FLAGSTAFF, (AZ) – July 11, 2018 – HOKA ONE ONE® Northern Arizona Elite has announced the signing of three multiple-time NCAA All-Americans to its roster. Colorado’s Erin Clark, Utah’s Grayson Murphy and New Mexico’s Alice Wright will begin officially training with the group in Flagstaff this summer. They will join Loyola Marymount graduate Danielle Shanahan, who signed with the team in June.
HOKA NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario said he and the team are thrilled about the new additions.
“We have a lot of positive energy and momentum right now and bringing in Alice, Dani, Erin and Grayson is only going to add to that,” Rosario said. “All four athletes are natural competitors and all four are hungry to prove themselves at the professional level which is exactly what we were looking for.”
“Erin, Grayson and Alice will make great additions to an increasingly-competitive training group,” said Mike McManus, Senior Sports Marketing Manager for HOKA ONE ONE. “We believe supporting talented runners who can train together and push each other will help elevate this group and distance running on the whole, and we have already seen this come to fruition with Aliphine Tuliamuk’s and Stephanie Bruce’s national titles this year, as well as Kellyn Taylor’s win and course record at Grandma’s Marathon. These new additions will only help the group continue to compete with the best in the world.”
Wright will make the move from Albuquerque after an incredibly successful five years at the University of New Mexico. A native of Worcester, England, Wright is a two-time NCAA Runner-Up in the 10,000 meter run and the first woman in NCAA history to become a four-time All-American in the 10,000 meters. Wright holds the New Mexico school record in the 10,000 and was a part of two NCAA Championship team titles in cross country. She joins the group having amassed eight first team All-American honors and four appearances on the British National Team. Already an experienced international competitor, Wright has earned two bronze medals at the European Under-23 Championships (10,000, 2015 and Cross Country, 2016). Wright said she is ready to begin the next chapter of her running career in Flagstaff, one of the best training locations in the world for an endurance athlete.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining Northern Arizona Elite and to become a member of the HOKA ONE ONE family,” Wright said. “I’ve been so inspired watching the success of the team thus far and am excited to train with, and learn from, such a talented group of men and women.”
Murphy joins HOKA NAZ Elite after spending the final two years of her NCAA career at the University of Utah where she collected five All-American honors in cross country, the 3,000 meter steeplechase and the 5000 meter run. She capped off her collegiate career in 2018 with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and a seventh-place finish at the USATF Outdoor Championships, both in the steeplechase. A relative newcomer to the sport, Murphy played soccer in high school before attending Sweet Briar college in Virginia where she tied for the team lead in goals her freshman year. Murphy then spent the following two years at Santa Clara University, switched to running and promptly set school records in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and 1,500 meter run. Murphy said she is honored to have the opportunity to begin her professional career with HOKA NAZ Elite.
“I can’t wait to see what this stellar group of us incoming girls can do under the leadership of the veterans,” Murphy said. “I’m looking forward to running fast and crushing some miles.”
Clark comes to Flagstaff after five years at the University of Colorado Boulder. During her time with the Buffaloes, she garnered six first team All-American honors across an impressive range of events including cross country, the steeplechase, the 3000 meters, the 5000 meters and the 10,000 meters. Clark was also a three-time Pac-12 Champion, twice in the steeplechase and once in the 10,000 meters. Clark wrapped up her career by finishing ninth at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000 and ninth in the 5,000 meters at the USATF Outdoor Championships two weeks later. Clark said she was thankful for her time at Colorado.
“I’d like to give a big thank you to my coaches and teammates at CU, friends, and family for getting me to this point and HOKA ONE ONE NAZ Elite for supporting me on the next step of this journey,” Clark said. “I couldn’t be more excited to join my new team in Flagstaff and get to work.”
Clark, Murphy, Shanahan and Wright will join a roster that includes 2018 USATF 10k Road champion Stephanie Bruce, Kellyn Taylor, who recently ran 2 hours, 24 minutes, 28 seconds to become the seventh fastest U.S. female marathoner of all time, and nine-time national champion Aliphine Tuliamuk. Bruce said the new additions are affirmation of the team’s success in recent years.
“We’ve been building this thing in Flagstaff over the last four years and I think people are starting to take notice,” Bruce said. “We’ve always had a ton of interest from men because of how our guys have performed, but it’s exciting to now have four new female teammates to join HOKA ONE ONE NAZ Elite. I’m personally thrilled to help guide them as they transition in their pro running careers.”
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Talk about the signings on our messaegboard: MB: CU’s Erin Clark, Utah’s Grayson Murphy and UNM’s Alice Wright Join HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite