November 30, 2020. Whether it was the post Election blues or partying, or just ordinary run-of-the-mill mid-November doldrums, participation in the 5K was down. But the friendly rivalry between the West Valley Track Club and the Garden State Track Club in the M40 & M50 animated the event. The Cal Coast M60's had no opposition nor did the GSTC in Women's 40's.
A few reminders: these events are mostly run on a track and pacing is not discouraged as it is in USATF Road Race Championships. In fact, providing pacing services appears to be one of the marks of a good teammate! Unlike the Boulder Road Runner series, these events are scored by finishing time, not age grade percentages.
M40 Looking back to the 5K results the 2nd week in October should prove instructive as a preview. INDIVIDUAL Clint Wells of the Boulder Track Club landed on the podium with a 16:01 as GSTC's Duncan Nyasinga outdistanced WVTC's Peter Gilmore, 15:11 to 15:35 to take the win. With Boulder out of this mid-November 5K, it is worth noting that West Valley's Mark Yuen edged Garden State's Kevin Shirk 16:13 to 16:15 for 4th place. In the most recent event, the 3000 meter run, around the Halloween holiday, it was Nyasinga, Gilmore and Shirk in that order, with times ranging from 8:58 to 9:02. Leaving Boulder and Cal Coast aside, as they are not competing in this event, it was West Valley's Todd Rose next in 9:22, followed 3 seconds later by GSTC's Dave Ferrugia. Yuen was a mere 1 second back!
Gilmore has apparently been rounding into condition, perhaps after some down time in training due to the pandemic. Whatever the reason, he dropped 20 seconds off his 5K time from 5 weeks ago, clocking a nifty 15:14 to take the win; Nyasinga clocked 15:24 to take 2nd. If you thought taking 20 seconds off your time in a 5 week period was impressive, Neville Davey dropped his time by almost a full minute. In Davey's case the reason is evident; something was wrong in early October. Remember that Davey won the 2017 Masters 10K title at Club Cross in Lexington KY, and ran 15:20 to capture the 2018 Carlsbad 5000 title. His 16:30 in October was way off his usual marks. A 15:46 to take 3rd in this contest was closer to what we would expect from Davey. Rose was just off the podium in 15:52, and Shirk followed six seconds later.
Peter Gilmore 15:14 Duncan Nyasinga 15:24 Neville Davey 15:46
TEAM In October, West Valley took the team title 32 to 42. The top two from both teams, Nyasinga and Shirk from GSTC and Gilmore and Yuen from WVTC totaled 6 points each. But the margin of victory was 10 points because the 3rd through 5th runners for WVTC, Rose, Konrad Knutsen, and Davey, came in a few seconds ahead of GSTC's 3rd through 5th runners, Ferrugia, Shawn Williams and Elliott Frieder. In this contest, with WVTC's Gilmore taking the title and Davey and Rose in 3rd and 4th, GSTC would have their work cut out for them. Shirk's 15:58 5th place, three seconds ahead of Knutsen helped. But once Knutsen crossed the line, WVTC had 4 runners in for a total of 14 points and GSTC had only two runners in and a total of 10. But Garden State had the next two runners across the line, Williams and Marco Cardoso in 16:47 and 16:52 to give GSTC 25 points on 4 runners. Garden State was still alive, but only for 11 seconds. WVTC's Jamey Gifford, John Markell, and Travis Price sped across the finish line between 17:03 and 17:19 to take 9th through 11th. The 9 points from Gifford capped the WVTC score at 23. GSTC's 5th runner, Dan Reiser clocked 18:12 to close out their scoring at 34 points. The oscillations continue. GSTC won the 8K and 3K; WVTC the 1st and 2nd 5K's. Whichever team wins the Mile will have the 3-2 edge for the Time Trial section of the Games.
West Valley Track Club 23 1:19:56 15:59 per scoring runner Garden State Track Club 34 1:23:13 16:39 per scoring runner
M50 INDIVIDUAL In the October 5K, West Valley's Ivan Lieben, Mark Callon, and Chuck Mullane shared the podium. Lieben and Callon were well ahead but Mullane came in just a whisker ahead of Garden State's Todd Wiley, with Mark Zamek right on his heels. Mark Yuen, who finished 4th in the M40 race for WVTC in the October 5K, aged up to join his 50's in this contest. He immediately took on the favorite's role. He did not disappoint! Yuen cruised to victory in 15:29! Lieben, the October winner, claimed 2nd in 16:11, followed 29 seconds later by Mullane in 3rd. Zamek improved his October time by over 20 seconds! That was impressive, but Mullane still had enough in the tank to outlast him by 4 seconds. Zamek claimed 4th and a dozen seconds later Elliott Frieder edged Callon for 5th, 16:56 to 16:57! That would have been a fun duel to watch!
TEAM With West Valley's Yuen, Lieben, and Mullane taking the first three spots, there was no doubt about the outcome. WVTC would roll to their 4th consecutive M50's time trial event victory in these Quarantine Games. After Callon's 6th place finish in 16:57, behind Garden State's Zamek and E. Frieder, West Valley had only 14 seconds to wait before Ed Randolph closed off their scoring with a fine 17:11. With 1,2,3,6, and 7 they totaled 19 points. Eight seconds behind Randolph, Joe Hegge claimed 8th for Garden State, with his teammates, Steven Segaloff and John Hogan clocking identical 17:55 times for 9th and 10th. That gave GSTC 36 points. The Garden State M50's can deny West Valley a sweep but they do not have enough top level competitors right now to break up the top bunch from West Valley. There is no shame in that. From the times turned in, it is clear these are two of the fastest M50's teams in the nation. The Greater Springfield Harriers have dominated M50 Cross Country over the last few years, not to mention the Masters Grand Prix overall. But West Valley has not contested those events at the M50 level. Perhaps now that Yuen and Lieben are both in the 50-54 division, they will consider a try for the M50 win at Club Cross as a start. They are already a contender every year for the M40 Club Cross crown.
West Valley Track Club 19 1:22:28 16:30 per scoring runner Garden State Track Club 36 1:25:29 17:06 per scoring runner
M60 It was all the Cal Coast Track Club again. Somehow they never got involved in the Boulder Road Runners 60's Summer Holidays series. They are now, to their dismay, in a class by themselves, literally, in these Quarantine Games. No matter! They show up, they run their race, and enjoy the victory. Brian Nelson led the way with a nifty 19:48, followed by the newest member of the crew, Bill Amor in 20:43, and Tom Albright not far back in 22:17. The legendary Coach, Bill Sumner, dropped down from the 70's to help out in case he was needed. His 24:48 capped the race for Cal Coast.
Cal Coast Track Club 6 1:02:48 20:56 per scoring runner
W40 It was the same story for Garden State's W40 team. They took this 5K title unopposed.Elena Rozhko and Kim Aspholm sandwiched their 18:21 and 20:34 around the 20:05 turned in by the QG newcomer, Gabrielle Panepinto. Rozhko's winning 18:21 surpassed her October effort by 4 seconds!
Garden State Track Club 6 59:00 19:40 per scoring runner
One event to go! The Quarantine Games 1 Mile Run results will be reported next week.