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:

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