Roman Gabriel Acosta


College: Syracuse University / Northern Arizona University

Hometown/High School: Modesto, CA / Central Catholic High School

Bio: Roman is from Modesto, CA which sits right in the middle of California’s Central Valley.  He participated in 2 years of cross country and 4 years of track for Central Catholic High School, 4 years of track and cross country at Syracuse University, and a fifth year at Northern Arizona University where he was a part of a 4th place podium finish team.

Looking into the future Roman hopes to build strength with Run Flagstaff Elite and focus on the 10000m and eventually the marathon with the end goal being to qualify for the USA Olympic trails in the Marathon for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

He is currently a master’s student studying Public Administration at Northern Arizona University and hopes to graduate with an MPA degree in 2014.

Personal Bests/Top Performances:
5000m: 14:25
10000m: 30:30
Mile: 4:16
8000m: 24:45

Hillary Hayes


College: UC Berkeley

Hometown/High School: Huntington Beach, CA / Edison High School

Bio: Born in Huntington Beach, Hillary was raised into an athletic family. She began running at the age of ten, inspired by her older brother, Jayson Hayes who ran for UC Santa Barbara. At Edison high school, Hillary was the school record holder in the 3200m with a time of 10:28. She was four time Sunset League Champion in both Track & Field and Cross Country and placed 2nd at the California State Cross Country meet, as well as placing 4th at the California State track meet in the 3200m.

As a UC Berkeley Golden Bear, Hillary was honored team captain and “Most Inspiring Athlete”. She led Cal in her first race in ’09, taking fourth at the Sac State Jamboree and also placing 33rd at the Stanford Invitational. Senior year she placed 69th at NCAA Regionals Cross Country. She competed on the traveling team all four years even though she battled multiple injuries that held her back from her potential. As a four year Student Athlete with Honors, Hillary graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Media and Communications.

Hillary is a newcomer to the Flagstaff community, where she is furthering her teaching career and pursuing her dream of running professionally.

Personal Bests/Top Performances:
1,600m: 4:53
3,000m: 9:58
3,200m: 10:28
5,000m: 17:28
6K XC: 21:13 (NCAA Regionals)


Julian de Rubira



College: University of California – Santa Barbara

Hometown/High School: Aliso Viejo, CA / Santa Margarita Catholic High School

Bio: Julian grew up surfing and playing soccer in southern California. He started running cross country and track & field his junior year of high school. After having a brief but mildly-successful high school career, he went on to run for the University of California in Santa Babara. It was there that he began specializing in the 3000-meter steeplechase event in which he eventually received All-American honors for his 9th place finish at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

In undergrad, he was drawn to an inter-disciplinary degree synthesizing his interests in community, art, architecture, and the natural environment. His form of self expression is currently put into his efforts to specialize in the 3000-meter steeplechase track event. He has been training here in Flagstaff since August 2011. After his first year out of college, he found some glimpses of success despite the hardships of post-collegiate running. He missed the 2012 Olympic Trials in the steeplechase by 4-seconds but went on to race in Belgium that summer and recorded a personal best in the 5000m.

In an effort to correct his inefficient biomechanics, he was introduced to Foundation Training, a method developed by Dr. Eric Goodman in Santa Barbara California that teaches integrated-chains of movement through simple yet ingenious exercises. He was certified in April 2013 to teach these ideas and philosophies and has been applying them to his training. Opting not to compete in the 2013 track season due to personal issues, Julian has been sculpting and fine-tuning his training regiment and hopes to put together multiple track seasons in the coming years with high hopes for national and international success.

Personal Bests/Top Performances:
3,000m Steeplechase: 8:40 (Los Angeles, 2012)
5,000m: 13:48 (Ninove, Belgium, 2012)

Leah Rosenfeld


College: Penn State University

Hometown/High School: Ridgefield, CT / Ridgefield High School

Bio: Leah, a Ridgefield, Conn. native, was born into a running family. Her mother and father are former marathon runners who currently host annual philanthropic road races in Connecticut and own a New Balance store in New Canaan. At Ridgefield High School Leah earned multiple State and New England titles and All-American honors in the 800, 1600, 4×800 and DMR. She was a member of the RHS 4×800 team that holds the state record of 9:06 set in 2005.

Leah participated in cross country and indoor and outdoor track for the Penn State Nittany Lions from 2006-2010. During her time at Penn State, Leah received All-Region honors with a 14th place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Cross Country Regional meet in 2007. Having a breakout sophomore year, Rosenfeld was a point-scorer at the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships in the mile and then ran an NCAA provisional qualifying 4:45.46 at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Around the outdoor track, she scored points for the Nittany Lions at the Big Ten Championships in the 5,000 meters with a regional-qualifying time of 16:45 and nabbed a regional qualifier in the 1500 meters with a personal best time of 4:24.62 in the prelims, placing her on Penn State’s Top 10 All-Time 1500 meter record board. She was a member of the 4×1500 meter relay at Penn Relays, setting a school record of 17:57.28. On the cross country course during her junior year, Rosenfeld won the Iona Meet of Champions at Van Cortland Park in New York City, also leading her team to a 1st place finish. Illness plagued the rest of her collegiate career; however, during her senior year in 2010 Penn State won its first triple crown in school history, winning the Big Ten Championships in Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, and Outdoor Track and Field. Leah graduated from Penn State in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in media studies and kinesiology.

Post-collegiately Leah saw success on the roads and track. Leah won the Penn State Relays 3,000m in December 2012 and was second to Nike’s Geena Gall in the Elite Section of the Lodi Mile in March of 2013. She went on to compete at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in July 2013, winning gold for the USA team in the 3,000m and came in second to Kenya’s Lorna Chemtai in a 1500m race not affiliated with the Games.

After pursuing her passion for coaching at Lodi HS (Lodi, CA) and Syracuse University, Leah came to Flagstaff to continue her career and studies as a Graduate Assistant at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Leah was recently hired as the Assistant Track Coach at NAU and is working toward a master’s degree in educational leadership.

Personal Bests/Top Performances:
800m: 2:12 (Jesse Owens Classic, April 2008)
1500m: 4:24 (Big Ten Championships, May 2008)
Mile: 4:45 (Alex Wilson Invite, March, 2008)
3,000m: 9:43 (Penn State Relays, January 2013)
5,000m: 16:45 (Big Ten Championships, May 2008)
6K XC: 20:39 (NCAA D1 Regionals, 2007)

Forrest Misenti


College: Syracuse University (Class of 2013)

Hometown/High School: Middletown, CT / Xavier High School (Class of 2008)

Bio: Forrest has resided on the east coast for the majority of his life, growing up in Connecticut and going to college in New York. Beginning road racing at a very young age, his passion for running eventually overtook his interest in trying to go professional in skiing, baseball or soccer. While at Xavier High School, he followed in the footsteps of fellow Run Flagstaff Elite member Adam Vess, notching multiple All-State, All-New England and All-American Honors. Continuing running after graduation in 2008, Forrest attended Syracuse University for 5 years pursuing a degree in Nutrition. The beginning three years showed potential for him to be one of the best runners to pass through Syracuse, but injuries limited any consistent training during his remaining two years. With the goal of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials, he made the trek from Connecticut to Flagstaff to continue pursuing his dreams. You can find Forrest working as a legal assistant at Shorall McGoldrick Brinkmann law firm in Flagstaff.

Personal Bests/Top Performances:
1500m: 3:50 (Boston, 2009)
5000m: 14:26 (Boston, 2010)
8K XC: 23:52 (Hammonasset, Ct, 2010)
10K XC: 29:55 (Hammonasset, Ct, 2010)

Matt Walsh

College: Marist College

Hometown/High School: Wantagh, NY / Wantagh HS

Bio: Matt hails from Long Island, New York and attended Wantagh High School. Having been trained to the All-State level by New York coaching legend Bill Hedgecock, Matt went on to run middle distance at Marist College. However promising his collegiate running campaign once seemed, illness and injury forced Matt to give up his roster spot…but not his place within the NCAA. As a senior, Matt changed disciplines entirely and within one year became a scoring member of the Marist swim team, a renowned mid-major Division 1 powerhouse and 2007 MAAC champions.

A few years after graduating college, Matt decided to pick up running again as a healthy outlet for the stress that comes along with preparing for law school; although, truth be told, It didn’t take long for this renewed hobby to become a passion once again. Matt began to find success in the local distance running circuit. It is this relatively recent discovery of a proclivity towards longer distances which inspired him to put law school on hold and chase his dreams in Flagstaff.

At 27 years of age, it is now or never for Matt as he attempts to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon trials. Having said that, any improvement – both as a runner and more importantly as an individual – will be considered a success.

Personal Bests/Top Performances:
5,000 (Road): 15:31
8K XC: 25:30
10 Miles: 53:46
Marathon: 2:43 (New York, 2011)

Adam Vess

College: Marist College (Class of 2011)

Hometown/High School: Middleton, CN / Xavier HS (Class of 2007)

Bio: Adam comes from a long line runners in his family and has enjoyed much success throughout his high school and college career.  At Xavier, he won four consecutive state titles in the 1600 and 3200, while also winning a Nike Outdoor National Championship in the 5000. Then at Marist, he won an IC4A Championship in the 3000s and a MAAC Conference Championship in the Mile. He finished up his college career by competing for Northern Arizona University while working on a graduate degree in educational leadership. Adam is the guy to look for if your on the hunt for a new apartment as he is a leasing consultant for MED Property Management here in Flagstaff.

Personal Bests/Top Performances:
5000: 14:04 (Penn Relays, 2013)
3000: 8:05 (IC4A Championships, 2009)