USATF Masters LDR awards prizes to the winners of its 2019 Masters Grand Prix series over 8 National Championship Races. There are prizes for both Individuals and Teams. Points from the best 5 Championships are summed to get the GP point total; 3 events are needed to qualify for a prize. Points in each Championship range from a high of 100 down to 5 points.
Masters Grand Prix Rules and complete standings for the Individual (Women, Men) and Club Grand Prix contests can be accessed through:
Here is where we stand with half of the races completed, the Club Cross Country Championship (Club Cross), the Cross Country National Championship (Cross Nationals), the 8 Km (Virginia Beach, VA) and 10 Km Championships (Dedham, MA). Remaining races include the 5 Km (Atlanta, GA), the 1 Mile (Flint, MI), the 5 Km Masters Cross Country (Masters Cross), and the 15 Km (Tulsa, OK).
Individual Grand Prix
W40 The top 3 last year included, in order, Vanessa Lordi, Melissa Gacek, and Heather Webster. The 2019 leaders include newcomer, Jill Braley, with 185 points from two events, 185-2 hereafter, with Lordi 2nd at 155-3, along with Hiroko Guarneri, 140-2. Lordi is already entered in Atlanta and Flint, so is in the hunt for a repeat win. Braley is entered in Atlanta, and Guarneri, who also runs for the Atlanta Track Club, seem likely to enter the 5 Km. If they also compete in Flint, they could give Lordi a run for the money. W45 Impala teammates, Alexandra Newman and Nancy Thomas are currently 1-2 with Heather Webster and Murphee Hayes of the Genesee Valley Harriers in 3rd and 4th. Newman has a commanding lead at present with 325-4. If Webster and Hayes run in the next two events, in Atlanta and Flint, they will put some pressure on Newman. If Thomas, as seems likely, races in San Diego, she will move up to the 50-54 division with her points. W50 Leading the way are Mary Shah, Amy Fakterowitz, and Laurie Wharton. Shah, 305-4, has a slim lead over Fakterowitz, 285-3, but Fakterowitz has prevailed in recent head-to-head competition. Should she participate in both the 1 Mile (as she did last year) and the 5 Km (which she skipped last year), Fakterowitz could well overtake Shah. If Thomas comes east to run in the 5 Km at Atlanta, as she did last year, and competes in Masters Cross, she moves up to this division, and might overtake Shah and Fakterowitz. W55 Last year we had the unprecedented rivalry between Doreen McCoubrie and her teammate, Marisa Sutera Strange, where both accumulated a perfect 500 points and the decision went to McCoubrie on a tie-breaker. This year McCoubrie has been less active in the Championships and Strange, 300-3, has a narrow lead over Kris Huff, 275-4, winner of 50-54 last year, and Mary Swan, 245-3, who finished 3rd in 55-59. Strange typically races in the 5 Km and the 1 Mile Championships; if she does that and has her usual stellar results, she will capture the title with another perfect 500. But nothing is guaranteed in Masters GP competition. W60 Cynthia Williams, the defending Champion, at 295-4, her teammate, Margaret Taylor, 255-4, and Team Red Lizard’s Jennifer Teppo, 200-2, are 1-2-3 so far but Teppo has a substantial advantage in points per event. If her Portland, Oregon-based Red Lizard team competes in Masters Cross and Tulsa, Teppo is likely to be in the #1 spot at the end of the year. That will also depend on how many competitions Patrice Combs, 195-2, enters. Teppo is the only one in the division who has beaten Combs. Last year Combs ran 3 races and won them all; she finished 7th in the Grand Prix, behind athletes who ran in more championship events. Combs could well race in both the 5 Km and the 1 Mile. If so, she will be right up there close to Teppo. W65 Jeanette Groesz, 285-3, leads with Kathleen Allen, 255-3, and Cindy Lucking, 175-2, not far behind. But if Groesz competes in Tulsa, as she has regularly in the last few years, she moves up to 70-74. If Allen competes after August, she also moves up. That leaves Lucking in the driver’s seat, at least for now. Who else might be in the hunt? Suzanne Ray, 95-1, and Sharon Moore, 175-2, are probably the likeliest challengers. Ray won the division GP last year; she has only run in 1 event so far, a 2nd place finish at Dedham. Ray, who hails from Oregon, usually runs in Tulsa and will likely run at Masters Cross, as that is a West Coast race. If she comes east to run in either Atlanta or Flint, she would garner enough points to contend for a repeat win. Moore finished 2nd in 60-64 last year and is currently in 8th place in that division. Moore aged up over the summer so as soon as she runs in an event those 175 points accompany her to 65-69. That places her in a virtual tie with Lucking right now. In their one meeting this season, in Cross Nationals, Moore finished a half minute ahead of Lucking. W70 Carol Rhodes and Terry Foody finished 1-2 last year. Rhodes, 165-2, is currently in 3rd, with Foody further back. Sharon Gerl, 200-2, new to the Masters Grand Prix competition this year, is leading the way, ahead of Carolyn Mather, 195-2. In the one race all three competed in, Cross Nationals, Gerl, Mather and Rhodes finished in that order. That gives Gerl the upper hand. Her chief competition probably comes from her teammate, Jeanette Groesz, who ages up this fall, as noted earlier. Groesz, 285-3, has more points than Gerl right now, having competed in one more event. Groesz and Gerl have competed in the same event twice this year and Groesz came in ahead both times, although not by huge margins. Groesz is the favorite, with Gerl right behind. W75 Madeline Bost, 195-2, won this division last year after taking the crown in 70-74 four years in a row. She may have a battle on her hands. She currently trails Catherine Radle, 200-2. Radle came in well ahead of Bost at Club Nationals. That gives Radle an edge, but Bost travels well. As she herself has said, “I am not the fastest in the Age Division, but I compete.” Radle, who runs for the Atlanta Track Club, will likely run the 5 Km. Last year she also ran at Flint and Cross Masters in New York. If she is as active this year, it may be the end to Bost’s string of consecutive Grand Prix titles. But do not count Bost out until the last race has been run. W80 Tami Graf won the division last year, the only 80+ runner to compete in sufficient events. She is leading this year, at 200-2, with no competition in sight. W85 Edna Hyer leads with 100 points from the 10 Km Championship. Based on the recent past, Hyer is not likely to compete in three events, but there is a first time for everything.
M40 David Angell took the title last year with a perfect 500 points, and has a commanding lead this year at 380-4. Christopher Hernandez, 205-3, and Paul Jones, 185-3, follow in 2nd and 3rd. Sam Teigen, who finished 2nd last year, would be a threat for the podium, even though he is currently in 5th, but he ages up to 45-49 this summer. Jacques Sallberg, currently in 4th at 180-2, could also threaten Angell; they met twice on Cross Country courses and split the honors. But Sallberg will also age up after September; he will likely compete in Masters Cross in the 45-49 division and carry his points forward to that division. Eric Blake celebrated his 40th birthday and competed in his first Masters National Championship in Dedham. He beat Angell in that race, albeit only by 5 seconds, so he has the potential to take the title. But if Angell runs even one more event, the only way Blake can beat him is to run every event and maintain his edge in head-to-head competition. M45 The defending Champion, Philippe Rolly, has not competed this year. Barring a surprise, we will have a new Champion. Brian Sydow, 295-4, leads the way. John Gardiner, who finished 4th last year after winning the year before, is in 2nd at 185-2. Gardiner has beaten Sydow twice but may not compete in enough events to pass him in the GP. Jonathan Frieder, who has finished 2nd the last two years, sits in 4th but has been rehabbing an injury. Greg Putnam, 170-2, currently in 3rd, could have an impact, but he would need to compete in more events this fall than his norm. His 50th birthday is after the 15K in Tulsa, so he is in the division all the way if he decides to make a run for the GP podium. Brent Fields, 95-2, finished 2nd last year but he had 4 events in already last year at this stage and this year has just two. M50 Kent Lemme has owned this division since turning 50 for the 2017 season and is well ahead this year despite dividing his focus between the Grand Prix and the Boston Marathon this winter and spring. At 330-4, Lemme has a 65 point lead over Mike Nier’s total, 265-4, from the same number of events. It would take a reversal of form for Nier to top Lemme this year. Nier, who finished 3rd in 2017, and Lemme, are both likely to compete in 5 events or more. Andy Gardiner, 195-2, and Christian Cushing-Murray, 180-2, who are in 3rd and 4th, are in Lemme’s league, but will probably not compete in enough events to head him off. M55 Nat Larson has won the division handily in each of the last two years and is ahead this year at 300-3. Alan Evans, who finished 5th last year, sits in 2nd with 185-2, followed closely by Gary Droze, 180-2, and John Van Kerkhove, 175-4, who finished 2nd last year. Droze only competed in two events last year but he is likely to compete in Atlanta for his 3rd event this year. If he also competes in either Flint, Masters Cross or Tulsa, he might well press Evans for 2nd. Van Kerkhove is a competitor and will be in the mix for another podium finish. M60 Ken Youngers who finished 3rd the last two years in this division has the lead at 350-4. Roger Sayre, who won the division last year, is in 3rd at 290-3. Norm Larson, in 2nd at 320-4, is in the mix for the podium and cannot be counted out for the win. Jeffery Dundas, 170-2, can factor in the podium race if he competes in at least 2 more events. Sayre is the favorite, followed by Youngers. M65 Kirk Larson put the final touch on a magic season by winning this division Grand Prix last year. At 345-4 he is in the lead again this year, but expects new entrants to the division to pass him. Reno Stirrat, 2nd in the standings at 230-4, and Joseph Reda, in 4th place at 190-2, are the prime candidates; both have beaten Larson this season. George Braun, 230-3, is another example. Others who could play a role include the 2017 winner, Tom Bernhard, 100-1, who missed races due to injury last year. If he competes in the remaining 4 events this year, he could claim another title. But that may be unlikely. Chuck Smead, 100-1, and Doug Bell, 85-1, two talented runners with the Boulder Road Runners, could also make some noise if they compete in at least 3 more events. But do not count Larson out; he is resilient. M70 Gene Dykes dropped down from his Marathon and Ultramarathon exploits to dominate the division in 2018. He won the 4 events he competed in as a 70-year-old and took 2nd in the 8K as a 69-year-old to take the Grand Prix title ahead of Lloyd Hansen and Dave Glass. This year Dykes is focusing on his longer races again; the leader is Hansen, at 390-4, looking to repeat his 65-69 GP wins from 2014 and 2015. After a 3rd at Club Cross, Hansen ripped off three straight wins. Jerry Learned, at 345-4, finished 4th last year. To overtake Hansen, he will have to find a way to beat him 2 or 3 times in the last 4 events. Jim May, at 300-4, and Doc Rappole, at 260-3, both run for the Genesee Valley Harriers and will likely increase their totals. That puts them in the hunt for a podium spot. Glass, at 240-4, with his 2nd place finish at Dedham, showed he cannot be counted out either. Terry McCluskey, though sitting in 6th at 175-2, could have some strong races this fall and affect the final standings at the top. M75 Doug Goodhue finally came all the way back from his leg injuries and took the title last year with a perfect 500 points. Goodhue is running even better this year but sits in 2nd, at 200-2, because he has been more selective in his Championship races thus far. Ed Bligh, who finished 3rd last year, sits atop the leader board at 265-3. Goodhue expects to run in Atlanta and Flint at least. If he is anywhere near his current level, he will win both. That would not guarantee another MGP win though, as Bligh could well amass over 400 points. Bligh’s teammate, Andrew Sherwood, is in 3rd at 170-2. It is hard to see anyone else currently in the division threatening the podium. Przemek Nowicki, at 115-2, will age up to M75 before the end of the year. He could easily take a few top places in the remaining four events and move onto the 75-79 podium. David Cohen and Charlie Patterson could figure into the contest, but Cohen has entered no contests yet this year, and Patterson has not competed since Club Cross. Cohen is regularly engaged in Marathons and Ultra Marathons around the globe; he helps his team by running in Championships whenever he can. M80 Jim Askew took this division in 2017 at 495-5 but he left us in 2018. No one accumulated the necessary three Championships last year. The leaders this year are: Harry Carter, John Elliott, and Richard Williams, all at 100-1. Norman Goluskin and Warren Osborn are tied for 4th at 95-1. Osborn aged up to 85-89 after Club Cross Country so he will either accumulate the three events needed for a prize in the 85-89 division or will not factor in either division. Williams and Osborn both run for the San Diego Track Club, but Williams is typically a bit faster. The team is likely to run at Masters Cross in their home city. If the team or any one of the 3 individuals still in the 80-84 division, James Kurtz and Sid Davis, in addition to Williams, also runs at either Atlanta or Flint, they could have the three events needed to win the 80-84 GP title. Tulsa would also be a possibility for this trio, although that hilly 15K might be a bit more daunting event, though it is a shorter trip from Southern California. M85 Lawrence Cole is the sole contender thus far in this division. Based on past years, he is unlikely to compete in two added events, so this division is wide open. M90 Nathaniel Finestone and Richard Soller are tied for the lead at 100-1. Last year Soller, from Georgia, competed only at Atlanta so he is likely to race the 5Km again. If he also races the 1 Mile at Flint, that would give him the three races he needs for a prize in the Grand Prix. Finestone has announced his intention to run at both Atlanta and Flint. If he succeeds, he too, would have enough events to claim a prize. If both compete in both those events, Finestone would be a slight favorite. His performance in the 10K merited an age grade score of 73.52, over 7 percentage points higher than Soller’s score in the 8K. But at the 5Km last year, Soller’s performance earned a 68.26% score which is closer. It will be fascinating to see how this competition between our two oldest athletes unfolds!
Club Grand Prix
W40+ The main contenders last year were Atlanta Track Club, Impala Racing, and Genesee Valley Harriers, finishing in that order with 470, 440 and 430 points. This year Impala signaled its intent to take the crown by traveling east for the 8Km and the 10Km Championships. They lead with 355-4, leaving Atlanta and GVH to come from behind with 180-2 and 115-2 respectively. This year Impala can get their 5th event, Masters Cross, on the West Coast. If they win that one, it would give them 455-5, probably enough for the win. Tulsa becomes their insurance event; they competed last year and finished 2nd to LRC Racing, which had no other Championship events. The Impalas are the favorites; it is harder to judge between Atlanta and GVH as they have not competed against each other this year.
W50+ The Athena Track Club has an amazing streak; they have won every W50+ Club Grand Prix since its inception in 2012. Last year they scored a perfect 500 to defeat Atlanta, GVH, and Impala with 420, 400 and 250. Their streak may come to an end this year. Atlanta is leading with 310-4, followed by GVH, 250-4, and Athena, 200-2. Athena has had more difficulty fielding complete teams this year but the positive for them is that when they have fielded a team, it has won. It is not too late for Athena but they must field viable teams for at least 3 of the remaining 4 events to win. Atlanta will almost surely top 400 points, as they did last year. GVH will not be far back. Athena is probably the favorite to repeat for the 8th time, but it may be their closest contest yet. W60+ Team Red Lizard took the title last year in a tight battle with Atlanta and GVH, winning 490-470-440. Atlanta got off to another strong start this year. Standing at 360-4, Atlanta leads the Red Lizard team, at 290-3, by 70 points. But Red Lizard has time to come from behind. They are likely to compete at Masters Cross and in Tulsa. If they can win those two, they will have 490 points, which should be enough to prevail. But Atlanta will have something to say about it. Last year Atlanta nabbed 100 points each for taking 1st at the 5 Km and 1 Mile road Championships. If they do that this year, they too could have 490 points. Then it would come down to the tie-breaker. If it unfolds as indicated above, Team Red Lizard would win on the first tie-breaker, head-to-head competition, 2-1. If those top two teams stay healthy, it seems unlikely GVH can move up from 3rd. W70+ Last year Atlanta Track Club took top honors with 300-3. No other 70+ teams competed in 3 events. They appear bent on the same outcome this year; Atlanta is at 200-2, based on victories at Club Cross and Cross Nationals. The San Diego Track Club has 100-1. San Diego should compete at Masters Cross in their home city. If they can manage to travel to one other event, they can qualify for an award, most likely a 2nd place prize.
Masters Grand Prix Rules and complete standings for the Individual (Women, Men) and Club Grand Prix contests can be accessed at: