Saturday, January 25, 2020

2020 New Balance Grand Prix Indoor-Masters Miles--Preview

January 25, 2020 The New Balance Grand Prix Indoor Track Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston is one of the premier indoor track meets in the country. It features a Masters Mile with a Woman's heat and a Men's. The Women go off first at 5:04 PM with the Men at 5:13 pm.


Sascha Scott should perhaps be viewed as the favorite. She won the Hartshorne Mile last year in 5:02.8, with an 18 second victory margin.Training for an racing Cyclocross improved her strength and she took the highly competitive USATF Masters Club XC crown at Lehigh in December. As part of her prep she ran 18:39 at the Pete Glavin XC Race #1 (5K).

Karolyn Bowley ran a 5:11.2 at the David Hemery BU Invitational last year. She took 1st place Masters at the USATF-NE Outdoor Track Championships in 4:47.7. No slouch on the roads, she took 2nd Masters to Dawn Grunnagle at the Beach to Beacon 10K in 36:44. She was also the Siulver Medalist at the USATF Masters 10K Championship in Dedham MA in April. She was the only Masters athlete in the Mayor's Cup 5K XC race in Boston in October, finishing 40th overall in 19:24.

Shari Boyle is listed as Canadian. The only Canadian I can find competes mostly in Western Canada on the roads and trails. She has a sub-19 5K and a sub-37 10K so she has some road speed, for sure. I also find a 10:59.8 3000 meter steeplechase for her which makes for an intriguing competitor.

Kasie Enman ran 21:47 to finish 8th overall at the USATF-NE 6K XC Championship in October. She was 1st Masters at the Lone Gull 10K in 36:32. Thirty-nine at the time, Enman ran in the Community Division at the James Joyce Ramble, posting a time of 37:06, eleven seconds faster than Bowley's time, which took 2nd in the USATF Masters 10K Championship, run on the same course, starting a few minutes ahead of the Community race.

Alice Kassens ran a 5:41.03 Mile at the USATF-SE Region Championships in 2016, and in 2017 was the Bronze Medalist at the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships in Flint MI in 5:35. Sher aced sparingly last year but had a strong showing at the USATF Masters 15K Championships in Tulsa OK, finishing third in 1:00:41, running a minute faster than in 2018. Kassens apparently ran into difficulties in the California International Marathon where her time was far slower than she would normally run. Whether that had any lingering effects is a question.
Lined Up for the Start of the 2019 Masters Mile at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix [R to L: Kaela O'Neil, Dianne DeOliveira, Christy Peterson, Alice Kassens, Brooke Kish, Sashcha Scott, Jennifer St. Jean] (Photo Credit: usatf masters)
Amy Kvilhaug ran 5:44.5 at the Miles Mania #3 on Staten Island last winter, following it with a win in 5:36.4 at the USATF NY/NJ Indoor Championships. She finished 4th at the prestigious Spring Street Mile in the summer, just ahead of Judy Stobbe.

Kaela O'Neil ran a 5:16.1 Mile at the BU Mini Meet in December 2018, finishing 3 seconds ahead of Bowley. The week before she took 4th at the USATF Club XC Masters Championships over 6K in Spokane WA in 22:27. Focusing primarily on the roads this past year, O'Neil ran 38:57 at the Beach to Beacon 10K and 38:19 at the Lone Gull 10K.

Ginger Reiner ran 18:22 to win the USATF-NE Masters 5000 meter indoor championship 2 years ago. Later that year Reiner finished 5th at the USATF Masters 10K Championship in Dedham in 39:27. She had won the race the year prior in 37:09. In 2019 she has focused on the triathlon, finishing 8th overall and first Masters at the Olympic-Tri Championships in Cleveland OH, turning in a 40:01 10K to finish off her triathlon after 1500 meters of swimming in open water and a 40K bike ride. Apart from Scott, Reiner is the only one of these athletes to excel at the triathlon, which Scott did prior to trying Cyclo Cross. In 2015 before graduating to Masters status, Scott clocked a 39:46 as the final 10K of another triathlon.

Ann Restak ran 19:09 at the USATF 5K Championships at the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K; she was 6th in a very strong Masters field. She ran 18:57 the year before in the Abbott Dash. Three weeks after the 2019 Dash, she ran 18:34 in a Trot for Hunger 5K in Washington DC.

I would see Scott as the favorite; if she runs as she has been lately it doesn't seem that any of the others can stay with her. She is also the defending champion; she finished a second ahead of Jennifer St. Jean last year in 5:01.3. O'Neil and Bowley were over 9 seconds back. Bowley or Enman might be close and then there are always the wild cards. Scott may worry most about the steeplechaser, Boyle, and the road runner turned tri-athlete, Reiner, who are apparently following paths closer to the one she has chosen.


Jay Brecher ran 4:44 at the Streetsville Mile in Mississauga, a suburb of  Toronto. In September 2017 he ran a 4:35 at the 5th Avenue Mile to finish 4th, six seconds behind Mark Williams.

Justin Daglish won the 2018 Boulevard Mile in Providence in 4:44. He finished 20th at the USATF-NE XC Championships over 8K in 28:43. Shortly after he ran 16:46 at the Concord Turkey Trot and earlier this month 17:56 at the Fudgcickle Series #1-5K.

Jim Dyck CAN ran 5:10 at the Wild Mile in Toronto in October, if it is the right 'Jim Dyck.' In 2017 he apparently ran a 2:04.8 800 Meters at an outdoor meet in Toronto.

Mick Hill GBR. Has he come over just for this race or is he resident in the US? There is a Mick Hill, 40, who ran a smoking fast 30:55 [4:59 pace] in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10K in October. There is also a Mick Hill wh finished 2nd in 24:27 [5:09 pace] at the Manchester Road Race (4.748 miles), finishing 18 seconds behind Chris Naimoli. Either way he's a serious contender.

Chris Magill is known primarily as a stalwart member of the BAA's 40+ Masters team which competes regionally on the roads and nationally on Club Cross Country turf. In January 2017, Magill ran 4:40.16 East Coast Invitational and 4:35.62 at the BU Mini Meet.

Tony O'Brien GBR--Sorry, but I have no possibility of figuring out which of the many Tony O'Briens this is. He is a wild card, from my 'outsider' vantage point.

Mark O'Shea IRL. This one is also doubtful but a Mark O'Shea, of indeterminate age, finished 9th of 13 in the Belfast Irish Milers Club Meet in May 2018 in 4:34.7. But that Mark O'Shea is listed as GBR, as would be appropriate for Northern Ireland, not IRL. If the O'Shea entered is that O'She, he will be in the mix for sure. As noted below, whether I have identified these results correctly or not, he won the New Balance race last year in 4:28.35.

Sandhu Rebencuic finished 22nd overall and 2nd 50-54 (behind Peter Hammer) at the recent Club Cross Championships at Lehigh. He finished 8th at the USATF-NE 3000 meter run (4:53 pace) indoors last February.
Peter Brady winning the 2016 edition of the Masters Mile ahead of Mark Williams (Feb. 13, 2016 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America
Chuck Schneekloth took the title, by a lean, at the USATF Masters 1 Mile (road) Championships in Flint MI this past August. His 4:37 was three seconds slower than he ran the week before at the Midland Avenue Mile in NJ. He finished 2nd in M40 at the NCCWMA Championships 800 Meter in Toronto in 2:02.6. Mark Williams had a faster time in M45. The same pattern emerged in the 1500 where Schneekloth took 2nd in 4:20.22, roughly equivalent to a 4:44 Mile. From Strava posts, it appears that his training has been going very well this past fall and winter.

TJ Unger took the Mile title at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships last winter in 4:31.8. The month before he clocked a 4:26.9 at the BU David Hemery Invitational.

Bill Wells CAN ran 5:09 to finish just ahead of Jim Dyck if these are the correct folks, which seems a little doubtful. In February 2017 a Bill Wells ran a 4:28.5 1500 Meter in the Canadian Championships. That's roughly equivalent to a 4:53 mile.

Mark Williams, as noted above, won the M45 1500 meters in 4:12.3 at the NCCWMA Championships in Toronto, roughly equivalent to a 4:35 mile. He also won the M45 800 meters in 2:01.2. He also took the crown in the USATF Indoor Championships M45 800 Meters in 2:03.6 last winter, finishing a half tick ahead of TJ Unger. He also ran 4:38.8 at the 2019 USATF NY/NJ Championships in the Mile, and finished 2nd to Brock Butler at the 2019 Hartshorne Masters Mile in 4:36.4, after winning it the year before in 4:31.8.

Scott Wisnaskas ran 34:49 at the Lone Gull 10K and finished 3rd in the 8K Masters race at the USATF-NE XC Championships, behind Eric Blake and ahead of David Bedoya. I can find no recent track results for Wisnaskas on Athlinks.

Last year O'Shea won in 4:28.35, with Unger 3rd in 4:29.3, and Williams 6th in 4:36.5. It is hard to say anyone looks definitively better than Mark Williams. But O'Shea is the defending Champion; he has the bull's eye on his back. Williams, Unger, Schneekloth, and possibly Hill will push him every inch of the way. It should be a blast to watch!


No comments:

Post a Comment