Friday, September 30, 2016

USATF 2016 Masters 5K Championships Preview-Part III: Individual Age Group Competition-Ages 40-59

September 30 2016. [Part III] Online registration is closed; we have 270 Elite Masters Athletes entered for the USATF 5K Masters Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races this coming Sunday. A small number usually register on site so the final total of registrants should be a little higher--a great turnout for this excellent championship!  Dave Oja and his dedicated staff are ecstatic about the quantity and quality of the turnout for the 2016 edition of the Championship. The weather forecast is still tricky but looks a little better. Light rain showers overnight give way to a morning of partly cloudy skies with rain not returning until noontime. Let's hope the rain clouds take a little break for our races. The earlier blogs hit the record-chasers, the overall race and the age-grading contests. It's time to look at the 40-44 through the 55-59 age groups--very deep and quality fields for almost every group.

Men 40-44. Kevin Castille, John Gardiner and David Angell, who were featured as the primary contenders for the Overall Championships are also favored for the M40 age group. As most Masters Runners know, at USATF Masters Championships winning a prize in one category does not disqualify one from winning prizes in other categories.Clearly Brent Fields and Aaron Totten-Lancaster, whose qualifications were also mentioned in the Overall Competition hope to derail those predictions. Other top quality competitors who could surprise include  Musa Gwanzura who finished 5th at the 2015 USATF Masters 12K Championships in 41:10 and posted a 15:53 5K earlier this year and Ethan Nedeau who claimed 4th place overall in the 2014 USATF Masters 10K Championship in 33:59. If the Scott Weeks who is entered is the same athlete who ran 53:04 in the Army 10 Miler and had a couple of 5K's in the high 15's this summer, he could also make things interesting. Castille, Gardiner, Angell.

Women 40-44. As suggested in the discussion of the Overall Race, Janet McDevitt, Holly Ortlund and Sascha Scott are the favorites for the podium. McDevitt's prediction is based in part on a 17:33 at Carlsbad and a 37:44 10K this summer as well as top finishes at Club Cross the last two years. Ortlund actually has a faster 5K and 10K this year, with a 17:27 at the Macon Labor Day 5K and a 37:19 10K in February. And Scott finished 8 seconds ahead of Ortlund at the 2014 USATF Masters 5K. Scott has no recent flat 5K's though as she has been focusing on Triathlons. Does that help or hurt? Heather Webster who finished 4th last year here in 18:16 will surely be there if anyone falters; she has two 5Ks in the mid 18's this summer. Christy Peterson could also be a factor. She ran 17:48 at the 2015 Freihofer's 5K. But her 5K's this year have been slower, perhaps because she was emphasizing distance conditioning over speed. She ran a 1:25:02 at the Bjorklund Half Marathon and a 1:20:15 20K at the Stratton-Faxon race on Labor Day. She ran an 18:37 earlier and on August 13 an 18:53, but that was in the lead-up to the 20K. If she can fire off another sub-18 5K Peterson might find her way onto the podium.
McDevitt, Ortlund, Scott.

Men 45-49. Since I picked Mark Andrews to finish 3rd overall, I had better pick him to win the M45 group. He took 1st place at the USATF Masters 10K in 32:45 in April and over the summer was running high 15's to low 16's for 5K. Elliott and Jonathan Frieder (who are apparently twins) will try to take the top spot as well. Jonathan  finished just off the podium at the 2015 USATF Masters 12K Championships in 40:59 so that gives him some credibility but Elliott just finished 6 seconds ahead of Jonathan at the NJ 5KM XC Championships. Both have 5K's in the 16:15-16:30 range this year. Craig Greenslit has been absent from the roads for the past year and a half but ran 15:44 in the 2014 5K Masters Championships. It's a long way to come from Colorado so he is probably ready to roll! Greg Putnam will try to upset these predictions and has plenty of evidence in his favor. He finished 3rd in the 10K Masters Championships in Dedham in 33:08 and has run 5K's in the 16 to 16:30 range this year.
Andrews, Greenslit, Putnam.

 Women 45-49. Although it is hard to see Sonja Friend-Uhl making the podium for the Overall Race, it is hard to see her not making it for this age group. Her 18:49 in her first race in several months suggests she might be able to flirt with 18:30. If she can do that, she is definitely a threat for age group glory. Who can keep her off the podium? Fiona Bayly and Cassandra Henkiel are favorites for 1-2 but ti is hard to see anyone else beating Friend-Uhl if she can come close to 18:30. Bayly  took the 45-49 group bronze at the 2014 Club XC Championships 16 seconds ahead of Henkiel, ran 1:23:55 at the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon and 18:05 at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K in late August. Henkiel won this age group last year in 18:14 and ran 18:07 at Carlsbad last spring. But she has no races since then; that could make her vulnerable or just hard to predict.Others who could factor in are Irma Dennard who has some 5K's this summer in the high 19's and a 41:53 10K and Laurie Wisotsky who ran 19:56 here last year.
Bayly, Henkiel, Friend-Uhl.

Men 50-54. The long list of contenders from those entered in this group would ordinarily include Rob Arsenault, Kristian Blaich, Francis Burdett, Carl Combs, Alan Evans, Ruben Henderson, Nat Larson and Mike Nier. Let's make the job a little easier by pulling Blaich and Evans out of the list. Both have been injured most of the year; this is their first race of 2016 as far as I can tell. Most likely they are running to support their team effort. The race for the gold should be between Combs and Larson and it should be a beauty of a race. If Larson can repeat his 16:10 from last year or get close, as seems likely, the only one who can stay with him is Combs, although Arsenault, Burdett, and maybe Henderson can, if they have one of their better days. Combs came in 27 seconds ahead of Arsenault at the 8K Championships in Brea in 26:20 when Burdett had an off day and was further back. I figure Combs's 8K time is roughly equivalent to a 15:55 5K. Also Combs must be running well or he would not come all the way from Cheney Washington for the race. And Burdett had the better of Arsenault at Carlsbad so it will depend on relative fitness and how the day goes. Henderson only ran 16:54 here last year but he seems to be in better condition this fall. Nier is always in the mix and is a tough competitor so one can never count him out. He ran 16:33 here last year.
Combs, Larson, Nier.

Women 50-54. As I picked Marisa Sutera Strange to take the overall crown, I had better pick her to win the age group crown. Strange is almost certain to run well under 18 even if she would have an off day. Lorraine Jasper and Karyl Sargent typically run in the high 19' or low 20's and will certainly contend for the next two spots on the podium. Sargent beat Jasper last year in this race. Jasper had her revenge on the cross country course a few weeks later. Suzanne LaBurt could figure into the race. Usually in the low 20's she ran 19:34 in a recent local 5K. The same is true for Laurie Wharton whose 5K's have been in the low 20's but she ran a 19:29 in the Macon Labor Day 5K. Laura Delea and Julie Pangburn have both run in the low to mid-20's for 5K's but that will probably not be fast enough for the podium.
Strange, Sargent, Jasper.

Men 55-59. This group lost their headliner when Pete Magill had to pull out because of a hamstring issue. But there is still more than enough quality to make this an outstanding age group contest. Dave Bussard is the defending champion; he took the crown last year in 16:55. But his fitness may be off a bit as his times in a couple of local 5K's this year were a half minute or more off his 2015 times. If a time just under 17 is going to win it there are a few other contenders. Kerry Barnett has run 5K's in the high 16's to low 17's. Gary Droze ran 16:59 in this race last year although his recent 5K times have been up in the 17's but that was true last year as well. Fred Zalokar who is focused on winning his age group in the major marathons occasionally finds time for a shorter race just for fun. He ran a 28:24 8K in the Masters Championships at Brea; that equates roughly to a 17:00 5K. William 'Hugh' Enicks also focuses mostly on the longer distances but he ran 28:50 at Brea, equating to about a 17:20 5K.
Bussard, Zalokar, Barnett.

Women 55-59. Hall of Famer and defending champion, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso is the favorite; she took the crown in 19:14 last year. Susan 'Lynn' Cooke, of the newly formed New Balance Tampa Masters Women's team will not give up the gold without a fight. She ran 19:20 at a 5K in April and clocked 2:46 and 5:33 on the track at the Outdoor Masters Championships in the 800 and 1500 meters. After those two, several runners could take 3rd. The likely contenders are Patrice Combs, Paula Johnson, Colleen Magnussen, and Mary Swan. Magnussen ran 21:59 here last year but has run slower times this year. Combs has run her 5K's in the high 21's while Johnson generally hits the lower 22 range. Swan has run from the mid-20's to low 21's this year.
Ayala-Troncoso, Cooke, Swan.
There are terrific races in the 60 and up age groups too. That is in the next installment, Part IV.

[Sorry--No time for pictures now. I will try to go back and add them later.] 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

USATF 2016 Masters 5K Championships Preview-Part II- Overall Race and Age-Grading Contest

September 29 2016. [Part II] As of today there are 260 [9-29 10:30 PM] Elite Masters Athletes entered for the USATF 5K Masters Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races this coming Sunday. We could be headed to a record number of entrants! Dave Oja and his dedicated staff put on a terrific athlete-centered race. As a result, this could be one of the best in recent years, both in terms of depth and quality. The weather forecast is still patchy. No difficulty with temperature or wind but the chance of (light) rain is 40%. Let's look first at the contest to be first Masters Runner across the finish line, and then at the Age-Grading contest.

Overall Races.

Men. It is an impressive field. The 2015 champion, Greg Mitchell could not make it back this year but even if he could, the clear favorite would be Kevin Castille. He set the Men's Masters record of 14:25 when he ran in this race in 2012. He focuses mostly on the 10K to Half Marathon races these days, and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon. But he does occasionally run a 5K; in 2015 Castille ran a 14:18, a 14:42 and a 15:04. He runs the Peachtree 10K every year and, if it is any consolation to his rivals, Castille's time has been getting a tad slower recently. But he still won the 2016 Masters crown in 31:17. The 2nd place finisher was 2 and a half minutes back. The big question is whether Castille can break 15:00 again.
Kevin Castille claiming a Masters win at the Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon [Photo Credit: Victor Sailer/PhotoRun]
The race for 2nd should be a doozy! A number of runners could well break 15:30. Mark Andrews, who won the USATF 10K in Dedham in 32:45 should be a factor.
Mark Andrews gritting his teeth as he strives to maintain the gap heading to the finish line at the 2016 USATF Masters 10K Championship [photo crdit: Scott Mason]

Earlier this month he ran a 15:36. David Angell turns 40 the day of the race. He ran a 15:29 5K and a 34:05 10K earlier this year. Plus he has some staying power as evidenced by his 54:43 at the 2016 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. John Gardiner was working his way back from injury at the beginning of the year but was still able to run 15:21 at Carlsbad. More recently he took his first overall Masters Championship over a tough course at the USATF 1 Mile Road race in Flint in 4:30.

John Gardiner heading for another podium finish at the 2015 USATF Masters 8K Championship [Photo Credit: Thuc Tran]
Two others who could contest for the podium if any of those above falter are Brent Fields and Aaron Totten-Lancaster, both of the Atlanta Track Club. Fields was a little off his usual pace at the USATF 10K where he could only muster a 36:17 but he ran the Macon Labor Day 5K this year 40 seconds faster than in 2015, cooking it in 15:34. Totten-Lancaster was a top finisher in the USATF 10K at 33:22 and nearly matched it at Peachtree with a 33:43. He does not have a fast 5K this summer but he may prefer the cooler weather in Syracuse. Ordinarily I would mention Kristian Blaich as a contender but he has been out with an injury all year and it is unlikely he has recovered full race fitness. 
Castille, Gardiner, Andrews. 

Women. Although smaller in quantity there is plenty of quality in the Women's race. Marisa Sutera Strange is back to defend her 2015 crown; she captured it all last year in 17:38. She won the USATF Masters 10K crown earlier this year in a thrilling duel with Sonja Friend-Uhl, winning by a single second in 36:48. She  appears to be ready and, despite being on the long side of 50, is the favorite. Strange finished a very close second a month ago in the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships at Flint in 5:27 and ran 17:41 at the Freihofer's 5K in June.
Marisa Sutera Strange drives for the finish line and the win at the USATF Masters 10K Championships [photo credit: Scott Mason]
 The main challenger appears to be Janet McDevitt, with Holly Ortlund and Sascha Scott also possibly in the mix. McDevitt finished 2nd at the Carlsbad 5000 in 17:33 this spring, so that puts her in the ballpark. She won a local 5K in Washington this summer in 17:52 but there was no competition to push her. It will be interesting to see how she does when she is back in a competitive race.
Janet McDevitt finishing second at the 2015 USATF Masters Club Cross Country Championships in San Francisco [Photo credit: Michael Scott]

In her first race since February, Ortlund's  17:27 in the Macon Labor Day race means she cannot be ignored. That may be a fast course but so is Syracuse. Others who might be in the mix include the 4th and 5th place finishers from last year in 18:14 and 18:16, Cassandra Henkiel and Heather Webster. They will need to raise their game a bit to get on the podium. Henkiel ran 18:07 at Carlsbad but I can find no results since. Webster has been running her 5K's this summer in the mid 18's. Another name to keep in mind is Sascha Scott who ran this race in 2014 as a 39 year old in 17:59. last November she hoisted a trophy at a local 5K in 17:35. She has not run a flat 5K since and has recently been experimenting with triathlons. Perhaps the added strength and core fitness will help her this weekend. Friend-Uhl would usually be considered a crack contender for the podium. But she has been out injured since her 2nd place finish to Strange in the 10K championship. Even though she has a cross country race in the books, Friend-Uhl is probably not ready to contend yet. Her current efforts in the mid-18's would be outstanding for most athletes but not for someone used to running in the mid 17's. But it should not be long before we see her back at the front of the pack at national championship races.
Strange, McDevitt, Scott.

Age-Grading Competition.

Men. The top contenders are Tom Bernhard, 65, Kevin Castille, 44, Brian Pilcher, 60, and Nat Larson, 54. Before a couple of injury filled years it would have been easy to go with Castille as the likely winner. Although he is still the fastest of the masters runners apart from Meb Keflezighi and Bernard Lagat, his recent age-grades have been within the reach of the others. His Peachtree age grade this year was 91.4 and his USATF Half Marathon championship age graded at 91.8. It is hard to know if those 'mere mortal' age grades were due to lower fitness and how much to a lack of being pressed. The last time Castille broke 15 minutes in a 5K was in April 2015; if he can crack 15 on Sunday, he will age grade above 94.0%. That may well be required to take the Age-Grading crown. Bernhard captured the 8K age-grading crown with a 91.7% and finished 3rd at the USATF 1 Mile with a 91.6%. If he can run around 17:40, as he did last year and earlier this year, he too could age grade above 94.0%. As noted above, Pilcher missed the second half of the 2015 season and was rounding into shape over the first half of this year. Nonetheless, in his first serious outing in February, he managed an 89.6% at the 8K Championships, and followed that with a winning 92.9% at the 10K Championships in late April. His 16:52 when 59 earlier this year age grades at 93.9%. Were he to break McCormack's 16:58 record, he would come in just over 94%. Larson finished second to Pilcher at the 10K championships with a 91.0% and finished 2nd to Jerome Vermeulen in the 1 Mile Road Championship by .02% in 91.75%.
Nat Larson claims the second Age-Grading spot at the 2016 USATF Masters 10K Championships [Photo Credit: Scott Mason]

He needs to run 16:10 or better to crack the 94.0% barrier. That's what he ran here last year when he finished 8th overall. And running just behind this group is Carl Combs, 51, who nailed a 90.9% at the Masters 8K Championships in February, just off the podium. I cannot imagine he would be making the cross country trip from the state of Washington unless he is primed for a good run. This is a tough, tough race to pick; all of these times and age grades are amazing! I will do Pilcher the favor of picking against him because of his Marathon training. If that gives him a little extra incentive to run a great race and take down McCormack's record, that would be excellent. Records are there to be broken.
Bernhard, Castille, Larson.

Women. The top contenders appear to be Libby James, 80, Kathy Martin, 65, Edie Stevenson, 67, and Marisa Sutera Strange, 53. Stevenson was the top age-grader at the 8K Championship with 92.7% and the Half Marathon at 92.6%. She achieved a mark of 93.7% to finish second to Strange's top age grade of 95.4% at the 10K Championship. Strange also finished atop the leader board at the 1 Mile Road Championship with 91.3%.
Edie Stevenson capturing 2nd place in the Age Grading competition at the USATF 2016 Masters 10K Championship [Photo Credit: Scott Mason]

If Strange can match the 17:41 she ran at the Freihofer's race, she will age grade at 96.6%. Stevenson would need too crack 21 minutes to achieve that level which seems a lot to ask. She won the W65 group here last year in 21:34. If she can manage a 21:30 she would age grade at 94.3%. James and Martin are renowned for age grading above 100% but that may be a tall order with the new age grading tables. James's 25:28 at Freihofer's this year when she was 79 age graded at 94.8%. If she can match that on Sunday at age 80, the age grade rises to 96.4%.

Kathy Martin crossing the finish line, breaking the W60 record and winning the Age-Grading Championship at the 2014 USATF Masters 12K Championship [Photo by USATF-Marlene Van den Neste]
What about Martin? If she can just break Harvey's record by a second or two, she would age grade at 96.7%. But if she can run down around 20 minutes, or below, as we would normally expect, she can elevate that to 98.7%. How does one pick among such outstanding World Class runners?
Martin, Strange, James.

What an amazing group of runners! We are in for a real treat this Sunday when they toe the line to compete head to head.

The next installment, part III, will consist of the Individual Age Group contests.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 USATF 5K Masters Championship at the Syracuse Festival of Races-Preview 1- RECORDS TO FALL

September 28 2016. [Part I] As of today there are 251 [9-28 midday] Elite Masters Athletes entered for the USATF 5K Masters Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races this coming Sunday, proving once more its popularity among Masters runners. We could be headed to a record number of entrants! Dave Oja and his dedicated staff put on a terrific athlete-centered race. As a result, this could be one of the best in recent years, both in terms of depth and quality. Initially it looked as if six age-group national records might fall. While two late scratches will have an impact we still expect records to fall for both women and men. We look forward to exciting races, both overall and in the age groups, not to mention spirited team competition.

Ten days ahead the weather forecast was favorable, with partly sunny skies predicted. More recently the forecast is a bit patchier. The logo at Weather Underground shows a bit of sun, a bit of cloud and rain beneath, putting the precipitation % at just over 30. On the bright side that means the odds of no rain are 2:1. Even if there is rain it looks like it would be light. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Chances for New US Age Group Records.

Ordinarily when you see the name, Kevin Castille, in the Status of Entries, you figure that means a record-breaking performance could be in sight. But Bernard Lagat put that out of reach for a while to come with his 13:41 at Carlsbad in 2015 and, if that were not enough, lowered it to 13:39 this year. Castille will have to wait until next year to see if he can take down Dennis Simonaitis's M45 record of 14:45. So who will take on the Age Group records? The initial list included Tom Bernhard, Jan Holmquist, Pete Magill, Kathryn Martin, Brian Pilcher and Libby James.

Unfortunately Holmquist and Magill have had to scratch due to injuries which have curtailed their training. Holmquist set the women’s only 5K record at 22:16 in 2014 and lowered it two seconds last year; we were looking to see if she could manage 3 record years in a row. Unfortunately we will have to wait till next year for her next attempt. Magill was returning from a self-imposed exile year of building core fitness, working on books, and his many other running enterprises. His 16:08 at Carlsbad gave us hope that his year off had led to a successful return to form. I hope the current injury is just temporary and that he is soon back pushing the pace in road and cross country races.

A two-time winner of Age Group Runner of the Year awards, Tom Bernhard has his sights set on bettering Bill Borla’s M65 mark of 18:12. That should be well within his range, given his 17:36 last year at this race as a spry 64-yar old. And he has been burning up the roads this year as well. Five days before his 65th birthday he uncorked a smoking fast 17:16 at the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest. Earlier in the year he ran 37:18 at the Marin Memorial Day 10K. And despite being 3 seconds faster at the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships this year with a 5:18, Bernhard said he thought he was in shape to run even faster.
Tom Bernhard heading for the fine line to take the M60 title at the 2015 USATF 5K Championships in 17:36 [Photo credit: Bob Brock]

As of today, Kathy Martin is not entered but she has often waited until late in the process to register and in a Messenger exchange she did not correct me when I said she seemed to be primed for Syracuse. The 2013 and 2015 Masters Road Runner of the Year, Martin holds the Women’s 60-64 record at 19:04 and is chasing Sabra Harvey’s 20:27 for W65, set on this course two years ago. She ran 19:24 last year so it should be a safe bet. But there is some suspense. Martin’s fitness seems to be just slightly off her peak. Last year she ran the Fifth Avenue Mile in 5:39 but this year it was 5:50. In late August she ran the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K in 20:37. It is advertised as fast but does have a climb in the first mile. My bet is with Martin to take the record; after all, she has had a month to fine-tune her training since that outing.
Kathy Martin headed to victory at the 2015 USATF Club Cross Country Championships in San Francisco [photo credit: Michael Scott]

2012 and 2013 Masters Road Runner of the Year, Brian Pilcher, takes aim at Tom McCormack’s 16:58, set on this same course two years ago. If he can get it he would hold both the M55 and M60 5K records, a worthy goal to say the least. Seven weeks before his 60th birthday, Pilcher ran 16:52 at the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K. As he is on the comeback trail from a lost 2014 season and much of 2015, one would think he is still improving his fitness. Never one to take the easy path, Pilcher is not focused just on taking the 5K record, he is entered in the Chicago Marathon on October 9th. He is hoping to take down the 2:42:44 M60 Marathon record of Clive Davies which has stood since 1979. That would be some accomplishment. Nonetheless it means Pilcher has been focused on building marathon base rather than honing his 5K speed.  If he could actually take both records, that would provide a song for the ages!
Brian Pilcher headed for the finish line at the USATF 10K Championships in Dedham MA, chalking up another Age Grade 1st place [Photo Credit: Scott Mason]

Libby James has been named Age Group Runner of the Year each of the last five years and is the favorite to take the title again this year. Current holder of the Women’s 75-79 5K records, 23:34 (Women only) and 23:30 (outright), James is trying for the W80 record of 29:23 established by Anne Clarke in 1989. James has run two 5K’s this summer under 25:30, one at altitude and the other at the Freihofer’s 5K in Albany NY a month before her 80th birthday. With four minutes to play with, this seems the most certain of the four age group records to fall. Count yourself lucky if you get to see this legend of Masters Road Running crossing the finish line this coming Sunday.
Libby James competing in the Bolder Boulder 10K [Photo Credit: Gameface Media--appearing in Boulder's]
That's part I of the Preview--the aspiring Record Busters!

Part II will focus on Overall Races and some of the Age group races--hope to post by late evening on Thursday September 29.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

National Masters 1 Mile Road Champions Crowned in Flint Michigan

September 7 2016. Flint Michigan, the site of the 2016 USATF Masters Mile Championship and the HealthPlus CRIM Festival of Races, enjoyed a warm summer evening  on August 26th. Over 100 of the speediest Masters runners nationally had converged on Flint to test their speed against rivals old and new. Ten thousand dollars in prize money was there to add some spice to the contest. With clear skies and little wind, the runners were anticipating a good race. The course itself is challenging, essentially a rectangular circuit with several turns and modest elevation changes as well; unlike many other road miles, the organizers do not describe it as a fast course. 

A side note: Don and Marian Lein, who have been the mainstays of the USATF Masters LDR Circuit have announced that this is their farewell tour as far as being the on site Officials. They will also step down as Chair and Secretary of USATF's Masters LDR Committee. Their contributions are too numerous to mention. The tributes from athletes are pouring in already. I add mine to it and thank Don, in particular, for drawing me into USATF, and Marian for helping me learn the ropes. It won't be the same without them.
Marian and Don Lein hard at work identifying the finishers at the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships at Flint--Clearly we will miss Don's sartorial elegance!  [posted on FB by Terry McCluskey]

Don Lein (L), Tom Bernard (C), and Marian Lein (R) handing out bibs in their familiar roles at USATF Packet Pickup


The main contenders looked to be Cal Coast Track Club teammates, Jerome Vermeulen  and John Gardiner, who finished 2nd and 3rd last year, and a trio of Great Lakes runners, Rob McConnell, Lee Shaw, and Craig Nieset.  Earlier in the season, Vermeulen had run a 4:18 to take the Masters title at the State Street Mile in Santa Barbara CA and Gardiner finished 5th in the Exhibition Masters 1500 at the US Olympic Trials in 4:03.4 [roughly equivalent to a 4:23 mile). It appeared that the Cal Coast duo were the favorites but they are now focused on building their base for Cross Country season. Would they be sharp enough to run a fast mile? McConnell had a 16:03 5K and a recent Masters title in the Traverse City Cherry 1 Mile in 4:35.9. Shaw finished 8th in last year’s Mile Championships. Nieset ran a 16:08 5K on May Day and won the M45 Championship at the USATF Outdoor 1500 Meters on the track in 4:19.66. 
Start of the Men's Race-J Vermeulen surges to the front with C. Nieset (21382) right with him and teammate, J Gardiner (21352) and R McConnell (21373) a half step back [Photos with watermark in this article are provided thanks to Dave McCauley. To see entire gallery, visit:]

Men. Vermeulen and McConnell broke fastest once the gun went off but Gardiner, Shaw and Nieset were in hot pursuit. After the first 200 meters, Vermeulen had a clear lead with Gardiner in 2nd, McConnell right on his shoulder, and Shaw and Nieset staying close. After the first quarter mile or so, Gardiner was feeling good, threw in a bit of a surge to catch and pass Vermeulen, and continued on to establish a clear gap.  With the incentive of possibly getting an Age-Grading medal (and the prize money that goes with it) and knowing the ferocious kick that his teammate possesses, Gardiner put down the hammer the rest of the way and crossed the finish line in 4:33. It was a six second gap back to Vermeulen who had another four seconds on McConnell who hung on for 3rd. Shaw and Nieset were closing on McConnell on the final run down to the tape but could get no closer than 3 seconds for Shaw in 4th and Nieset another 2 seconds back in 5th place. It was a hard-fought contest but that West Coast speed could not be denied. Gardiner noted: “I am very happy with my time on a tough course like this. There are lots of turns and it is a little bit hilly. But the weather was great and there was a nice crowd that really brought us through with their enthusiastic support. It was a very nice event all in all.”
Gardiner 4:33 Vermeulen 4:39  McConnell 4:43.

John Gardiner takes the Win overall at the 2016 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship at the CRIM Festival of Races in Flint Michigan

Women. Michigan’s Tammy Nowik, the defending champion, had her work cut out for her. There were two new contenders for the crown—New York’s Marisa Sutera Strange, USATF’s 2015 Runner of the Year in the Women’s 50-54 division, and Minnesotan, Melissa Gacek, who runs for Oiselle Team Elite. Nowik took 5th in the USATF Masters Marathon in October and won the Masters title at the Indy Monumental Half Marathon in 1:22:48 in November. But when she tried a 5K this June, her speed was a little off, winning the title in 18:20. Strange, by contrast, took the USATF 5K Masters Championship last October in 17:38, albeit on a fast course. Gacek has also been running 15K’s and Half Marathons but she has mixed in a few more short races. She sandwiched a Masters win at the Half Marathon in Duluth in late May in 1:22:45 between taking the Twin Cities Mile in 5:26.6 and a second place finish in the 1500 meters at the USATF Outdoor Track Championships in 5:02.5. The second and 3rd place finishers from last year, Serena Kessler and Lisa Veneziano were poised to pounce if any of the top 3 faltered.

When the gun went off, Strange, Nowik, and Gacek all surged to the front. Nowik had some doubts about her speed and felt Strange was going out too fast for her, so laid off the pace. Gacek too, took a conservative approach over the first 800 meters. As a result, by the halfway point, Strange had built up a few meters on Nowik who, in turn, had a few meters on Gacek. There was a substantial gap back to Veneziano and Kessler, so it looked as if the 3 favorites would sort out the podium positions among themselves.  There is a short hill as the runners come out of the University of Michigan-Flint campus, about 500 meters from the finish. At this point it looked like Gacek might close on Nowik but then Nowik sensed that if she surged she might catch Strange.  Once they hit the final turn, with 250 meters to go, Nowik felt herself gaining on Strange with every stride. 

Tammy Nowik gutting out the win with Marisa Sutera Strange hanging on for 2nd after bravely leading the race--against the furious closing kick of Melissa Gacek [far left of photo] [All photos by Frog Prince studios in this article had been posted on Facebook]

As they headed down the final downgrade 150 meters to the finish, Nowik was able to head Strange and get past her to defend her title in 5:26, one second ahead of Strange. Gacek, meanwhile, had never given up either and was right there another stride back. But Strange hung tough taking 2nd place in 5:27 with Gacek in the bronze medal position in 5:28. Wow, a really exciting finish!
Tammy Nowik gets past Marisa Sutera Strange for the Overall Win at the 2016 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship at the CRIM Festival of Races in Flint Michigan

Veneziano pushed all the way to finish 4th in her hometown in 5:38 with Kessler two seconds back in 5:40. Nowik explained, “I did not catch the leader until the last 200 meters and there was a girl right on my heels. I was able to take the win in that last little bit so that was fun!” And despite feeling she was a bit slower than last year, Nowik actually ran three seconds faster this year. Gacek says she enjoyed her birds-eye view of the race (Oiselle means bird in French) but felt she had underperformed just a bit. “If I had glued up a little tighter, not racing it like a 15K, I might have brought home a Championship patch. I guess it’s better to try a smart tactic and fall short than go out crazy hard and run out of gas. I’ll have to rethink my best strategy now for the Duluth Mile coming up in a couple of weeks.”
Nowick 5:26 Strange 5:27 Gacek 5:28


Men. Vermeulen, 49, had quite a day, taking the Silver Medal overall and the top age-grading spot, the measure of best relative performance across all age groups, from Nat Larson, 54, Greater Springfield Harriers, by two one hundredths of a point, 91.75% to 91.73. In fact, after getting trapped in ‘no man’s land’ between 1st and 3rd, Vermeulen said the knowledge that he might get an Age-Grade Award kept him pushing all the way to the tape. California’s Tom Bernhard, 65, took the 3rd age-grading place with a 91.56 score. Despite the strong performance Bernhard said the result left him confused; he thought he was in shape to run a much faster time.  Unlike Vermeulen he felt that he had not pushed all the way to the tape even though no one passed him and he did pass one runner in the final 50 meters.
Jerome Vermeulen smiles with the satisfaction of knowing he kept it up all the way to the finish line to take the Overall Age Grading title at the 2016 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship at the CRIM Festival of Races in Flint Michigan

Women. Strange, 53, took the Women’s Age-Grading title with a much more comfortable margin at 91.27%. Local runner, Lisa Veneziano, 51, who apparently lives just a few blocks from the race, but has speed to burn, took 2nd in 86.35, followed by the Athena Track Club’s Lorraine Jasper, 54, at 85.99.

Age Grading prizes at this race went five deep.  It would be nice if I could say that the 4th and 5th place finishers among the men and women, John Gardiner, Ruben Henderson, Christine Vincent, and Jill Miller-Robinett walked away with some extra change in their pockets. Not so, but they did get to fill out W-9’s and are looking forward to checks arriving in the mail.

Vermeulen 91.75  Larson 91.73 Bernhard 91.56 Gardiner 90.36 Henderson 88.09
Strange 91.27 Veneziano 86.35 Jasper 85.99 Vincent 83.12 Miller-Robinett 82.99


M40 Gardiner, McConnell and Shaw, who finished 1st, 3rd, and 4th overall, comprised the podium. Gardiner 4:33 McConnell 4:43 Shaw 4:46

W40 Nowik, Gacek, and Kessler, who finished 1st, 3rd and fifth overall, took Age Group Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
Nowik 5:26 Gacek 5:28 Kessler 5:40

M45 Vermeulen added to his medal haul by claiming the top spot in the Age Group. I had pegged Vermeulen’s teammate, Michael john Stanley for 2nd but Nieset had other ideas, as witnessed by his 5th place overall finish, edging Stanley for M45 Silver by 5 seconds.
Vermeulen 4:39 Nieset 4:48 Stanley 4:53

W45 This was the closest Age Division contest of the evening with only 6 seconds separating the top 3 positions. In 2015 Amy Nemeth took first in 5:49 with Erin Larusso second in 5:55. New challenger Nicole Derrick has two sub-1:29 half marathons and cracked a 5K in 19:41. Neither Nemeth nor Larusso has a recent sub-20 minute 5K. But Larusso clocked a 5:49 road mile earlier in the season while Nemeth hung up a 6:00.1. As it turned out Larusso was able to match Nemeth’s 5:49 from last year while Nemeth could only manage to finish second. But Nemeth was able to turn back Derrick who claimed the bronze medal in 5:55. That’s a heck of an Age Division competition—tight, tight, tight.
Larusso 5:49 Nemeth 5:52 Derrick 5:55

M50 Nat Larson of the Greater Springfield Harriers was the Age Group Silver medalist for the 10K, where he ran 33:50. A 10K is a lot longer than a mile but you don’t run a sub-34 minute 10K without some speed. And Larson did not disappoint, smashing the division apart with a 12 second victory in 4:50 and, as noted above, came within a whisker of the Age Grade gold. There was a dandy race for 2nd but Robert Moore of Groveport OH was just able to hang on and outlast a fast-closing Ruben Henderson by a single second!  And two other runners, Mike Nier and Jeff Haertl were only 3 seconds back, just off the podium.
Larson 4:50 Moore 5:01 Henderson 5:02
The agony of near victory as Ruben Henderson (Playmakers, C] cannot quite catch Robert Moore (21377) in the M50 competition. But Henderson enjoyed placing in the top 5 Age Grading and leading his team to M50+ victory.

W50 Strange and Veneziano who finished 2nd and 4th overall, nailed down the top 2 spots in this division. Not far back in 3rd was the 2015 W50 Grand Prix winner, Lorraine Jasper of the Athena Track Club.
Strange 5:27 Veneziano 5:38 Jasper 5:51

M55 Joseph Mora of the GVH team and Kerry Barnett of Playmakers were locked in a team duel but also locked horns in this division for the individual title, with Mora prevailing in 5:06 and Barnett 2nd in 5:10. William ‘Hugh’ Enicks, who prefers his races to be at least 13 miles long was, nevertheless, able to crank it up pretty well and sail across the finish line in 3rd place, with only a half stride on Antonio Arreola who was given the same time.

Mora 5:06 Barnett 5:10 Enicks 5:23

W55 Last year Michigan’s Maryellen Stornant took the gold by more than half a minute from New York’s Collen Magnussen. Magnussen was back to see if she could reverse the outcome or at least reduce the margin of victory. Magnussen was able to make it 4 seconds closer this year but Stornant still took the gold medal.
Stornant 6:24 Magnussen 6:56

M60 Last year Tom Bernhard and Mark Rybinski had a thrilling race to the wire, which Bernhard won by a single second. This year Bernhard has moved up to the 65-69 division and Rybinski is nursing a hamstring injury, simply running the race so that GVH would have a complete team. That left the door wide open for the Atlanta Track Club’s Ken Youngers, to celebrate his advancement to the 60-64 division with an inaugural victory, despite having some of his own hip and hamstring issues. GVH’s Bill Beyerbach cruised home in 2nd. John Tarkowski, finally starting to shake off a foot injury that has plagued him since this race last year, finished 3rd. It was great that he could run under 6 minutes again. Pain and injury-management is in the tool kit of every successful Masters Runner.
Youngers 5:32 Beyerbach  5:43 Tarkowski 5:58

W60 Jill Miller-Robinett led her Impala Racing team from the Bay Area of San Francisco and also made it count for an individual medal, taking home Age Group gold. The Atlanta Track Club teammates, Mary Richards and Margaret Meek Taylor, took 2nd and 3rdwith their usual strong performances.
Miller-Robinett 6:40 Richards 6:51 Taylor 7:07

M65 Tom Bernhard, who captured 3rd in the Age-Grading, waltzed across the line in first place, recording his first national road championship as a 65-69 year old. That was three seconds faster than his winning time last year when he had to fight off a fast-closing runner to claim his last 1 Mile National Championship in the 60-64 year old class. Peter Mullin is returning to the top of his game but cannot compete at present with Bernhard. Nonetheless he showed that he still has plenty of speed as he fought off a challenge from Kirk Larson. A longtime runner for the Atlanta Track Club, Larson is not a fan of running in hot weather, and this distance is not in his sweet spot. But he rallied, nonetheless, to claim a bronze medal, only 10 seconds back from Mullin.
Bernhard 5:18 Mullin 5:37 Larson 5:47
M65 Podium--Peter Mullin (L-Silver Medal)-Tom Bernhard (C-Gold Medal) - Kirk Larson (R-Bronze Medal)--at the Awards Ceremony [posted on FB by K. Larson]

W65 Miller-Robinett’s Impala teammate, Donna Chan, newly advanced to this age group, took the Gold while Michigander and Playmakers Elite runner, Patricia Degnan took the Silver medal.
Chan 7:15 Degnan  7:41

M70 Last year two of the grand war-horses of the Elite Masters Circuit, Jan Frisby and Hall of Famer Doug Goodhue went toe-to-toe, with Goodhue getting the win in 5:55 to Frisby’s 6:06. This year both have had fitness issues and did not enter. Przemek Nowicki has been suffering from a quad injury which threw his training off in recent weeks. Paul Carlin injured his left hamstring in late April and had not raced since then. He was running/jogging strictly for the team.  Gary Patton, the celebrated Middle Distance specialist from the track would have been a force to reckon with anyway. In the circumstances he took the division in a walk, winning by over a half minute. Nowicki was 36 seconds back in 2nd with his Shore AC teammate, Ed Smith, taking 3rd not much further back.
Patton 6:07 Nowicki 6:43 Smith 6:56

W70 The defending champion, Ruth Thelen, exploited her home course advantage and her recent experience racing 1500 meters and 1 mile, to repel the challenger from the Impala Racing team of California, Dianne Anderson.  Thelen and Anderson have quite comparable 5K times but it appears that Thelen did more short distance prep than Anderson. In any case, Thelen took the gold with Anderson taking the Silver Medal 15 seconds back. Cora Hill achieved a podium finish for the 2nd consecutive year. Last year she took Silver in 9:33. This year she ran 2 seconds faster but could not keep up with the speedster from California.
Thelen 8:11 Anderson 8:26 Hill 9:31

M75 Sandy Scott intended to come up from Florida last year to contest for the Championship but wound up having to cancel out because he tore his hamstring in a track workout and had to scratch. Delta allowed him to hold his ticket so he came up this year instead. He hoped to take on Ron Mastin, the reigning 5K and 10K road champion. When he got here he found out that Mastin was not at peak fitness so would not give him much of a battle. Mastin averaged  8 minutes per mile for over 6 miles  when he won the M75 10 K Championship last April but now in late August could even run one mile at quite that pace. So Scott had it all his way as he raced to the Gold Medal in 6:53. Mastin settled for the Silver Medal and Philip Kroll of Ann Arbor took the bronze in 8:38. Even though Scott and Mastin did not have the kind of race they may have expected they found, to their mutual surprise, that they had both been pilots for Eastern Airlines at the same time some years earlier. They get the ‘Small World’ Award.
Scott 6:53 Mastin 8:16 Kroll 8:38

W75 Ellen Nitz took the win in this group last year and was unopposed again this year. She cruised into the finish line a little slower than last year but perhaps she reasoned that there was little sense in hurrying too much. After all, a Gold Medal is a Gold Medal, whether in 9:28 like last year or a few seconds slower like this year.
Nitz 9:46
Ellen Nitz with one of her young fans at the end of the 1 Mile Race.

W80 For the first time in the three years that the HealthPlus CRIM Fitness Festival in Flint has hosted these Championships, Jon Desenberg gave the race a Men’s 80-84 Champion. Desenberg, at 82 years young, completed the course in 10:17, to take the Gold!
Desenberg 10:17


In road racing, the first three runners for each team determine the team’s score. Their individual times are summed to determine the team’s score.

W40+  Michigan’s Performance Endurance Racing, with the 1st, 5th and 6th place overall finishers in Tammy Nowick, Serena Kessler, Erin Larusso, and Nicole Derrick had too much speed for other teams, taking the gold medal with a 5:39 per mile average. The Genesee Valley Harriers (GVH) [Melissa Senall, Wakenda Tyler, Audra Naujokas-Knapp] ran strong to pick up the 90 Club Grand Prix points for the Silver Medal as they seek to defend their 2015 GP crown.  Their average time of 6:01 left them solidly in 2nd with the Playmakers Elite/New Balance [Amy Nemeth, Chere Pepper, Jennifer Stuber] in 3rd and TNT International in 4th.
Performance Endurance 16:55/5:39 GVH 18:01/6:01 Playmakers Elite 21:39/7:13
The Race to the Finish--Melissa Senall (GVH) trying to chase down Erin Larusso (Patient Endurance) while Amy Nemeth (L) and Lorraine Jasper (R) battle for the next two spots. The runner with hair flying in the background is Senall's teammate, Wakenda Tyler. They are giving it everything they've got!!

M40+ The interlopers from the Cal Coast Track Club made their trip to the Great Lakes profitable. With John Gardiner, Jerome Vermeulen and M.J. Stanley taking 1st, 2nd and 7th overall, they cruised to the Gold medal. They came in with a 4:41 average to the 5:12 averaged by a highly competitive Patient Endurance Racing team [Eric Green, Mark Good, Derek Dexter, Erik Larsen].  
Giving their all fpr the team--Kareem Lanier of TNT International (far R in red),  Eric Green of Patient Endurance (C) and Mike Nier of GVH (far L)

Third place went to the speedsters from Philly, the TNT International Racing Club [Kareem Lanier, Kyle Lanier, Stephen Jones] with a 5:19 average.
Cal Coast 14:03/4:41 Patient Endurance 15:34/5:12 TNT 15:56/5:19

Cal Coast Track Club's Winning M40+ Team at the USATF National Masters 1 Mile Championships [L to R-Jerome Vermeulen, John Gardiner, M.J. Stanley] [photo posted on FB by J Vermeulen]

W50+  Pennsylvania’s Athena Track Club took this title home as Lorraine Jasper, Julie Pangburn, and Betsy Stewart averaged 6:11, with nearly a half minute gap per runner on the 2nd place Playmakers Elite/New Balance team [Christine Vincent, Maryellen Stornant, Patricia Degnan. Jean Bolley]. The GVH  team [Carol Bischoff, Colleen Magnussen, Gail Geiger] made the race for 2nd a little closer as they came within 13 seconds per mile per runner.
Athena 18:33/6:11 Playmakers Elite 20:00/6:40 GVH 20:38/6:53

M50+ This was the closest race of the day; the runners knew they had been in a battle. In the end the top two teams were separated by only a single second, on average. Ruben Henderson for Playmakers Elite was the first across the line in 5:02. GVH’s Mike Nier and Joseph Mora finished 3 and 4 seconds back respectively. But then Kerry Barnett and Eric Stuber finished at 5:10 and 5:11, just enough in front of GVH’s Dale Flanders to eke out the 1 second victory. Although not part of the scoring, Playmaker’s 4th runner, JD Pepper came in a few seconds ahead of GVH’s John Van Kerkhove and their 5th runner, Tim Lambrecht, came in a few seconds ahead of GVH’s 5th runner, Gary Radford. So this was the Playmakers day—from top to bottom they were just a little faster. They were the only two teams in the race but it was a dandy!
Playmakers Elite 15:23/5:08 GVH 15:27/5:09

Tim Lambrecht (L) and Ruben Henderson (R) celebrating the Playmakers M50+ Win at the Awards Ceremony [Photo posted on FB by R Henderson]
W60+ The Impala Racing Team’s Jill Miller-Robinett led the way but without their indomitable #2 runner, Jo Anne Rowland, could not keep pace with the speedy trio from the Atlanta Track Club. ATC’s Mary Richards, Margaret Meek Taylor and Terry Ozell, averaged  7:06 per mile in taking the Gold Medal, and their 4th runner, Cynthia Lucking was only a few seconds back had anyone of their top 3 faltered . Impala [Miller-Robinett, Donna Chan, Dianne Anderson], who are on a quest to take the Club GP title in this division, made sure that they did not lose much ground to Atlanta in that race, despite not being at full strength.
Atlanta 21:17/7:06 Impala 22:21/7:27

M60+ In past years this division has typically featured tight races between the Ann Arbor Track Club, the Atlanta Track Club the Boulder Road Runners, Cal Coast, and the GVH.  Boulder and Cal Coast didn’t make the trip this year. For the first time in 2016, Ann Arbor and Atlanta battled for the top spot. Atlanta’s Ken Youngers and Kirk Larson came in 1-2 in 5:32 and 5:47. The top trio for Ann Arbor, John Tarkowski, Wally Hayes, and Aaron Pratt, were running in a tight pack although they did not plan it that way. If they could manage to come in a bit ahead of Atlanta’s 3rd runner, they might make up enough time to snatch the victory away from Atlanta. No such luck, Vasan Neovakul hung tough and broke up the AATC three, two seconds behind Tarkowski but getting the same time as Hayes and Pratt. 
Mad dash to the Finish-4 Ann Arbor guys (L to R Aaron Pratt, Wally Hayes, John Tarkowski, Eduardo Matsuo) and one Atlanta guy (Vasan Neovakul) Sprinting for the Finish line for all they're worth!

That gave Atlanta a 13 second per mile margin of victory. GVH, hobbled by injury, toughed its way to a 3rd place finish.  Bill Beyerbach led the way for GVH, with Mike Reif and Mark Rybinski rounding out the scoring. They knew they would not be clo0ae but needed the 3rd place points to keep in contention for the Club Grand Prix title. Ann Arbor’s 4th runner Eduardo Matsuo finished a few seconds behind Hayes and Pratt, edging Atlanta’s 4th runner, Jerry Learned.
Atlanta 17:19/5:47 Ann Arbor 17:58/6:00 GVH 20:50/6:57

Victorious M60+ Atlanta Track Club [L to R Vasan Neovakul, Ken Youngers, Kirk Larson] (photo posted on FB by K. Larson)

W70+  The Playmakers Elite team (Ruth Thelen, Cora Hill, Ellen Nitz) took the Gold unopposed, averaging 9:10 per mile.
Playmakers Elite 27:28/9:10

M70+ All of the teams in this division had at least one important runner who was either out of the race, severely, or somewhat hampered by injury. Shore AC’s Przemek Nowicki had his training curtailed by a quad injury. The Atlanta Track Club’s Ron Mastin, who took the M75 gold medal at the 10K championship, was restricted to a jog. Ann Arbor’s top guy, Doug Goodhue, was out. Their number two runner, Paul Carlin, who took the M70 gold medal at the 10K championship, was also getting over a hamstring injury and restricted to a jog. Shore AC took 1st place with all three of their runners (Nowicki, Ed Smith, JL Seymore) coming in before the three Atlanta runners (Charlie Patterson, Frank White, Morris Williams) who, in turn all came in before the three Ann Arbor runners (Carlin, Phil Kroll, Malcolm Cohen). Shore AC averaged 6:58 per runner in their gold medal effort. All three teams hope for better fitness as they ramp up for events this fall.
Shore AC 20:53/6:58 Atlanta 21:59/7:20 Ann Arbor 26:04/8:42

Elite Performance Medals [World and National Class performances]
Gold (Age Grade 90% and up-World Class): Jerome Vermeulen, Nat Larson, Tom Bernhard, Marisa Sutera Strange, John Gardiner
Silver (Age Grade 85-89.99%-National Class): Ruben Henderson, Joseph Mora, Jeff Haertl, Kerry Barnett, Peter Mullin, Robert Moore, Lisa Veneziano, Craig Nieset, Lorraine Jasper, Rob McConnell, Mike Nier
Bronze (Age Grade 80-84.99%-National Class): Eric Stuber, Michael John ‘MJ’ Stanley, Lee Shaw, William ‘Hugh’ Enicks, Antonio Arreola, Ken Youngers, Kirk Larson, Eric Green, JD Pepper, Gary Patton, Christine Vincent, Jill Miller-Robinett, Michael Young, John Van Kerkhove, Steve Menovcik, Kenneth Richendollar, Tammy Nowik, Dale Flanders, Gary Radford, Bill Beyerbach, Vasan Neovakul, Tim Lambrecht, Thomas Preiss, Kareem Lanier, Melissa Gacek, Michael Woodbeck, Mary Richards, Sandy Scott, Josh Harter, Ben Waggoner, Chris White, Maryellen Stornant, Amy Nemeth, Wally Hayes, Serena Kessler

Names above listed in Age-Grading order from highest to lowest.


Overall Team Age-Grading Winners 

(Rules—Top 3 runners for each complete scoring team, across age groups, in age-grading tables, score by place not %; all declared runners can displace)—Only runners on complete teams counted. Lower scores are better.

Cal Coast TC 12    Jerome Vermeulen 1 John Gardiner 2 MJ Stanley 9
Playmakers Elite/New Balance 17   Ruben Henderson 3  Kerry Barnett 6 Eric Stuber 8
Genesee Valley Harriers 26   Joseph Mora 4 Mike Nier 7 John Van Kerkhove 15

Other teams in contention included the Atlanta Track Club with 28 points and Patient Endurance Racing with 39. 

Playmakers Elite/New Balance 15   Christine Vincent 2 Maryellen Stornant 6 Amy Nemeth 7
Patient Endurance Racing 22  Tammy Nowik 4  Serena Kessler 8 Erin Larusso 10
Athena Track Club 26  Lorraine Jasper 1 Julie Pangburn 9 Betsy Stewart 16

Other teams in contention included the Atlanta Track Club with 36 points and the Impala Racing team with 38 points.


Recall that those who finish in the top 5 overall positions in the race earn points--10-6-4-2-1

After the USATF Masters Half Marathon Championship at San Diego, the standings were:

Greg Mitchell 16 Jacques Sallberg 14 Mark Andrews 10 Kevin Castille 10Christian Cushing-Murray 6 Neville Davey 6 John Gardiner 6 Peter Hammer 6 John Howell 4 Greg Putnam 4 Oscar BaumannAndy Gardiner 2 Okwaro Raura 2 Andrew Duncan 1 Brantley Lutz 1 Rusty Snow 1 Aaron Totten-Lancaster 1

Grace Padilla 11 Julie Ertel 10 Rachel Jaten 10 Marisa Sutera Strange 10 Cindy Abrami 6 Hilary Corno 6 Sonja Friend-Uhl 6 Nathalie Higley 6 Mariam Ngo 6 Nicole Hagobian 5 Renee Tolan 4 Sonya Wilkerson 4  Jennifer Anderson 2 Cate Fenster 2 Lisa Lucas 2 Mariam Ngo 2 Desa Mandarino 1 Ingrid Walters 1

After the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship in Flint Michigan, the standings are:



John Gardiner 16 Greg Mitchell 16 Jacques Sallberg 14 Mark Andrews 10 Kevin Castille 10 Christian Cushing-Murray 6 Neville Davey 6  Peter Hammer 6 Jerome Vermeulen 6 John Howell 4 Rob McConnell 4 Greg Putnam 4 Oscar BaumannAndy Gardiner 2 Okwaro Raura 2 Lee Shaw 2 Andrew Duncan 1 Brantley Lutz 1 Craig Nieset 1 Rusty Snow 1 Aaron Totten-Lancaster 1   

Marisa Sutera Strange 16 Grace Padilla 11 Julie Ertel 10 Rachel Jaten 10  Tammy Nowik 10 Cindy Abrami 6 Hilary Corno 6 Sonja Friend-Uhl 6 Nathalie Higley 6 Mariam Ngo 6 Nicole Hagobian 5 Melissa Gacek 4 Renee Tolan 4 Sonya Wilkerson 4  Jennifer Anderson 2 Cate Fenster 2 Lisa Lucas 2 Mariam Ngo 2 Lisa Veneziano 2 Serena Kessler 1 Desa Mandarino 1 Ingrid Walters 1  


Recall that those who finish in the top 5 overall age-grading positions in the race earn points--10-6-4-2-1

After the USATF Masters Half Marathon Championship at San Diego, the standings were:

Rick Becker 20 Tom Bernhard 10 Kevin Castille 10  Christian Cushing-Murray 10 Brian Pilcher 10 Carl Combs 8 Nat Larson Jacques Sallberg 4 Fred Zalokar 4 Kevin Broady 2 Peter Hammer 2 Eric Williams 2 Pete Gibson 1 Greg Mitchell 1 Mark Reeder 1 Rusty Snow 1

Edie Stevenson 26 Jo Anne Rowland 20 Marisa Sutera Strange 10 Cindy Abrami 6 Suzanne Morris 6 Jan Holmquist 4 Rachel Jaten 4 Kelly Kruell 4 Louise Davis 2 Honor Fetherston 2 Lisa Lucas 2 Grace Padilla 2 Nathalie Higley 1 Nancy Stewart 1 Kelle Taylor 1 Sonya Wilkerson 1

After the USATF Masters One Mile Championship in Flint Michigan, the standings are:

Rick Becker 20 Tom Bernhard 14 Nat Larson 12 Kevin Castille 10  Christian Cushing-Murray 10 Brian Pilcher 10 Jerome Vermeulen 10 Carl Combs 8   Jacques Sallberg 4 Fred Zalokar 4 Kevin Broady 2 John Gardiner 2 Peter Hammer 2 Eric Williams 2 Pete Gibson 1 Ruben Henderson 1 Greg Mitchell 1 Mark Reeder 1 Rusty Snow 1  

Edie Stevenson 26 Jo Anne Rowland 20 Marisa Sutera Strange 20 Cindy Abrami 6 Suzanne Morris 6 Lisa Veneziano 6 Jan Holmquist 4 Lorraine Jasper Rachel Jaten 4 Kelly Kruell 4 Louise Davis 2 Honor Fetherston 2 Lisa Lucas 2 Grace Padilla 2 Christine Vincent 2 Nathalie Higley 1 Jill Miller-Robinett 1 Nancy Stewart 1 Kelle Taylor 1 Sonya Wilkerson 1   

 We celebrate these outstanding racers who competed in Flint and look forward to the next USATF Masters Road Race, the 5K National Masters Road Championship at the Syracuse Festival of Races in New York on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016. $10,000 of prize money will be on the line and the chance to break US records, and age group and single age SFoR course records*. And of course there will be USATF Club and Individual Grand Prix points up for grabs, not to mention points for my 'informal' Overall and Age-Grading Grand Prix contests. 

For USATF 5K Masters Championship at Syracuse details, consult:

*SFoR records at: