Thursday, June 4, 2020

Cal Coast Hosts Virtual Distance Carnival

May 29, 2020. On May 6th, I saw on Facebook that the Cal Coast Track Club was hosting a virtual Track Meet. I shot a Facebook message to Rob Arsenault, who connected me to Sara Van Dyke, who was acting as the Virtual Meet Director. She informed me that the window for racing was May 11th-23rd. Most runners were on the track although a few of the 5K and 10K runners may well have been on the roads or paved bike trails, etc. I saw no guidance on that aspect. Both Open and Masters athletes were invited to compete, with some outreach to runners and teams in other states. They had Masters athletes from Ohio, Missouri, and Oregon as well as California. Races ranged from 800 meters to 10,000 meters, plus a long Distance Medley Relay of (Mile, Mile, 2 Mile, 5K). Except in the Medley Relay with mixed Masters/Open teams, I only report Masters results below, and I use the USATF Masters LDR definition of '40 and over' to define who is a masters athlete.

800 METERS Six Cal Coast Track Club [CC], 3 Bowerman TC [BTC], and 1 Team Runners High [TRH] athletes tried their speed. With no splits it is hard to convey the excitement of the race. And, of course, we also know that runners were often not running in the same place and hardly ever at the same time. The 800 meter anchors were Josh Byer CC and Gavin McKiernan TRH at 3:03.0. The oldest runner was 56-year-old Brad Peterson CC who turned in a very respectable 2:24.2, edging teammate Trevor Cox CC by a tenth of a second for the last spot on the Masters podium. Cox was followed by Greg Keyes CC in 5th at 2:26.0, Craig Godwin BTC 6th at 2:29.0, Wesley Sealand BTC 7th at 2:32.0, and Kevin Barda CC 8th at 2:40.7. You will become very familiar with the name of Godwin by the end of this recap; an 'ironman', he ran in every event! No other Masters athletes were such gluttons for punishment! Kurt Whitington CC took 2nd in 2:22.8. Eric Hartmann won by over 5 seconds in 2:17.0!
Eric Hartmann 2:17.0   Kurt Whittington 2:22.8   Brad Peterson 2:24.2

Two Masters Women signed up for the 800 meters. Beth Wells of the Dayton Distance Project [DDP] clocked 2:44.1 for a 1st place effort. Elizabeth Hawkins TRH, 60, ran 4:40 to take 2nd place.
Beth Wells 2:44.1   Elizabeth Hawkins 4:40.0

1 MILE This is the glamor event for Distance Runners. It garnered the highest number of Masters entrants with 15 Men and 17 Women. Masters Women from 40 to 88 and Masters Men from 40 to 56 contested the event. Enrica Bonifacio, 88, was the oldest competitor by far! 
Enrica Bonifacio hits the track with hydration in hand at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020 [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

The Women's race was very tight, with Ann Alyanak DDP and Nancy James of the Jane's Elite [JE]the top contenders. Alyanak raced to a 16:46 5K last year and had two other 5K's around 17:30. She also ran in the Olympic Trials Marathon this Leap Day, clocking 2:46:32. James, or James-Klinger [her i.d. on Athlinks and for USATF] does not have 5K times as fast, her 5K at 2018 Carlsbad of 18:44 apparently her fastest as a Masters athlete. But she is cross country tough; she finished 5th in the 2018 Club Cross Country Championships in Spokane and 3rd overall in the Championships at Lehigh this past December. In between she won the State street Mile in Santa Barbara in 4:50 so she has some wheels as well. Alyanak was able to prevail by 2 seconds, 5:06 to James's 5:08. 
Nancy James displays her bib for the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020-She ran 5:08 in the Mile to finish 2nd Masters and earn the top age-grade in the event, an 88.12%! [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

Their teammates battled for the final podium spot, with Julie Mercado DDP, taking the honors with a 5:31, followed by Christina Johnston DDP, 5:36.1 in 4th, and Gwen Twist CC, 5:38.2 for 5th. Grace Padilla JE edged Jamie Sweningson CC for 6th place by just 0.8 seconds. They were followed by Beth Wells DDP, Kirsten Leetch JE, Lindsey Lauria CC, Hiroko Barringer TRH, Lorene Kong CC, and Stephanie Born, Elizabeth Hawkins, Victoria Bell, and Enrica Bonifacio, all of TRH.
Ann Alyanak 5:06   Nancy James 5:08   Julie Mercado 5:31

Roosevelt Cook has had a great Masters career since turning 40 last fall. He took Masters honors at the Long Beach Half Marathon in 1:10:50, and at the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run in 15:20, finishing a half minute ahead of Jacques Sallberg CC. Sallberg is a beast on the XC turf; Cook finished 2nd to Sallberg, but finished ahead of 2018 Club XC Masters Champions, Neville Davey at the USATF Masters 5 Km XC Championship in San Diego last fall. 
Roosevelt Cook leading the field at the 2019 USATF Masters 5 Km National Championship in San Diego California [Photo courtesy of Cal Cost Track Club]

He had no trouble in this competition, cruising to a 16 second win in 4:38.0. Hartmann, Peterson, and Keyes, who went 1-3-5 in the 800 meters had another battle in the Mile for the final two podium positions. This time it was Keyes who prevailed with a fine 4:54.0, edging Hartmann for 2nd by 2 seconds. Peterson was just off the podium in 5:08.5. A couple of seconds back we find Cox CC, who finished 4th in the 800 meters, outlasting Godwin BTC 5:10.7 to 5:12.7, for 5th. They were followed by Kevin Barda CC, and Jeff McCormick BTC in 7th and 8th. Mark Steyvers CC outpaced Wesley Sealand BTC 5:39.0 to 5:40.2 to finish out the top 10. Brian Kuntz TRH, Trevor Cox CC, Josh Byer CC, Barry George TRH, and Gavin McKiernan TRH followed Sealand across the virtual finish line.
Roosevelt Cook 4:38.0   Gregory Keyes 4:54.0   Eric Hartmann 4:56.0

Age-Grading. As most Masters runners know, there is an age-grading system that allows one to compare the time of every runner to the predicted World's  Best for their individual age, and thereby, figure out who ran the fastest for their age. A runner who age grades at 80% is running at 80% of the speed at which a runner would need to run to equal the World's Best for that person's age and sex. USATF ues the short-hand that 90% and above is 'World Class' and that 80% and above is 'National Class.' I ran the ages and times through the Age-Grading calculator at: 
[That is the one recommended by USATF]. 
I used the track calculator rather than the road calculator because I assumed that most people were running on a track. Here's what I found, just for fun.

Women: Ann Alyanak 41 had the faster time, but being one year older meant that Nancy James 42 edged her in age grading, 88.12 to 87.71. To equal James's age grade percentage, an Open runner would need to run 4:45.6! The age grading podium was completed by Julie Mercado 46 at 85.85%. Grace Padilla 48 was 4th at 84.69, followed by Kirsten Leetch 54, 5th at 83.33,  
Kirsten Leetch strides to a 6:18 Mile, earning the 5th highest age grade in the event, signifying a National Class perfromance at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020 [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

Gwen Twist 44 6th at 82.14 and Jamie Sweningson 44 at 80.52. They were followed by Cristina Johnston, Lorene Kong, and Beth Wells, all scoring above 76.0

Men: Greg Keyes 52, 87.99%, topped Eric Hartmann 52, 87.4. To get the same age grade percentage as Keyes, an Open runner would have to run 4:13!   Brad Peterson's 56 86.68 put him on the podium; Roosevelt Cook's 40 84.71 left him 4th, while Craig Godwin's 53 83.4 landed him in 5th. Kevin Barda 52 had the 6th best score at 80.62, followed by Wesley Sealand 55, Jeff McCormick 52, Trevor Cox 41, and Mark Steyvers 49, all above 74.0%.

2 MILE  The 2 Mile Run had a more select field with 8 Men and 6 Women entered. 
The top 3 men,  Rob Arsenault CC, Craig Godwin BTC, and Christian Cushing-Murray CC, were very close at the finish. It was only 4 years ago that Cushing-Murray took the Masters crown at the Carlsbad 5000 in 15:11 at the age of 48. He averaged 5:11 per mile at Carlsbad, running 16:08 this past April. Godwin cannot match that speed; his recent 5K's have been in the 16:30 to 16:45 range but he did take honors at Club XC this past December, finishing a minute ahead of Cushing-Murray. The third member of the trio, was coming off of rehab last April when Carlsbad was on, but by July 4th he was able to run a 17:35 at the Surf City 5K. Four years ago he ran his 5K's in the low 16 minute range so 5:15 is probably his goal pace, but he may not be there yet. Cushing-Murray took the Masters victory by 0.4 second over Godwin, 10:45.7 to 10:46.1.  Arsenault was just under three seconds back in 10:49.0., claiming the final spot on the podium by a single second 
Cal Coast's winning Team in the Masters Race at the 2019 USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee Florida [L to R: Shannon Winkelman, Christian 'Cush' Cushing-Murray, Rob Arsenault, John Gardiner, and Jacques Sallberg] [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast]

over Adam Van Berckelaer CC. Five seconds later, Greg Keyes CC crossed the line, followed by David Rees BTC, 6th in 11:19. Dennis Ryan CC and Gavin McKiernan TRH followed in 7th and 8th.
Christian Cushing-Murray 10:45.7   Craig Godwin 10:46.1   Rob Arsenault 10:49.0

In the Women's race, Julie Mercado DDP had no problem; her 11:24.9 left her with a half minute edge over 2nd place, Cambria Wu JE. Wu, at 12:02.0, in turn, had almost a minute cushion over the 3rd place finisher. 
Cambria Wu speeds to a 12:02.0 2-Mile Run to finish 2nd Masters at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020  [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

It was quite the battle between Janes Elite teammates Tania Fischer and Kelle Taylor for the final podium spot. Ordinarily Fischer would be a strong favorite; she has usually come in ahead of Taylor in XC Championships and ran a 19:50 to Taylor's 22:30 in the Redondo Beach Superbowl Sunday 5K. On the other hand, Fischer only managed a 21:09 at the LA Big 5K in early March so there may be a niggling injury slowing her down. In any case, Fischer needed every last bit of speed she could muster, edging her teammate 12:59.5 to 12:59.9. 
Tania Fischer enjoys her 12:59.5 effort in the 2-Mile-Run, good for 3rd Masters at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020  [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

Silvia Alvarez TRH was 5th in 14:55.9, with her teammate, Elizabeth Hawkins 6th in 20:39.1.
Julie Mercado 11:24.9   Cambria Wu 12:02.0   Tania Fischer 12:59.5
Men The elder statesman of the Podium, Rob Arsenault 54, topped the charts at 86.39%. An Open Runner would have had to hit 9:09.4 to grade as well. Godwin 53 was 2nd at 86.05, with Cushing-Murray 52 rounding out the age-grade podium at 85.41. Keyes 52 was just off the podium in 4th at 84.2. David Rees 52 and Adam Van Berckelaer 42 earned the 5th and 6th best scores, 81.22 and 78.43.
Women Kelle Taylor 56 edged the overall winner, Mercado  46 for age-grading honors, 88.09% to 88.04%. Fischer was well ahead of all others, claiming the third spot with 85.7. Wu came 4th with a 79.13%.

5000 METERS Participation was back up in the 5000 Meter run with 12 men and 11 women entered. 
With no Nancy James JE to contend the race, Ann Alyanak DDP, the Mile Champion, had no trouble making it two wins. Her 17:29 was almost a minute ahead of her DDP teammate, Julie Mercado, who edged Mary Lynch JE 18:21 to 18:26.0 for 2nd.  
Julie Mercado [L] with her Open teammate Katie Ruhlman. Mercado clocked 18:21 to take 2nd Masters in the 5000 Meter Run at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020  [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

Shannon Teslow JE was 4th in 19:20 with her teammate, Tamar Gamliel JE in 5th at 19:59.0. Lori Simpson CC, Roberta Bonifacio TRH, Elizabeth Hawkins TRH , A Running Experience Club's Kate Rupley AREC, Rachelle Parker TRH, and Debbie Terrell TRH finished in 6th through 11th.

With Cross Country ace, Jacques Sallberg CC entered, it looked like Greg Keyes CC would have a tough time improving on his 2nd place finish in the Mile. Sallberg has won 4 of the last 5 National Masters USATF XC Championships, and added the Club XC Championship this past December at Lehigh. 
Jacques Sallberg crosses the finish line to claim the Masters Championship at the 2019 USATF Club Cross Country Championships at Lehigh University [Photo courtesy of Mike Scott]

He was a 2008 Olympic Trials finalist in the 3000 Meter steeplechase. More relevant, he finished 3rd at Carlsbad in 2019 with a 15:21, just losing out by a fraction of a second to Neville Davey who claimed 2nd with the same time. Perhaps Sallberg was not fully engaged, nor was he prepped for a big race. He ran 17:07.7, an easy cruise for someone of his ability. It does not appear that Keyes has broken 17 for a 5K since the 2016 Carlsbad outing when he clocked 16:43. Nonetheless he was poised for a good virtual run as he stopped the clock at 16:58! That gave him first place, with Sallberg 2nd. Eric Hartman BTC made his 3rd podium, taking 3rd in 17:25. The ever-present Craig Godwin BTC clocked 17:31 to take 4th 3.6 seconds ahead of Kurt Whittington CC, who finished 2nd to Hartman in the 800 meters. Adam Van Berck CC finished 6th at 17:39.1. Tony Bugarin TRH, Matt Simpson CC, Kevin Kong CC, Bill Amor CC, Gavin McKiernan TRH, Richard Terrell TRH, and Dave Kuntz TRH finished in 7th through 13th.

Women  Mary Lynch 53 took the honors; her 18:26 merited a world class 94.3%. A female Open athlete would have to run 15:17 to equal Lynch's age grade score! Lynch was two percentage points ahead of the world class score of 92.33 turned in by Shannon Teslow 55 when she ran 19:20.0. 
Shannon Teslow with her bib-She ran a 19:20 5000 Meter run to finish 4th Masters; her effort was ' World Class' earning the 2nd highest age grade at 92.33 at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020  [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

Julie Mercado 46 edged Ann Alyanak for 3rd, 86.62 to 86.46. Tamar Gamliel finished 5th at 75.06.

Men Keyes 52 not only took the Overall 5000 Meter crown, he took age grading as well with an 86.44%. Godwin claimed 2nd with an 84.4. Hartman was third, just 0.19 percentage points behind at 84.21. Sallberg took 4th at 80.96, followed by Matt Simpson, Kurt Whittington, Adam Van Berck, and Bill Amor rounding out the top 8, all with scores above 74.0.

10,000 METERS  A select group contested this event. No women entered and just 4 men. Our 'Iron-Man' Craig Godwin 53 BTC, the reigning 50-54 15K National Champion took both the Overall and Age-Grading titles, with a 35:35 that graded at 86.70%. Randy Parker 58 TRH outlasted his teammate, Gavin McKiernan 45 TRH, 48:36 to 49:53. The oldest runner in the Men's field, Dave Kunst 68 TRH finished 4th at 1:01:05. Parker had the second best age grade at 66.22. Kunst almost nipped McKiernan at age-grading, falling 0.35 percentage points short, 57.65 to 58.0%.
Craig Godwin 35:35   Randy Parker 48:36   Gavin McKiernan 49:53

LONG DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY 1 Mile, 1 Mile, 2 Mile, 5000 Meter

This event was essentially a collection of best times from the individual events, 1 Mile, 2 Mile, and 5000 meters. Athletes did not run a separate race. There were four categories that involved Masters athletes. A Mixed Open/Masters race for Women, A Mixed Men/Women's race, and two 'traditional 'Men Only' and 'Women only' races.

Mixed Open/Masters
Three teams entered, The Janes-1 TJ-1, the Quarantini Janes QJ, and the Zoom Zoom Janes ZZJ. Nancy James started things out with a bang for TJ-1 at 5:08. With Casey O'Day Open running 5:21 for QJ and Sarah Peterson Open running 5:34 for the ZZJ. When Kate Penney Open clocked another 5:08 on the 2nd leg, things were looking good for TJ-1. Nina Zarina Open only lost another 7 seconds for ZZJ though, as she cracked out a 5:15. Kirsten Leetch's 6:18 left QJ 1:23 back from TJ-1 and 50 seconds behind ZZJ. As with Medley relays generally though, the longer races run by the last two team members leave room to recover. Cristina Lowry Open cut into the TJ-1 lead for the ZZJ, lowering it from 33 to 18 seconds with her 11:47. Cambria Wu's 12:02 allowed her to extend TJ-1's lead over QJ from 1:23 to 2:02.5. Tania Fischer's 12:59.5 left QJ 2:20.5 behind TJ-1. Mary Lynch powered ZZJ away from the other two teams with her 18:26. Their 41:02 left them far ahead. QJ's Shannon Teslow ripped a 19:20, almost catching TJ-1's Cami Chapus Open. Chapus held tough to the end, though and TJ-1 claimed 2nd with a 4 second margin over the QJ team, 43:54 to 43:58.
Zoom Zoom Janes 41:02   The Janes-1 43:54   Quarantini Janes 43:58

Masters-Men & Women 
Cal Coast and Team Runners High mixed it up with this mixed relay. Lindsay Lauria CC got Cal Coast off to a good start with a 6:59.0 on the first 1 mile leg, edging TRH's Barry George TRH by 2 seconds. TRH came roaring back to retake the lead on the 2nd mile leg when Hiroko Barringer TRH turned in a 7:07.26 to Lorene Kong's CC 7:23.66. A 14 second edge is not much though in these relays. Dennis Ryan's CC 13:17.9 reversed the tables and gave CC a lead of well over a minute when Silvia Alvarez TRH crossed the line in 14:55.9. As befits a see-saw battle, Tony Bugarin TRH almost caught Kevin Kong CC with his 19:59.0, but fell a half minute short; Kong was able to cruise across the line in 20:52.8 giving CC the victory.
Cal Coast 48:33.4    Team Runners High 49:03.2

Masters Men
It was a classic west coast shoot-up, with Cal Coast and the Bowerman Track Club lining up toe-to-toe [virtually].  Jeff McCormick got BTC a half minute lead by posting a 5:33.0 to Gus Quinonez's 6:05. On the 2nd leg Eric Hartman kept things rolling for BTC with a 4:56.0 to Mark Steyvers's 5:39. That gave them a cushion of 1:15 over CC. Would it be enough? reduced the gap with his 10:45.7 2-mile leg but he could not eliminate it. BTC's Christian Cushing-Murray CC clocked 11:19 to keep BTC over 40 seconds ahead. On the final 5000 meter leg, David Rees Greg Keyes clocked a 16:58 to the 17:31 turned in by BTC's Craig Godwin. That brought Cal Coast closer but Godwin closed it out for a BTC win on a 12.7 second margin.    
Bowerman Track Club 39:19.0   Cal Coast 39:31.7

Masters Women
The Dayton Distance Project made the virtual trip from Ohio to contest the outcome with two California Teams, the Janes Elite Racing JE out of Santa Monica, and the Team Runners High TRH out of Long Beach. TRH was in it for fun. Their lead leg was run by 88-year-old Enrica Bonifacio who ran her mile in 15:42.5. Followed by Victoria Bell at 12:45, Elizabeth Hawkins with 20:39.1 for 2 miles, and Roberta Bonifacio at 29:16.1 for 5000 Meters, TRH finished 3rd in 1:18:23 and were, no doubt, delighted with their place on the podium.
Team Runners High members of the 3rd place Long Distance Medley Relay [Top l Enrica Bonifacio, Top r. Roberta Bonifacio, lower L Victoria Bell, lower R Elizabeth Hawkins at the Cal Coast Virtual Distance Carnival in May 2020  [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast Track Club]

DDP and JE were more closely matched. Gwen Twist gave JE a 15 second lead by clocking 5:38.2 to the 5:53.9 turned in by DDP's Beth Wells. Cristina Johnson clawed back half of that lead on her leg, running 5:36.1 to Grace Padilla's 5:44.2. It mattered little though as the final two legs were a one-sided affair. DDP's two aces, Julie Mercado and Ann Alyanak turned in times of 11:24.9 for 2 miles and 17:29 for 5000 Meters. Those two times swamped the fine runs turned in by JE's Kelle Taylor at 12:59.9 and Tamar Gamliel at 19:59. DDP took the win with a margin of almost 4 minutes! 
Dayton Distance Project 40:23.9   Janes Elite Racing 44:21.3

Hat's off to Craig Godwin, the only Masters athlete to turn in performances for every event; running 5 virtual time trials from 800 meters to the 10,000 meters makes him th e'Iron Man' of the Virtual Distance Carnival.
Craig Godwin winning the M50 15K National Championship at the 2019 USATF Masters 15 Km Championship Hosted by the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run [Photo courtesy of the Tulsa Run]

Cal Coast scored the Carnival by awarding 6-3-1 points for the podium in each event and all the LDMR races. In most events, that awarded far more points based on Open performances. Here I re-score just among Masters athletes. For the LDMR races, I exclude the Mixed Open/Masters race reported above but include the other three.
800 METERS Men BTC-6   CC-4       Women DDP-6   TRH-3
1 MILE   Men CC-9   BTC-1      Women  DDP-7   JE-3
2 MILE   Men CC-7   BTC-3      Women  DDP-6   JE-4
5000 METERS    Men  CC-9 BTC-1      Women  DDP-9   JE-1
10,000 METERS   Men  BTC-6  TRH-4     Women No Scoring Runners
   Mixed M/W  CC-6  TRH-3
   Women   DDP-6  JE-3   TRH-1
   Men   BTC-6   CC-3

Men: Cal Coast Track Club-38    Bowerman Track Club -23   Team Runners High-7

A Classic Picture of the Legendary Coach Bill Sumner overseeing a track practice in January- His Men's Team outscored their rivals at the 2020 Cal Coast Track Club Virtual Distance Carnival [Photo courtesy of Cal Coast]

Women:  Dayton Distance Project-34   Janes Elite Racing-11   Team Runners High-7

This was all for fun, but it sure beats the boredom when there are no real, physical races to compete in! Next up is the recap of the Boulder Road Runners Memorial Day Week Virtual Competition for Men's and Women's 60 and up teams.


No comments:

Post a Comment