developed, a number of the early leading competitors fell by the wayside, either consequences of the fast early pace or the tough course conditions. At just over half way through the race, the countries vying for the team title also began to take shape. Early on it appeared that Russia was dominant, with Italy, France, Japan, and the United States also appearing to pack the top positions with full team contingents. As the race farther progressed, the Russian women solidified their dominance with top positions while members of the Italian and French teams faded and dropped out of the race, leaving the battle for silver and bronze medal positions for the Japanese and Americans. With two Americans (Kami Semick and Meghan Arbogast) also having exceptional races, Devon found herself in a tangle of Japanese athletes, with the final position for the American women’s team dependent on her holding on for a strong finish. After the 3rd of 4 14 kilometer laps, Devon was told that the US women were in position for the silver medal IF she could hold her position and even pick up a position or two on the Japanese. In the final lap and final 7 kilometer stretch to the finish, despite being tired and beat up from over 40 miles of hard running on asphalt, Devon moved from 12th position to a 10th place overall finish in 8:01:50, a PR by nearly 6 minutes. The strong showing by the three American women was enough to put the silver team medal away by a large margin over the Japanese.
Congratulations to Devon (10th place), Meghan Arbogast (6th) and Kami Semick (2nd) on proudly representing the United States with a silver medal. Also, Mike Wardian placed 9th in the men’s race for a very strong showing. Great work.