A Pottsville marathoner has joined a pro running team based in Arizona.
HOKA Northern Arizona Elite announced recently it has added Pottsville native Paige Stoner and Cruz Culpepper and to its roster.
Culpepper is a miler with a personal best of 3:57.66 while Stoner is best known as a marathoner, having just won the USATF Championships last month in Sacramento.
Stoner is a Syracuse University, where she enjoyed a successful college running career. She was a four-time NCAA All American and a five-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion.
She joined the Reebok Boston Track Club in 2019 and set personal bests at 3,000 meters (9:01.36), 5,000 meters (15:16.17), and 10,000 meters (31:22.55). She ran 2:26:02 in the marathon to shatter her previous best, and break the course record, at the California International Marathon, the team notes.
NAZ Elite roster includes many of the top U.S. marathoners including reigning Olympic Trials champion, Aliphine Tuliamuk, the team boasts while adding Stoner.
Stoner credits Tuliamuk and veteran marathoners Stephanie Bruce, Kellyn Taylor, and Alice Wright with influencing her decision to join the team.
“The team has seen immense success over the last decade and with HOKA’s continued investment and the growth of the team, the future looks extremely bright,” Stoner said. “I was especially drawn to NAZ because they have proven to be a powerhouse in the marathon, which will likely be my primary focus in the years to come. I believe the team has all of the tools it takes to compete at the highest level in the sport and I am eager to begin this new chapter.”
HOKA NAZ Elite head coach Alan Culpepper says, “We have been exploring the potential of having Paige come on the team for some time now and could not be more excited to have it all come together.
“She is such a great addition to the group and I know that our team support will be just what she needs to continue her progression. I was out at the USATF National Marathon Championships in Sacramento and was fortunate to see her win that race firsthand. I was thoroughly impressed with her patience, focus, and fearlessness, and it was clear she has a champion’s mindset. Really excited to have her join the team,” the coach adds.
Stoner will likely race next month but the exact date and event is still to be determined, the team announced with the signing.
Photo: HOKA NAZ Elite