Thursday, July 29, 2021

Masters LDR Athetes Shine in the 5000 Meter Event at the 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships!

July 29, 2021. Record turnout of Masters LDR athletes boosted the fields at the  USATF Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships, held in Ames, Iowa from Thursday, July 22nd through Sunday, July 25th. Across all age divisions, there were a total of 110 registered athletes for the 5,000 meter event and 92 registered for the 10,000! This article covers the 5000 Meter event only. The next article will cover the 10,000 meters.

Please take a look at the articles posted on July 23 and 24 for my previews of the 5000 and 10000 Meter events. Following Masters LDR definitions, I only report on athletes 40 and over,

Recap. The 5000 Meter age division heats were the first of the Championship, held Thursday morning. The first heat went off at 7:30 AM and the final heat at 10:45 AM. The runners who toed the line at 7:30 had fair skies, 70 degrees, 83% humidity, with moderate winds (5 mph S); by 10:45 the skies were still fair, but the temperature was up to 82 degrees, with 61% humidity, with 10 mph winds, a bit of a challenge.

5000 Meters

7:30 AM M80+ & W 60+

Solo Divisions. Gunnar Linde 93 So Cal TC, was the oldest 5000 M winner. Unopposed in M90, this two-time National Champion at the 8K distance when the Championships were in Brea CA, took the title in 45:32.17. Colben Sime 87 So Cal TC won M85 unopposed with a 36:43.55. Tami Graf 85 Potomac Valley TC won the W80 Masters National Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018, and finished 2nd in 2016 and 2019. She had no trouble in Ames, posting the W85 win, unopposed , in 46:00.64. Kathleen Frable 75 So Cal TC did the same in W75, posting a 35:33.45.

M80 Seven runners toed the line; 6 finished. One of the seven was John Elliott 82 Potomac Valley TC who has numerous national championships to his name. This was not his day though. Roland Cormier 81 Shore AC took the runners through the first kilometer in 5:20.4, with John Becker 81 Unattached two seconds off the pace From here forward runners who are unattached will simply be listed with no Club affiliation, and Stan Edelson 80 another three seconds back. Ten seconds more saw Norman Goluskin 82 Central Park TC finish his first kilometer; Elliot was another half minute back. Toward the end of the next lap, Becker took the lead from Cormier and slowly built it the rest of the way. Cormier, Edelson, Goluskin and Elliott held their places all the way to the finish.

John Becker 27:12.61   Roland Cormier 28:20.8   Stan Edelson 29:15.59

W70 Nancy Rollins 74, one of the top road racers in the Chicago area, squared off against Isabel Bentz 70 Philadelphia Masters. Rollins covered the first 200 meters in 55.69, building a 5 second lead over Bentz, and never looked back. 

 

She was, no doubt, focused on testing herself against her younger counterparts contesting W65 & W60 in the same race. Rollins's time, shown below, achieved an age-grade PLP of 95.49%.  

Note: Because these performances are on the track, I use the WMA approved Track factors from 2010, as embodied in the calculator at: http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmalookup15.html. These factors are to be updated after the next WMA meeting, presumably in Tampere Finland next year. Because the factors are old and performances have improved a lot over the second half of the 2010's, the PLP's shown here are higher, sometimes much higher, than road PLP's using the new 2020 standards.

Nancy Rollins 25:14.22   Isabel Bentz 31:37.08

W65 This group was just a bit faster; Amy McCormack 66 ran the first 200 meters in 48.34, with Mary Lowe Mayhugh 65 Potomac Valley four seconds back and Terry Ozell 68 Atlanta TC, one of the mainstays of the Atlanta TC's W60+ team, another 6 seconds back. Nothing much changed except those gaps got bigger as the race went on. McCormack's time, given below, age grades at 89.6%, with Mayhugh at 83.66!

Amy McCormack 23:27.37   Mary Lowe Mayhugh 24:43.46   Terry Ozell 28:07.28

W60 Suzanne Cordes 61 Impala Racing is always a threat for the podium when she runs a Masters LDR event. In 2018 she competed in 6 events and was just edged out for 3rd by 10 points, 440-430 in that year's Masters National Grand Prix contest. That year she finished 2nd in the 15K Championships and 3rd in the Mile. Two 4th place finishes helped her total as well.  Though Carol  Sexton 64 does not compete at MLDR Championships, she and Cordes were well matched. Cordes went through the kilometer at 4:08.45, with Sexton 7 seconds back. By the 'halfway' mark at 2600 meters, the gap had grown to 12 seconds. The next 1600 meters saw a substantial growth of the gap and by the end Cordes had the win with over a minute to spare. Cordes's performance merited an 83.04 PLP; Sexton also earned a National Class PLP at 82.44.

Suzanne Cordes 23:25.40   Carol Sexton 24:41.01

9:05 AM M65 +

M75 Whenever Gary Patton 75 So Cal TC steps on a track he is the favorite. A Masters Hall of Famer, Patton has so many wins he cannot keep track of them...well, maybe he can, but no one else can! This race was no different. Norman Frable 75 So Cal TC, a teammate of Patton's, was happy to run and secure a second place finish. Patton established a lead early on and cruised through the event, saving some energy for his main event, the 1500 Meters and his second favorite, the 800 Meters.

Gary Patton 24:05.90  Norman Frable 34:13.93

M70 Gene Dykes 73 Greater Philadelphia TC, the fellow who came within a whisker of taking down the legendary Ed Whitlock's World W70 Marathon record in 2018, was a heavy favorite. Dykes runs all events from the Mile to the longest trail ultra marathons you can think of and everything in between. That same year, he broke the American M70 Records in the 10K with a 39:02 and the Half Marathon with a 1:25:05. His winning was not a sure thing, though. 2020 was a difficult year in terms of injury for Dykes and he is not all the way back to the fitness he enjoyed in 2018 and 2019. Peter Mullin 70 Houston Elite, a frequent winner on the Masters Grand Prix circuit some years back, had had some up and down years since, but seemed to be back in good form. In January he ran a 41:21 10K in Houston, suggesting he might be able to break 20 at 5000 meters on the  track. In any case, Mullin stepped out smartly, running his first 200 meters in 47.39, with Dykes tucking in behind, followed by Donald Loewe 73 SoCal and Leslie Sharpe 70 Club NW. Mullin led them through the first kilometer in 4:07.50 with Dykes content to follow a step back, with Share and Loew 30 meters back. Dykes moved to the front on the next lap, but Mullin stayed with him, at first. By the end of that lap, Dykes;s lead had grown to 25 meters over Mullin, and Sharpe was now only another 25 meters back from Mullin. From there Dykes continued to pull away at a sub-7 minute a mile pace that none of the others could match. Sharpe gradually closed on Mullin, passing him before 2600 meters. Mullin faded badly after that; either something went wrong or Mullin decided to save his energy for the 10,000 meters on Saturday morning. Dykes took 1st, followed by Sharpe and Loewe. Dykes's time earned a relatively modest, by his standards, PLP of 86.19%.

Gene Dykes 20:49.56   Leslie Sharpe 21:42.49   Donald Loewe 22:58.46

M65 Always a threat for a National Championship on the Cross Country turf, three time Masters Harrier of the Year, Rick Becker 66 Club NW, is no slouch on either roads or track. Stephen Chantry 66 Colonial Road Runners, known more as a track runner, has occasionally competed at road national Championships. His 2017 effort illustrates the difficulty runners in 60-64 and 65-69 encounter at National Championships. Chantry averaged 6:10 per mile in the USATF Masters 8 Km Championships in Virginia Beach at the Shamrock Marathon weekend. That's flying for a 62-year old, but he barely edged Reno Stirrat for 6th place! Chantry would see if he could push Becker on the track. Chantry went through the first 200 meters in the lead, at 41.88 seconds, with Becker right on his heels, with a gap to Eugene Myers 68, and a bigger gap back to Kevin McCormack 68. Becker moved to the front shortly thereafter and by the 1 Km mark, had a 30-meter gap on Chantry. Shortly thereafter Chantry called it quits, deciding sensibly to save himself for bigger efforts at the 800 and 1500 meters. Becker clicked off 88-90 second laps the rest of the way, coming home with a big win and a 91.02% PLP.

Rick Becker enjoying his winning effort after the 5000 Meters FB post-photo by Becky Denton

 

While there may be a day for Becker to try for Tom Bernhard's American record of 17:44.03, today was not the day; he had a 10000 meter race to run Saturday morning.

Rick Becker 18:11.02    Eugene Myers 21:22.29   Kevin McCormack 27:13.73

9:45 AM M55 & M60

M60 Of the 7 runners who toed the line, perhaps the most famous was Steve Schmidt 60 of 6DS3 fame. He and Antonio Arreola were the first of the eligible cohort to manage their sixth decade of a sub-3-hour Marathon. They achieved it at the January 2020 Chevron Houston Marathon. Others who are better known within the Masters LDR circuit included Kerry Barnett 61  Playmakers EliteSteve Brumwell 63 Cal Coast TC, and Stan McCormack 64 Kansas City Smoke. Barnett ran hard 5 years ago as a teammate of Dave Bussard in the Playmakers Elite 50+ team. At the 2016 Masters 5 Km Championships in Syracuse they crossed the finish line in 16:54 and 16:55! It has been up and down since then but Barnett has a couple of 19:07 5K's this year. Brumwell ran collegiately for UC Santa Cruz. A stalwart of the Cal Coast 60+ squad, Brumwell ran in 5 Championships for them in the 2018 Masters grand Prix, finishing as high as 6th at the 15K Championships in Tulsa. He was the 2nd runner in for Cal Coast at the 5K Championships in Atlanta, clocking 19:44. His support helped Cal Coast to 4th that year in the Masters National GP. He ran at Club Cross in Spokane the following year, but then injuries slowed him down. It is good to see him back! McCormack finished 5th at the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships in Flint, with a 5:38. Later that same year, he took 6th at the National 15K Championships in Tulsa. Last September he ran a 19:46 in a local Kansas 5K. Those four, along with Jeffrey Kirk 62 Santa Cruz TC, sped out as a group, all hitting the 200 meter within a few tenths of a second of 46 seconds. By the 1 Kilometer mark, it was starting to look like it would be a 2-runner battle for 1st between Schmidt and McCormack, with McCormack at 3:42.2 and Schmidt tucked in behind. Ten meters back, Kirk and Barnett crossed in 3:45 and change, with Brumwell 15 meters back from them. 

M60 Field in 5000 Meters--Leading is Stan McCormack, Steve Schmidt and in 4th and 5th Kerry Barnett and Steve Brumwell

 

At 2600 meters, McCormack was still leading Schmidt and Barnett had a 10-meter lead on Kirk. Brumwell was back, but not all the way back; he could not match that pace. Schmidt took the lead from McCormack at the 3000 meter mark, hitting it in 11:28.7. He pulled away over the final 5 laps to win handily. I guess Marathon training is not such bad prep for a 5K! Schmidt's time age grades to 84.47%. Never seriously threatened by the other two, McCormack had no trouble cruising to 2nd place with a time that age grades to 82.48%

Stan MCormack is free of his pursuers late in the race FB post

 

Barnett, gutsy runner that he is, still had the edge on Kirk with 800 meters to go. At that point he could not match the 99 second laps that Kirk was throwing down, as Kirk hauled to third place, kicking in his last lap in under 92 seconds, nailing a National Class time, with an 80.62 PLP.

Steve Schmidt 18:33.97   Stan McCormack 19:42.13   Jeffrey Kirk 19:58.42

M55 Francis Burdett 56  Greater Springfield Harriers and Dale Flanders 56 Genesee Valley Harriers  are long time rivals and friends on the USATF Masters LDR circuit.  

Francis Burdett, Alejandro Heuck, and Dale Flanders L to R with Burdett & Flanders in the 5000 and Heuck in the 800 and 1500 Meters --FB-post

Michael Collins 57 ran in a Masters LDR Championship for the first time in October 2019 at the 15K in Tulsa, winning the division in 57:38. It looks like he may make a habit of it; it's great to have another competitive runner in the crew! Burdett, when at the top of his game, can run with the best. In 2015, for example, he won the Masters National Grand Prix title for M50, winning the Cross Country Nationals in Bend OR and the 8K in Brea CA. He also took 2nds that year at the 15K in Tulsa and the 12K in Alexandria. Burdett, like many others, struggles with injuries from time to time. Unlike others, he relishes competing so much that he will enter and race while still rehabbing an injury. I applaud his comptitive spirit, but, as a result, one is never quite sure in advance what Burdett has for a given race. In March of this year, he ran 18:02 at a 5000 meter on the track. Flanders rn in the same race, finishing 20 seconds back. Flanders is more consistent; his highs are not as high, nor his lows as low. Nonetheless, he is a very solid performer on the turf, the track and the roads. A mainstay for the competitive GVH team, Flanders is almost always in the top 10 in the Masters National Grand Prix standings, finishing 4th in 2016 and 2018. Dean Thompson 55 does not compete in the road race part of the Masters National Grand Prix, but is a regular at Club Cross and occasionally competes at other XC Championships. No slouch, he ran at the 2015 Club XC Championships in San Francisco and finished behind Mike Nier and Kevin Zimmer, but ahead of David Olds and Burdett. He has run in almost every ClubCross Championship since then. He is not at the top of the leaderboard, but is a solid performer. That says a lot considering the huge, competitive field at Club Cross. David White 56 West Valley TC is not a regular even at Club Cross, but he ran at Bethlehem in 2019 and finished just ahead of Thompson. After the first 200 meters, it seemed clear that this would not be one of Burdett's best days. Collins, Thompson, White and Flanders were in close order but Burdett was about 10 meters back. Burdett righted himself though and was still only about 10 meters behind Flanders at the 1 K mark. And Flanders was just a couple of seconds back from the 3-pack of Collins, Thompson and White up front, clocking 3:34.08. The rest of the way, Burdett fell further behind Flanders and Flanders fell further behind the leading three, while they sorted themselves out. The lead three were tight through 2600 meters, but Thompson started to crack over the next lap, falling 2 seconds back. The gap widened to 25 meters by the end of  the following lap and continued to widen. But the first two, Collins and White were locked in a duel! With 800 meters to go, White was still on the leader's heels. The bell sounded and Collins was only 0.2 seconds ahead! This would come down to the wire! White could not get past Collins and Collins could not pull away! Collins had just enough in the tank to take the win by a fraction of a second!

Collins's time is credited with an 89.39% age grade score, nearly world class, while White's score  was almost as strong at 88.54. Thompson's PLP was 85.72, giving this division the strongest age graded podium in the 5000 meters.

Michael Collins 17:05.88   David White 17:06.61   Dean Thompson 17:32.31

10:15 AM W40 to W59

 W55 Cindy Blakeley-Cameron 56 KC Smoke and Tina Klein 56 T.H.E. TC raced well. Blakely-Cameron hit the 1K mark in 4:15.98 with a 4 second lead. That gap grew steadily but slowly throughout the race with Blakeley taking a wire-to-wire win. It was a national class time, earning an 83.03 PLP.

Cindy Blakeley-Cameron 21:47.91   Tina Klein 23:06.50

W40 to W54

It will be more fun to treat these divisions as if they were a single competition. They did run at the same time on the same track so they could well have felt like they all were competing with each other as well as by division. Afterwards, I sort them into their proper divisions.

The top 5 athletes were: Jessica Hruska 41 Crown Running, Melissa Gacek 45 Run N Fun, Janet Bain 46 , Euleen Josiah-Tanner 47 T.H.E. TC, and April Flynn 52. Hruska led Gacek and Josiah-Tanner through the first 200 meters, with no gaps, but there was already a 10 meter gap back to Bain and Flynn by the time they passed the timer. Although Hruska still had only a 1 second advantage at the 1 kilometer mark, it had grown to 3 seconds by the 1800 meter mark and slowly expanded to a gap over Gacek and Josiah-Tanner of over 40 meters by the time she hit the bell lap. That was a good thing! Probably she had plenty left in the tank, but one of the two chasers took almost 5 seconds out of her lead on the last lap! But Hruska got the win in her age division and the fastest time among all those 40 and up. 

Jennifer Hruska powering to tthe W40 win Photo by Clint 'Flash' Santoro


Gacek and Josiah-Tanner were locked in a duel from the sound of the gun. Gacek led, but could not drop Josiah-Tanner. Lap by lap went by with less than a second between their times. 

Melissa Gacek leading Euleen Josiah-Tanner in the 5000M Photo by Clint 'Flash' Santoro

 

At 3800 meters, Josiah-Tanner had allowed it to creep up to 1.6 seconds. Was that the beginning of a growing gap? Not so! By the end of the next lap at 4200 meters, they were again in lock step. The bell sounded! it was Gacek in 17:45.94 and Josiah-Tanner at 17:46.03. Gacek was able to speed up but she had no answer for the 86 second last lap Josiah-Tanner was able to find. Josiah-Tanner, as noted above, closed on Hruska. Not that she cared. Josiah-Tanner knew that she was really only competing against Gacek, and she had that victory. Her time merited an 83.85% PLP. Gacek's performance was national class as well, hitting an age grade score of 81.24%. What about Bain and Flynn? Technically they were not competitors but it must not have felt that way. Bain went through the 1st Kilometer in 4:00.47, with Flynn within 2 seconds. It stayed that way until 3000 meters. By that time, Flynn had crept to within a second. Bain slowed on the next lap and Flynn took advantage, moving into the lead. First by 2, then by 5 and then by 7 seconds as the laps rolled by. Flynn finished 18 seconds ahead of Bain, happy to take the W50 win while earning an 81.14% on the PLP chart

April Flynn kicks to the Finish, taking the W50 title in the 5000 Meters FB post-April Flynn

 

Bain was, no doubt, happy to be on the W45 podium.

W50 April Flynn 21:08.22   Jill Vollweiler 53 So Cal 22:56.87

W45 Euleen Josiah-Tanner 19:12.11   Melissa Gacek 19:20.81   Janet Bain 21:25.18

W40 Jessica Hruska 19:05.55   Sara Schwendinger 44 So Cal 21:46.15   Melissa Cote 43 GYS TC 24:27.69

10:45 AM  M40 to M54

M50 Mark Elworthy 50 Run N Fun ran a fine race, winning the division Championship by 2 minutes and nailing an 83.18 PLP. Scott Siriano 54 Mass Velocity TC is a solid performer at the National level. Siriano took 3rd at the 2018 Masters Road Mile Championships in Flint with a 5:07 and finished 12th M50 at the Masters 5 Km XC Championships in Buffalo NY. Siriano engaged in a duel with Craig Chasse 51 Potomac Valley. Siriano had 9 seconds on Chasse at the 1000 meter mark. By the 3000 meter mark, which Siriano hit in 11:15.82, the lead was up to 19 seconds, but it would get no higher. On the next lap the lead was down to 13 seconds and then 10 on the next. But that is where the gains ended. Chasse was not able to sustain the faster pace over the final 1200 meters;  in the end he was still 10.7 seconds back.

Mark Elworthy 17:21.16   Scott Siriano 19:26.97   Craig Chasse 19:37.65

M45  Seemont Teotia 45 took the division win unopposed in 22:26.43.

M40 This division contained the athlete with the fastest time on the day, Abraham Mendoza 44, who won the division Championship  by two minutes and age graded at 84.26%. 

Abraham Mendoza cruises to the fastest 5000 Meter time of the day Photo by Clint 'Flash' Santoro  

 
Adrian Herrera on his way to a 2nd place finish in the M40 5000 Meters FB post
 

Abraham Mendoza 16:20.33   Adrian Herrera 41 18:30.68   Matthew Holtry 42 Piedmont Pacers 23:17.23

 

Many of these athletes also ran the 10,000 meters 48 hours later on Saturday morning. The next article will provide a recap.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Masters LDR Goes to Ames--#4--1500 Meters

July 24, 2021. This is the last preview for the Middle and Long Distance events of the 2021 USATF Masters Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Ames, Iowa. If the 1500 Meters goes off tomorrow on schedule,  temperatures will rise from the low 70's, when the Women's race for athletes from 70 - 89 go off, up to the low 80's by the time the M40's run at 9:59 AM. Those temperatures should not be too much of a factor for a short race like this; my earlier previews of the 5000M, and especially the 10,000 meters should have acknowledged the warm weather. I imagine some of those toeing the line yesterday said to themselves--Okay, I'm ready for this, it's just Peachtree without the hills; others may have found their running a bit more bothered by this kind of heat. The 1500 Meters is the premier middle and long distance event of these Championships. It has inherited the mantle of the mile because of its status as the 'Metric Mile' and the distance contested at all international events including World and Olympic Championships.

8:00 AM 

W80 & W85 Janet Baumann & Tami Graf are unopposed in their divisions. They must have scared away all rivals! They will take the Gold once they cross the finish line in their respective divisions.

W75 Cora Hill Unattached has a 1500 M seed time of 9:00. Hill, who li ves in Michigan, or did at the time, finished 3rd in the 2016 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships in Flint MI, running 9:28. The others, Angela Staab Piedmont Pacers and Kathleen Frable So Cal TC, do not have seed times. From a quick look at Athlinks, it appears the race is Hill's to lose. 

W70 If the 'Norma Hudnall' entered in this division is the same person as 'Nonie Hudnall'  then she is a longtime mainstay of the Atlanta Track Club's W60+ squad. Among other races, she took a Bronze Medal in Women's 65-69 at the 2018 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta with a 27:06 8;43/mi pace, age grade equivalent to a 7:45 mile (similar to a 7:07 1500M). Coreen Steinbach is the runner to beat. Her seed time is 6:13 and in 2017 at the USATF Masters 5 Km Championships, she finished 3rd in Women's 65-69 with a 23:07. Hudnall could well come in ahead of Isabel Bentz, who has a 7:30 seed time, but she does not often run a race as short as this.

8:15 AM

W65 Amy McCormack appears to have by far the fastest seed time in the division at 6:13. Terry Ozell, another mainstay of Atlanta's W60+ team, seems slotted in for 2nd, with her 7:30, if seed times are anywhere near to being accurate. The one runner without seed times, Mary Lowe Mayhugh has been running 5K's recently at around 25:45, age grade equivalent to a 7:22 mile (similar to a 6:45 1500 Meter). That suggest Ozell will have her work cut out for her to take 2nd. She should be comfortably on the podium in any case.

 W60 This division is loaded with talent. Susan Lynn Cooke Unattached has the top seed time with a 5:30.6. Cooke competed at Masters LDR Championships for her New Balance Tampa team between 2017 and 2019. One of her best moments came at XC, not a discipline that is a favorite of track runners. In 2019, she took the W60 title over 6 Km in 25:55! Cooke has been experimenting with a variety of track events over the last year, everything from hurdles to sprints. At the NY/NJ Track Championships this June, she clocked 33 seconds and change for the 200 meters. Watch out for her finishing kick! One of her former teammates, Lesley Hinz, T.H.E. Track, has the second best seed time at 5:35.7. Julie Hayden Greater Philadelphia TC has a seed time just 2 seconds slower, 5:37.8. Suzanne Cordes Impala Racing enters without a seed time. She typically competes at Club XC and a few other Masters LDR Championships each year. The race is shorter than most of the ones she races, but her time at the 2018 Masters 5K Championships in Atlanta over a hilly course, was 20:56. That is age-grade equivalent to a 5:56 Mile (similar to a 5:27 1500 meter effort). It is tricky to project a 1500 meter time from a 5k, and that was three years ago. But it suggests Cordes cannot be ignored as a threat for the win. Cordes would probably need to take the pace to her rivals and not worry about their likely greater speed in the final sprint.

8:30 AM

 W55 The top two seed times belong to Michelle Rohl and Judy Stobbe. Rohl appears to be talented but I am not familiar with her from Masters LDR. Stobbe is by no means a regular, but she did run Club Cross at Lehigh in 2019 and at Lexington in 2017. Like most track athletes, it is likely she runs the race on Coach's advice, as a way to toughen oneself up for Indoor season and because it is a different kind of race that changes things up. Nonetheless at the 2017 race in Lexington, she cracked the top ten in her division, racing to a 25:41 over 6 Km. In that race, Stobbe was a half minute slower than one of her competitors in this race, Lorraine Jasper Greater Philadelphia TC.  Jasper is a strong athlete, but it is tough to compete for a National Championship in your last year in an age division. Jasper will give it her all and will be a factor but it will be tough to land on the podium. In addition to Rohl and Stobbe, Kathy Wolski, Alisa Harvey, and Lisa Veneziano, all Unattached, will vie for the podium. Wolski's seed time is only a minute slower than Stobbe's 5:10. See my discussion of Wolski, Harvey and Veneziano vis a vis Masters LDR Championships in earlier previews posted in the last few days. Harvey's seed time is 5:17. That seems about right for current fitness. She ran 5:43 in the Loudoun Street Mile in Virginia, which is similar to running a 5:16 1500 Meter event. So Harvey will need to find a few seconds. Harvey often finds a way to win, however, and if not, wind up on the podium. this is her new Age Division. Veneziano does not often run races liike the mile and the 1500 meters. She has made an exception for the USATF Masters 1 Mile when it was in her home state of Michigan. In 2019 she ran 5:35 to finish 5th overall and 2nd in her division behind Fiona Bayly. That is similar to a 5:08 in a 1500 meter run. Veneziano has run two 5K's in the low to mid 18's suggesting she could be ready to set a fast pace.

8:40 AM
W50 None of the entrants in this division have any history to speak of in Masters LDR. I wish them all well and have no reason to think the seed times are not a good indicator. If so, Elizabeth Guerrini, Dianne DeOliveira, and Terry Ballou should make up the podium.

8:48 AM  

W45 Sascha Scott took the Overall win at Club Cross at Lehigh in 2019 and won the Masters 5K National Road Championship a couple of years earlier. She has the fastest seed time by far, at 4:36.1. That should be  a good indicator of her likely margin of victory. Euleen Josiah-Turner will likely take 2nd; her seed time of 5:16 is over 20 seconds faster than the seed time of her closest rival.

 W40 The only athlete I am familiar with from Masters LDR in this division is Laurie Knowles who, unfortunately, had to scratch. Like W50 I am not familiar with the others and wish them well.

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 8:56 AM

M95 Dixon Hemphill is in a Division by himself. Once he crosses the finish line, the Gold Medal is his. He put in the hard work to get here. No other 95 year old did.

M90 Gunnar Linde So Cal TC and Vance Genzlinger Unattached will have to sort out which is faster. Neither has a seed time listed. No stranger to Masters LDR Championships, at least when they are on or close to the West Coast, Linde won the M85 Gold at the 2017 USATF Masters 8K Championships in Brea CA, clocking 58:21. He ran 1:07:21 over the same course last year. In 2017 Genzlinger ran a 45:50 5K. That is age-grade equivalent to a 1:13:31 8K. If they had raced at that time, Linde would have won with a comfortable margin. That seems likely to be the case on Sunday.

M85 I am not familiar with nor , but the seed times seem to tell the story that the race should go to Cantu. Best of luck to both!Inocencio CantuColben Sime

M85M85 M85M80 The seed times tell the story that this division belongs to Sherwood Sagedahl Unattached 6:17, Norman Goluskin Central Park TC 7:25, and John Elliott Potomac Valley 8:20. But I know Elmo Shropshire Unattached 8:50 was able to upset Elliott at the 2019 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships in San Diego, clocking 29:44 to Elliott's 29:55. Supremacy in XC does not automatically confer supremacy on the track. But it does mean that Elliott should take nothing for granted. Furthermore, Roland Cormier Shore AC, since resuming his racing after being away for a couple of years, has been turning in some good times. Over the same course in San Diego three months later, but covering 8K instead of 5K, Cormier took the M80 title in 48:42. That time is age grade equivalent to a 30:14, suggesting he was not far off, at that time, from Elliott and Shropshire. Things can change a lot with masters runners in a year and a half so nothing is guaranteed. It will be interesting to see how it sorts out. 

M75 I have picked to win every race in which he is entered so far. I am not likely to stop with the 1500 Meter Run, arguably the race he puts most emphasis on. He holds the American M65 1500 record at 4:46.05 and the M70 at 5:04.87. A couple of weeks ago, Patton broke 5:57.2 Mile Record, which had stood for almost 20 years,Gary Patton Scotty Carter's by two seconds. Ross Bolding is no slouch, with a seed time of 5:36 but Patton should  carry the day.

9:11 AM  M70Much as I would love to see , a long time mainstay of M60+ and M70+, crack the podium, that seems a tall order. On the other hand, after apparently taking a lot of time off last year during the Pandemic, he was still able to find the fitness to run a 6:07 1500 Meter run in Atlanta on the track in early May. If his fitness has improved, he could shake things up yet. , who is every bit as much of a middle distance legend as is Gary Patton, should take the Gold with little trouble. His 4:53.01 Mile from 2012 is still the M60 American Record. He also holds the M60 record for the 1500 M. Apparently and will give chase but, most likely have to settle for 2nd and 3rd. , if healthy, could upset their apple cart, as well as learned. During most of his Masters LDR career, Mullin hit the podium more often than Learned, and he did run a 20:02 5K and a 41:01 10K just before the Pandemic hit in 2020. His seed time of 5:57 probably indicates he is not coming out of the layoff at peak fitness.Jerry Learned Atlanta TCNolan ShaheedPaul Pearson Tim WiggersPeter Mullin

9:19 AM  M65 Stephen Chantry, and have the top two seed times at 4:52.7 and 5:24.36. They should go 1-2. But could have some say. Chantry's teammate was faster at longer races than Chantry a few years back. In 2017 at the USATF Masters 8K Championships in Virginia Beach, Gibson clocked 30:14 to Chantry's 30:37. Leddy was at just over 33 minutes. Even back then, Gibson might not have beaten Chantry at shorter distances on the track. But he would likely have been able to come in ahead of Leddy at any distance a mile or longer. Like many Masters athletes, Gibson has battled various niggling injuries since then. It is good to see him making a comeback! In January Gibson ran a 33:01 8K and in June, a 20:24 5K. That effort is age-grade equivalent to a 5:59 (similar to a 5:30 in the 1500). Leddy will be tough to beat for 2nd in the 1500, but Gibson could have a shot at it, especially if his fitness is on the upswing. Colonial Road RunnersHarold Leddy Shore AC Pete Gibson

9:27 AM has the best seed time, 4:32.12 but he runs for Canada. Among Americans, the top three seem to be 4:44, 4:45.27, and 4:50.74. Of those I am only familiar with Westenberg, the M60 winner of the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship in Flint MI in 5:13 (similar to a 4:47 1500 M effort). Westenberg built his base over 2020. It is impressive that once he worked on fine-tuning for middle distances he was able to generate a seed time like that. Class ran 18:04 in the Brian Kraft 5K on May 31st, age grade equivalent to a 5:18 mile (similar to a 4:52 1500 meter). I give Westenberg a slight edge to take first among the Americans, with Class second and O'Driscoll 3rd. Two top Masters LDR runners, and will also contest but appear to lack the speed necessary to compete with the top few.Mark PincardM60 Rob Class Run MN David Westenberg Greater Lowell Road RunnersConor O'Driscoll WestchesterWilliam Enicks IVSteve Brumwell

9:35 AM M55Among the runners with the top 6 seed times, I am most familiar with , his teammate, , and their rival, . All three participate regularly at Masters LDR Championships both on the turf and on the road. I am somewhat familiar with from his entries in Clb Cross Championships. At Lehigh in 2019, Barbee finished 4th in M55, just ahead of Nier who was assigned the same finishing time of 37:07 for the 10K race. Heuck was a couple of minutes back; he runs XC for his team but doe snot love it as he does track. Burdett was injured, but ran anyway. He loves to run and compete with his team; he often runs when others would advise caution. By the fall of 2020, he was running 5K's in the mid 17's and clocked a 5:30 mile. Burdett's seed time is 4:37.74, with Heuck a tenth of a second slower. Barbee probably does not care for XC any more than Heuck does; he ran 4:51 at the Hartshorne Memorial Mile in early 2020, coming in 5 seconds ahead of Nier. Barbee's seed time is 4:32; it appears to be justified. If the seed times are good indicators, it is likely that and Barbee will take Gold and Silver. After that, it is anyone's guess and will come down to fitness on the day and how the race unfolds. has the third best seed time, but Burdett, Heuck and Nier will be fighting all the way.Alejandro Heuck Greater Springfield HarriersFrancis BurdettMike Nier Genesee Valley HarriersKenneth Barbee Greater Philadelphia David White Dean Thompson

9:43 AM M50 Mark Yuen has the top seed time of 4:15. That appears to be the class of the seed times for this group, and is consistent with his reputation for National Masters Cross Country Championships. At the 2019 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in San Diego, Yuen, 48 at the time, finished 6th in the 40+ team contest, clocking 16:47 to help his team to victory. Yuen should win. I am less familiar with the others so will leave it to and to sort themselves out in the race for the remaining podium positions.West Valley TC Mark Elworthy, Brian Schilling, James McDonald

9:51 AM and . I understand Williams took the honors in the 800 m the other day, with Brady 2nd. Brady will hope to reverse that order tomorrow. Brady has the better seed time, at 4:10, with Williams's seed time almost 5 seconds slower. Brady is coming in with some niggling issues though, which forced him to rest and apply ice this week. It is very tough to chose betweenthese impressive Masters middle distance runners. I do not know , but with a seed time just over a second slower than Williams's, he could clearly be in the mix. , who is only credited with a 4:30 seed time, might make more noise than that,. In researching one of hte other distances, I saw that he had a 33:06 effort at the 2019 AJC Peachtree 10K and later that year ran a 1:10:50 Half Marathon. Perhaps he does not have the same fitness, but if he does, I would expect him to be under 4:20 on a good day. That would put him in the hunt for a podium spot.M45 It looks like another classic 1500 meter battle between Peter Brady CPTCMark Williams UnattachedWilliams had the better seed time in the 800m and he took the honors. Perhaps that will work for Brady in the 1500.Jonathan BishardSam Krieg

9:59 AM It should be tight! If it comes down to a kick and a lean, I give  the edge to Schneekloth. M40The only runner I know in this division is the athlete with the top seed time, . Schneekloth took the top spot overall and in his division at the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship; he clocked 4:36.1 on a very technical course. His training seems to have gone well this spring and summer. there is no reason to doubt that he will live up to his seed time of 4:10 and battle with 4:10 and 4:12.Chuck Schneekloth Garden State TCPhilip SteadJeremy Ruston

That's it for the preview of the final of the four middle and long distance events at the Outdoor Track Championships.  Next up, the recap!