800 METERS Six Cal Coast Track Club [CC], 3 Bowerman TC [BTC], and 1 Team Runners High [TRH] athletes tried their speed. With no splits it is hard to convey the excitement of the race. And, of course, we also know that runners were often not running in the same place and hardly ever at the same time. The 800 meter anchors were Josh Byer CC and Gavin McKiernan TRH at 3:03.0. The oldest runner was 56-year-old Brad Peterson CC who turned in a very respectable 2:24.2, edging teammate Trevor Cox CC by a tenth of a second for the last spot on the Masters podium. Cox was followed by Greg Keyes CC in 5th at 2:26.0, Craig Godwin BTC 6th at 2:29.0, Wesley Sealand BTC 7th at 2:32.0, and Kevin Barda CC 8th at 2:40.7. You will become very familiar with the name of Godwin by the end of this recap; an 'ironman', he ran in every event! No other Masters athletes were such gluttons for punishment! Kurt Whitington CC took 2nd in 2:22.8. Eric Hartmann won by over 5 seconds in 2:17.0!
Eric Hartmann 2:17.0 Kurt Whittington 2:22.8 Brad Peterson 2:24.2
Two Masters Women signed up for the 800 meters. Beth Wells of the Dayton Distance Project [DDP] clocked 2:44.1 for a 1st place effort. Elizabeth Hawkins TRH, 60, ran 4:40 to take 2nd place.
Beth Wells 2:44.1 Elizabeth Hawkins 4:40.0
1 MILE This is the glamor event for Distance Runners. It garnered the highest number of Masters entrants with 15 Men and 17 Women. Masters Women from 40 to 88 and Masters Men from 40 to 56 contested the event. Enrica Bonifacio, 88, was the oldest competitor by far!
|Enrica Bonifacio hits the track with hydration in hand at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020 [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]|
The Women's race was very tight, with Ann Alyanak DDP and Nancy James of the Jane's Elite [JE]the top contenders. Alyanak raced to a 16:46 5K last year and had two other 5K's around 17:30. She also ran in the Olympic Trials Marathon this Leap Day, clocking 2:46:32. James, or James-Klinger [her i.d. on Athlinks and for USATF] does not have 5K times as fast, her 5K at 2018 Carlsbad of 18:44 apparently her fastest as a Masters athlete. But she is cross country tough; she finished 5th in the 2018 Club Cross Country Championships in Spokane and 3rd overall in the Championships at Lehigh this past December. In between she won the State street Mile in Santa Barbara in 4:50 so she has some wheels as well. Alyanak was able to prevail by 2 seconds, 5:06 to James's 5:08.
|Nancy James displays her bib for the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020-She ran 5:08 in the Mile to finish 2nd Masters and earn the top age-grade in the event, an 88.12%! [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]|
Their teammates battled for the final podium spot, with Julie Mercado DDP, taking the honors with a 5:31, followed by Christina Johnston DDP, 5:36.1 in 4th, and Gwen Twist CC, 5:38.2 for 5th. Grace Padilla JE edged Jamie Sweningson CC for 6th place by just 0.8 seconds. They were followed by Beth Wells DDP, Kirsten Leetch JE, Lindsey Lauria CC, Hiroko Barringer TRH, Lorene Kong CC, and Stephanie Born, Elizabeth Hawkins, Victoria Bell, and Enrica Bonifacio, all of TRH.
Ann Alyanak 5:06 Nancy James 5:08 Julie Mercado 5:31
Roosevelt Cook has had a great Masters career since turning 40 last fall. He took Masters honors at the Long Beach Half Marathon in 1:10:50, and at the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run in 15:20, finishing a half minute ahead of Jacques Sallberg CC. Sallberg is a beast on the XC turf; Cook finished 2nd to Sallberg, but finished ahead of 2018 Club XC Masters Champions, Neville Davey at the USATF Masters 5 Km XC Championship in San Diego last fall.
|Roosevelt Cook leading the field at the 2019 USATF Masters 5 Km National Championship in San Diego California [Photo courtesy of Cal Cost Track Club]|
He had no trouble in this competition, cruising to a 16 second win in 4:38.0. Hartmann, Peterson, and Keyes, who went 1-3-5 in the 800 meters had another battle in the Mile for the final two podium positions. This time it was Keyes who prevailed with a fine 4:54.0, edging Hartmann for 2nd by 2 seconds. Peterson was just off the podium in 5:08.5. A couple of seconds back we find Cox CC, who finished 4th in the 800 meters, outlasting Godwin BTC 5:10.7 to 5:12.7, for 5th. They were followed by Kevin Barda CC, and Jeff McCormick BTC in 7th and 8th. Mark Steyvers CC outpaced Wesley Sealand BTC 5:39.0 to 5:40.2 to finish out the top 10. Brian Kuntz TRH, Trevor Cox CC, Josh Byer CC, Barry George TRH, and Gavin McKiernan TRH followed Sealand across the virtual finish line.
Roosevelt Cook 4:38.0 Gregory Keyes 4:54.0 Eric Hartmann 4:56.0
Age-Grading. As most Masters runners know, there is an age-grading system that allows one to compare the time of every runner to the predicted World's Best for their individual age, and thereby, figure out who ran the fastest for their age. A runner who age grades at 80% is running at 80% of the speed at which a runner would need to run to equal the World's Best for that person's age and sex. USATF ues the short-hand that 90% and above is 'World Class' and that 80% and above is 'National Class.' I ran the ages and times through the Age-Grading calculator at: http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmalookup15.html.
[That is the one recommended by USATF].
I used the track calculator rather than the road calculator because I assumed that most people were running on a track. Here's what I found, just for fun.
Women: Ann Alyanak 41 had the faster time, but being one year older meant that Nancy James 42 edged her in age grading, 88.12 to 87.71. To equal James's age grade percentage, an Open runner would need to run 4:45.6! The age grading podium was completed by Julie Mercado 46 at 85.85%. Grace Padilla 48 was 4th at 84.69, followed by Kirsten Leetch 54, 5th at 83.33,
|Kirsten Leetch strides to a 6:18 Mile, earning the 5th highest age grade in the event, signifying a National Class perfromance at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020 [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]|
Gwen Twist 44 6th at 82.14 and Jamie Sweningson 44 at 80.52. They were followed by Cristina Johnston, Lorene Kong, and Beth Wells, all scoring above 76.0
Men: Greg Keyes 52, 87.99%, topped Eric Hartmann 52, 87.4. To get the same age grade percentage as Keyes, an Open runner would have to run 4:13! Brad Peterson's 56 86.68 put him on the podium; Roosevelt Cook's 40 84.71 left him 4th, while Craig Godwin's 53 83.4 landed him in 5th. Kevin Barda 52 had the 6th best score at 80.62, followed by Wesley Sealand 55, Jeff McCormick 52, Trevor Cox 41, and Mark Steyvers 49, all above 74.0%.
2 MILE The 2 Mile Run had a more select field with 8 Men and 6 Women entered.
The top 3 men, Rob Arsenault CC, Craig Godwin BTC, and Christian Cushing-Murray CC, were very close at the finish. It was only 4 years ago that Cushing-Murray took the Masters crown at the Carlsbad 5000 in 15:11 at the age of 48. He averaged 5:11 per mile at Carlsbad, running 16:08 this past April. Godwin cannot match that speed; his recent 5K's have been in the 16:30 to 16:45 range but he did take honors at Club XC this past December, finishing a minute ahead of Cushing-Murray. The third member of the trio, was coming off of rehab last April when Carlsbad was on, but by July 4th he was able to run a 17:35 at the Surf City 5K. Four years ago he ran his 5K's in the low 16 minute range so 5:15 is probably his goal pace, but he may not be there yet. Cushing-Murray took the Masters victory by 0.4 second over Godwin, 10:45.7 to 10:46.1. Arsenault was just under three seconds back in 10:49.0., claiming the final spot on the podium by a single second
over Adam Van Berckelaer CC. Five seconds later, Greg Keyes CC crossed the line, followed by David Rees BTC, 6th in 11:19. Dennis Ryan CC and Gavin McKiernan TRH followed in 7th and 8th.
Christian Cushing-Murray 10:45.7 Craig Godwin 10:46.1 Rob Arsenault 10:49.0
In the Women's race, Julie Mercado DDP had no problem; her 11:24.9 left her with a half minute edge over 2nd place, Cambria Wu JE. Wu, at 12:02.0, in turn, had almost a minute cushion over the 3rd place finisher.
|Cambria Wu speeds to a 12:02.0 2-Mile Run to finish 2nd Masters at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020 [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]|
It was quite the battle between Janes Elite teammates Tania Fischer and Kelle Taylor for the final podium spot. Ordinarily Fischer would be a strong favorite; she has usually come in ahead of Taylor in XC Championships and ran a 19:50 to Taylor's 22:30 in the Redondo Beach Superbowl Sunday 5K. On the other hand, Fischer only managed a 21:09 at the LA Big 5K in early March so there may be a niggling injury slowing her down. In any case, Fischer needed every last bit of speed she could muster, edging her teammate 12:59.5 to 12:59.9.
|Tania Fischer enjoys her 12:59.5 effort in the 2-Mile-Run, good for 3rd Masters at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020 [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]|
Silvia Alvarez TRH was 5th in 14:55.9, with her teammate, Elizabeth Hawkins 6th in 20:39.1.
Julie Mercado 11:24.9 Cambria Wu 12:02.0 Tania Fischer 12:59.5
Men The elder statesman of the Podium, Rob Arsenault 54, topped the charts at 86.39%. An Open Runner would have had to hit 9:09.4 to grade as well. Godwin 53 was 2nd at 86.05, with Cushing-Murray 52 rounding out the age-grade podium at 85.41. Keyes 52 was just off the podium in 4th at 84.2. David Rees 52 and Adam Van Berckelaer 42 earned the 5th and 6th best scores, 81.22 and 78.43.
Women Kelle Taylor 56 edged the overall winner, Mercado 46 for age-grading honors, 88.09% to 88.04%. Fischer was well ahead of all others, claiming the third spot with 85.7. Wu came 4th with a 79.13%.
5000 METERS Participation was back up in the 5000 Meter run with 12 men and 11 women entered.
With no Nancy James JE to contend the race, Ann Alyanak DDP, the Mile Champion, had no trouble making it two wins. Her 17:29 was almost a minute ahead of her DDP teammate, Julie Mercado, who edged Mary Lynch JE 18:21 to 18:26.0 for 2nd.
|Julie Mercado [L] with her Open teammate Katie Ruhlman. Mercado clocked 18:21 to take 2nd Masters in the 5000 Meter Run at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020 [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]|
Shannon Teslow JE was 4th in 19:20 with her teammate, Tamar Gamliel JE in 5th at 19:59.0. Lori Simpson CC, Roberta Bonifacio TRH, Elizabeth Hawkins TRH , A Running Experience Club's Kate Rupley AREC, Rachelle Parker TRH, and Debbie Terrell TRH finished in 6th through 11th.
With Cross Country ace, Jacques Sallberg CC entered, it looked like Greg Keyes CC would have a tough time improving on his 2nd place finish in the Mile. Sallberg has won 4 of the last 5 National Masters USATF XC Championships, and added the Club XC Championship this past December at Lehigh.
|Jacques Sallberg crosses the finish line to claim the Masters Championship at the 2019 USATF Club Cross Country Championships at Lehigh University [Photo courtesy of Mike Scott]|
He was a 2008 Olympic Trials finalist in the 3000 Meter steeplechase. More relevant, he finished 3rd at Carlsbad in 2019 with a 15:21, just losing out by a fraction of a second to Neville Davey who claimed 2nd with the same time. Perhaps Sallberg was not fully engaged, nor was he prepped for a big race. He ran 17:07.7, an easy cruise for someone of his ability. It does not appear that Keyes has broken 17 for a 5K since the 2016 Carlsbad outing when he clocked 16:43. Nonetheless he was poised for a good virtual run as he stopped the clock at 16:58! That gave him first place, with Sallberg 2nd. Eric Hartman BTC made his 3rd podium, taking 3rd in 17:25. The ever-present Craig Godwin BTC clocked 17:31 to take 4th 3.6 seconds ahead of Kurt Whittington CC, who finished 2nd to Hartman in the 800 meters. Adam Van Berck CC finished 6th at 17:39.1. Tony Bugarin TRH, Matt Simpson CC, Kevin Kong CC, Bill Amor CC, Gavin McKiernan TRH, Richard Terrell TRH, and Dave Kuntz TRH finished in 7th through 13th.