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Posted: June 24, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: RRCA Announces 2009 Roads Scholar Class

ARLINGTON, Va. - (June 23, 2009) - Since 1996, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has awarded grants totaling $300,000 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 athletes.

The RRCA Roads Scholar® selection Committee for 2009 included Carl Sniffen (Chair), Mike Morgan (former Roads Scholar), Amy Yoder-Begley (former Roads Scholar), Don Kardong, Phil Stewart, Brent Ayer and Jean Knaack.

The RRCA is pleased to introduce and congratulate the 2009 Class of Roads Scholars.

Sally Meyerhoff started running when she was about eight or nine years old. She participated in a youth track club that offered a month long running program with an event at the end. In middle school she participated in Cross Country and would grow to love running, eventually dropping swimming as a sport. Meyerhoff ran for Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, AZ where she was a nine-time Arizona state champion. Meyerhoff ran Track and Cross Country at Duke University where she was a three time All-American. In 2008, she ran her debut marathon, the PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll marathon in Phoenix finishing with a time of 2:42:47. This qualified her for the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials where she finished in 20th place in 2:39:39. In 2009, Sally set a U.S. women-only record at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in Washington, DC, running 54:38 and finishing 7th. On May 9, 2009, Sally won her first USA Championship in the River Bank Run 25K; her time was 1:27:28.

"Thank you so much once again for this great award," remarked Meyerhoff. "I cannot tell you how excited and proud I am!"

Antonio Vega is a graduate of Tartan High School in Oakdale, MN, where he competed in the 1600 and 3200 meters in track and was all-state his senior year. He also earned five letters in soccer and two letters in football as the place kicker. At the University of Minnesota, he was an All-American in Cross Country and competed in three NCAA Cross Country Championships. He was also a four-time All-Midwest Region harrier and was the Midwest Regional Cross Country champion in 2005. In 2006, he was named the Midwest Runner of the Year. In track, he made his mark in the 10,000 meters in his senior year to run 29:04.13. In 2008, he achieved a personal best in the 10,000, running 29:00.47, and at the Peachtree 10K he was first American in 29:41, and ran 1:04:26 in his debut at the NYC Half Marathon. His 2009 season has included 7th place at the USA Half-Marathon Championships with a personal best of 1:02:55; 15th at the USA Cross Country Championships in the 12K and selection to the U.S. team for the NACAC Cross Country Championships. He also was a member of the 1st-place men's team at the USA 15K Championships and finished second at the ING Georgia Half Marathon.

"It is a great honor and privilege to be the recipient of this award. I am extremely grateful to the Road Runner's Club of America and their generous support," remarked Vega. "I will strive to represent the Road Runner's Club of America as an athlete and an advocate for American distance running."

Stephanie Rothstein stepped onto the national stage in Track & Field at the Stanford Invitational in 2006 in her first attempt at a fast 10,000m. She would race to a 33:27.85, putting herself among the best in the USA. She broke not only the University of California Santa Barbara record, but also the Big West Conference record and found herself ranked 10th in the U.S. out of all American runners, collegiate or professional. Rothstein debuted in the half-marathon distance at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on January 13, 2008 with a time of 1:13:19. She took 5th place at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2008. Stephanie runs for the New York Athletic Club and is coached by Brad Hudson.

"There are hundreds of runners in this country with the same goals and aspirations as me," remarked Rothstein. "So to be selected as a recipient of this grant makes me feel extremely blessed. It allows me to keep pursuing my dreams and reaffirms that there are people out there who believe in what we are trying to achieve in the sport."

Forest Braden was a seven-time Idaho state champion before running at Boise State University. While running under coach David Welsh at BSU, Braden became one of the most decorated distance runners in school history earning three All-American awards and winning the conference title seven times. After college, Braden ran for Team Indiana Elite, coached by Dr. Robert Chapman, where he set his 10,000 meter best on the track. In August of 2008, Braden moved to Spokane, WA to assist Pat Tyson at Gonzaga University. He currently lives and trains in Spokane recently placing 17th at the USA 15k Championships and 12th at Bloomsday in Spokane.

"I am very excited to receive this grant," remarked Braden. "This will help me be able to focus more on my training and provide me with the means to fly to some big meets around the country and to get out of the snow for a bit in the winter so I can be ready to run my best in the spring. I would like to thank my coach Pat Tyson, the Bloomsday Road Runners Club, The Runners Soul, Brooks and everyone in Spokane, Boise, Bonners Ferry and everywhere else around the globe that have encouraged me and been there for me through the ups and downs of my career."

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