ZAP Endurance has added two of the US’ top emerging distance runners – Eric van der Els and Ryan Ford – to its resident roster.
Eric van der Els
van der Els is a native of Norwalk, CT and a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut where he was a multiple time Big East Conference Champion, including titles in the outdoor 1500m and indoor 3,000m in 2022, the latter in which he set a Big East Conference Meet record of 7:52. Eric also scored a personal best for 5,000m of 13:36.2 this spring, the event he ran at the NCAA meet and led the UConn men’s Distance Medley Relay to a 3rd place performance and school record at the Penn Relays. van der Els was also the US junior champion and the Pan American junior Champion in 2017 in the 1500.
Ford hails from Huntsville, AL and graduated from UT Martin (TN) where he was the Ohio Valley Conference 5,000m Champion before finishing his collegiate career at Iowa State. Ford played a key role as part of the 2021 Iowa State XC team that finished runner up at the NCAA Championships. He was an all Big 12 Conference selection in XC and on the track in 2022 grabbed personal bests of 28:34 for 10,000m and 13:34 for 5,000, the event he contested at the NCAA Championship.
“Eric & Ryan are both talented and immensely hard working young athletes,” said ZAP Head Coach Pete Rea. “We are very excited to begin working with them toward the 2024 Olympic Trials and beyond. Eric loves to compete with a great nose for the finish line and his energy is infectious. As well I believe Ryan is one of the more underrated athletes coming out of the NCAA only recently beginning to explore higher training volumes. They both have great potential.”