Team USA Minnesota News

Team USA Minnesota's Emily Gordon, Jon Peterson Named RRCA Roads Scholars for 2014

Minneapolis/St. Paul - Oct. 8, 2014 - Two Team USA Minnesota distance runners - Emily Gordon and Jon Peterson - have been named Roads Scholars for 2014.  The program - conducted by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) - awards grants to American post-collegiate runners who show great promise to develop into national and world-class road running athletes.


Gordon and Peterson were among eight runners selected to receive the grants, which go directly to the athletes to help support their goals and training needs.  Traditionally, the RRCA distributes six grants but this year increased the number of eight based on the "strong credentials and impressive potential" of this year's pool of applicants.

Gordon joined Team USA Minnesota in September and will finish her degree in biochemistry at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) later this fall.  She was initially a 400-meter hurdler and then in her junior year joined the UCLA Triathlon Club, placing 13th in the 2013 USAT Collegiate Championships.  A year ago she ran her first marathon at the Nike Women's Marathon San Francisco, winning the race in a time of 2:51:44.  She then posted 1:14:13 at the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon and in February, won the Surf City Marathon in 2:39:58 qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

"I want to thank the RRCA so much for the opportunity to represent such an amazing organization," said Gordon, who attended the RRCA's 2014 RunPro Camp in July.  "It was so unique to be able to start my distance running career on the road, almost by accident.  There is something so great about the road racing community.  Every single person, no matter their speed or experience, has put in incredible amounts of work and have something to be proud of when they cross that finish line."

Peterson has been with Team USA Minnesota since 2012.  While in high school in California, he became one of the top runners in the state.  At the University of California Davis, he pursued a degree in human development, and broke several school records on the track, including the 5000 and 10,000-meter distances.  Additional highlights included winning the Big West Championship Cross Country title and placing 14th at the 2010 NCAA DI National Cross Country meet, along with winning the Big West Championship races in the 1500 and 5000 meters in 2012.  Since joining Team USA Minnesota, he has set personal bests in everything from the mile to the 10 mile distance and is the two-time winner of the Medtronic TC 10 Mile and placed fifth at the 2014 USA 7 Mile Championships.

"I'm honored to receive this grant and have an organization such as the RRCA support my aspirations," said Peterson, who participated in the 2013 RunPro Camp.  "It further validates the continued pursuit of my goals as a professional athlete."

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,