Team USA Minnesota News

Gina Valgoi and Emily Gordon Join Team USA Minnesota

Minneapolis/St. Paul - Sept. 10, 2014 - Team USA Minnesota has added two up-and-coming female distance runners - Gina Valgoi and Emily Gordon - to its training group that is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul.


Valgoi is from Michigan and is a 2013 graduate of Loyola University in Chicago where she set school records in the 1500m, mile, indoor 3000m, indoor 5000m, outdoor 5000m, and the 10,000m.  Gordon will complete her collegiate studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) this fall and has already posted 2:39:58 in the marathon, which is an Olympic Trials qualifier.

"Gina and Emily have both had some performances that indicate good potential at a variety of distances," said Team USA Minnesota coach Dennis Barker.  "They also have the qualities that make good teammates and training partners.  We're glad to have them on the team and I'm excited to begin coaching them."

In Detroit, Valgoi was a prep athlete at Regina High School where she competed in cross country, track and ice hockey.  At Loyola, she was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award and was named the Horizon League Indoor Female Athlete of the Year.  She also was the first female from Loyola to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships as an individual.  On the track, she was an NCAA qualifier in the 10,000m in both 2012 and 2013 and was an NCAA All-American in the 5000m indoor.

Valgoi's best times include 4:19 in the 1500m, 4:43 in the mile, 15:54 in the 5000m and 33:07 in the 10,000m.  For her outstanding high school and collegiate achievements, she was inducted into the Detroit Catholic League Hall of Fame in 2013.  She has a B.A. degree in accounting and a minor in bioethics.

Gordon is from California and went to Santa Clara High School where she competed in cross country, track and water polo.  During her first two years of college - first at the University of California Santa Barbara and then at UCLA - Gordon was a 400 meter hurdler placing sixth in the Big West Conference as a freshman.  She stepped away from the UCLA track team in September 2012 and picked up club triathlon training, racing to a 13th place finish in the 2013 Collegiate USA Triathlon Nationals in the spring of 2013.

She ran her first marathon - the Nike Women's Marathon San Francisco - in October 2013 and won the event with a time of 2:51:44.  At the Surf City Marathon in February 2014, she placed first in the women's field with a time of 2:39:58.  Gordon also has a half marathon time of 1:14:13.  She will complete her B.S. degree in biochemistry this fall.

Both women attended the RunPro Camp, which is conducted by the Road Runners Club of America, with Valgoi attending in the summer of 2013 and Gordon in 2014.

About Team USA Minnesota

Team USA Minnesota is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Founded in 2001, the purpose of the training center is to improve the competitiveness of post-collegiate American distance running and to develop Olympians.  The athletes are coached by Dennis Barker.  Team USA Minnesota's major sponsors are Life Time Run ( and Twin Cities In Motion (  Its silver sponsors are the Houston Marathon Foundation (, the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon ( and the New York Road Runners (  For more information, visit the team's web site at


Contact:  Pat Goodwin, 952-454-8876,