June 29, 2022 The first post on the MNGP Individual Standings through the spring featured the top contenders from the Women's Championships. Now I turn to the Men's Standings.
Winners in 2020-21 and in 2019
2020-2021 Two Masters National Championships from before Covid [Club Cross-Lehigh, XC Nationals-San Diego] and two events from after Covid [12 Km-Highlands NJ, 5 Km XC-Boston] made up this Grand Prix, elongated over time but condensed in the number of events. The best 2 events were scored and the minimum requirement for eligibility was 2 events.
Men 40-44 Brock Butler 45-49 Jacques Sallberg 50-54 Craig Godwin 55-59 Nat Larson 60-64 Joe Sheeran 65-69 Ken Youngers 70-74 Jerry Learned 75-79 Dave Glass 80-84 Roland Cormier
2019 The 2019 Masters National Grand Prix included eight Masters National Championships: Three Cross Country Events, Club Cross-Spokane 2018, XC Nationals-Tallahassee, 5 Km XC-San Diego; and five Road events, 8 Km-Virginia Beach, 10 Km-Dedham MA, 5 Km-Atlanta GA, 1 Mile-Flint MI, and 15 Km-Tulsa OK. The best 5 events were scored and the minimum requirement for eligibility was 3 events.
Men 40-44 David Angell 45-49 Brian Sydow 50-54 Kent Lemme 55-59 Nat Larson 60-64 Ken Youngers 65-69 Joseph Reda 70-74 Lloyd Hansen 75-79 Doug Goodhue 80-84 John Elliott 85-89 Warren Osborn 90-94 Nathaniel Finestone
2022. The National [plus 1 International] Championship events counting are, in chronological order;
Club Cross Country Tallahassee FL Dec 11 2021; Cross Country Nationals San Diego CA/Jan 8 2022; Masters 5 Km Atlanta GA Feb 26; Masters Half Marathon Syracuse NY Mar 20; Masters 10 Mile Sacramento CA Apr 3; Masters 10 Km Dedham MA Apr 24; Masters 1 Mile Rochester NY May 21; WMA Championships Cross Country, 10 Km, Or Half Marathon Tampere Finland June 30-July 10; Masters 12 Km Highlands NJ Sep 18; Masters 5 Km Cross Country Boulder CO Oct 22
Awards Ceremony: After the races at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in San FranciscoCA on December 10, 2022.
Rules. The 2022 USATF Masters Individual Grand Prix consists of ten events. An athlete participating in an event can earn from 5 to 100 points in each event. First place in a given 5-year Age Division (40-44, 45-49, etc.) receives 100 points, 2nd place 95, third place 90, and so on down to 20th place receiving 5 points. All runners finishing the race behind the 20th place finisher also receive 5 points. The score at the end of the season is the cumulative total of the runner's best 5 events. Only athletes who participate in three or more events are eligible to win an award. Athletes with the top 3 scores in each division receive a 1st place, 2nd place or 3rd place plaque with their name on it. The fourth through 15th finishers in an age division, who are eligible, receive certificates. The World Masters Athletics Championships held in June and July contain a Cross Country event, a 10 Km Road and a Half Marathon Road Championships. Athletes who participate as part of Team USA may pick their best event of the three and accumulate points from that event like any other, compared only to other Team USA athletes. A Team USA athlete who is 2nd on the team but 6th in the event, scores 95 Grand Prix points for the event.
Current Standings and Prognosis for the Remainder of the Season
MEN 40-44 Jesse Davis Indianapolis has dominated the first portion of the Masters National Grand Prix, with first place finishes at Club Cross in Tallahassee, the Half Marathon in Syracuse and the 10 Km in Dedham. His teammate, Brian Lindsay, took 1st at Atlanta, with Davis a close 2nd. That gives Davis 395 points from his 4 events. Will his Indianapolis Elite team choose to compete at either the 12 Km Championships in Highlands NJ or at the 5 Km XC Championships in Boulder? They have won on both the turf and the roads and have victories at distances from 5 Km to a Half Marathon. If they do compete in one more event, and Davis runs for the team and scores well, his lead will be insurmountable. Davis’s teammate, John Poray Greater Indianapolis, is in 2nd place with 320 points from 4 events. Poray, once he came back from a niggling injury, took 3rd at the Half Marathon and 2nd in the 10 Km at Dedham. It is too early to say Davis has the Grand Prix win in his pocket. Should Poray compete in an event that Davis skips, for whatever reason, he could pass Davis. Roosevelt Cook So Cal has 270 points from a 2nd at Cross Country Nationals in San Diego, a third at the 10 Mile Run in Sacramento and a 5th place finish at the highly competitive Club Cross Championships in Tallahassee. If Davis would end his Grand Prix season right now, he would wind up with 395 points and Cook could pass him by competing at both Highlands NJ and Boulder. If Davis competes in one of those two events, and finishes 6th or better, he locks up the MNGP 40-44 win! So, Cook is probably heading for 2nd in the Masters National Grand Prix. Does he have that locked up? No, Shawn Williams New Jersey has 225 points from 5 events, one of which is the ultra-competitive Club Cross Championships where he scored just 5 points. Should he compete at either Highlands or Boulder, and finish anywhere in the top 12, he would surpass Cook’s current total. Others with possibilities include Sergio Reyes San Francisco Bay Area, who took 1st at Cross Country Nationals and 2nd at Sacramento. Reyes, who aged up into the Masters Division this year, still has Open goals and is, therefore, not likely to run many more MNGP events. One cannot rule him out though. With 195 points and two events, he could climb into 40-44 podium contention with one more event. Eric Blake Connecticut also has 2 events; his 185 points come from a third-place finish at Club Cross and a 2nd place at Dedham in the Half Marathon. In 2019, Blake won the Overall Championship at the 10 Km Championships in Dedham. This year he had to skip the event; his ability to compete on his own is circumscribed by his University Coaching duties. Peter Gilmore San Francisco Bay Area has 180 points from a 2nd place finish at Club Cross and a 4th at Sacramento. Like the others, he is unlikely to show up at the 12 Km in September but the chance to compete in the 5 Km XC Championships in Boulder may be a chance he will not miss. Jerry Faulkner New York City and Kevin Shirk Virginia are tied for 8th with 170 points on 2 events.
|Jesse Davis takes the Overall and 40-44 Division wins at the USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships Photo courtesy of Syracuse Half Marathon|
Top Contenders: Jesse Davis John Poray Roosevelt Cook
45-49 As of this writing, Jacques Sallberg So Cal has a large, almost insurmountable lead. A surprise entrant at the Masters Road Mile Championships in Rochester, NY, Sallberg brought home a 2nd place finish overall but a first in 45-49. That topped his MNGP total up at 485 points from 5 events. Earlier in the season, Sallberg had 1st place finishes at Cross Nationals and the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta, not to mention a 2nd place finish at Club Cross and a 3rd at the 10 Mile Championships. Gregory Mitchell's Oregon 285 points leave him far back, but those points are from just three events. If Mitchell competes in both the 12 Km and at Boulder, and Sallberg does not, he could win this MNGP contest. His two wins, if they happen, would give him 485 points, the same as Sallberg. And he would win the first tiebreaker, head-to-head competition, 2-1. Mitchell has the ability to do that, but it might not happen if Mitchell cannot break away from coaching duties to contest the 12 Km. And even if Mitchell wins the 12Km, it is likely that Sallberg will contest the outcome at Boulder. These two met on the turf in Boulder in 2015, with Sallberg taking the win just ahead of Mitchell. And even if Mitchell should reverse the 2015 outcome and finish first, as long as Sallberg finishes 2nd, he adds 5 points to his total and defeats Mitchell 490 to 485. Mitchell not only has to beat Sallberg, but someone else must beat him as well, a tall order! Another wrinkle is that Peter Gilmore, currently sitting in 7th in 40-44, with 180 points, aged up to this division this spring. He is not a threat to take 1st or 2nd, but he could affect the outcome if he runs at Boulder. If so, Mitchell needs to beat both Gilmore and Sallberg to get the win, and Gilmore has to come in ahead of Sallberg so Sallberg's total stays at 485. I hope that Mitchell can get away to race the 12 Km and, if so, to win it. That would add some spice to the 5 Km XC at Boulder! Todd Rose San Francisco 285-2 events is currently in 3rd, with Neil Chandler Jacksonville 170-2 and Jerry Snider Waco TX area 170-2 tied for 4th. None of those three competed at the 12 Km last year. If West Valley decides t contest the 5 Km at Boulder, and I hope they do, Rose is likely to be there! He would either need to beat Gilmore or have Gilmore skip the event to move up onto the podium. But it would be a nice side-benefit of competing. Both Highlands and Boulder are real trips for Chandler but Boulder is not as far from Waco so Snider could well pick up some more points there. Although still a long-shot, Snider could find himself on the 45-49 podium.
|Jacques Sallberg takes 2nd Overall and Wins the 45-49 Division at the USATF Masters Road Mile Championships Photo by Pam Fales|
|Ivan Lieben on his way to a 50-54 Silver Medal at the 2021 USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee FL Photo By Michael Scott, cropped by author|
|John McMahon left cruises to the Silver 55-59 Medal at the USATF Masters Road Mile Championships in Rochester NY Photo by Pam Fales|
|Nat Larson takes 1st place in Overall Age-Grading and in the 55-59 Division at the USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships|
|Ken Youngers heading for a 65-69 Division Win and the 65-69 Course record at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships at the James Joyce Ramble Photo by Michael Scott|
|Jerry Learned speeds to a 4th place finish and 85 GP Points at the 2022 USATF Masters Road Mile Championships in Rochester NY Photo By Pam Fales-Cropped by author|
|Dave Glass strides to the finish and another 75-79 Division Win at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships in Dedham MA Photo By Michael Scott|
|Andrew Sherwood attacks the Tallahassee Cross Country course on his way to a third place finish and laying the base for his current lead in the 2022 Masters National 80-84 Grand Prix|
|Adrian Craven #1073 on his way to an 85-89 win at the 2021 USATF Club Cross Country Championships Photo by Michael Scott, cropped by author|