Mike Potter Staff Writer
Bailey mountain runner Brandy Erholtz was named the final member of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team on Aug. 2.
She will join her teammates on Sept. 6 at the 25th World Mountain Running Championships held in Campodolcino in northern Italy.
According to Nancy Hobbs, manager of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team, Erholtz was one of three women considered for the at-large spot on the four-person women's team.
Erholtz was the fastest American finisher in last year's World Mountain Running Championship race.
This year's races are held on an up-and-down loop course. Men in the senior division will run approximately 13.02 kilometers, women in the senior division (such as Erholtz) and men in the junior division will run a distance slightly over 8.68 kilometers, and the junior women will run approximately 4.34 kilometers.
The races are held in different locations, but depending on the year, the features of the race could be very different.
Hobbs said on odd-numbered years the race is an up-and-downcourse, and on even-numbered years, the course is all uphill.
Erholtz informed The Flume in an e-mail on Aug. 2 that she had landed the at-large spot on the team.
"I feel like it is an honor and a privilege to be selected to represent the U.S. at the World Mountain Championships in Italy," she said. "I am super excited to go over to Italy and I am hoping for a strong individual and team performance. I feel like God answered my prayers, and all of the hard work and training over the past year has paid off."
Hobbs said it was a difficult decision choosing Erholtz for the final spot on the team out of a field of three very qualified women.
"We have so many good women, so it's a real credit to Brandy for being selected because of the competition she had," Hobbs said.
Part of what played into the decision to choose Erholtz is the fact that she beat one of the women in the runing for the at-large spot twice in races this year.
Erholtz's teammates on the senior men's team are: Joseph Gray, 25, Lakewood, Wash.; Zac Freudenberg, 31, St. Louis, Mo.; Matt Byrne, 34, Scranton, Penn.; Tim Parr, 27, Gunnison, Colo., Andrew Benford, 22, Ravenswood, Va., and Rickey Gates, 28, Boulder, Colo.
On the senior women's team is Christine Lundy, 39, Sausalito, Calif., Megan Kimmel, 29, Silverton, Colo., Megan Lund, 25, Basalt, Colo., and Erholtz.
On the junior men's team is Tim Smith, 19, Roanoke, Va.; Brandon Lord, 17, Hixson, Tenn.; Dan Nafziger, 18, Harrisonburg, Va.; and Brian Rooney, 19, Arlington, Va.. And on the junior women's team is Megan Morgan, 17, Del Mar, Ca.; Alex Dent, 16, Scott Depot, W. Va.; and Robyn Arnold, 16, Redlands, Calif.
Erhotlz takes third
Erholtz took third-place in the Thyon-Dixence race, a 16K, in Switzerland on Aug. 1.
She will race again in the Sierre-Zinal race, a 31K, in Switzerland on Aug. 9.
Erholtz previously called the Sierre-Zinal race the "New York City Marathon of mountain running."