Saturday, January 25, 2020

2020 New Balance Grand Prix Indoor-Masters Miles--Preview

January 25, 2020 The New Balance Grand Prix Indoor Track Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston is one of the premier indoor track meets in the country. It features a Masters Mile with a Woman's heat and a Men's. The Women go off first at 5:04 PM with the Men at 5:13 pm.

WOMEN

Sascha Scott should perhaps be viewed as the favorite. She won the Hartshorne Mile last year in 5:02.8, with an 18 second victory margin.Training for an racing Cyclocross improved her strength and she took the highly competitive USATF Masters Club XC crown at Lehigh in December. As part of her prep she ran 18:39 at the Pete Glavin XC Race #1 (5K).

Karolyn Bowley ran a 5:11.2 at the David Hemery BU Invitational last year. She took 1st place Masters at the USATF-NE Outdoor Track Championships in 4:47.7. No slouch on the roads, she took 2nd Masters to Dawn Grunnagle at the Beach to Beacon 10K in 36:44. She was also the Siulver Medalist at the USATF Masters 10K Championship in Dedham MA in April. She was the only Masters athlete in the Mayor's Cup 5K XC race in Boston in October, finishing 40th overall in 19:24.

Shari Boyle is listed as Canadian. The only Canadian I can find competes mostly in Western Canada on the roads and trails. She has a sub-19 5K and a sub-37 10K so she has some road speed, for sure. I also find a 10:59.8 3000 meter steeplechase for her which makes for an intriguing competitor.

Kasie Enman ran 21:47 to finish 8th overall at the USATF-NE 6K XC Championship in October. She was 1st Masters at the Lone Gull 10K in 36:32. Thirty-nine at the time, Enman ran in the Community Division at the James Joyce Ramble, posting a time of 37:06, eleven seconds faster than Bowley's time, which took 2nd in the USATF Masters 10K Championship, run on the same course, starting a few minutes ahead of the Community race.

Alice Kassens ran a 5:41.03 Mile at the USATF-SE Region Championships in 2016, and in 2017 was the Bronze Medalist at the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships in Flint MI in 5:35. Sher aced sparingly last year but had a strong showing at the USATF Masters 15K Championships in Tulsa OK, finishing third in 1:00:41, running a minute faster than in 2018. Kassens apparently ran into difficulties in the California International Marathon where her time was far slower than she would normally run. Whether that had any lingering effects is a question.
Lined Up for the Start of the 2019 Masters Mile at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix [R to L: Kaela O'Neil, Dianne DeOliveira, Christy Peterson, Alice Kassens, Brooke Kish, Sashcha Scott, Jennifer St. Jean] (Photo Credit: usatf masters)
Amy Kvilhaug ran 5:44.5 at the Miles Mania #3 on Staten Island last winter, following it with a win in 5:36.4 at the USATF NY/NJ Indoor Championships. She finished 4th at the prestigious Spring Street Mile in the summer, just ahead of Judy Stobbe.

Kaela O'Neil ran a 5:16.1 Mile at the BU Mini Meet in December 2018, finishing 3 seconds ahead of Bowley. The week before she took 4th at the USATF Club XC Masters Championships over 6K in Spokane WA in 22:27. Focusing primarily on the roads this past year, O'Neil ran 38:57 at the Beach to Beacon 10K and 38:19 at the Lone Gull 10K.

Ginger Reiner ran 18:22 to win the USATF-NE Masters 5000 meter indoor championship 2 years ago. Later that year Reiner finished 5th at the USATF Masters 10K Championship in Dedham in 39:27. She had won the race the year prior in 37:09. In 2019 she has focused on the triathlon, finishing 8th overall and first Masters at the Olympic-Tri Championships in Cleveland OH, turning in a 40:01 10K to finish off her triathlon after 1500 meters of swimming in open water and a 40K bike ride. Apart from Scott, Reiner is the only one of these athletes to excel at the triathlon, which Scott did prior to trying Cyclo Cross. In 2015 before graduating to Masters status, Scott clocked a 39:46 as the final 10K of another triathlon.

Ann Restak ran 19:09 at the USATF 5K Championships at the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K; she was 6th in a very strong Masters field. She ran 18:57 the year before in the Abbott Dash. Three weeks after the 2019 Dash, she ran 18:34 in a Trot for Hunger 5K in Washington DC.

I would see Scott as the favorite; if she runs as she has been lately it doesn't seem that any of the others can stay with her. She is also the defending champion; she finished a second ahead of Jennifer St. Jean last year in 5:01.3. O'Neil and Bowley were over 9 seconds back. Bowley or Enman might be close and then there are always the wild cards. Scott may worry most about the steeplechaser, Boyle, and the road runner turned tri-athlete, Reiner, who are apparently following paths closer to the one she has chosen.


MEN

Jay Brecher ran 4:44 at the Streetsville Mile in Mississauga, a suburb of  Toronto. In September 2017 he ran a 4:35 at the 5th Avenue Mile to finish 4th, six seconds behind Mark Williams.

Justin Daglish won the 2018 Boulevard Mile in Providence in 4:44. He finished 20th at the USATF-NE XC Championships over 8K in 28:43. Shortly after he ran 16:46 at the Concord Turkey Trot and earlier this month 17:56 at the Fudgcickle Series #1-5K.

Jim Dyck CAN ran 5:10 at the Wild Mile in Toronto in October, if it is the right 'Jim Dyck.' In 2017 he apparently ran a 2:04.8 800 Meters at an outdoor meet in Toronto.

Mick Hill GBR. Has he come over just for this race or is he resident in the US? There is a Mick Hill, 40, who ran a smoking fast 30:55 [4:59 pace] in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10K in October. There is also a Mick Hill wh finished 2nd in 24:27 [5:09 pace] at the Manchester Road Race (4.748 miles), finishing 18 seconds behind Chris Naimoli. Either way he's a serious contender.

Chris Magill is known primarily as a stalwart member of the BAA's 40+ Masters team which competes regionally on the roads and nationally on Club Cross Country turf. In January 2017, Magill ran 4:40.16 East Coast Invitational and 4:35.62 at the BU Mini Meet.

Tony O'Brien GBR--Sorry, but I have no possibility of figuring out which of the many Tony O'Briens this is. He is a wild card, from my 'outsider' vantage point.

Mark O'Shea IRL. This one is also doubtful but a Mark O'Shea, of indeterminate age, finished 9th of 13 in the Belfast Irish Milers Club Meet in May 2018 in 4:34.7. But that Mark O'Shea is listed as GBR, as would be appropriate for Northern Ireland, not IRL. If the O'Shea entered is that O'She, he will be in the mix for sure. As noted below, whether I have identified these results correctly or not, he won the New Balance race last year in 4:28.35.

Sandhu Rebencuic finished 22nd overall and 2nd 50-54 (behind Peter Hammer) at the recent Club Cross Championships at Lehigh. He finished 8th at the USATF-NE 3000 meter run (4:53 pace) indoors last February.
Peter Brady winning the 2016 edition of the Masters Mile ahead of Mark Williams (Feb. 13, 2016 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America
Chuck Schneekloth took the title, by a lean, at the USATF Masters 1 Mile (road) Championships in Flint MI this past August. His 4:37 was three seconds slower than he ran the week before at the Midland Avenue Mile in NJ. He finished 2nd in M40 at the NCCWMA Championships 800 Meter in Toronto in 2:02.6. Mark Williams had a faster time in M45. The same pattern emerged in the 1500 where Schneekloth took 2nd in 4:20.22, roughly equivalent to a 4:44 Mile. From Strava posts, it appears that his training has been going very well this past fall and winter.

TJ Unger took the Mile title at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships last winter in 4:31.8. The month before he clocked a 4:26.9 at the BU David Hemery Invitational.

Bill Wells CAN ran 5:09 to finish just ahead of Jim Dyck if these are the correct folks, which seems a little doubtful. In February 2017 a Bill Wells ran a 4:28.5 1500 Meter in the Canadian Championships. That's roughly equivalent to a 4:53 mile.

Mark Williams, as noted above, won the M45 1500 meters in 4:12.3 at the NCCWMA Championships in Toronto, roughly equivalent to a 4:35 mile. He also won the M45 800 meters in 2:01.2. He also took the crown in the USATF Indoor Championships M45 800 Meters in 2:03.6 last winter, finishing a half tick ahead of TJ Unger. He also ran 4:38.8 at the 2019 USATF NY/NJ Championships in the Mile, and finished 2nd to Brock Butler at the 2019 Hartshorne Masters Mile in 4:36.4, after winning it the year before in 4:31.8.

Scott Wisnaskas ran 34:49 at the Lone Gull 10K and finished 3rd in the 8K Masters race at the USATF-NE XC Championships, behind Eric Blake and ahead of David Bedoya. I can find no recent track results for Wisnaskas on Athlinks.

Last year O'Shea won in 4:28.35, with Unger 3rd in 4:29.3, and Williams 6th in 4:36.5. It is hard to say anyone looks definitively better than Mark Williams. But O'Shea is the defending Champion; he has the bull's eye on his back. Williams, Unger, Schneekloth, and possibly Hill will push him every inch of the way. It should be a blast to watch!



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Friday, January 24, 2020

My 1st Race of 2020-Pensacola Double Bridge Run

January 24 2020. I just signed up for my first race of 2020-It's a 15K in Pensacola, FL, presented by Publix, a major supermarket and big supporter of road races in the south. This is the 23rd running. Not quite as famous as a couple of other 15K's later this winter in Tampa and Jacksonville, it still attracts about 3,000 runners for the 15K. In addition to the beaches and the usual Gulf attractions and activities, there is the Historic Pensacola Village to check out, the Museum District near the Port of Pensacola,
Port of Pensacola [Photo Credit for all photos unless otherwise indicated: Pensacola Double Bridge Run-Facebook Photo Gallery]

and, when the alerts are not too high, the National Naval Aviation Museum. [Current guidance is that access to the installation is available only for someone who is a veteran [VHIC card] or who has DoD ID. Those individuals may also escort visitors to the museum without such id.]
National Naval Aviation Museum

It's a destination for northerners in the cold months of winter; highs in January are typically in the 60's and lows in the 40's, but it can get hotter or colder. It was ten degrees warmer just after New Year's a couple of weeks ago. Last time I ran in 2017, the temps were just barely above freezing in the run up to the 7 AM race time. The forecast this year looks more favorable, with temps in the low 50's; 9 mph winds will make it feel like 47, but that's not bad for 7 AM, and good for running; in the afternoon it should get up to the low 60's. The humidity of 86% will not be bad for folks from the area, but a few folks have wondered if someone from the Great lakes should not allow an extra couple of days to acclimatize to it. Things worked out okay last time but I have not run as well as I had hoped on my other two Florida jaunts, to Tampa in 2017, and to Naples last year. I drive the longer stretch on Thursday, staying in southern Alabama, with a short stretch on Friday into Pensacola. I hope it will go well, as it did when I traveled to Pensacola in 2017!

Tyler McCandless has often raced in their elite Open field; he was the winner 2013-2015 and in 2018.
 
Tyler McCandless wins in 2018 with a 46:03!

Sonja Friend-Uhl took the Women's Open crown in 2013; her Atlanta Track Club teammate, Mary Sweeney, was first Masters winner in 2015.  James Carney set the course record of 43:31 in 2009 for Men, a twitch over 4:44 pace; in 2011, Janet Cherobon ran 49:58, just under 5:22 pace, the fastest time for Women recorded so far. Smoking fast!

Kimi Reed wins in 2018 in 54:42!

I ran in 2017, clocking 1:11:35 at age 71, beating my 1:12 goal by 25 seconds, to run my age in minutes. I missed my goal of getting the Senior Grandmaster 1st place. That went to Stephen Bauer, 62, who ran 1:10:32. The last two years the winning Senior Grandmaster time has been faster, 1:02:51 in 2018 and 1:09:46 in 2019. Breaking 1:10 is probably out of the question for me this year; in October I ran 1:13:58 to take 2nd at the USATF Masters 15K National Championships in the 70-74 division.
2919 USATF Masters 15K National Championship in Tulsa OK--70-74 Podium Finishers L to R-Jerry Learned Bronze Dave Glass Gold Me, Paul Carlin Silver  [Photo courtesy of Lloyd Hansen]

That race is tough because of the many hills and just one long straightaway to find your rhythm. The Double Bridge Run is not easy, but it has a stretch of about 6 miles with nary a turn, just a couple of bends. The first bridge is 3 miles long taking the runners from a little over 3 miles to a bit over 6 and a brief run through the town of Gulf Breeze at the end of a peninsula, before taking the second bridge to Pensacola Beach where the race ends.
There are Long Bridges to Race Over!

Heading Up the Incline on a Foggy Morning

The two bridges provide the hills on the course. I remember the first one as being the steeper, as well as longer of the two. I understand the 3 mile bridge has been replaced; I trust it is no steeper, but steeper or not, we will all get over it!

The 15K is point-to-point, so early risers have an advantage. The shuttle buses leave from the Finish Line area from 5 am to 6 am. The staging area for the start is at a park surrounding a Minor League Baseball stadium; restrooms are open but there is no shelter to speak of. Luckily it is rarely needed. Gear check ends at 6:40 am so you need to have a plan for keeping warm enough and/or dry enough, depending on weather specifics, for about 20-25 minutes. They have had plenty of time to make sure things are well organized. At 6:55 is the Presentation of the Colors and the National Anthem; five minutes later a cannon is fired and the race is underway!
They are Off and Running!

The finish area is big enough so there is plenty of space for the thousands of runners to arrive, yet compact enough that everything from refreshments to gear bag pickup to posted results to awards are located for convenient access.
Diagram of Finish Area [Downloaded from http://pensacolasports.org/doublebridgerun-maps/#1449774002789-618418e0-0b14]

My goal is to run as fast as my age, now 74, or faster, so under 1:15:00, but I hope to run closer to 1:13. In 2017 I tweaked something in the week leading up to the 15K in Tulsa so just ran easy to finish in 1:19+. I ran much faster this year but was healthy. A sub 1:13 would be very nice! Either way it will be good to be back out on the roads again!

53rd Running of Hartshorne Mile this Saturday-Preview

January 23, 2020.  My posts tend to relate to road races and cross country. Occasionally I have recapped on noteworthy middle distance and distance events on the track. One of those is coming up this Saturday, January25th at Cornell University's Barton Hall. Started by Jim Hartshorne in 1968, this is the 53rd edition, a classic! To attract elite fields the race offers cash prizes to the top 5 Age Grade finishers in each of the Elite 40 and Elite 50+ heats. The first three across the finish line receive commemorative medals. It attracts primarily from the Northeast although this year they have elite entrants from Florida, Virginia and Wisconsin. I preview the races below but am too far out of my usual haunts to venture a specific podium prediction.

The Women Elite 2 (50+) is at 10:45 AM. In terms of first across the finish line, it looks like a tight battle between Julie Barclay, Karyl Sargent, and Kristin White; the seeded times are 6:05, 6:00, and 6:03. Sargent finished 5th in a loaded 55-59 field at the USATF 8K (road) Championship in Virginia Beach, despite running under 6:55 per mile pace. Last year Sargent had the 5th fastest time in this race with a 6:06, graded at 87.21%. A regular on the Pete Glavin XC race series, Barclay did not compete last year at Hartshorne. Primarily a tri-athlete, White dips her toe in the XC waters and, apparently the track, from time to time. In 2018 she ran 21:16 at the PG 5K XC last September. By comparison, Sargent, Mary Swan, and Barclay ran 21:00, 22:11, and 23:21 in the PG 5K XC this year. Swan's seed time of 6:24 ranks 6th in the field. I imagine Cross Country finishes are a rough guide, at best, to success on the track. Sandra Gregorich ran 6:35 at the Flint Road Mile, which must be her seed time. It si possible she could run a bit faster here as that course is not fast. If Coreen Steinbach, 68, can come close to her seed time of 6:37, she will win the age-grading going away. It grades at 97%+; she took the win with a 93%+ last year. The most recent outing I can find for Steinbach is a 38:14 8K at the Philly Marathon Weekend the weekend before Thanksgiving; that's a 7:42 pace, suggesting a 90%+ is likely this year.

The Men Elite 2 (50+) at 11 AM sports a few runners who appear on the USATF Masters Grand Prix circuit, mostly from GVH , although 3 of the top 4 seed times are from Massachusetts residents. David Westenberg won his 60-64 division crown at the Rad Mile National Championship in Flint with a time of 5:13. He enters with a 5:09 seed time, #3 on the list. But #2 on the list is Francis Burdett, with a 5:00. Burdett has been a marvel at recovering from injury over the past few years but it would be a surprise if he can get close to 5:00 this year. Last summer Burdett finished 6th in the NCCWMA Toronto 50-54 Championships in 4:46; that's roughly equivalent to a 5:12. And Burdett was clearly off his game at the 15K and Club Cross Championships in the fall. He ran a minute behind his running comrades, Dale Flanders and Joseph Mora, at Lehigh, albeit at 10K rather than 8K, presumably because he was just running for his team, the Greater Springfield Harriers. Westenberg's 31:38 was over the 8K Club Cross course; it scales up to 39:30 with no adjustment for a slower pace over the extra 2K. An estimate of something like a 40:00 10K time is probably more accurate. That was Westenberg's first XC outing in many a year and likely that made a difference. As noted above, XC is just a rough guide to a mile on the track. If Westenberg can get close to a 5:09, which seems likely, he will age grade over 90% making him a favorite to end up 'in the money.' Mora's seed is only a second slower but he is 4 years younger. Casey Carlstrom, 60, ran 5 seconds slower than Westenberg at Club Cross; his seed time in the mile is 16 seconds slower. John McMahon, with the 2nd fastest seed time of 5:06, ran slower than Flanders and Mora at Club Cross with a 40:03, and only a half minute ahead of Burdett. Westenberg seems to be a safe favorite for the top age grade. To the extent that XC is a guide, Grandfield looks the favorite, with Westenberg and McMahon in close pursuit. It will be interesting to see how Burdett and McMahon sort themselves. I would not be amazed to see Burdett run better than my words above suggest. I am less familiar with McMahon, who was apparently running without a complete team at Club Cross. That could make it a less accurate gauge for him.
Lined up for the 2018 Edition of the Masters Miles-Elite Heat -Photographer shooting Mike Nier, with Francis Burdett two runners to his right, your left, among others I cannot identify (apologies, gentlemen). [Photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Running Club]
Women Elite 1Susan 'Lynn' Cooke has the slowest seed time of 6:00, but you can be sure competitors won't be taking her lightly, especially for the age-grading cash. When she was at the top of her game, she took the 55-59 division at XC Nationals in Tallahassee ahead of Lorraine Jasper. She also took the division title in the 1500 meters at the 2018 Outdoor Masters TF Championships in 5:25, roughly equivalent to a 5:54. Cooke is on the comeback trail, but if she can run close to her seed time, she age grades over 90%. Lorraine Jasper finished 2nd in the 55-59 division at Club XC at Lehigh so no reason to doubt current fitness. She also finished 2nd in the division at the Saucony Mile this past summer in 5:47. Her third place time last year was 5:49.35. If Cooke is not quite ready for a 6:00, Jasper could well take the top age grading prize. Alisa Harvey has the 2nd best seed time at 5:32. A strong runner from the Mile to the Half Marathon, Harvey ran 1:11:19 in the Army Ten Miler last fall, and took 1st in her division at the USATF1 Mile (road) Championship in 2017 with a 5:36. She was first 'grandmaster' at the Loudoun Street Mile last May in 5:56. That suggests it may be a stretch for her to approach her seed time of 5:32. Dianne DeOliveira has a seed time of 5:28; that's the time she ran at Hartshorne last year. Her 5K times running up through the fall are comparable to what she ran last year. She also ran credibly at Club Cross so there is no reason to think she would be far off  from a  5:28. Michelle Rohl ran 5:38 here last year and then a minute faster at the USATF Indoor Championships to finish 1st in her division. She ran 15 seconds faster than Jasper at the 8K on Philadelphia Marathon weekend. Amy Fakterowitz has the same seed time as Rohl, She ran 5:55 and then 5:44 at road miles two weeks apart last summer, so a 5:36 does not seem too far off. Fakterowitz had a strong year at USATF National Masters Championships on the road and the turf, winning the 50-54 Grand Prix. Her Club Cross time of 25:40 suggests strong fitness coming into the Indoor Track season, Based ont he above it looks like DeOliveira is the one to beat in terms of finishing first across the finish line, with Jasper, perhaps, enjoying that distinction for age-grading.
2018 Hartshorne Mile Elite 1 Race-L to R Alisa Harvey, Christy Peterson and Sascha Scott [Photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Running Club]

Men Elite 1 Peter Brady and Dave Welsh have the fastest seed times coming in at 4:34. Brady has been one of the top Masters Milers nationally for the last few years. He has had a plantar fascitis issue and, after being in control for a bit, reared up again after an Indoor Mile in mid-December. He would have to rely on cross training for fitness again, so he may not be at the top of his game. Last October Welsh finished 2nd Overall and first Master at the 5000 Yard Dash in Philadelphia with a 15:58. He finished 3rd in his division at the USATF Masters Indoor 800 Meter Run in 2:07.2, and clocked 4:38.8 to win the Mile at the USATF NY/NJ Championships. Tim Van Orden who broke the 50-54 American (road) Record in Flint this year with a 4:46, is also in the field with a seed time of 4:41. The Flint course is not fast so a 4:41 seems within reach. Van Orden ran a credible time at Club Cross so his fitness seems fine. Charles 'Chuck' Novak won the previous year's edition of the USATF Road Mile Championship in 4:47 so he and Novak would appear to be closely matched. He ran a 17:10 5K in September and a 4-Mile Run in 21:19, which seem in line with his usual efforts. Kenneth Barbee ran a 4:50 in the West Chester Mile last summer, a 16:51 5K in November, and was clicking on all cylinders at Club Cross where he finished just off the 55-59 podium. Should he get close to a 4:50 at age 55, he would be the favorite for age-grading; it would get a score of 91.45%. Mike Nier is the same age and comes in with a seed time 5 seconds slower than Barbee's at 4:55. Everyone else is younger so there is a good chance that whoever wins the battle between Barbee and Nier will take top age grade money out of the Elite 1 race. Don't think it won't be close; they had the same time to the second at Club Cross this year in Lehigh! Brian Lazzaro ran 4:54.9 here last year; his times in the PG XC series were slightly faster this year but it seems unlikely he would beat that by much. Jay Hubisz ran 4:56 and 5:03 at two Indoor Miles last year. His performance on the PG XC circuit and Club Cross suggest Nier and Barbee are better on the turf. It looks like Welsh has the inside track for the win with Barbee and Nier fighting it out for age-grading superiority.

It looks like an exciting morning of races, both to be first across the line, but also to keep it going no matter what your place if you have a shot at age-grading $!




Friday, January 17, 2020

Masters Championship Races at the 2020 USATF Cross Country Championships-Preview

January 17 2020. San Diego, CA. Like their feathered friends, storied for their return to Capistrano, a few miles north, Masters Runners are returning to the shores of Mission Bay for the latest installment of the USATF Cross Country Championships, often referred to as Cross Nationals to distinguish them from Club Cross. Many raced here in October for the 5 Km Masters Cross Country Championships. Saturday morning, January 18th, the races go off at 9:30 AM (Women 6 Km), and 10:30 AM (Men 8 Km) kick off a full day of racing with USATF Junior and Open Championships following. The forecast calls for upper 50’s, partly cloudy skies and gentle winds, a perfect day for XC!
The Gun Sounds! The Masters Women were off and running at Mission Bay in October. Photo:A Snail's Pace FB post

Overall National Championships
The Women's race is first. Lorilyn Bloomer, Kimberly Mueller, and Marisa Sutera Strange will meet again. Last October, Oregon's Bloomer had the best day of the  three, finishing 3rd, with San Diego's Mueller 5th and Strange, from the Northeast 7th. With only 34 seconds between Bloomer, Mueller, and Strange, reversals are possible. 
Kimberly Mueller finishing 2nd to Hilary Corno at the 2019 Dirt Dog Cross Country Championships in November FB photo posted by K Mueller

Perhaps Strange had an off day in October? Eight months earlier in Tallahassee, she was on her game as she won the 2018 edition of Cross Nationals. Can she repeat? At the age of 56 it would be an astounding accomplishment. 
Marisa Sutera Strange far left pushes the pace with the rest of the lead pack, L to R Jill Braley, Sarah Barber, and Laura Bosley on her way to the Overall win at 2019 Club Cross in Tallahassee


Several others in the field could factor into the podium race. Grace Padilla, the champion of the 2016 Cross Nationals edition in Bend, OR, did not compete this past October. Padilla edged Mueller for 7th by 2 seconds at 2018 Club Cross in Spokane. But Padilla finished further back in Bethlehem this year, 14th, although 4 seconds ahead of Strange. It could have been that the muddy conditions hindered her more than others, or it could have just been an off day. In either case, she will be looking for a good outing at Mission Bay. 
Grace Padilla heading for a top-10 finish at 2018 Club Cross in Spokane Photo-Mike Scott

With a 1:25 Half Marathon and a 3:07 NYC marathon last fall, Eva Lozano has strength. Her outing at the Balboa Park 4 Mile XC race, where she finished behind Amy Halseth, shows that she can handle Cross Country. It will be a fascinating race to watch. Technically Strange is the defending champ, but she lost to Bloomer three months ago on this same course. So Bloomer enters as the favorite. Padilla beat Strange by 4 seconds in Spokane. But if Strange has a good day, it could end differently; she is a competitor.
Lorilyn Bloomer       Kimberly Mueller     Grace Padilla
Front of the Pack at Mission Bay in October Photo: Cal Coast FB post-Photographer-Philip Nevenhoven

Jacques Sallberg and David Angell renew their rivalry in the Men’s race. Angell finished 3rd, with Sallberg 5th at 2018 Club Cross, while Sallberg won both Cross Nationals and Club Cross competitions this past year in Tallahassee and Bethlehem.  
Jacques Sallberg closes in on the win at Mission Bay in October Photo: Cal Coast FB post-Photographer-Philip Nevenhoven

Eric Blake, who bested Angell on the roads at the 10 Km Championship in Dedham and finished a close 2nd at the USATF-NE Cross Country Championships, will also challenge. Blake was only 8 seconds back from Michael Gordon, who finished 5th at Club Cross last month. He will challenge for the win. The race in Bethlehem was an anomaly for Angell; his preparations went well but on the day, he did not have his normal outing and was not close to the lead pack. He will certainly be looking for redemption at Mission Bay. 
David Angell leading Jacques Sallberg and John Gardiner at 2019 Cross Nationals in Tallahassee Photo-Mike Scott

John Gardiner was on the Cross Nationals podium last year in Tallahassee, within a half minute of Angell, and only a little further back in Spokane. He was actually closer to Angell in Bethlehem but not to Sallberg. If things break his way, he could be on the podium. Solomon Kandie ran a 33:36 10K in Albuquerque last fall and a 1:14:36 Half Marathon in the spring. Paul Smith has a 56:35 Sactown10 Miler to his credit, along with a 2:49:35 at the California International Marathon. His teammate, Jesse Barragan, ran 34:38 in Spokane, finishing a half minute behind Joshua Gordon. All 4 could factor into the podium race. Sallberg is running extremely well right now on the turf, and he is the defending champion from Tallahassee. It would be tough to pick against him winning. I expect Angell to bounce back from an off day, but Blake is a tough customer as he showed in Dedham.
Jacques Sallberg     Eric Blake     David Angell

Age Grading National Championships
Age-Grading levels the playing field across Masters competitors of all ages by comparing that athlete’s performance to the projected World’s Best for the runner’s age and gender. Age Division Championships sort out who is the best runner within a given 5-year age group. Age-grading sorts among those Champions, and sometimes runner-ups, to figure out who has run the best for their age. The runners with the top age grading scores are considered to be the best Masters runners across all age divisions. Strange, 56, who took the age-grading title last October, and Jane Treleven, 71, who finished 2nd should be at the top again. 
Age-Grading Podium at Mission Bay in October [L to R- Jane Treleven, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, Marisa Sutera Strange] Photo: San Diego Track Club FB post

Treleven apparently celebrated a birthday between last fall's 5 Km race and this one; that will help her to keep the other challengers at bay. Jeanette Groesz, 70, finished 5th last October but was on the podium in Spokane. Bloomer, 47, finished 7th in San Diego last October.  Laura Bruess, 57, finished 10th age-grading at Bethlehem; the only one who beat her there and is entered Saturday is Strange.
Marisa Sutera Strange     Jane Treleven     Jeanette Groesz

On the Men’s side, Nat Larson, 2019 Harrier of the Year, 57, and Joe Sheeran, 62, who aspires to the title in 2020, are the co-favorites. 
Joe Sheeran well ahead, with no one in sight at the 2019 Club Cross 60+ race at Lehigh last month Photo - Mike Scott

They have been at or near the top of the heap for the last year in 50+ and 60+ respectively. Sheeran finished 2nd to Rick Becker in M60+ at Spokane; Larson won the M50+. Cross Nationals in Tallahassee was the only event where Larson and Sheeran ran in the same championship race; Larson had the honors, 90.42 to 89.74. 
 
Christian Cushing-Murray, 50-54, L and Nat Larson, 55-59, R heading for the top finish in their respective divisions at 2019 Cross Nationals in Tallahassee

Larson was on the comeback from a niggling injury at Club Cross in December; Sheeran scored 92.44 in the M60+ race as Larson 'only' managed an 88.8. If Larson is back at the top of his game, it will be fun for the spectators to see who emerges at the top of age-grading. They will run in the same race, as they did at Tallahassee. The race not mentioned is the Masters 5 Km XC in San Diego. Larson did not enter. But instead of Sheeran winning the top age grade award, as many expected, Sallberg ran so fast that he took the age-grading title along with the Overall win. Sallberg loves the course at Mission Bay; if he has another day like the one he had last October, he has a shot at another double, winning overall and age-grading. Mike Blackmore, 57 at the time, outpointed Sheeran in Tallahassee to finish 2nd to Larson with a 90.01.  His Bowerman team did not contest the 50+ race at Bethlehem so we lack recent direct evidence of his fitness. If he is at the top of his game, he could win it all. But another Bowerman runner is even more likely to contend. Blackmore ran well at the Stumptown #5 XC race in Oregon with a 29:59; his teammate, Paul Smith, 55, ran even better with a 28:15. [Note: There are two Paul Smith's in the Championships, one in 40-44 and this one in 55-59.] Blackmore is now 58 but if Smith can still run a minute and a half faster, he gets the higher age grade score. Craig Godwin's 35:08 at Club Cross earned the 52-year-ol a 6th best age-grading score in the M40+ race.
Jacques Sallberg     Nat Larson     Joe Sheeran

Age Division National Championships
Age Division National Championships will be contested in 5-year divisions from 40-44 to 90-94. Safe bets include Gunnar Linde, 91, who is unopposed in Men's 90-94, as is Warren Osborn in 85-89. Madeline Bost is in a similar position in 80-84 on the Women’s side. They will miss the thrill of competition but enjoy their victories, no doubt. Otherwise there is spirited competition in every division. 
40-44  
Three of the contenders mentioned for Overall Champion are in other divisions. Kimberly Mueller and Eva Lozano should go 1-2. Amy Alzina and Juliet Wahleithner should contest for the final podium spot and appear closely matched. Alzina ran a 1:07:37 10 Miler in Santa Barbara in April and Wahleithner ran 1:07:59 in the Sactown 10 Miler. Alzina is apparently a distance specialist; I can find no serious races shorter than a 15K in the last 7 years. Wahleithner is more versatile, with Half Marathons in the 1:28-1:29 range and 5K's in the 19:02 to 19:57 range. Alzina has a faster half marathon at 1:26:47 but it is a 'Mountains to Beach' HM which suggests times are faster than most, just due to the course. As both of Wahleithner's are out and backs in Fresno, I call those roughly even as well. I can find a XC result for Wahleithner, a 27:38 in a 4 Mile Pacific Association event. I can find no results for Alzina in the So Cal Association XC series. 
Kimberly Mueller     Eva Lozano     Juliet Wahleithner
Sallberg is in 45-49, but Angell, Blake, Kandie and Smith are all in this division. As suggested above, Angell and Blake should battle for the Overall win and, in the process, sort out two-thirds of the division podium. Smith seems just a bit faster than Kandie so I predict him for 3rd place.
Eric Blake     David Angell     Paul Smith

45-49   
As suggested in the Overall section, Bloomer is favored to win overall. If so she takes this division as well. But Grace Padilla will be nipping at her heels all the way unless, of course, she decides the best strategy is to go out hard and make Bloomer catch her. With a 19:14 Crazy 8's 5K XC result and a 1:27:06 Yosemite Half Marathon, Kristen Reyes should be right there with Bloomer and Padilla. 
Lorilynn Bloomer     Grace Padilla      Kristen Reyes
Masters Women lined up at the start waiting for the gun to sound at the 2019 USATF Masters 5 Km Championship at Mission Bay in October Photo posted on FB by A Snail's pace

Sallberg should take the Overall title and this division crown along the way. His teammate, John Gardiner, should not be far back. Joshua Gordon was a minute back from Gardiner at Club Cross in Bethlehem but was only 12 seconds back at Spokane last year. It could well be that the best of the rest is Joseph Galvin, running for the Marine Corps. He ran 59:23 at the Army 10 Miler and 1:25:05 at the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon. Underestimate a Marine at your peril. Nonetheless, he will need an exceptional day to make the podium in this tough division!
Jacques Sallberg     John Gardiner     Joshua Gordon

50-54 
Nancy Thomas is the newcomer in this age division. She was always a podium threat in the 45-49 division. She is favored to take the 50-54 division title at these Championships. She came in 24 seconds ahead of her closest rival, Tania Fischer, in Bethlehem. Thomas bested Fischer by 20 seconds at Spokane. 
Nancy Thomas far left strides sharply round the bend on the way to a top-20 finish overall at 2018 Club Cross in Spokane Photo - Mike Scott

It does not seem that anyone else in the division can stay with those two. Kathleen Cushing-Murray was close to Fischer a couple of years ago but has finished well back at the last 2 Club Cross competitions. She was closer this year than last so may be coming back from injury or time away for other pursuits. The best bet for the final podium spot appears to be Maureen Friend, who ran 21:10 at the Crazy 8's 5 Km XC event. 
Nancy Thomas     Tania Fischer     Maureen Friend

Craig Godwin enters as the favorite. He ran against Christian Cushing-Murray, Matt Farley, and Mark Hixson at Bethlehem, emerging in 3rd place in the division, ahead of all 3 who will oppose him in this race. 
 
Craig Godwin digs for the finish line and a 3rd place finish at 2019 Club Cross at Lehigh Photo - Mike Scott

The closest was Hixson, 49 seconds back. Godwin also took the age-grading title at the 15K on the roads in Tulsa with a 51:37, 4th overall.As always, the tea leaves have to be read through a somewhat murky liquid.  
Mark Hixson Far right leads runners around a muddy turn on his way to a 6th place finish at the 2019 Club Cross Championships at Lehigh University Photo - Mike Scott

Eric Hartmann did not run at Bethlehem but came in almost a minute ahead of Godwin at Spokane, but only 4 seconds ahead of Hixson. His 28:12 in the Stumptown #5 8 Km XC race suggests his conditioning was as good in November 2019 as in 2018 before Spokane. Just to make things interesting, Cushing-Murray finished 40 seconds ahead of Hartmann in Spokane. And just to confuse things a bit more, Farley finished well ahead of Cushing-Murray at this Mission Bay course last October. Wow! I guess they will have to run the race! Yee-hah!
Craig Godwin     Eric Hartmann     Mark Hixson

55-59  When a 56-year-old is in the mix for the overall win, there is little doubt who should be considered the favorite for the 55-59 division. Marisa Sutera Strange should take the title by a wide margin even though she has Laura Bruess, one of the finest 55-59 division runners in the US, in the same race. Bruess took 3rd at the recent Club Cross Championships in Bethlehem behind Strange's 1st. She had a harder time at San Diego last October where the race was stacked with talent; she took 5th behind Strange's win at that one.  
Start of the Masters Women's Race at 2018 Club Cross Championships in Spokane Photo  Mike Scott

Nancy Wilkins-Diehr was behind Bruess in both San Diego and Bethlehem; she has a shot at the podium. But Rosalva Bonilla, who had a faster time in the 50-54 division at San Diego has since aged up into this division.
Marisa Sutera Strange     Laura Bruess     Rosalva Bonilla

Nat Larson, although not quite a threat for the Overall win on the Men's side, is not far off and is one of the favorites to contend for the Age-Grading Championship. He should take the division handily. Mike Blackmore finished 22 seconds back from Larson at Cross Nationals in Tallahassee. Only one runner, Mark Zamek, finished closer in Bethlehem and he is not entered this weekend. Kevin Zimmer, who won the division last October at the 5 Km Masters in 17:59, and was a minute faster than Blackmore at 2017 Club Cross in Lexington, albeit a minute behind Larson. 
A Portion of the Men's field heads out onto the Tallahassee Cross Country course fo rthe 2019 Cross National Championships Photo - Mike Scott

Mark Tatum comes down from altitude to contest the division. He finished 2nd to Brian Pilcher at Dipsea this past year. That is roughly equivalent to a 2nd age-grading place as they handicap the race with runners starting at different times. He finished 3rd at Cross Nationals in Tallahassee behind Larson and Blackmore.
Nat Larson      Kevin Zimmer     Mike Blackmore

60-64   


Nancy Simmons jumped into the USATF circuit in Flint, MI, with a big splash, taking first by 28 seconds over Patrice Combs, the very strong runner out of Atlanta. She also has some XC 'cred' from finishing 2nd, just a minute behind Bruess in 55-59 at the 2015 Cross Nationals in Bend OR. Nothing ever comes easy though. Suzanne Cordes also moved up from 55-59 this year. Cordes finished 6th at Bethlehem, 19 seconds ahead of Combs. 
Nancy Simmons takes the Road Mile win for 60-64 at the 2019 USATF Masters National Championships in Flint, MI Photo courtesy of Enmotive, Inc.
It should be quite a battle! Mo Bartley should have no trouble closing out the podium. She finished 2nd to Hall-of-Famer, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, in San Diego.
Nancy Simmons     Suzanne Cordes     Mo Bartley


 Joe Sheeran has not lost a division cross country race since moving up to 60-64 at the 2017 Club Cross in Lexington. Dan King will continue to try. His first effort over the relatively flat San Diego XC course came up 11 seconds short. He was further back over the 8K XC course at Lehigh in Bethlehem. That course is more challenging in elevation and the footing was trickier; King was a full minute back. Anthony Uzwiak was a minute and a half behind King at Lehigh, but that was closer than either Dan Spale or Rick Bruess, two other strong runners that can compete for the podium. 
 Dan Spale, all alone in 3rd place, in hot pursuit of John Barbour and Brian Pilcher in the 60+ race at 2016 Club Cross Championships in Tallahassee

Spale took 3rd overall in the 2016 Club Cross M60+ race behind Brian Pilcher and John Barbour. The closest finisher to King at San Diego though was Michael Lebold who was 36 seconds back. The race for that final podium spot should be a killer!
Joe Sheeran     Dan King     Michael Lebold

65-69  Deborah Shea appears to be the strongest in the division based on her 27:05, good for 5th in the division at the Masters 5 Km XC in San Diego. She should be up to a challenge from Sara Cohen who ran 28:05 at the Colder Boulder 5k and 28:05 at the Colleen DeReuck Classic 4K XC.  Nancy Antos's 30:19 at San Diego is better than a 28:00 effort over 4 Km XC unless the DeReuck course is much tougher. 
Deborah Shea     Nancy Antos     Sara Cohen

Three of the top runners in this field ran at Club Cross in Spokane last year, John Hirschberger, Robert Qualls, and Tomas Rodriguez. Rodriguez took 3rd in 33:52; a minute later Hirschberger and Qualls battled to the finish separated by just 2 seconds! It appears that Hirschberger's fitness is not in the same place now. At the Urban Cow HM in October he ran 10 minutes slower this year than last; his time at the Clarksburg Country HM a month later confirmed that level of fitness. Rodriguez may be in a similar situation. I could not find XC results for him; I did find a 1:45:59 HM at Mammoth Lake for him. That race is at 7800' so it would be much faster at sea level but it still seems slower than I would anticipate. Qualls ran at both Bethlehem and San Diego, taking 3rd at Club Cross but finishing ten seconds back from Chuck Smead in the San Diego 5Km XC race.
Chuck Smead     Robert Qualls     Tomas Rodriguez

 70-74
Despite the presence of top runner, Jeanette Groesz who aged up from 65-69 this year, Jane Treleven won the division in San Diego handily. Her 23:49 gave her a half minute margin over Groesz. Groesz had, in turn, a 2 minute edge over the 3rd place finisher, her teammate, Sharon Gerl. Gerl may be quite a bit faster now as that race was an anomaly; at Tallahassee earlier in the year, for example, Gerl was only a half minute behind Groesz. It will be interesting to see how Jo Anne Rowland does. On the comeback trail, she finished 4th in San Diego a minute and change behind Gerl; she should be closer this time.
Jane Treleven     Jeanette Groesz     Sharon Gerl

Rick Katz, who finished 2nd last October in San Diego, and David Dunbar, who ran 5 seconds faster in 65-69, should enter as favorites. Katz and Dunbar finished 3rd and 4th at Club Cross in Bethlehem but neither Terry McCluskey nor Gene Dykes, who went 1-2 are entered. Ignacio 'Nash' Jimenez just aged up from 65-69; that complicates things. In Tallahassee in February he ran 34:00. That was only ten seconds slower than Chuck Smead, favored to win 65-69 on the basis of his 20:37 at San Diego, a minute faster than Dunbar and Katz. Unattached, Jimenez does not race often so it is hard to interpret the lack of results since Tallahassee. The most recent event I can find before that is from 2017. 
Ignacio Jimenez cruising to a 2nd place 65-69 finish at 2016 Cross Nationals in Bend, OR

He has a history of strong XC efforts at USATF National Championships though. Jimenez beat out Katz and Lloyd Hansen for a 65-69 2nd place at the 2015 Cross Nationals in Boulder. Two years later he took 2nd in the division again at Cross Nationals in Bend OR. I am assuming if Jimenez shows up in San Diego that he is ready to roll.
Ignacio Jimenez     Rick Katz         David Dunbar

75-79 In San Diego last October Len Goldman and Jan Frisby went 3-4 behind Ray Marshall and Doug Goodhue, neither of whom is entered. Gordon Lutes was running in the 70-74 division in San Diego; he crossed the finish line 4 seconds behind Frisby. 
Jan Frisby left braves the cold at the 2017 Club Cross Championships in Lexington, KY

There is no reason to doubt the order of finish would be the same this time. But that's why we run the race!
Len Goldman     Jan Frisby     Gordon Lutes

80-84  Richard Williams and James Kurtz finished 3rd and 4th in San Diego behind Elmo Shropshire and John Elliott who stayed home this time. As in the previous Men's age division, this should make them favorites. But again there is a complication, this time in the person of Andrew Sherwood who has aged up from 75-79. His 31:17 in San Diego, good for 7th in 75-79, was well over a minute faster than Williams's. But even for Sherwood, there is a complication. Roland Cormier was a regular participant for the Shore AC in national championships. 
Andrew Sherwood navigates around a muddy turn at the 2019 Club Cross Championships at Lehigh University Photo - Mike Scott

Now that he has turned 80, he has become more active again. His credentials now include a division win at the USATF NJ 5 Km and 8 Km Cross Country Championships. His 5 Km XC time of 29:29 compares favorably with Sherwood's 31:17. The 8 Km XC shows that he also has the endurance to cope with the longer distance.

Roland Cormier     Andrew Sherwood     Richard Williams

Team Championships


While teams are not the central focus as they are at Club Cross, they are still the motivating force for many of the competitors.

W40+ The Janes Elite Racing, who took gold in Bethlehem, will try to repeat their success this weekend.To do so, they need to get past the San Diego Track Club and the Impala Track Club. It is probably too close to call between the Janes and San Diego. If Mueller and Reyes can come in ahead of all 3 Janes runners, San Diego could well win, even if the Janes have a tight pack of 3. But if one or more of the Janes can split those two up, the win could well go to the Janes. On paper I have San Diego as a slight favorite with it coming down to a half minute or less between the two teams. Impala will have a tough time keeping up but should have no trouble making the podium.  
San Diego Track Club     Janes Elite Racing     Impala Track Club
 
W50+ The Janes are unopposed; Cushing-Murray, Fischer, and Mary Lynch will necessarily focus on individual competition instead.  
Janes Elite Racing

W60+ The Impalas appear too strong for the competition. Simmons and Cordes should come in around 27:00 and Bartley should be within a minute or so. Boulder only brings two runners who are likely to run at that level. 
Impala Track Club     Boulder Road Runners


W70+ Team Red Lizard is a strong favorite in W70+ but with a rejuvenated Impalas team opposing them, all of the Red Lizard runners must do their job.
Team Red Lizard     Impala Track Club 

Team Red Lizard heads off on the hunt for a 60+ team win at 2019 Cross Nationals in Tallahassee R to L, Jeanette Groesz, Joanna Harper, Betsy Miller, and Sharon Gerl Photo - Mike Scott

M40+ Sallberg and Gardiner should lead Cal Coast to victory, but it will be no cakewalk. The Sports Warriors Track Club and the SRA Elite should press them all the way. On paper, Cal Coast should prevail. Sallberg should have the top time and Gardiner the 2nd best team time, with Barragan perhaps not far behind for SRA. If SRA's Scott Abbott can stay close to Barragan, that will help their cause. After those 4 it should be a dog fight with several runners from both teams capable of running in the 29 to 31:30 range, depending on how their day goes. Trevor Cox, Mark Streyver, and Kurt Whittington will need to deliver for Cal Coast, as will SRA's David Mastro, Paul Smith, and Kevin Yamamura. Even if the Sports Warriors pack their top 5 in between 29:00 and 31:30, they  will not keep up with the other two teams unless one or two of their runners, perhaps Solomon Kandie or Colin Olson, can hang up front with the other top 4. Even then, Anthony Fleg, Gavin Sosa, and Chakri Dhaouadi will have to stay tight together. Cal Coast, with the full complement of 9 runners entered, has a little more room for error if one of their top 5 on paper has an off day. The Sports Warriors have 7 and the SRA Elite the 5 needed for a complete scoring team.
Cal Coast Track Club     SRA Elite     Sports Warriors

M50+ This division features a classic West Coast shootout between the Bowerman and Cal Coast Track Clubs, with the SRA Elite close behind. Bowerman is bringing a powerhouse of a team! If their top 5 all have good days and they pack tightly as Bowerman sometimes does, they could wind 5up with the fastest team time of the day across all divisions. Matt Farley, Craig Godwin, Eric Hartmann, and Paul Smith should all come in under 30 minutes. They have 5 other runners capable of coming in just over 30:00. Cal Coast is strong but may not be able to match up with Bowerman across the board. Their top 4 of Michael Connors, Christian Cushing-Murray, Rick Herr, and Greg Keyes can also come in between 28 and 30 minutes, but then they need one of their veterans , David Olds or Ray Knerr, to run like they were a few years back and stay tight on that first four all the way to the line. It still might not be enough to match Bowerman but there would be great stories to tell! SRA brings what would ordinarily be considered a strong team. Gary Blanco, Michael Fadling, and Iain Mickle can run with the top bunch but they need two more runners in that class. It is hard to believe that a team that might crack 2:43:00 as a Team total can only manage a distant third in 50+!
Bowerman Track Club     Cal Coast Track Club     SRA Elite

Cal Coast team photo, including Coach Bill Sumner sunglasses, 2nd row at 2019 Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships at Mission Bay Photo: Cal Coast FB post-Photographer-Philip Nevenhoven


M60+ It’s a Rocky Mountain showdown in M60+! Bragging rights are on the line. With King leading the way, Athletics Boulder should prevail, but the Boulder Road Runners won't give an inch! The Road Runners have no one who can match up with King; that gives AB a huge advantage. Jay Littlepage and Dan Spale match up well with AB's Rick Bruess and Kevin Cooper, and Chuck Smead provides close support to those two. Unless one of those three Road Runners turns in an unexpectedly fine performance, the day belongs to AB. Both teams rely on the minimum of 3 runners; the pressure is on!
Athletics Boulder     Boulder Road Runners

M70+ It’s the other way around in this division; the Boulder Road Runners should take a narrow win over the San Diego Striders. But it could go either way. Rick Katz showed in Bethlehem that he could beat Dave Dunbar, who came in a few seconds ahead in San Diego when still in 65-69. He will need to do it again on Dunbar's home turf. Similarly, James Reynolds came in well ahead of Gordon Lutes and Daniel Diehr in San Diego last October. He needs to maintain that margin. Steve Doyle gives San Diego much needed depth. He can run with Lutes and Diehr; at Tallahassee last February he came in just ahead of them.  Jan Frisby came in ahead of all three of those Striders in San Diego, but he ran into a 'mechanical' problem at Bethlehem so it will depend on whether that was momentary or had some lasting effect on training. The other question mark is Boulder's Dave Dooley. If he can run as he did at Spokane last year, it's all over and Boulder will win easily. But he only recorded a 22:00 at the DeReuck 4K cross country classic. Even allowing for altitude, that seems way slower than being equivalent to the 37:49 he turned in at Spokane. A lot will ride on who Boulder's #3 runner is, and how they fare on the day. The excitement is building!
Boulder Road Runners     San Diego Striders

Thrills and chills are in store; it should be a fabulous day for racing on Saturday! Let's do it!