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Hales, Stephen Win USA XTERRA Titles

liz stephen - USA Xterra

OGDEN, Utah (September 21, 2014) – Brett Hales made quite the first impression on Snowbasin Resort and the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.

Although he lives in Layton – about 35 miles away from Snowbasin – Hales had never raced on the picturesque trails at Snowbasin until Sunday. All he did in his first XTERRA Trail Run was win the overall National Championship.

“It was phenomenal, I loved it,” said Hales, 28, who was competing in his first-ever trail race.  “Holy cow, that was so addicting.  Looking left and seeing the valley, looking right and seeing the valley, it was unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”

Winning, however, is nothing new for the former track and cross country stand-out at Weber State University.  Just last Saturday he captured the Big Cottonwood half-marathon in Salt Lake City with a blistering time of 1:03:07.

“There was a lot of downhill in last weekends race so my quads were pretty tender all week so I was waiting to see how my body would feel.  Didn’t decide to do this until 10’o’clock last night and I had no idea what to expect having never done a trail race. It was amazing.  A little wind, little rain, critters running everywhere, and there were so many people in the race but I felt like I was the only one out there.”

By mile 3.5 on the run it looked like Hales was the only one out there as he had already established a commanding lead over eventual runner-up finisher Mario Mendoza from Bend, Oregon.  Hales winning time was 1:18:18, more than six-minutes ahead of Mendoza.  Nathan Peters came in third just 10 seconds later.

3rd time lucky for Liz Stephens

In the women’s race, Liz Stephen, a two-time Olympic cross country skier from Vermont who spends her off-season in Park City, captured the elusive women’s championship title after two close second-place finishes on this course in 2011 and last year.

Her winning time of 1:27:55 was more than two minutes ahead of runner-up Kimber Mattox from Eugene, Oregon.

“It was a really fun race, and there was some fast women out here,” said Stephen.  “I wasn’t really sure how far up I was because it’s hard to see anyone else when you’re grinding through the single track on the uphills and the downhill is so long you really can’t see anybody else unless they’re within seconds.”

Like Hales in the men’s race, Stephen got out front early and never looked back.  She ultimately finished 5th overall behind only four men.
“This is a really fun course. It was a beautiful day, and the weather was amazing,” said Stephen, despite the fact it was windy, cold, and raining. “Last year was really hot so this was a nice change.  Plus, I’m kind of a hot runner so I think conditions like this are just perfect.  Falling leaves and spectators all around, I really love running here at Snowbasin and XTERRA always does such a good job with the organization.”

Although the elite runners chase the overall crown at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, the event remains an age-group race.

Twenty-six runners representing 10 different states and Mexico took home age-group titles at the 2014XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.

The home-state Utah runners led the way with 14 champions, not including Kevin Tuck (formerly from Salt Lake City but now living in Phoenix, AZ).  Tuck, 58, was an impressive 14th overall, and this was his sixth XTERRA Trail Run National Championship age-group win.

Bob Evers (men 60-64) from Park City, Utah won his fourth straight XTERRA National title, while Bryce Larkin from Eden, UT (Men 70-74), Adrian Wolford from Mustang, OK (Men 75-59), Liz Stephen (Women 25-29), and Mary Colburn from Culver City, CA (Women 35-39) each won their second national title.

On the young end of the spectrum the Ward Kids from Layton, Utah cleaned house as 7-year-old Lota, 9-year-old Taimane, and 10-year-old Leilani each went home with a National Championship crown.  In addition Lota Ward became the youngest runner to complete the 21K course at Snowbasin.

All of the age-group champions received a free entry to participate in the 2014 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for December 7 at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii.

2014 XTERRA Trail Run National Championships

Name Time
Brett Hales (Layton, UT) 1:18:18
Mario Mendoza (Bend, OR) 1:24:35
Nathan Peters (SLC, UT) 1:24:45
Bret Ferrier (Ogden, UT) 1:26:47
Nick Scalfone (San Jose, CA) 1:28:29
Daniel Molnar (Bismark, ND) 1:28:36
Barry Makarewicz (SLC, UT) 1:30:04
Andy Lee (Lakeway, TX) 1:31:48
Diego Baca (Corregidora, Mexico) 1:32:56
Dan Crooker (SLC, UT) 1:33:20
Albert Wint (Ogden, UT) 1:33:42
Name Time
Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) 1:27:55
Kimber Mattox (Eugene, OR) 1:30:11
Tori Tyler (Danville, CA) 1:36:54
Mary Colburn (Culver City, CA) 1:39:11
Tracie Akerhielm (Danton, TX) 1:41:31
Rochelle Tyson (Ogden, UT) 1:44:13
Blair Bucklin (Lafayette, CO) 0:44:00
Chelsea Ollar (Provo, UT) 1:45:59
Heather Hoechst (Philadelphia, PA) 1:46:12
Kristina Owen (Ogden, UT) 1:47:15
XTERRA National Champs (Male)
Division Name Hometown Time
9-under Lotatoa Ward Layton, UT 3:30:17
15 – 19 Diego Baca Corregidora, Mexico 1:32:56
20 – 24 James Gossell Salt Lake City, UT 1:42:17
25 – 29 *Brett Hales Layton, UT 1:18:18
30 – 34 Bret Ferrier Ogden, UT 1:26:47
35 – 39 Albert Wint Ogden, UT 1:33:42
40 – 44 Andy Lee Lakeway, TX 1:31:48
45 – 49 Wilhem Northrop Boise, ID 1:37:12
50 – 54 Barry Makarewicz Salt Lake City, UT 1:30:04
55 – 59 Kevin Tuck (6) Phoenix, AZ 1:33:43
60 – 64 Bob Evers (3) Park City, UT 1:51:12
65 – 69 John Mitchell Altamonte Springs, FL 2:52:07
70 – 74 Bryce Larkin (2) Eden, UT 2:32:16
75 – 79 Adrian Wolford (2) Mustang, OK 2:56:19
XTERRA National Champs (Female)
Division Name Hometown Time
1 – 9 Taimane Ward Layton, UT 3:29:04
10 – 14 Leilani Ward Layton, UT 3:28:58
20 – 24 Chelsea Ollar Provo, UT 1:45:59
25 – 29 *Liz Stephen (2) East Montpelier,VT 1:27:55
30 – 34 Tracie Akerhielm Denton, TX 1:41:31
35 – 39 Mary Colburn (2) Culver City,CA 1:39:11
40 – 44 Michelle Roy Hampton, NH 1:59:44
45 – 49 Holly Hagerman Woodland Hills, UT 1:52:05
50 – 54 Laura Brewer Morgan,UT 2:15:21
55 – 59 Marty Smith Liberty,UT 2:22:52
60 – 64 Ruth Ference Rome, GA 2:28:31
65 – 69 Cheri Uno Los Angeles, CA 3:59:26