Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 USATF Masters 5km XC-Preview 2-Age Divisions

October 14 2017. This is the second and final preview of the 2017 USATF Masters 5km Cross Country Championship at Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Like the first one, there is no time for broad research. The focus is overly on those who regularly compete in National Championships and other names I come across by chance. My apologies to the many fine runners, especially from New England, who will be ignored in what follows, simply because I am not familiar with their exploits. And because there are fewer contenders in the older age groups and, just for variety, I will start with the older age groups and work down.


Women 80-84. Mary Harada of the famed Liberty Athletic Club is the sole entrant. If she can make it to the finish line she will have beaten all her rivals who maybe could have been here but were not.

Mary Harada 

Men 80-84. Jim Askew is on a roll. He won the National Championship in the Road Mile at Flint in late August and the 5K Championship at Syracuse two weeks ago in 28:00 (chip time). He will have his work cut out for him to keep his winning streak going.  Inocencio Cantu ran 26:08 at the BAA 5K on Marathon Weekend. The only question mark is current fitness as I can find no results for Cantu since April.

Inocencio Cantu          Jim Askew

Men 75-79.  Charlie Patterson   and George Tooker went 2-3 behind Doug Goodhue in Syracuse, in 25:33 and 25:36, with Andrew Sherwood 6th in 28:16. Goodhue is not running here so it looks like another tussle between Patterson and Tooker for first. The last round went to Patterson by 3 seconds (gun) and 1 second (chip). It doesn't get much closer than that. Michael Pelletier ran 26:58 in the CVS Downtown 5K. That is probably not fast enough to threaten the top 2 but suggests he would probably come in before Sherwood. Robert Sullivan ran 27:08 in Providence also so will have to up his game by at least ten seconds to make the podium.

Charlie Patterson          George Tooker           Michael Pelletier

Women 75-79. Madeline Bost is the sole entrant and will add another gold medal to her collection. She fought off three contendersin Syracuse to collect her last one. Tomorrow she just has to finish.

Madeline Bost 

Women 70-74. Jan Holmquist and Dianne Anderson went 1-2 at Syracuse in 22:27 and 27:42. Judith Tripp has a 48:22 8K from earlier this year; that is age-grade equivalent to a 28:57 5K.

Jan Holmquist          Dianne Anderson          Judith Tripp

Men 70-74. This is my division and I wish the competitors who are running tomorrow all the best. I will meet some of you in Tulsa in two weeks to contest the 15K Championship and many more at the National Club Cross Country Championship in Lexington KY on the 9th of December. From prior performances at National Championships, this should be another battle between Dave Glass and Tony Gingello, with Gene French just off the pace. Gingello and Glass both ran at the 10K Championships at Dedham but Glass was coming off an injury. Gingello ran 44:55 to take the win; Glass was 6th in 47:40. But by the 5K championships in Syracuse, Glass was mostly healed and took Gingello's measure by 6 seconds, 20:56 to 21:02. French has not run against the two of them but ran against Paul Carlin (me) in the 8K and the Half Marathon. Although transitivity does not always hold in these matters, it is the best guide I have. French was 21 seconds back from me at the 8K and a minute and a half back at the Half Marathon.That suggests Glass and Gingello should have 20 to 30 seconds to play with as far as French is concerned. Peter Davis could also make a run, especially if Cross Country happens to be his surface. He was in 4th at Syracuse a little over half a minute back from Gingello.

Dave Glass          Tony Gingello          Gene French

Men 65-69. Kirk Larson and Jerry Learned finished 4th and 6th at Syracuse in 19:57 and 20:10. But Bob McCusker, who ran there but was not entered in the Masters Championship, ran 19:23. James Wilson ran a 1:36:23 at the BAA Half Marathon.

Bob McCusker          Kirk Larson          Jerry Learned

Women 65-69. Jo Anne Rowland ran 23:35 at the 5K Championships at Syracuse and came in minutes ahead of Jeanne Herrick.

Jo Anne Rowland          Jeanne Herrick

Women 60-64. Mo Bartley ran 21:42 at Syracuse, with her Impala teammate, Jill Miller-Robinett, 20 seconds back. Atlanta's Cynthia Williams and Margaret Taylor were a minute and a minutwe and a half back from the Impalas.Mary Richards did not run at Syracuse but ran Club XC last year, finishing 13 seconds behind Miller-Robinette, who finished over a minute back from Bartley.

Mo Bartley          Jill Miller-Robinett          Mary Richards

Men 60-64. The gold medal in this division should come down to a tussle between John Barbour and Ken Youngers, with Barbour favored to prevail. As noted in the earlier preview, Barbour has finished 2nd in this division the last two years, losing to top speedsters Rick Becker and Brian Pilcher, neither of whom are running on Sunday. Tom Ryan ran 16 seconds slower than Youngers at Syracuse; Reno Stirrat was a minute back from Youngers but that may well have been an off day. The GVH duo, Gary Radford and Mark Rybinski would ordinarily be in the hunt. But Rybinski has been rehabbing an injury all year and Radford got nicked up just before Flint; both were entered at Syracuse but neither ran.

John Barbour          Ken Youngers          Tom Ryan

Men 55-59. Nat Larson who just broke Brian Pilcher's (co-holder with Vic Heckler) American 5K record of 16:07 by 13 seconds is the favorite to run away with this division. Gary Leaman finished 6th at Syracuse in 17:25 and took 5th at Club XC in Tallahassee. John Sullivan came in 2nd at the Masters 10K Championship in Dedham in 36:54 (when Larson was still a 54 year old), 9 seconds ahead of Mark Reeder, and age grade equivalent to an 18:01 5K. John Van Kerkhove finished 5th in that same race in 37:46 but incurred an injury over the summr and is not fully back to the fitness he enjoyed in the spring.

Nat Larson          Gary Leaman          John Sullivan

Women 55-59. Trish Butler just turned 55 and joined this division. She ran 19:15 in the 5K at Syracuse,  when still 54, despite returning from a six month layoff with no racing; that time was 30 seconds faster than the winner of the 55-59 division. She should be in slightly better condition for this race; she is the favorite. Her teammate, Susan 'Lynn' Cooke will also be in the hunt. She had a good day at Club XC in Tallahassee last December when she won the division, ahead of Lorraine Jasper, but has had her ups and downs this year. Jasper has had the edge this year, coming in 3rd at Syracuse, 12 seconds ahead of Cooke, and at the 10K and the 1 Mile Championships.  Perhaps a cross country course will be just what Cooke needs to give Jasper a challenge.Margaret Sloan could also be a factor; she finished a half minute back from Cooke at the 5K in Syracuse and a half minute back from Jasper in 3rd at Club XC last December. Amanda King finished 22 seconds behind Sloan at the 10K Championships in Dedham, and 4th at Club XC last year 14 seconds behind Sloan. the leaders know that Sloan and King will be keeping the pressure on.

Trish Butler          Lorraine Jasper          Lynn Cooke

Women 50-54. Even though she had to skip the Road Mile Championship at Flint to nurse along a hamstring, Marisa Sutera Strange showed at Syracuse that she is still to be reckoned with as she won this division handily in 18:25. Not her usual sub-18 minute effort but good enough for a handsome win. Karyl Sargent finished 5th in 19:55, followed by Michelle Allen in 20:13. Strange won the 10K Championship at Dedham but Mimi Fallon took 3rd in 39:10, which is age grade equivalent to an 18:52 5K; Kathleen Hayden was 6th in 41:45, age grade equivalent to a 20:06 5K. Hayden finished a half minute ahead of Allen at Club XC last December. But Hayden was definitely off her game at the Road Mile where she finished over half a minute behind Allen, and did not run Syracuse.

Marisa Sutera Strange          Mimi Fallon          Karyl Sargent

Men 50-54. Andy Gardiner, Peter Hammer, and Kent Lemme should slug it out for the division title. Hammer won the Lone Gull 10K last month ahead of Gardiner so that gives Hammer the edge. Lemme has not run against either of them this year. At Club XC Lemme was a minute behind Hammer but seems to be running even better this year. I wrote in the earlier preview that, "A. Gardiner finished 2nd to Galoob at the recent Greater Boston TC XC 5K event, finishing 15 seconds back but 50 seconds ahead of Mark Reeder." That was correct, but I also wrote that he had finished 4th in the Lone Gull 10K which seems to be wrong. Nevertheless staying close to Galoob on a Cross Country course is not easy so Gardiner seems primed for a good run. Mike Nier and Charles Novak will be waiting in the wings if any of those three have an off day. More of a track runner, Novak came up for the 2015 USATF Road Mile Championships and went home in 6th place overall in 4:42. He has done some trail running but not much XC. It will be interesting to see how he does. 'Milers' can often do well at 5 km XC.

Peter Hammer          Andy Gardiner          Kent Lemme

Men 45-49.  I might as well read this off of my overall preview. The leading contenders appear to be Jonathan Frieder, Derrick Jones, Greg Putnam, and perhaps Elliott Frieder, and Brent Fields. Frieder is at the top of his game now, having just won the division at Syracuse and taken 3rd overall in 15:49. Putnam was a dozen seconds back, as he was at the CVS downtown 5K. Jones had a very gutsy run at the 10K Championships where he went for the win and then faded at the end, still running a 33:05, finishing 8 seconds ahead of Putnam. But two weeks ago at Syracuse, Jones never got untracked and finished 17 seconds back from Putnam and 2 seconds behind E. Frieder. Fields ran a 15:50 at the Macon Labor Day 5K but that has been a fast race for Fields in the past and he did not compete at Syracuse. I will pick J. Frieder, Putnam and Jones for the podium but E. Frieder and Fields could definitely wind up there.

Jonathan Frieder          Greg Putnam          Derrick Jones

Women 45-49.  Kristin White finished 4th at Syracuse in 19:49. Kara Parker has an 18:50 5K from May as well as a 1:02:52 in the Medtronics TC 10 Miler where she finished 10th overall, just ahead of Melissa Gacek, who finished 2nd in the Road Mile Championships this year and won the USATF Masters 15K Championship last October. Dana Parrot won the Masters race at the Greater Boston TC 5 km XC,23 seconds ahead of her teammate, Ruthie Ireland. Heather Welch ran a 22:18 5K at the CVS Downtown 5K. Parker is the favorite to take this division and will be in the hunt for the overall win.

Kara Parker          Kristin White          Dana Parrot

Women 40-44. This division should go the way of the overall predictions, with Alice Kasssens and Wakenda Tyler right on their heels should any of the top 3 have an off day.

Janet McDevitt           Ginger Reiner          Renee Tolan

Men 40-44. This, too, follows the overall preview for the top 3, with Alan Black and Ethan Nedeau with shots for the podium.

Mike Galoob          David Angell          Ryan McCalmon          

Best of luck to all of the runners and may you be happy with your performance tomorrow!

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