Feb. 11, 2016
For immediate release

Grants provide financial help for Olympic hopefuls

The Sacramento Running Association announced today that nine elite distance runners have been named recipients of the $15,000 Olympic Hopeful grant.

The awardees will receive financial support ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to help cover specialized training, competition, medical or auxiliary expenses as they pursue their Olympic dream.

Grant recipients include 2015 USATF national champion Lauren Wallace, Panamanian champion Rolanda Bell, newly naturalized U.S. citizen Shadrack Biwott, , sibling standouts Brendan Gregg and Kaitlin Gregg Goodman, NCAA All-Americans Kate Grace, Lianne Farber and Lea Wallace, and UC Davis record-holder Alycia Cridebring.

Each of the grant recipients lives and trains in the Sacramento area, or is from the Sacramento area.

“The Sacramento region has a great history of producing and developing champion distance runners, and the applicant list for the Sacramento Running Association’s 2016 Olympic Hopeful grant is a major testament to that,” said Scott Abbott, executive director of the Sacramento Running Association.

The grants will be dispersed over three different award levels – Gold ($5,000), Silver ($2,500) and Bronze ($1,000). Athletes were selected based on their achievement in the sport, likelihood of making the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and their connection to the Sacramento community.

“Sacramento has never seen a time with such a depth of distance running achievement coming out of the region, and the Sacramento Running Association is proud to help this talented lot of distance runners make a run at the dream of becoming Olympians,” added Abbott.

“We also hope that this continues to foster elite distance running in Sacramento to further distinguish the region as one of the best running communities in America.”

The grant recipients will be recognized at the Sacramento Running Association Hall of Fame and Annual Achievement Awards event on Feb. 27.

“I am elated to be one of the recipients of this grant,” said Lauren Wallace. “This grant provides an exceptional improvement to the current foundation I have started to build.”

“The support that SRA gives to the elite athlete collective means so much to me.

“I am honored to be a part of such an incredible community that stands behind one another.”

The Sacramento Running Association has a history of supporting elite Sacramento-area long distance runners as they pursue Olympic, national, and regional success.

In 2012, the SRA established a training grant for local runners who were Olympic hopefuls heading into the London Olympic Games. That support resulted in grant recipient Kim Conley making her first Olympic team.

The SRA’s support of Sacramento-area elite runners has continued since then. In addition to grants for training and competition awarded to athletes who live and train in the Sacramento area, the SRA has developed and supports an elite team of runners that help foster the sport of running in Sacramento.

“I am so lucky to live in this community,” added Biwott.

“SRA’s support for local elite athletes means a lot.”

The SRA has also been one of the industry leaders in providing substantial prize money, performance bonuses and travel support for elite runners from all over the world participating in SRA races, including the California International Marathon and the SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding new ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

A look at the grant recipients:

Rolanda Bell
Team/Sponsor: NorCal Distance Project
Event(s): 3,000-meter Steeplechase

  • Three-time Diamond League performer
  • Competed at 2015 World Championships
  • Panama national record-holder – 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:47.16)
  • Ranked in the top five in the steeplechase in Central and South America

Shadrack Biwott
Team/Sponsor: Asics Mammoth Track Club
Event(s): Marathon, 10,000 meters

  • Won 2013 USA Running Circuit Championship
  • Named 2014 U.S. Road Racing Athlete of the Year by Road Runner’s Club of America
  • Won 2015 Grandma’s Half Marathon
  • Ran 1:02:30 half marathon in mid-January

Alycia Cridebring
Team/Sponsor: New Balance NorCal
Event(s): 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters

  • Finished 14th at 2015 USATF National Championship (5,000 meters)
  • Won 2015 Marin Memorial Day 10k and San Rafael Miracle Mile
  • UC Davis school record-holder in 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters

Lianne Farber
Team/Sponsor: New Balance NorCal
Event(s): 1,500 meters

  • Three-time NCAA All-American at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • NCAA qualifier in cross country, indoor and outdoor track
  • 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships qualifier

Kate Grace
Team/Sponsor: NorCal Distance Project
Event(s): 800 meters, 1,500 meters

  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier
  • Finalist at 2014 U.S. Championships (1,500 meters)
  • Member of World Relay 4×1,500-meter team, silver medalists

Brendan Gregg
Team/Sponsor: Hansons Brooks Distance Project
Event(s): Marathon, 10,000 meters

  • Finished 13th at the 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships (10,000 meters)
  • Finished second at the 2014 USATF Club 8k Championships
  • Ranked eighth for 2014 U.S. men’s 10,000 meters by Track and Field News
  • USATF National Team representative at 2014 BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Race

Kaitlin Gregg Goodman
Team/Sponsor: Strava Track Club
Event(s): Marathon, 10,000 meters

  • Achieved Olympic standard times in marathon and 10,000 meters
  • Ranked 13th in U.S. in 10,000 meters in 2015
  • Selected for 2015 Strava Olympic Trials Marathon Program
  • USATF National Team representative at 2014 BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Race
Lauren Wallace
Team/Sponsor: Oiselle, NorCal Distance Project
Event(s): 800 meters

  • 2015 USATF indoor 1,000-meter national champion
  • 2015 USATF outdoor 800-meter semifinalist
  • Competed at 2014 USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Lea Wallace
Team/Sponsor: SRA Elite
Event(s): 800 meters, 1,500 meters

  • NCAA All-American at Sacramento State
  • Former American record-holder, 4×800-meter relay
  • Named 11th best athlete to compete in history of Big Sky Conference

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