Monday, August 22, 2022

The 2022 USATF Masters National Club Grand Prix Current Standings and Prospects

August 13, 2022 The 2022 Club Grand Prix contest is based on the same 8 national championships that the Individual Grand Prix is based on. 

2022. The National 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; 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.

All of the events except the last two are in the books already. Unlike the Individual GP, there are no points from the WMA Championships in Finland because there are no club/team events in World Competition except for Team USA. For Clubs there are ten-year divisions, 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+, and, on occasion, 80+. Most runners on 40+ teams, for example, are between the ages of 40-49, but runners from older divisions may always run in a lower division, while the reverse is forbidden. Scores are determined by the Team's place in each of at least three Masters National Championship events. First place earns 100 points, 2nd 90 and so on down to 60 points for 5th place; 6th place earns 55 and points decline by 5 points for each subsequent place down to 5 points for 16th and higher. Cumulative points are determined by the best 5 championship scores. First place in the Club Grand Prix provides a cash award of $1,000, with $500 and $250 going to the 2nd and 3rd place teams respectively.

Historical Perspective

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.

Women 40+ Janes Elite 50+ Greater Philadelphia Track Club 60+ Impala Racing 70+ Impala Racing

Men 40+ Cal Coast Track Club 50+ Greater Springfield Harriers 60+ Athletics Boulder 70+ Atlanta Track Club 80+ Clifton Road Runners

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.

Women 40+ Impala Racing 50+ Atlanta Track Club 60+ Atlanta Track Club 70+ Atlanta Track Club

Men 40+ Garden State Track Club-New Balance 50+ Greater Springfield Harriers 60+ Atlanta Track Club 70+ Ann Arbor Track Club

Current Standings and Prognosis for the Remainder of the Season

WOMEN 40+ Four teams in this division have competed in the three events required for an award: the Atlanta Track Club Jill Braley, Alicia Eno, Hiroko Guarneri, Kris Huff, Amy Koepp, Beth Presten, Kathy Wiegand, the Cal Coast Track Club Audrey Froot, Elizabeth Guerrini, Laura Osman, Carla McAlister, Christy Peterson, Maggie Shearer from Southern California, the Impala Racing Team from the San Francisco Bay area Brooke Bray, Jodi Buyyounouski, Jacqueline Cooke, Kelly Couch, Katie Famous, Samantha Forde, Elizabeth Goya, Laura Meadors, Ketherine Miller, Celeste Prothro, Jessica Smith and Team Red Lizard Renee Gordon, Carre Joyce Heineck, Renee Metivier, Crystal Query, Michelle Richards, Mercy Sells, Wendy Terris from the Portland OR area. The Boston Athletic Association started out strong with a win at Club Cross in Tallahassee, but have not competed since and, with just two events, in New Jersey and Colorado, left, are unlikely to compete in three events. Cal Coast took 2nd at Tallahassee and followed it up a month later with another 2nd place effort at Cross Nationals in San Diego. In early April they added a win in the Ten Mile Championships in Sacramento. They are the leaders with 280 points from their three events.

Start of the Women's Race at Club Cross in Tallahassee, featuring Cal Coast's Maggie Shearer #896 and Audrey Kroot #893 on their way to Team Silver Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

There is not much room between them and the Impalas in 2nd place at 260 points from 3rd place finishes at the 5K in Atlanta and the 10 Mile and a win at the 10 Km in Dedham. 

The Impala 40+ team honored for their Team Win at the 10 Km National Masters Championships at Dedham - From left: Jessica Smith, Brooke Bray, Kelly Couch   Photo by author


Team Red Lizard is forty points behind the Impalas in 3rd place. They started out slowly with a 7th place finish at Tallahassee but recovered quickly by taking the win at Mission Bay in San Diego. 

Wendy Terris #159 and Crystal Query #156 running in tandem for Team Red Lizard on their way to the Team Win at Cross Country Nationals in San Diego Photo courtesy of Michael Scott



A 4th place finish at Sacramento keeps them in the hunt. Atlanta is just ten points behind. They started with a 9th place at Tallahassee but took the 5 Km win on their home roads in Atlanta and added a 4th place finish at the 10 Km Championships.

Jessica Braley finishes 2nd Overall and leads her Atlanta Track Club 40+ Team to Victory at the 2022 Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta 

Two teams have competed in two events, New Jersey's Garden State Track Club Kimberly Aspholm, Mary Babcock, Kathleen Beebe, Caiomhe Kilroy, Gabrielle Panepinto and the Genesee Valley Harriers Erika Duthiers, Sandra Gregorich, Murphee Hayes, Elizabeth Matthews, Heather Patterson out of Greater Rochester NY. GSTC, with 150 points from Club Cross and the 5 Km Championships, is very likely to compete at Highlands NJ. If so, they could factor into the podium race, but only if neither Atlanta, GVH, nor Red Lizard enter either of the two remaining Championships. It is less certain that a GVH W40+ team will be entered at either Highlands or Boulder. If they do, with 200 points from their Half Marathon and 1 Mile wins, they could definitely be in the hunt for a podium spot.

Cal Coast is in the driver's seat, but Impala has already signaled their intent to enter a 40+ team at Highlands. Unless Cal Coast matches them by entering a team, the Impala team will be driving the bus!

Top Contenders Cal Coast Track Club     Impala Racing     Team Red Lizard

50+ There are 5 teams in this division with 3 events already and two others with two events that are almost certain to compete in at least one more event. New Jerseys' Shore Athletic Club Nora Cary, Laura Delea, Kerry Gaughan, Suzannne La Burt, Alexandra Marzulla, Leslie Nowicki, Alysia Puma, Susan Stirrat has made the strongest commitment to the Grand Prix and has completed 5 events already. Their two wins at Syracuse and Dedham are complemented by their 3rd place finishes at Atlanta and Rochester, all added to their 60 points from Club Cross. They are likely to add at least 20 points to their total at Highlands; they already have three runners entered. 

Shore AC honored for their win at the Awards Ceremony at the 10 Km Masters National Championships in Dedham, MA From Left: Suzanne La Burt, Leslie Nowicki, Kerry Gaughan, Alexandra Marzulla, Laura DeLea  Photo By Author

Shore's 420 points stand 140 points ahead of the second-place team, the Janes Elite Racing Kathleen Cushing-Murray, Tania Fischer, Kirsteen Leetch, Mary Lynch, Shannon Stryker, Ingrid Walters out of Southern California. With a win at Sacramento and 2nd place finishes at Tallahassee and San Diego, the Janes have a higher average score per event, and have already entered enough runners to score at Highlands. If the Janes compete at both Highlands and Boulder, they could yet take the title. 

Ingrid Walters #930 strides out at the start of the Women's 6 Km race at Club Cross in Tallahassee-She finished 2nd in 50-54, leading her Janes Elite 50+ crew to Team Silver Photo courtesy of Michael Scott 

 
Impala Racing Jennifer Bayliss, Suzanne Cordes, Gina Edwards, Hronn Gudmundsdottir, Carol Keller, Megan Kosser, Angela Longworth, Teresa Quan, Kristi Rossi, Patti Shore, Nancy Simmons is in third place with 225 points from Tallahassee, San Diego, and Sacramento. It seems less likely that this 50+ team, from the San Francisco Bay area, would enter both Highlands and Boulder. Unless they do so, it is unlikely they can land on the GP podium. 
Nancy Simmons #1004 and Suzanne Cordes #1000 of Impala Racing dueling Mary Lynch #926 of the Janes Elite in the 50+ team Competition at Club Cross Photo courtesy of Michael Scott


That is because the Greater Philadelphia Track Club Annabelle Broadbent, Abby Dean, Michelle Rohl, Betsy Stewart, with 200 points from wins at Atlanta and Rochester, is likely to have a complete team at Highlands; they have two athletes entered as of this writing. That event would propel them ahead of the Impalas. The only option for the Impalas then would be to enter Boulder and try to defeat Greater Philadelphia if they also enter. 
Michelle Rohl #294 and Abby Dean #254 get out quick for their Greater Philadelphia 50+ team, running in 2nd and 3rd overall as they led their team to Victory at the Road Mile Championships in Rochester NY Photo courtesy of Mike Nier


The Garden State Track Club Hortencia Aliaga, Kimberly Aspholm, Kathleen Beebe, with 170 points from Tallahassee and Rochester, seem likely to enter the 12 Km Championships as they are near at hand. If so, their total should rise to over 250 points. If they also compete at Boulder, they have a shot at the podium. 

The Atlanta Track Club Connie Bean, Kathleen Hayden, Kris Huff, Christina Liao, Katharine Serrano, Elizabeth Unislawski, Kelly Walsh, Laurie Wharton has 190 points from 4th place finishes at Atlanta and Rochester as well as 50 points from Club Cross. To have a realistic shot at the podium, Atlanta would have to compete at both Highlands and Boulder and get a little help from the Impalas and Greater Philadelphia. 

The Checkers Athletic Club Judy Arlington, Edna Hyer, Amy McMahon (formerly Fakterowitz), Colleen Newman also has three events completed with a total of 155 points. They are not mathematically eliminated from podium contention but need to enter at least one of the two final events, score well, and get help from the teams in 3rd through 6th place. 

With the Janes, Greater Philadelphia and Garden State entered at Highlands, it will be a challenge for Shore to land higher than third and getting to the podium is not certain. If they can finish third or higher, the point total for their 'best 5' events climbs to 440 or higher. That would be important insurance in their quest to finish first or, at worst, second in the Grand Prix. If the Janes want to win, they need a 2nd place finish or higher at both the 12 Km and the Masters 5 Km XC championships.

Top Contenders Shore Athletic Club     Janes Elite     Greater Philadelphia Track Club

60+ The Greater Philadelphia Track Club Cheryl Bellaire, Julie Hayden, Lorraine Jasper, Doreen McCoubrie, Betsy Stewart, Mary Swan has the division GP win locked up. They have a perfect 500 points from wins at Tallahassee, Atlanta, Syracuse, Dedham, and Rochester! 

From Right: Lorraine Jasper and Doreen McCoubrie finish 1-2 in the 60+ Division of the USATF Masters 5 km Championships in Atlanta while leading Greater Philadelphia to Team Gold Photo courtesy of Publix Atlanta Marathon


The Impala Racing team Ifeoma Adams, Eileen Brennan-Erler, Suzanne Cordes, Stella Gibbs, Rosemarie MacGuinness, Shirley Shean, Nancy Simmons and the Liberty Athletic Club Victoria Bok, Mary Cass, Alda Cossi, Lauren Leslie, Anne Shreffler are in a tight battle for 2nd and 3rd. 

From Left: Nancy Simmons and Stella Gibbs take 3rd and 4th in the 60+ Division of the 
USATF Masters 5 km Championships in Atlanta while leading Impala Racing to Team Silver Photo courtesy of Publix Atlanta Marathon

Impala has 280 points from a win at San Diego and 2nd place finishes at Atlanta and Sacramento. Liberty has 260 points from 2nd place finishes at Dedham and Rochester and a 3rd at Atlanta. 

From Left: Alda Cossi, Anne Shreffler, Victoria Bok, and Mary Cass are honored with their 60+ Team Silver Medals at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Award Ceremony Photo By Author

The Atlanta Track Club Patrice Combs, Michele Keane, Mireille Silva, Robin Tanner, Cynthia Williams and the Genesee Valley Harriers Leann Finnigan, Sharon Moore, Wende Rieck, Darlene Saeva, Carolyn Smith-Hanna are in 4th and 5th with 150 and 140 points respectively. Both competed at Club Cross, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. 

From Left: Mireille 'Mimi' Silva of the Atlanta Track Club and Cheryl Bellaire of the Greater Philadelphia Track Club were locked in a duel, stride for stride halfway through the 6 Km Race at the Club Cross Championships in Tallahassee Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

Since then, Atlanta competed in the 5 Km and GVH competed in the 10 Km. In order to have a chance at the podium, both teams will need to compete at both Highlands and Boulder and get some help from Impala and Liberty.

GVH's Sharon Moore #689 leads Club Northwest's Kelly Kruell #937 and Shore AC's Susan Stirrat #749 in the 60+ Division Competition at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

As noted, there is no drama about who will win this division. Greater Philadelphia inherited most of the Athena Track Club stars when that team dissolved. And it was right before Jasper, McCoubrie and Swan aged up to the 60-64 division. To say they have dominated the division this year is an understatement. At the moment, only Liberty's Cass has entered the field at Highlands. But it is reasonable to guess that she will be joined by at least two teammates. If so, and if Impala does not contest the 12 Km, then Liberty will surge ahead into 2nd place. If Impala is already focused on Boulder, they could roll the dice and hope that Liberty will not make that long trip from Massachusetts. But it could be risky. And it is true that Impala is the defending Champion in 60+ at Highlands. 

Top Contenders Greater Philadelphia Track Club     Impala Racing     Liberty Athletic Club

70+ This division features a tight race between Team Red Lizard Sharon Gerl, Jeanette Groesz, Sabra Harvey, Marilyn Nippold, Cande Olsen, Susan Staffel and the Atlanta Track Club Kathleen Allen, Myrna Barnett, Marion Finley, Norma Hudnall, Andrea McCarter, Catherine Radle. Red Lizard has wins at Tallahassee, San Diego and Sacramento for 300 points. 


Red Lizard's Jeanette Groesz on her way to a 1st place finish in Women's 70+ while leading her team to Team Gold at Cross Country Nationals in San Diego Photo courtesy of Michael Scott


Atlanta counters with wins at Atlanta and Rochester, as well as a second place at Tallahassee behind Red Lizard, for 290 points. 

The Atlanta Track Club's Norma 'Nonie' Hudnall claims third in 70-74 as she leads her 70+ team to victory in the 70+ Team Competition at the USATF Masters Road Mile Championships in Rochester NY Photo courtesy of Pam Fales


Should they tie on points at the end, that head-to-head edge, if still in place, would break the tie in favor of Red Lizard. It appears that Red Lizard is all in for the Grand Prix win; they have already entered a complete team at Highlands. Atlanta's only chance for the win is to go head-to-head against Red Lizard at Highlands. Otherwise, at 400 points with a win, Red Lizard would be out of reach. That would also give them a buffer against the Impala Racing Team Donna Chan, Irene Herman, Jo Anne Rowland. Impala has 170 points from a 2nd at San Diego and a third at Sacramento. Last year they took the win at Highlands. Perhaps they will defend their Championship and challenge the supremacy of Red Lizard and Atlanta?

Top Contenders Team Red Lizard     Atlanta Track Club     Impala Racing

MEN 40+ The Indiana Elite Athletic Club Thomas Burns, Mike ColeJesse Davis, John Jackson, Bryan Lindsay, John Poray, Jasen Ritter, Jeff Zeha out of Metropolitan Indianapolis, has dominated the division thus far, with wins at each of their four events, the Club Cross, 5 Km, Half Marathon, and 10 Km Championships.

From Right: The Indiana Elite's Jesse Davis 67 and John Poray 216 surge to the front at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo courtesy of Michael Scott


Their 400 points is over a hundred points ahead of the second-place club. They do not have a lock on the Grand Prix Championship yet, though. 

Battling In the Trenches- Indiana Elite's John Poray 1133 and Thomas Burns 1128 mixing it up with West Valley's Konrad Knutsen 1020 and Ben Koss 1021, as well as Greater Philadelphia's Chris Naimoli 781 and Matthew Waggoner far right 782. All three pairs included the 2nd and 3rd runners for their respective teams. At the USATF Club Cross Championships in Tallahassee FL Indiana finished 1st, West Valley 2nd, and Greater Philadelphia 5th. Photo courtesy of Michael Scott.

The Cal Coast Track Club Lucas Agricola, Bill Amor, Roosevelt Cook, Trevor Cox, Phillip Gonzalez, Richard Jennings, Jacques Sallberg, Bill Sumner, Kurt Whittington, Matthew Yacoub has 235 points on 2nd place finishes at San Diego and Sacramento, along with 55 points from Tallahassee. If Indiana Elite folded the tents and called it a season, it is possible that Cal Coast could get enough points from the last two events to move past them. There is no indication so far that Cal Coast intends to enter a 40+ team at Highlands. If they do not contest the title at Highlands, the Indiana Elite wins the Grand Prix title for 40+. Indiana appears to be taking no chances. One of their athletes is entered in the 12 Km Championship already. I am sure they will aim for the win and a perfect 500 points, but all they need is to finish 10th or better to close out the Grand Prix. If Cal Coast is focused on the Grand Prix at all it is to cement their 2nd place standing. Except for Club Cross, Cal Coast 40+ has not traveled out of state. They are more likely to contest the XC race in Boulder than the 12 Km in Highlands, but time will tell. 

Cal Coast's Dynamic Duo, Roosevelt Cook sunglasses and Jacques Sallberg #221, vying with the Hoka Aggies' Sergio Reyes for the lead at Cross Country Nationals in San Diego, and leading their team to the Silver Medal position Photo courtesy of Michael Scott


The Garden State Track Club Michael Anis, Marco Cardoso, Fabian Eduardo Daza, David Ferrugia, Robert Riordan, Charles 'Chuck' Schneekloth, Kevin Shirk, Jason Timochko, Shawn Williams is just 35 points behind Cal Coast; they have 200 points from a win at Rochester, 5th place at the 10 Km, along with 40 points from Club Cross. With the 12 Km in their home state, it seems almost certain that GSTC will enter a team. If Cal Coast does not, GSTC will move into 2nd place behind Indiana. But Cal Coast could bounce back and pass GSTC if they compete at Boulder and GSTC does not. If GSTC goes into Boulder with a lead, it would be tough for Cal Coast to come in far enough ahead of GSTC to close the gap. 

Graden State's Chuck Schneekloth #210 and Kevin Shirk #215 got out fast, along with GVH's Jaret Herter #157, Jerry Snider #218, and Jeffrey Bigham #109 at the USATF Masters Road Mile Championships in Rochester NY. Shirk and Schneekloth led their team to Gold in the 40+ Division Photo courtesy of milebymile photo 


The West Valley Track Club Jamey Gifford, Peter Gilmore, Konrad Knutsen, Benjamin Koss, Julian Marsh, John Montgomery, Todd Rose, Chip Scarinzi, out of the San Francisco Bay area, and the Bowerman Track Club Ahrlin Bauman, Peter Bromka, Joshua Gordon, Orestes Gutierrez, John Howell, Nick Martin, Gregory Mitchell, Orin Schumacher out of Greater Portland, Oregon, stand in 4th and 5th with 190 and 180 points from two events each. West Valley pushed Indiana to the limit at Club Cross, falling 88 to 85 and with a cumulative time difference over 5 athletes of just 13 seconds. But they do not appear to be actively contending for a Grand Prix award. Apart from Club Cross, West Valley's 40+ team has only competed in the Ten Mile Championship, in nearby Sacramento. Bowerman has just competed in the two Cross Country Championships. It would not be surprising to see them both compete at Boulder, but it would be a surprise to see either at Highlands. West Valley could finish as high as second if they just contest Boulder (even if Indiana takes the win at Highlands). They can only finish that high if Cal Coast decides to stand pat and skip both Highlands and Boulder. Otherwise, Cal Coast would raise their total above 300 and be out of reach. If Garden State competes at Highlands but not Boulder, they would wind up, most likely, at 290. If West Valley would win at Boulder, they would also be at 290 and would tie with Garden state for 2nd place, if Cal Coast stands pat, and split the 2nd and 3rd place cash prize. If Cal Coast competes at Boulder, then a tie between West Valley and GSTC would be for 3rd place and that prize would be split between them.

Indiana will likely take the GP Crown in this division. After that, it is difficult to predict. GSTC will likely compete at Highlands. That would raise their total score to 270 or 280. If they also compete in Boulder that would add another bunch of points and put them well over 300. That would probably be enough to finish 2nd in the GP. If West Valley and Cal Coast both contest Boulder but not Highlands, West Valley should edge Cal Coast for 3rd.

Top Contenders Indiana Elite Athletic Club     Garden State Track Club     West Valley Track Club

50+ The Garden State Track Club Richard Falcone, Elliott Frieder, Jonathan Frieder, Joseph Hegge, John Hogan, Harold Porcher, Steven Segaloff, Todd Wiley  Atlanta Track Club Steve Bell, Kristian Blaich, Jeff Haushalter, Chip Owens, Michael Strickland, Fred Weir, West Valley Track Club Mark Callon, Jon Erskine, Ahmet Gokcek, Ivan LiebenCharles Mullane, Edward Randolph, Ben Turman, David White, Mark Yuen, and the Genesee Valley Harriers have all competed in at least four events and have between 300 and 380 points. GSTC leads the way with firsts at the Half Marathon and 10 Km Championships, and 2nd place finishes at Club Cross and the Road Mile in Rochester. 

Garden State's Richard Falcone #732 and Todd Wiley #742 led their tightly packed crew to 50+ Team Silver at Club Cross in Tallahassee FL Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

Atlanta is 20 points back at 360 based on 5 events, with a win at the 5K, third place finishes at the 10 Mile and 1 Mile Championships, along with 40 points from Club Cross. Because they already have 5 events, their 360 points is their cumulative 'Best 5' score. Any future points will improve that score but only by the difference to the lowest score already included. For example, if they would score 80 points at Highlands, it would only increase their 'best 5' score from 360 to 400, not to 440. 

Atlanta's David Matherne wins the 55-59 Division and leads his 50+ Team to Victory at the USATF Masters 5 Km Championships at Atlanta 

The other three teams get the full benefit of their next score. West Valley has firsts at Club Cross, Cross Nationals, and the 10 Mile. They also have 55 points from the 1 Mile Championships in Rochester when they were not at full strength, leaving them just 5 points shy of Atlanta. GVH has 300 points from 2nd place finishes at the 5 Km and Half Marathon Championships along with 5th places at the 10 Km and 1 Mile.

West Valley's Mark Yuen took first in the 50-54 Division and led his 50+ team to victory at Cross Nationals in San Diego Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

Garden State will surely contest the 12 Km Championships; two of their athletes are registered already. If they can finish first or second, their GP total climbs to 470 or 480. That would make them tough to beat. It is possible but less certain that West Valley will contest the 12 Km. One of their depth runners is entered already, but none of the runners who led them to their first-place finishes is yet entered. If West Valley brings a full team with some of their top runners, they would likely win the event and pocket a hundred points to raise their total to 455 points. That would make things very interesting for the final event of the Grand Prix season at Boulder. It seems likely that West Valley will show up in force for Boulder. If so, assuming they do not have a full team at Highlands, they would still factor into the race for GP second, assuming Garden State gets above 450 and takes first. Most likely Atlanta and GVH will battle for third place. GVH competed at Highlands last year, finishing 4th. If they would do that well again, they would earn 70 points and be ten points ahead of Atlanta. 

GVH's Dale Flanders leads his teammate, Alan Evans background across the finish line to lead GVH to 50+ Team Silver at the USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse NY


That assumes that Atlanta skips the 12 Km as they did last year. If Atlanta contests the 12 Km, it seems plausible that they would come in ahead of GVH. In their two meetings earlier this season, Atlanta came out on top both times, at the 5 Km and 1 Mile. If, for example, Atlanta finished 4th and GVH 5th, then Atlanta would have 390 points and GVH 360 points heading into the final event at Boulder. GVH's best option is to be sure to come in ahead of Atlanta in the 12 km.

Two other teams could factor into the GP race, the Central Mass Striders Steve Brightman, Todd Callaghan, Dave Dunham, Michael Dunlop, Scott Grandfield, Gregory Putnam, Joseph Shairs, Andy Sieracki, Tim Van Orden and the Greater Springfield Harriers Francis Burdett, Mark Hixon, Alejandro Heuck, Nat Larson, Robert Murray, Michael Nahom. Both have three events. CMS has 250 points from a 2nd at the 10 Km and thirds at Club Cross and the 1 Mile. GSH has 220 points from a 4th place at the 10 Km, a win at the Road Mile, and a 7th place at Club Cross. If either of those teams enters both the 12 Km and the Masters 5 Km XC, they could vault into contention for the GP podium, even if first place would be a stretch too far. 

Top Contenders Garden State Track Club     West Valley Track Club     Atlanta Track Club

60+ The Boulder Road Runners Jeffery Barros, Tim DeGrado, Adam Feerst, Jan Frisby, Michael Fronsoe, Kyle Hubbart, Bruce Kirschner, Gary Ostwald, Roger Sayre, Mark Tatum and the Shore Athletic Club Kevin Dollard, Rick Lee, Scott Linnell, Henry Notaro, Michael Salamone, Donald Schwartz, Reno Stirrat are running stride for stride in 1st and 2nd place. Boulder has 450 points from wins at Club Cross and the Half Marathon, a second at the 10 Miler, with third place finishes at XC Nationals and the 5 Km. 

From Left: Bouder Road Runner's Tim DeGrado, Roger Sayre, and Mark Tatum practice tight pack running on their way to 2nd, 3rd, and 6th respectively and the 60+ Team Gold at Club Cross Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

Shore is just 10 points back, with wins at the 10 Km and 1 Mile, 2nd place finishes at the 5 Km and the Half Marathon and a 5th place finish at Club Cross. 


The Shore AC 60+Team celebrates its win at the Awards Ceremony for the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships in Dedham, MA. From Left: Michael Salamone, Kevin Dollard, Reno Stirrat, Rick Lee, Donald Schwartz Photo by Author 

Like these two clubs, the Genesee Valley Harriers Bill Beyerbach, Casey Carlstrom, Rory Gumina, Gene Jensen, Mitch Moore, Joseph Mora, Gary Radford, Timothy Riccardi, Mark Rybinski, John Van Kerkhove have also contested 5 events; their 375 points leaves them solidly in third place, 65 points behind Shore and 75 ahead of the 4th place team. GVH got off to a slow start with a 6th at Club Cross and a 5th at the 5 Km, but they gathered steam taking a third at the Half Marathon and 2nds at the 10 Km and 1 Mile. 

Joe Mora, the lead runner for GVH, battling William 'Hugh' Enicks on every stride, at Club Cross in Tallahassee FL Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

The Atlanta Track Club Jim Bitsko, Neil Feather, Casey Hannan, Joseph Lenahan, Scott Lucking, Kevin Paulk, Phil Richey, Ken Youngers is 4th with 300 points on just 4 events. Atlanta finished 9th at Club Cross but defended the home course in Atlanta, winning the 5 Km Championship. They could not maintain that high level but took solid thirds at the 10 Km and 1 Mile Championships. Athletics Boulder Rick Bruess, Daniel King, Martin Lascelles, Jay Littlepage, David Litoff is in 5th place; their 270 points come from a 1st place at San Diego, a second at Tallahassee and a third at Sacramento.

Looking forward, Shore has the home course to defend at Highlands while Boulder has the home turf to defend at the final event, the Masters 5 km XC. Last year, both clubs contested the 12 Km Championships with Shore taking 1st and Boulder 3rd. If that scenario should be repeated, Shore would get another 100 points, and that 100 would replace their lowest score, 60, from Club Cross. Their 'Best 5' total would increase from 440 to 480 points. A third place would not help Boulder's score; their lowest score in their 'Best 5' is already 80 points. So Boulder would stay at 450. Even if Boulder would win on their home course, they would only increase their total by 20 points, rising to 470. Shore would take the GP title. If Shore wins and Boulder comes second, it is Shore 480, Boulder 460. If Boulder would win the Masters 5 Km XC their score, in this scenario, rises to 480. They would tie on points, but in this scenario, Boulder would have a tie-breaker advantage, 3-2 head-to-head. If Boulder could go to Highlands and take the win, their score rises to 470; if Shore finishes 2nd, their score also rises to 470. Then whichever team finishes ahead of the other at Boulder takes the GP title.

What about the 4th and 5th place teams? For Atlanta to have a shot at the podium, they have to contest both of the two final events, at Highlands and Boulder. The same is true for Athletics Boulder; a team cannot get on the podium in this division without contesting at least 5 events. GVH, currently in third, is likely to wind up with somewhere between 400 and 420 points. If Atlanta finishes 3rd or better at Highlands, they are not even with GVH, but they are within a shout. If they also enter Boulder and do well, they can pass GVH and take 3rd place. We can be almost certain that Athletics Boulder will enter on their home turf. If they would finish 2nd, for example, their 270 gets 90 points richer. If they have not already scored some points at highlands, their final score is below 400 and they are locked out of the podium. But if they have competed at Highlands and done reasonably well, they have a shot at the final podium position in the GP.

Top Contenders Boulder Road Runners     Shore Athletic Club     Genesee Valley Harriers

70+ The Atlanta Track Club Sam Benedict, David Glass, Allen Joyce, Kirk Larson, Jerry Learned, Joseph Lenahan, Andrew Sherwood has contested every Championship in this Grand Prix season, from Club Cross in Tallahassee to the Road Mile in Rochester. They lead the GP with 460 points in their 'Best 5' total. Their 'best 5' consist of wins at Dedham and Rochester, 2nds at Atlanta and Syracuse and any one of their three third-place finishes. 

The Atlanta Track Club M70+ Team celebrates their Team Gold at the Awards Ceremony at the USATF MMasters 10 Km Championships in Dedham MA. From Left: Jerry Learned, Dave Glass, Alllen Joyce, Kirk Larson Photo by Author


Despite having a 70-point lead in the GP standings, the Boulder Road Runners Doug Bell, Raymond Eck, Jan Frisby, Rick Katz, Gary Ostwald, John Roeske, Mike Wien could turn the tables on Atlanta. Their 390 points comes from wins at Club Cross, the 5 Km and the 10 Miler, and a 2nd at the Road Mile. 

The Boulder Road Runner's Doug Bell, leading the team to victory at the Club Cross Championships in Tallahassee FL Photo courtesy of Michael Scott


Boulder's Rick Katz battling with Clifton Road Runners Ace, Ezequiel Garcia.  Katz closed off the scoring for the Team victory Photo courtesy of Michael Scott


At this point they have to be considered the favorites to win the final event of the season in Boulder. If they do, their final 'Best 5' score is 490. Assuming Boulder skips Highlands and just relies on the final event, Atlanta could win at Highlands, increasing their points from 460 to 480. If the Boulder Road Runners win at Boulder, then the best Atlanta could do would be to finish 2nd. That would raise them into a tie with Boulder at 490, but Boulder owns the tie-breaker with a solid head-to-head advantage. Unless Boulder slips up at the Masters 5 Km XC, it appears that Atlanta's shot at the GP win requires them to extend their two-Championship winning streak and take the win at both Highlands and Boulder CO.

The Genesee Valley Harriers David Blake, Liam Finnigan, Jim Glinsky, Jack Kasperski, Jim May, Roger Salmons, Keith Yeates are in 3rd place with 310 points from four events, a second at Dedham, a third at Syracuse, and 4ths at Tallahassee and Rochester. They cannot catch Atlanta. They cannot expect to catch Boulder unless Boulder skips the last two events which seems almost inconceivable. Can they hold onto third? If they can pick up a third place at either Highlands or Boulder, they wind up at 390 points. Even if they compete at both events, 400 points is probably their 'best 5' max. That might not be enough.



Jim May led the way for the Genesee Valley Harriers as they captured team Silver at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships at Dedham MA Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

 

Lima Finnigan, running in the number 2 slot for GVH holds off one of his rivals as he helps with vital points for the Team Silver Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

It depends on whether the San Diego Striders and the Syracuse Track Club have Grand Prix ambitions. The Striders have contested the two XC events, both 2nd place finishes, and the 5 km in Atlanta, where they finished 3rd. That gives them 260 points from three events. It would not be surprising to see them compete at Boulder. It would be somewhat surprising to see them compete at Highlands. They did compete at the 5 Km in Atlanta, but that distance better fits their strengths than a 12 Km. They need two events to catch and pass GVH and they have to score reasonably well in each. Two third-places or better would do it. Syracuse is farther back because their Club Cross result was not as high as expected. They bounced back from a 6th place finish at Club Cross with a win at Syracuse and a third-place finish at Rochester. Their 235 points from three events leaves them far back. On the other hand, they get full points from both the 12 Km and the Masters 5 Km XC if they contest both. If they could manage two second-place finishes or better, they might just edge the others for third. But everything would have to fall just right for them.

Top Contenders: Atlanta Track Club     Boulder Road Runners     Genesee Valley Harriers 

80+ The Atlanta Track Club Adrian Craven, Sid Davis, Andrew Sherwood, David Turner, William Wuth has contested three events; they are the only team so far to meet the minimum requirement for a Club Grand Prix award. They have wins at Club Cross, the 5 Km in Atlanta and the Road Mile in Rochester. 

David Turner takes the M80 win and leads his Atlanta Track Club M80+ Team to Victory at the USATF Masters 5 Km Championship in Atlanta GA 

Adrian Craven took the win in the 85-89 Division and led his Atlanta Track Club Team to Victory at the USATF Masters Road Mile Championship in Rochester NY Photo courtesy of Pam Fales


They are 200 points ahead of the Tamalpa Runners, who took the win at Cross Country Nationals in San Diego, and the New England 65+ Runners Club, who won the 10 Km Championships on their home roads in Dedham MA. It seems unlikely that we would see either Tamalpa or the NE 65+ team at both Highlands and Boulder, although that would be an exciting development. Even without entering either the 12 Km Championships at Highlands or the 5 km Masters XC at Boulder, Atlanta would likely win. They did not contest either event last year, but one of their 80+ team members is now registered for the 12 Km. If they can get any points whatsoever at Highlands, neither of their rivals can catch them.

Top Contenders: Atlanta Track Club     New England 65+ Runners Club     Tamalpa Runners

With the exception of one division, the races to become the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix Club Champions are still undecided. Head to Highlands and Boulder to see the conclusion of these exciting contests. Don't miss it! And while you are there, you might as well compete yourself!

Entry Details are at:

2022 USATF Masters 12 km Championships | USA Track & Field

and

2022 USATF Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships | USA Track & Field





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