Local coaches and runners are among those currently in Italy for the 2023 Youth Skyrunning Championships. That includes their American coach Ryan Kerrigan of Stowe, assisted by assistant coach and his father, longtime Harwood Union coach John Kerrigan, Duxbury.
The 2023 Youth Skyrunning World Championships will be held August 4-6, 2023, on Gran Sasso, Fonte Cerreto, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy.
The full roster of American Youth that Coach Ryan Kerrigan (Stowe, VT) is bringing to Fonte Cerreto, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy on August 4 includes Harwood Union runner Heidi Haraldsen and two other Vermont runners along with 11 other team mates.
The 2023 Youth Skyrunning World Championships will also be the initial appearance of a youth team representing Canada.
Fourteen runners from across the U.S. will be competing. “We had dozens of qualified athletes apply for the limited spots on the team. We had to turn some exceptional athletes down. As difficult as that was, it was exciting to find out that several of our USA athletes have dual citizenship with Canada. We were able to include seven athletes on the Canadian team, enabling several spots on the USA team roster to become available. With 14 Americans and seven Canadian/Americans, this will be the largest group of youth athletes from North America to compete at the World Youth Skyrunning Championships,” John Kerrigan said.
USA Youth Skyrunning’s first appearance at the World Youth Champs took place in Andorra in 2017. Seven Harwood Union cross-country runners from Vermont turned the heads of the international coaches with an outstanding fourth-place team finish. Two Runners, Erin Magill and Sam Hodges, gained podium finishes in both the VK and the Skyrace. USA finished fourth in a nine-team field.
Team USA Youth team returned in 2019. The roster had grown to 12 and included runners from across the U.S. They were even more impressive in a much larger competitive field. Sophia Sanchez of California won gold in both the VK and Skyrace. Mikey Connolly of Chugiak, Alaska, earned the bronze in the VK. The team tied their fourth-place finish from 2017 with an expanded field of 13 teams.
Ryan Kerrigan brought 10 USA youth runners in 2019. Although none of these runners reached the podium there were several top-five finishes. The team finished fifth in an expanded field of 20 international teams.
The 2020 World Youth Skyrunning Championships were canceled due to the COVID pandemic.
The post COVID years of 2021 and 2022 were tough for team USA. In 2021, seven U.S. athletes made the trip to Italy but only five competed due to pre-race injuries and illness. The team finished ninth in a field of 18. Only five athletes competed in 2022. Team USA finished 15th in a field of 26. “We were gaining momentum, but COVID seemed to have a larger impact in the USA than on other international teams,” John Kerrigan said.
Alaskans continue to dominate American Youth Skyrunning. Their five runners are the most ever to represent the Last Frontier. Only Vermont with seven competitors in 2017 had more representatives. “USA Skyrunning was born in Vermont, but Alaska appears to be the current nursery for U.S. youth skyrunners,” said John Kerrigan
For the first time, ever at the Youth Skyrunning World Championships, there will be a team representing Canada. It will be comprised of seven runners that have dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Canada. Naia Tower-Pierce of East Burke, Vermont, who maintains American, Canadian, and French citizenship will be the team manager for the first Youth Skyrunning team from Canada. Tower-Pierce first appeared on the USA Skyrunning team in 2018. She was too young to be an official competitor so the U.S. coaches asked members of the ISF if she could compete as a forerunner. “Ah a trail blazer!” Dr. Sergio Roy said. Permission was granted. She went on to officially compete for team USA in five more Youth World Championships. Dr. Roy’s comment was prophetic!
“It looks like she is still trail blazing today by organizing and delivering the first team to represent Canada at the Youth Skyrunning World Championships,” said John Kerrigan.
The following will represent Team USA at the 2023 Youth Skyrunning World Championships
Boomer Weisman, Alaska, Youth A Boys (15-16); Heidi Haraldsen, Vermont, Youth a Girls (15-16);
Coby Marvin, Alaska, Youth B Boys (17-18); Tupelo Burdeau, Ohio, Youth B Boys (17-18); Baxter Harrington, Vermont, Youth B Boys (17-18); James Underwood, Vermont, Youth B Boys (17-18); Phoebe Bryar, Washington, Youth B Girls (17-18); Sophie Mayers, Alaska, Youth C Girls (19-20); Max Kilcoyne, Colorado, Youth C Boys (19-20); Bayden Menton, Oregon, Youth C Boys (19-20); Josh Taylor, Alaska, U23 Boys (21-23); Christopher Hurd, Montana, U23 Boys (21-23); Tatiana Kennedy, Colorado, U23 Girls (21-23); Sophie Wright, Alaska, U23 Girls ( 21- 23).
The seven athletes representing Team Canada at the 2023 Youth Skyrunning World Championships are as follows:
Boys: Brendan Morden, - British Columbia, U23; Jeevan Hull, British Columbia, U23; Finn Tower-Pierce, French Alps (Canadian), Youth B; Kamil Zeribi, Washington State (Canadian), Youth B.
Girls: Makena Rutledge, British Columbia, Youth C; Maggie Gietz, Alberta, Youth B; Evvi Tower-Pierce, French Alps (Canadian), Youth A.
Coach: Naia Tower-Pierce-French Alps (Canadian).
More information and race results can be found here:
To contribute to the costs of bringing the team to Italy visit: