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Final team member announced for the 2014 US Mountain Running Team

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Juliane Masciana has been announced as the fourth and final member of the US Women’s Mountain Running Team slated to compete at the 30th World Mountain Running Championships in Casette di Massa, Italy, on September 14, 2014.

Masciana, a 29-year-old resident of Cedar Park, TX, earned her spot on this year’s team with her sixth-place finish at the US Mountain Running Championships at the Loon Mountain Race. Two of the first four finishers at Loon declined their spots opening the selection to the next finishers at the event.

With a background in steeplechase – Big West Conference champion in 2009 while at Cal State University-Fullerton, ninth at USA outdoor championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2010,and USA championships qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2011 – Masciana should be well-versed in gear changes necessary over terrain such as the course she’ll face in Italy.

That course is a 7.5-kilometer route with 455 meters of elevation gain and includes some sections on paved roadway and gravel 4-wheel drive roads, as well as single-track trail, grassy pathways, steps, and intense vertical climbing, much of it through a marble quarry.

With personal bests of 16:19 for 5,000 meters, 33:57 for 10,000 meters and 9:59 for the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Masciana clearly has the leg speed to take advantage of the flat and downhill sections on the course.

In Italy, she will race alongside teammates to include veteran Megan Lizotte, 30, La Jolla, CA, who makes her fifth appearance at Worlds, and fellow first timers, USA Mountain Champion Allie McLaughlin, 23, Colorado Springs, CO, and Megan Roche (formerly Deakins), 24, Mountain View, CA. The top three team members will be scored for the team finish.

It’s a very special year for the U.S. team as they will celebrate the 20th anniversary of sending a women’s squad to the World Mountain Running Championships. “We are at such an important and special time in the 20-year history of the Women's USMRT,” said women’s team manager Ellen Miller, “I am amazed just how far we have come! I have watched the team since it's humble beginnings, and have been involved directly with the team for the past nine years as its manager.

“This job gives me so much joy,” continued Miller, “I love being ‘in the business’ of giving these women wonderful opportunities for a chance to compete at the World Mountain Running Championships, it is such a life-changing and precious experience. Of course, I am proud of our gold medal and podium performances, but I take as much pride in watching these runners evolve as people; becoming Moms, coaches, continuing to race as Masters, and as caring, valuable contributors to our sport.”

The U.S. team is outfitted and supported by USATF. Additional funds are raised for the team through the American Trail Running Association.

The senior men and junior team members were announced earlier this month. Click here for details.

Follow the U.S. team as they prepare for the competition on Facebook, on Twitter @usmrt, and at this link. There will also be live updates from Italy on these social media channels.

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