Monday, January 12, 2015

USATF Masters LDR 2014 Individual Grand Prix-Final Results and Commentary

January 10 2015. Announcement of Official USATF 2014 Individual Grand Prix results.

The Masters Long Distance Running (Masters LDR) division of USA Track and Field (USATF) has just announced the results of the 2014 Individual Grand Prix competition for Masters Women and Men in its inaugural year. USATF members from across the country compete for the Grand Prix championship by racing in USATF national championship events. More than a thousand runners, 388 women and 641 men, from 41 different states and the District of Columbia scored points in the Grand Prix contest.This year individuals could obtain points by participating in the following events:

Melbourne, FL
USA Cross Country Championships*
Master Men 8 km, Master Women 6km
Boulder, CO
Brea, CA
Dedham, MA
Flint, MI
Syracuse, NY
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Tulsa, OK
Carmel, IN
Alexandria, VA
Bethlehem, PA
Lehigh Univ.

In each event, 100 points are awarded for a first place finish; 95 for 2nd, 90 for 3rd and so on down to 30 points awarded for 15th place. Each individual may compete in as many events as they choose but must compete in at least 2 events to be eligible for Grand Prix awards. At the end of the year, the scores from the 5 best results for each individual are summed to give a final total. Fourth through 10th place individuals receive a Grand Prix certificate; the 3rd place, 2nd place, and Grand Prix champion receive an appropriate plaque. Numerical ties are broken by looking at head-to-head competition first, and then the number of event championships won.

Complete rules can be reviewed here:

Grand Prix Results:


W40-44 [75 women scored]
1. Melody Fairchild CO  485  (Half-Marathon, USA XC, 8K, 10K, 15K)
2. Sonja Friend-Uhl TN 295 (5K, 5K XC, Club XC)
3. Sheri Piers ME 200 (Half Marathon, Marathon)
4. Melissa Senall NY (200) 5. Joanna Zeiger CO (185) 
6T. Kristin Barry ME and Perry Shoemaker VA, both with 180 points
8T. Holly Ortlund GA and Alexandra Bigelow NC, both with 170 points 
10. Cassandra Henkiel TX (145)

In this competition, Melody Fairchild got off to an early lead and was never challenged for the victory, with 485 points. Sonja Friend-Uhl, on the other hand, came on strong in the autumn races to claim 2nd place. Sheri Piers, who focuses on the longer distances, took firsts in her two races, thus edging Melissa Senall for the third place plaque.

W45-49 [65]
1. Teri Rejimbal FL 200 (Half Marathon, 15K)
2. Cindy Abrami CA 185 (USA XC, 8K)
3. Kirsten Leetch CA 180 (8K, Club XC)
4. Peggy Conlon PA 140  5. Emily Bryans NY 140 
6T. Colleen DeReuck CO (USA XC), Amy Nemeth MI (1 mile), Leslie Hoey PA (5K),
Kathy Wolski TN (Marathon), Debbie Ackerman IL (5K XC),
Alissa Harvey VA (12K), and Chris Kimbrough TX (Club XC), all with 100 points.

Terri Rejimbal was the only woman in this division to compete in and win two events. Cindy Abrami scored her points in February and then held on to see if Kirsten Leetch would score enough points in the Club XC event to dislodge her from 2nd. But Leetch wound up in 4th place in that competition while she needed a second to take the GP 2nd place from Abrami. Peggy Conlon came in ahead of Emily Bryans in Club XC to gain the 4th place outright. The tie for 6th happened because each of these seven runners entered only 1 race and the race they entered they won.

W50-54 [76]
1. Doreen McCoubrie PA 480 (10K, 1 mile, 5K, 12K, Club XC)
2. Marisa Sutera Strange NY 400 (10K, 5K, 5K XC, Club XC)
3. Julie Hankin PA 335 (1 mile, 5K, 12K, Club XC)
4. Carol Bischoff NY 235 5. Mary Swan PA 215 6. Betsy Stewart PA 215
7. Colleen Magnuson NY 215 8. Deborah Torneden KS 195
9.  Chere Pepper MI 185  10. Gail Geiger NY 165

Marisa Sutera Strange was ahead after the 10K race in Dedham but Doreen McCoubrie moved ahead by running and winning the 1 mile road race in Flint in August, and maintained the lead throughout the fall. Strange was a very strong GP 2nd however. Julie Hankin competed in the second half of the year but it was enough; she overtook a number of runners who were ahead of her after the winter and spring competitions to claim the GP 3rd. Mary Swan, Betsy Stewart, and Colleen Magnuson were tied in points but sorted out positions with head-to-head competition in the 5K road race in Syracuse.

W55-59 [64]
1. Carmen Ayala Troncoso TX 290 (8K, 10K, Club XC)
2. Christine Kennedy CA 200 (8K, Marathon)
3. Andriette Wickstrom IA 195 (Marathon, 15K)
4. Elizabeth Cooney MA 190  5. Janet DeGrazia CO 150 6. Karen Lein MA 145
7. Drusilla Pratt-Otto MA 135
8T. Robin Moran FL, Ellen Hart CO, Nancy Stewart GA,
Peggy Zeeb MI,  Joan Benoit Samuelson ME, all with 100 points.

Carmen Ayala Troncoso, the heralded runner from Texas, was the only one to race in 3 events and win two of them. That allowed her to beat out another decorated runner, Christine Kennedy, for first place. Kennedy, who is focusing on Marathons now, ran in two races and wom them both. that was enough to claim the 2nd GP spot. Andriette Wickstrom finished 2nd to Kennedy in the marathon but won the 15K in Tulsa to claim the third GP finish. The 5 runners tied for 8th each ran one race and won it.

W60-64 [42]
1. Kathryn Martin NY 500 (Half marathon, USA XC, 10K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
2. Coreen Steinbach NY 460 (1 mile, 5K, 15K, 12K, Club XC)
3. Sharon Moore NY 375 (5K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
4. Cindy Ingalls NY 245 5. Deborah Feltz MI 240 6. Jeanne Herrick NY 225
7. Carolyn Smith-Hanna NY 220 8. Jean Bolley MI 220 9. Edie Stevenson CO 190
10. Carolyn Bujack NJ 185

Kathy Martin started out in her usual dominating fashion, winning three events in the first 4 months of the year. But before the season resumed at the end of August, she sustained an injury that kept her out of a few races. She recovered in time, however, to post 3 more victories in the last 3 races of the season. As only the top 5 races are counted, her 600 points counts for 500 GP points. Coreen Steinbach did not race in the early part of the season but came on strong starting in August, winning 3 races and placing well in 2 others. Sharon Moore put together a set of 2nds and a 3rd from October to December ending up in 3rd place by a good margin. This was an unusual category in that runners from NY took the first 4 places.

W65-69 [31]
1. Sabra Harvey TX 300 (10K, 1 mile, 5K)
2. JoAnne Rowland CA 200 (8K, Club XC)
3. Susan Gustafson MA 185 (10K, 5K)
4. Irene Herman CA 155  
5T. Ann Dockery FL, Jean Nistico CO Carole Brouillard MN,
Jane Treleven WA, and Alice Franks MD, all with 100 points.
10T. Kathryn Koontz FL, Rima Lurie CO, Dianne Anderson CA,
Patty Foltz VT, Carolyn Mather GA, Terry Foody KY,
Kathleen Doswell VA, and Joanne Coffey NJ, all with 95 points.

The illustrious runner, Sabra Harvey, ran in 3 events but won them all and that enabled her to win the Grand Prix. JoAnne Rowland won her two events to finish second. Susan Gustafson was ahead of Rowland heading into the last contest of the year but Rowland entered and won the Club XC W65 championship at Lehigh University.

W70-74  [21]
1. Ellen Nitz MI 455 (1 mile, 5K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
2. Shirley Larsen MI 415 (1 mile, 5K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
3. Janet Wallen MI 405 (1 mile, 5K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
4. Ruth Thelen MI 370 5. Charlene Francis MA 185
6T. Willie Moolenaar FL, Betty Valent CO, Norma Thomas CA,
Cora Hill MI, Jan Holmquist MA, Irene Terronez NM, and
Lyn Walker CT, all with 100 points.

The W70 division did the W60 division one better. Not only were the top 3 runners all from Michigan, they are all on the same team, Playmakers Elite/New Balance of Lansing Michigan. And the fourth place finisher, Ruth Thelen, who only raced at championships during the second half of the season, was also on the team.

W75-79 [11]
1. Madeline Bost NJ 270 (5K, 5K XC, Club XC)
2T. Libby James CO 200 (USA XC, 5K) 
2T. Heide Moebius PA 200 (12K, Club XC)
4T. Joyce Hodges-Hite GA and Carrie Marsi MA, both with 100 points.
6T. Judith Smythe CO and Sandra Folzer PA, both with 95 points.
8T. Vici DeHaan CO and Mary Hamada MA, both with 90 points.
10. Tami Graf MD 85.

Madeline Bost performed well in all three of the races she entered and won the 5K XC national championship; she won this GP division by a good margin. The other competitors raced in two or fewer events. Libby James, the record setting runner from Colorado, won both races she entered, and so did Heide Moebius but it was not enough to keep pace with Bost. James was in the lead for most of the year but Moebius won the final two events of the year to tie her for 2nd; Bost got the points she needed for first place in the very last event of the year.

W80-84 [3]
1. Edna Hyer NY 195 (10K, 5K)
2T. Anny Stockman NY 100 (5K)
2T. June Brumley IN 100 (5K XC)

Edna Hyer was the only runner in this age group to run in the required two races. She wins the Grand Prix.


M40-44 [103 men scored]

1. Greg Mitchell OR 500 (Half Marathon, USA XC, 8K, 5K, 15K, Club XC)
2. John Gardiner CA 325 (USA XC, 8K, 5K XC, Club XC)
3. Craig Greenslit CO 230 (5K, 5K XC, Club XC)
4. Michael Wardian VA 200 5. Alan Black GA 180 6. Ahrlin Baumann OR 165
7. Christopher Magill  RI 160  8. Jaime Helpern CA 160 9. Mike Galoob RI 145
10. Victor Breedveld GA 145

Greg Mitchell dominated this class, competing in far more events than anyone else, 6, and winning all but the one in which he finished second to the famed Masters runner, Kevin Castille. John Gardiner combined his love of cross country running and running as part of a team to gain 2nd place. He ran with the Cal Coast team in the 3 cross country races and on his own in the 8K in Brea CA. Craig Greenslit of Colorado proved that he can run well while traveling. He missed the USA XC event in his back yard but made up for it with trips to Syracuse, Carmel IN, and Bethlehem PA and got the points he needed to mount the GP podium.

M45-49 [90]

1. Chad Newton NC 390 (10K, 5K, 5K XC, Club XC)
2. Francis Burdett MA 390 (10K, 5K, 15K, 12K, Club XC)
3. Kristian Blaich GA 375 (10K, 5K, 5K XC, Club XC)
4. Matthew Whitis GA 280 5. Christian Cushing-Murray CA 275  
6. Robert Arsenault CA 270 7. Mbarak Hussein NM 200
8T.  Tracy Lokken MI and Pete Hammer MA, both with 195 points.
10. Tim Meigs NC 175 

Chad Newton started the year in the 40-44 age group but finished in the M45 group. By the rules, he brings his M40-44 points with him when he moves up and adds any new points. That, along with strong runs at Carmel and Bethlehem in the cross country races, gave him just enough points to tie the remarkable runner from Massachusetts, Francis Burdett. The tie-breakers, however, give the GP title to Newton as he won the M45 division at the Club Cross Country championship, defeating Burdett in the process. It would have been quite a feather in Burdett's cap, to win the M45 division GP in his last year before moving to the M50 group. As it is, the second place, earned by competing well in 5 different championships, puts him ahead of a remarkable bunch of M45 runners, still a remarkable accomplishment in his 49th year. Kristian Blaich, the elder statesman of the M45 group at the Atlanta Track Club, was pushed down from 2nd to 3rd by his teammate's ascendance. Still for the Atlanta Track Club to have the 1st, 3rd and 4th place runners from this division is a tribute to their strength.

M50-54 [95]

1. Ruben Henderson MI 425 (Half Marathon, 1 Mile, 5K, 5K XC, 12K)
2. Eric Stuber MI 365 (1 Mile, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
3. Mike Nier NY 310 (1 Mile, 5K, 5KXC, Club XC)
4. John Van Kerkhove NY 305 5. Jeff Haertel GA 285 6. Daniel Dixon MI 275
7. Eugene Hogue NM 260 8. Ron Zywicki MI 250 9. Alan Evans NY 235
10. Nathan Skipper GA 230.

Ruben Henderson put an early number on the board by winning the M50 Half Marathon title in Melbourne FL in early February. But he added regularly to that title in distances from the 1 mile  to the 12K, and even mixed in a cross country race along the way. His teammate, Eric Stuber, put up some impressive performances in the second half of the season but it was not quite enough to catch Henderson. But Stuber's late heroics did give Playmakers Elite/New Balance what it took to claim the 1st two GP spots on the podium. Mike Nier started the year in the M45 group but moved up to the M50 group by the end of the year. Nier posted some impressive performances over the second half of the season and that enabled him to overtake his Genesee Valley Harriers  teammate, Van Kerkhove, for the third spot on the podium.

M55-59 [95]

1. Ken Youngers GA 485 (10K, 5K, 15K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
2. Mark Rybinski NY 315 (USA XC, 10K, 5K, 15K)
3. Joe Sheeran WA 300 (15K, 5K XC, Club XC)
4. Jeffery Dundas GA 275 5. Charlie Andrews NY 185 6. Brian Pilcher CA 180
7. William Enicks TN 160 8. Gary Radford NY 160 9. Gregory Cauller PA 155
10. Mark Trick OH 150.

Ken Youngers was a dominant force in this age group, putting up big numbers from the 10K in Dedham in April all the way through to the Club Cross Country championships in December.   Mark Rybinski built his second place effort with strong efforts in the first half at Boulder and Dedham and cemented the GP 2nd place in the fall with good finishes at Syracuse and Tulsa. Joe Sheeran did not travel enough to catch Rybinski but was able to catch and displace Dundas. Sheeran ran in Tulsa, Carmel IN and in Bethlehem PA and he won each one of them-very impressive.

M60-64 [88]

1. Tom McCormack TN 500 (10K, 1 Mile, 5K, 5K XC, 12K)
2. John Tarkowski MI 420 (USA XC, 8K, 1 Mile, 5K, 15K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
3. Kirk Larson GA 310 (8K, 10K, 12K, Club XC)
4. Peter Mullin TX 295 5. Wally Hayes MI 295 6. Joseph Reda WI 285
7T. Dale Campbell CA and Reno Stirrat NJ, each with 185 points,
9. Aaron Pratt MI 185 10. Tom Bernhard CA 180
[And a tip of the hat to my teammate, Jerry Orange, who almost made it into the top 10].

Tom McCormack, the gifted distance runner from the Emerald Isle via Jonesborough TN, dominated this category with 5 contests and 5 wins. Not only did he break the 5K road record, h won the GP handily. John Tarkowski, the Iron Man from Ann Arbor, competed and scored well in 8 different events. He could not count them all but he could count enough of them to gain the GP second place. Kirk Larson got off to a strong start but had a surgical procedure in the middle of the year, to head off future problems. When he finally made it back to the race course in Alexandria he took care of business, amassing enough points in the last two races of the year to pass several sterling runners and claim the GP 3rd.

M65-69 [59]

1. Lloyd Hansen UT 500 (USA XC, 8K, 5K, 15K, 5K XC, 12K, Club XC)
2. Jerry Learned GA 410 (8K, 10K, 1 Mile, 5K, 12K, Club XC)
3. Paul Carlin IN 385 (Half Marathon, 8K, 10K, 5K XC)
4. Roger Price NJ 380 5. Mike Reif NY 315 6. Jim May NY 305
7. Gary Patton IA 280 8. Terry McCluskey OH 275 9. Dale Walker OH 175
10. Harold Nolan NJ 170.

Lloyd Hansen had a terrific running year, dominating this division from the start. He ran in two races in the first two months of the year, winning both, and defeating all of the other major contenders head-to-head in the 8K competition at Brea. Family matters (happy ones) forced him to miss USATF competitions in April and August. But he did not miss any others, winning 5 straight competitions in October through December. This division had the tightest battle for 2nd through 4th on the men's side of the GP competition and it had the earmarks of a war of attrition as each of the major contenders battled with injuries of one sort or another, especially across the second half of the season. Paul Carlin, who held a good lead for 2nd based on his three 2nd place finishes in the first 4 months of the season, sustained an injury in early August, that kept him out of races until the 5K XC where he re-injured his hamstring. That essentially ended his season. Jerry Learned also had a hamstring issue that prevented him from running well at Syracuse and kept him out of races for a month. Once he returned to competition in November at Alexandria, he was able to take care of business and amass enough points in the last two races to surge past Carlin into 2nd place. Roger Price who had been in contention all year, tried valiantly to overcome his  sciatica problem only to face knee problems over the last month. He ran even when he was not close to the top of his form and gets credit for regularly toughing it out on the roads and on the cross country course. But, in the end, it was not quite enough to get to the podium in this year's GP.

M70-74 [64]

1. Doug Goodhue MI 500 (8K, 10K, 1 Mile, 5K, 15K, 5K XC, 12K)
2. Monte Piliawsky MI 440 (8K, 10K, 1 Mile, 5K, 5K XC, 12K)
3. Ed Bligh GA 320 (8K, 10K, 5K XC, Club XC)
4. Harlan Van Blaricum MI 285 5. John Farah MI 280 6. Przemyslaw Nowicki NJ 275
7. Ron Mastin GA 240 8. Malcolm Cohen MI 230 9. William Ash NJ 220
10. Jan Frisby CO 190

The celebrated runner from Ann Arbor, the 'silver bullet', Doug Goodhue dominated this division as usual. He ran in seven races and won them all. No one was close.  His teammate, Monte Piliawsky did the best job of trying to stay close and in the process took the GP 2nd place by a strong margin. Ed Bligh of the Atlanta Track Club broke up the hegemony of the Ann Arbor team by running strongly in four races, two early in the season and two towards the end. Van Blaricum and Farah were hot on his heels however.
[And a tip of the hat to Jan Frisby, three time Masters Runner of the Year for his age group in the 1990's. He came battling back from a foot injury to net 190 points in two events in October but picked up a blood clot in the right shin on the long drive from Tulsa back to Grand Junction CO. As of now he appears to be well on the way to full recovery and is looking to mount a real age group challenge in 2015--Looking forward to it.]

M75-79 [27]

1. John Elliott MD 195 (5K, 5K XC)
2T. John Brennand CA 190 (USA XC, 8K)
2T. David Turner, Sr. GA 190 (5K XC, Club XC)
4. Matt Lalumia NJ 160  5. Andrew Sherwood GA 120   
6T.  Richard T. Murphy NY, Joe Razo CA, William Riley MA,
Ed Rousseau MN, Fay Bradley KS, and Joe Liechty IN, all with 100 points.

This was an extremely tight competition as runners tended to focus on races close to home. For the top runners that meant two races each and not much overlap. John Elliott of Maryland and David Turner of Georgia met at the 5K XC championship in Carmel IN. Elliott prevailed int hat meeting and that 5 point difference stood up for the GP title as well. In the meantime,  John Brennand took a first  in Colorado and a 3rd  in Southern California to tie Turner for the GP 2nd place.
[And a tip of the hat to Joe Liechty who has been inspiring older runners (and younger ones too) in Indiana for over a decade. He entered one race, the 5K XC championship, and won it.]

M80-84 [19]

1T. Mike Fenerty CO 100 (USA XC), Allen Warren CA (8K), Lawrence Cole MA (10K),
John Harper CA (5K), Donald Pratt FL (5K XC), Richard Murphy PA (Club XC), all
with 100 points.
7T. Verne Carlson CO (USA XC), Al Ray CA (8K), Jon Desenberg MI (5K),
and John Schultz DE (Club XC), all with 95 points.

No one in this division scored in more than one event so those who won their events tied for first in the Grand Prix and those who finished second in their one event, tied for GP 7th.

M85-89 [1]

1. Willis Moses NY [100]

Willis Moses was the only competitor all year in this age division. He entered the Syracuse 5K and won it. That performance also nets him this well deserved Grand Prix title.

So that is it for 2014. Hats off and three cheers for all of the winners and everyone who placed in the top ten.

If you add up the number who scored in each of the competitions it sums to over a thousand runners. And in this initial year it was possible to compete in an event and receive no Grand Prix points so we know that does not include all of the runners who competed in one or more Grand Prix events.

Although the rules for 2015 have not yet been published there has been substantial discussion of revising the rules to ensure that all who participate in an event receive some GP points. This meshes with the change to allow for meritorious participation medals when runners achieve the 80% or higher level. USATF wants to provide more rewards for all strong runners to compete in national championship events.

The official results for the 2014 Grand Prix should be published on or abotu January 13th at this website:

 Details for the 2015 Individual Grand Prix will be announced soon.

[In the meantime we know the first two events in 2015 will be the USA XC championship in Boulder CO on the 7th of February and the 8K road Championship in Brea CA on the 22nd of February. Points for the 2015 Individual Grand Prix will be obtained at both events.]

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