PONTE DI LEGNO, Italy - For the second-straight year, a Spider harrier led the United States at the 28th annual Junior World Mountain Running Championships, as freshman Jordan Chavez turned in a 17th-place finish at Sunday's event held in Ponte di Legno, Italy. Sophomore Billy Fayette finished 39th, while classmate Clare Moretz crossed the line in 23rd in the women's race.
"To represent the U.S. as a National Team member is the ultimate for our sport," said head men's coach Steve Taylor. "For Billy, Clare and Jordan to be teammates here at Richmond and also on the USA Mountain Running Team is tremendous and an experience they will never forget. I think it's important to keep some perspective on what they've accomplished here, as being selected to the U.S. team is a remarkable achievement."
"To prepare and execute a race plan as Jordan did to be 17th, Clare 23rd and Billy 39th in the entire world is tremendous," added Taylor. "Our world is a pretty big place, and in our sports-overloaded society it's easy to overlook just how impressive their success is. Lori and I could not be happier for each of them."
The American men finished sixth in Sunday's 16-team field, while the women took ninth among the 15 teams competing in the event. Uganda won on the men's side, with Turkey claiming the women's title.
Chavez (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) finished Sunday's race in a time of 46:46 to lead the American men. Fayette (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale) finished two minutes behind in 48:52. Uganda's Michael Cherop won the men's race with a time of 42:33.
Moretz (Madison, Va./Madison) clocked a time of 24:01 to take 23rd, marking a seven-spot improvement from her finish a year ago. Turkey's Sevilay Eytemis captured the women's title in 20:14.
The trio is the latest in a long line of Spider distance runners to represent the U.S. at the World Championships, with Moretz qualifying as the first women's runner in program history to be selected to the team last year. The race was comprised of athletes from more than 30 nations and was held in the mountains outside of Ponte di Legno, Italy.
The world-traveling trio will rejoin their Spider squads this week to begin preparations for the William & Mary Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15 in Williamsburg, Va.
Stay updated on all the latest Richmond cross country news on RichmondSpiders.com and by accessing Spider Athletics' mobile apps on your Smartphone or tablet. More in-depth coverage can be found by following Head Coach Steve Taylor on Twitter and by reading his blog. The Spiders also have their own Facebook page and have launched their own YouTube Channel as well.
World Mountain Running Championship - American Women's Results
1. Kelly Lawson (23:28)
2. Clare Moretz (24:01)