Some Of The Best Prep Runners In The Country Say They're Honored To Represent Team USA

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Dustin Horter, Lakota East (OH) High senior

University of Indiana signee

"Running for Team USA is huge. It's always been a dream of mine to put on that USA uniform and represent my country. Watching the Olympics growing up, I looked up to those athletes who had the opportunity to represent our country with pride and now I'm one of them. And that's a cool feeling. I don't think there's much of a challenge running XC so late into the season. I've been training pretty hard for the track season and tuning up on my speed since NXN with some tough intervals. I'm pretty removed from my break after XC, so I've had some uninterrupted and consistent training over the course of about five weeks. I feel pretty good about where I'm at.

"I think my goals goes beyond anything individual because I don't know how I stack up against some of the international guys, but I'd like to see us win the team title for USA and be one of the top contributor to that effort. At this point, having already signed to Indiana, racing is about having fun and enjoying (what I have left in high school). However, it'll also be pretty cool to see how I stack up internationally with some of the best high school runners around the globe. I've never been out of the country before, so going to Europe for the first time is going to be an experience I'll never forget with a group of great guys. All the guys are familiar with each other and have raced against each other multiple times, so I'd say I'm also looking forward to the team dynamic of things in Scotland and just embracing the last 5-6 months of my high school running career."

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Graydon Morris, Aledo (TX) High sophomore


"I've known for a couple of weeks, but it's surreal (feeling being able to run for Team USA) and it's hard to imagine that I'm representing my country. It really is a true honor. Coming off of Foot Locker, I was expecting to take some time off and then hit my track training, so having another race to prepare for has been a little challenging, just in terms of getting my focus both mentally and physically back. 

"I want to run a similar race as to what I did at Foot Locker, which is to say I'd like to get up to the front and stay relaxed, always making sure I'm in a good position to respond to any moves made and when the time comes, I'm in a good position to strike. I'm really glad I am getting an opportunity to get international racing experience, and I hope to take away valuable lessons from a strategic standpoint."

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Clayton Mendez, Chicago Whitney Young (IL) High senior

Stanford University commit

"It's an honor to be able to run for Team USA, especially during my final year in high school. The challenges that come along with running a XC race this late in the year are pretty similar in that you have to take some time off from an already long season in order to be healthy enough for the race in Scotland, as well as the remainder of your high school track season. I've never run a race like this one, so I'm looking at trying to stay towards the front pack and working with my fellow teammates and seeing what happens. I'm hoping to take away a lot of good competition experience that will definitely help me during my track season as well as my college running career. I also can't wait to enjoy hanging out with their athletes who are amongst the best in the country and learning from them."

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Danny Kilrea, Lyons Township (IL) High senior

Notre Dame University signee

"Racing for Team USA at only 17 years old is an honor. As a kid, it has always been a dream, so making it a reality means a lot to me. There are some challenges racing this late in the cross country season, since the season has spanned about seven months, so it's been tough on my body, but it shouldn't be bad because I had one month after Foot Locker to get ready.

"My goals for the race are to represent my country well. Wearing the Team USA jersey is not something I take lightly and racing at the highest level is the best thing I hope to take away from Scotland. I know that in the future if I'm ever given the chance to compete internationally, I'll be prepared."

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Dylan Jacobs, Sandburg (IL) High senior
Notre Dame University signee

"Racing for Team USA is an accomplishment I could only dream of. When I put that Team USA jersey on, I am representing our country, which is something very few runners get to do. I am extremely excited for this opportunity and will be giving my absolute best. When I have dreamed of opportunities like this, I have only imagined them coming later in life. It is extremely humbling to have this opportunity at this point in my life.

"There are definitely challenges about racing right after the holidays and after all the highs and lows of a cross country season. Focusing on what is most important these past couple weeks is what is getting me through these moments. Looking at each day as an opportunity to improve is the way I have looked at these past couple weeks. I realize these chances don't come around often so as a team, we need to be ready going into this race and I know we will be. While this is a challenge, it is one that we should overcome. 

"My goals for this race are simple: Win. We have a strong roster on all of our men's and women's teams and I have the utmost confidence in all of the runners. Individually, I want to go leave nothing left on the course and win for our country. I believe there is no better way to represent USA than winning. I feel like every person on our team needs that mentality for us to have our best performance.

"I hope to takeaway an experience of a lifetime. I am excited to meet the professional athletes and even more excited to be representing USA. I plan to leave it all on the course and have no regrets after the race. This is an experience very few are able to be apart of and I want to embrace every moment of it. I am also very excited to travel to a country I have never been to and race on a course that so many great runners have run on before."

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Drew Bosley, Homestead (WI) High junior


"Being able to represent the United States at any time in my running career is one of my biggest goals. And being able to to do so in high school is such a great opportunity and I'm very thankful. I've had a few challenges preparing for the Edinburgh race. One was staying aerobically fit while taking a two week break from running after Foot Locker, but I did so by swimming hard every day and doing some other cross training activities. Another challenge was that it was really cold in Wisconsin.  Luckily, though, we didn't have a ton of snow, so the footing on the roads was good. I'm sure the other guys from Illinois and Ohio experienced the same temperatures.

"My only goal for the race is to do everything I can to help Team USA come out with a win. Personally, I would like to have a good enough race to be in the top 4 (scorers) of our USA team.  I'm also looking forward to moving up to 6K and expect the race to be muddy, cold and grueling. Another goal is to not lose my passport. The odds are about 50-percent, so I think I will store it with Dylan, Danny, and Clayton. I'm sure that on applications to Notre Dame and Stanford there will be a question "have you ever lost your passport?" The main thing I hope to take away from this experience is a sharper focus on being the best runner I can be and to dedicate myself fully to being a distance runner. Traveling outside the country for the first time, meeting the professional men and women from the U.S. team, experiencing a different culture and meeting young runners from different parts of the world who have the same dreams as I do will be highlights of this experience. I'm also really excited to experience this all with the guys on the junior men's team who I have become good friends with. After racing them all season long, it is exciting to be on the same team.