Thursday, August 16, 2018

Preview #2-2018 USATF Masters 5K Championship—Updates and Teams

August 16 2018.
Jennifer Bayliss W45-49 I neglected to include Bayliss in the preview for the Women’s 45-49 age division. What was I thinking?! I have rectified that by editing Preview #1. I include her and, with apologies, bump Abby Dean from the podium prediction in favor of Bayliss.
Molly Watcke   Sonja Friend-Uhl    Jennifer Bayliss

Gene Dykes M70-74 is planning on running on Saturday. He reports that he only ran 70 of the planned 160 miles of the Bigfoot 200, but he FELT like he ran all 160. He is scaling back his ambitions for the race but still hopes to run around 19:30. Based on that information, I revise the finish prediction for Men’s 70-74 by placing Dykes first and moving everyone else down one place (apologies to Dave Glass]:
Gene Dykes   Lloyd Hansen     Terry McCluskey
Jonathan Frieder may not make it to the 5K Championships because of Family Travel plans. 50-50. That revises the prediction for Men 45-49. If Frieder does not show up then everyone moves up  a notch and I must add either Larson or Lemme. Since Lemme finished ahead of Larson at last year’s 5K Championships, I should give him the nod. On the other hand, Larson just ran a 16:14 on the track at the end of July whereas Lemme’s 5K time on the 4th of July was 16:32. But I would need a lot more information about those two efforts to base much on the comparison. So I will stick with last year’s head-to-head result. Both appear to be fit. If Frieder is a DNS, then the forecast becomes:
John Gardiner     David Angell     Kent Lemme

Sonja Friend-Uhl is better prepped for the race than it may have appeared in Preview #1. I have learned that the 18:07 was on a very hot, humid day after a long track season and she ran several other 5Ks over the last 8 months, all of which were under 18:00. No change in preview predictions, however.
Alice Kassens is still recovering from an Achilles issue and is in Atlanta so Athena has 3 runners for their W40+ team. On the other hand, she has been able to get in some good training sessions recently. That probably means she has no shot at the overall podium. And based on that update, I will move Wiegand into the 3rd spot and drop Kassens to 4th in the Women’s 40-44. Knowing Kassens, however, Wiegand will definitely have to earn it!
Laurie Knowles     Christy Peterson     Kathy Wiegand

Women’s 40+ Like the individual contests, this division will be hard fought. Athena, Atlanta, and Impala all bring strong teams. I give the edge to Atlanta assuming Laurie Knowles and Sonja Friend-Uhl run the times they are capable of and Kathy Wiegand runs close to the 19:47 she ran at the Atlanta’s Finest 5K last year. If Athena’s first two, Christy Peterson and Abby Dean, can total within a minute or so of Atlanta’s first two, then Alice Kassens would have to run around 18:30 or better, which seems a tall order. Last year at the 5K Masters Championship, she ran 19:10. And I can find norace results for her since March which may mean that even a 19:10 is a stretch. Given her recent recovery from an Achilles issue, it may be possible for Impala to pass Athena for 2nd place. 
Atlanta TC     Impala Racing   Athena TC
Women’s 50+ This seems a case where Athena takes another win as long as Doreen McCoubrie, Marisa Sutera Strange, and Mary Swan run close to their norm. Atlanta B and C should finish in that order. Athena     Atlanta ‘A’     Atlanta ‘B’
Women’s 60+ Patrice Combs leads the way for the Atlanta TC and Cynthia Williams and Cindy Lucking are likely to come in a bit ahead of their counterparts on the Genesee Valley Harriers. It should be Atlanta ‘A’ with the win and GVH enjoying 2nd place just ahead of the Atlanta ‘B’ team. Atlanta ‘A’     GVH     Atlanta ‘B’
Women’s 70+ Atlanta is unopposed and will take the victory! 
Men’s 40+ This should also be a doozy! If Jonathan Frieder makes it (see above) and Thomas Knowles and Gary Leaman run to their full capability, they should come in around 50:00 or slightly over. [Of course, if Frieder does not make it, they get no score.] If John Gardiner can come in under 15:30 [no pressure, John!], Brad Wobig under 19:00 and matthew Yacoub right around 16:00 or just under, then Cal Coast should come in around 50:00. If Alan Black is back to the form he showed a few years ago when he ran such great XC races in particular and can come close to 16:00 and if Brent Fields can break 16:30 and if either Steve Bell, Tommy Carroll, or George Darden can break 17:30, then Atlanta could well come in under 50:00. Cearly there are a lot of ‘ifs’ there. If everyone shows up it will come down to which runners have better days. 
Atlanta ‘A’     Cal Coast     Garden State
Men’s 50+ The Greater Springfield Harriers go for yet another victory in this division. With Kent Lemme, Nat Larson, and Mark Hixson leading the way and Francis Burdett running like his former self, no one will catch them this time. Unless something goes very wrong, GSH will come in with a time under 49:00. Atlanta ‘A’ and Cal Coast will give them a run for the money, but both are unlikely to break 52. Rick Herr, Michael Connors, and Thomas Schumann could come in with a very low 52 if everyone runst well. For Atlanta A, if Eric Stabb runs around 16:30 and two others, perhaps Gary Droze and Chip Owens, run close to 18, they will tally around 53:00. Those two teams are close enough that the day will go to those who come in with slightly better fitness or just have better days. 
Greater Springfield Harriers     Cal Coast     Atlanta
Men’s 60+   Another great team race. This one looks like a dogfight between Atlanta A, Boulder Road Runners, and Cal Coast, with Shore AC, and GVH just off the podium. Tom McCormack says he is ‘not very fast.’ By his standards that might mean a low 18’s time. If he does that and Ken Youngers gets down around 17:45 and either Mike Anderson, Kirk Larson, or Phil Richey come in at or under 19:45, they will be very close to Boulder. I am guessing Roger Sayre can run around 17:35 or so. Based on a recent effort at altitude, it looks like Dan Spale can break 18:30 if the humidity does not cause problems. If George Braun can come in close to the 19:06 he ran last year (which seems reasonable given his 39:58 at Dedham), they could tally around 55:00 which might be just enough to nip Atlanta. Based on recent efforts it looks like Cal Coast is more likely to come in around 56:30 or so which would leave them in 3rd. Of course, you never know what Steve Brumwell, John Holcomb, and Brian Nelson might be able to turn in. It looks like despite the best efforts of Dollard, Leddy, Linnell and Stirrat, a time much under 57 seems a stretch. And GVH will probably have to settle for 5th.
Boulder Road Runners     Atlanta     Cal Coast
Men’s 70+ The Genesee Valley Harriers have had a nice winning streak going but they appear to be coming into Atlanta a little short-handed. Jim May, who has regularly been one of their top 3, is missing. The Ann Arbor Track Club is stronger now, with the aging up of Lloyd Hansen in May and Terry McCluskey who will be running his first race in the 70-74 division. Hansen seems poised to break 20:00 and McCluskey could well come in under 20:30. If either Doug Goodhue or Paul Carlin (your author) can hit around 22:45 or better, that should bring them in under 1:03, which should be enough to claim victory. Neither Atlanta nor GVH will go down without a fight though. If Jerry Learned is fully recovered from his mishap with his pooch [See Preview #1], he might run around 20:20. If Dave Glass can stay close to his teammate, perhaps around 20:40, and if Sam Benedict can crack 25, they could tally around 1:05:30 or so. If GVH’s Tony Gingello can turn in a 20:45, with Liam Finnigan clocking around 22:30, and Keith Yeates around 23, that would bring GVH in very close to Atlanta. If Richard Kutzner is closer to the time he ran last year than it appeared at Club XC in Lexington and a 27 minute 5K in April, Boulder could also be in the mix. If Jan Frisby and Elliott Henry can both run around 22:00, and if Kutzner can break 23, then Boulder is right there with Atlanta and GVH. I give the edge to Ann Arbor but otherwise it is almost too close to call.  
Ann Arbor     Atlanta ‘A’     GVH
Disclaimer: As always, these predictions are just for fun. It is what it looks like ‘on paper’ but as we know, it is real human beings who do the training, run the races and fight the injuries and aches. It should be another dramatic and exciting day of races, and races within races!

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