Tuesday, December 8, 2020

New Inductees into Masters LDR Hall of Fame

December 7, 2020. At the USATF Annual Meeting on Saturday, December 5, 2020, the Masters Long Distance Running (LDR) Committee announced the new inductees to the USATF Masters Hall of Fame along with the award of the 2020 Otto Essig Award for outstanding service to Masters LDR.

The new entrants to the Hall of Fame are:


Active Athletes

Doreen McCoubrie West Chester PA, Athena Track Club, USATF Mid-Atlantic Association. McCoubrie, a Penn State alum, has won 5 National Road Racing Championships at distances from the Mile to the 8 Km. In the process she has broken two American Records, both in the Mile. Her record-setting time for 50-54 year old’s, 5:18, was set in 2013; her 5:34 run 5 years later, set the standard for 55-59 year old’s. She was the 45-49 Runner of the Year in 2007.


Doreen McCoubrie running at full tilt through the Finish Line at the 2019 USATF Masters Road Mile Championships Photo courtesy of HAP Crim Festival of Races

Marisa Sutera Strange Pleasant Valley NY, Athena Track Club, USATF Mid-Atlantic Association. Sutera Strange has won 20 National Road Racing Championships and has been an Age Division National Road Runner of the Year 4 times. She broke McCoubrie’s record in the Mile for 55-59 year old’s in 2019 with a 5:27 effort. An outstanding cross country athlete as well, Sutera Strange was voted the 2020 Masters Harrier of the Year earlier this year.

Marisa Sutera Strange driving for the Finish Line at the 2019 USATF Masters National Road Racing Championship in Flint MI Photo courtesy of HAP Crim Festival of Races



Debra Wagner Ohio. Wagner’s Masters career spanned the years from 1998 to 2008. Her first major win, at the age of 47, came at the 1999 Fifth Third River Bank Run, a sizzling 1:33:19 25K. That is 15.5 miles at 6:01 per mile! She set the American 45-49 record with that performance. Three weeks later Wagner was the Overall Women's winner at the Dexter Ann Arbor Half Marathon in a1:20:01. Anyone who ran that course in the 2018 Masters National Championship knows the set of hills along the Huron River may well have kept her from running a sub 1:20!  In 2008, her final year of competing, at age 56, she clocked 1:25:38 at the Churchill Half Marathon in Ohio, a 6:32 per mile pace.

Debra (Debbie) Wagner approaches the Dexter Ann Arbor Half Marathon finish line as the Overall Women's winner in 1999 Photo Credit: Ann Arbor News May 30, 1999

Contributors  (also the winner of the 2020 Otto Essig Award for Outstanding Service to Masters LDR)

Bill Roe (deceased 2020) Bellingham WA, USATF Pacific Northwest Association. Roe was a founding member of The Athletic Congress (TAC) in 1979 and served from 1986 to 2009 on the Board of Directors of USATF, its successor as the National Governing Body of Track and Field and Long Distance Running. Serving in many executive roles for the organization, he was President from 2000-2008. His long-term service in Cross Country brought him into leadership roles within LDR generally and Masters LDR. Roe coached the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Distance programs at Western Washington University for many years. Within USATF, he served as International Team Leader or Coach nine times, leading the USA Cross Country Team to the World Championships 4 times from 2001 to 2004 in Belgium (twice), Ireland and Switzerland. His many admirers observed that for Bill, no job was too big or too small. He could lead a Board Meeting with corporate CEO’s and other top executives present, but he could also be found setting up hurdles on a track, if needed. As a Director of many National Cross-Country Championships over the years, countless Masters LDR athletes benefited from his services. Most recently, he directed the 2019 USATF Club Cross Country Championships at Lehigh University in Bethlehem PA. Over 1,000 Masters athletes entered, the largest turnout ever. His clear voice boomed out over the loudspeaker, announcing the main contenders in the early stages, and the leaders as the races unfolded. Later he celebrated the outstanding performances at the Awards Ceremonies. Bill was ‘all in’ all the time. It is an honor to commemorate his service to the sport.


Cross Country An explicit award to recognize outstanding performances in Cross Country was initiated this year. As with the LDR awards, there is a category for Legends, inactive for at least three years, as well as Active Athletes.

Active Athletes

Madeline Bost Randolph NJ, Morris County Striders, USATF-New Jersey. The inaugural award goes to a Pioneer in Women’s Cross-Country running. Bost won her first National Cross Country Championship at the age of 55 in Canandaigua NY in 1994, and never looked back. In February of 2020, Bost, at the age of 80, won her most recent Cross Country Championship, her 15th, in San Diego CA. Bost will be the favorite when racing resumes; she shows up to compete!

Madeline Bost striding confidently in her 2019 USATF Masters National Championship Race in Tallahassee, Florida, one of her last Podium efforts in the 75-79 Division



Tom Dalton Schenectady NY, Adirondack Athletic Club Tom Dalton’s career in Masters Cross Country spanned the years 2000 to 2004. In each of those five years he was selected Masters Harrier of the Year, an incredible accomplishment. He won 9 Age Division National Championships.  In his first year of competition he won the Masters 5K Overall Championship in New Jersey, with a 15:38 time. Later that year he took both the Overall and Age-Grading crowns in the 2000 Club Cross Country Championships in Boston, clocking a superb 30:48 over 10K. Four years later, at age 46, he captured his final National Championship, at the Masters 5K in Saratoga Springs NY. Dalton sprinted to his fastest 5K victory, clocking 15:12 to take the 45-49 title and the 40+ age-grading title. His promising career was cut short by two bouts of Lyme Disease and nagging injuries. Dalton eased back on competing for national titles, but still competes at a high level regionally, in USATF Road Races and Cross Country.

Tom and Debbie Dalton  at Tom's 2019 Induction into the Greater Capital Regional Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame Photo Credit: www.timesunion.com


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

GSTC Quarantine Games-Mid-November 5K- GSTC vs. WVTC + Cal Coast in M60 and GSTC in W40

November 30, 2020. Whether it was the post Election blues or partying, or just ordinary run-of-the-mill mid-November doldrums, participation in the 5K was down. But the friendly rivalry between the West Valley Track Club and the Garden State Track Club in the M40 & M50 animated the event. The Cal Coast M60's had no opposition nor did the GSTC in Women's 40's.

A few reminders: these events are mostly run on a track and pacing is not discouraged as it is in USATF Road Race Championships. In fact, providing pacing services appears to be one of the marks of a good teammate! Unlike the Boulder Road Runner series, these events are scored by finishing time, not age grade percentages.

M40 Looking back to the 5K results the 2nd week in October should prove instructive as a preview. INDIVIDUAL Clint Wells of the Boulder Track Club landed on the podium with a 16:01 as GSTC's Duncan Nyasinga outdistanced WVTC's Peter Gilmore, 15:11 to 15:35 to take the win. With Boulder out of this mid-November 5K, it is worth noting that West Valley's Mark Yuen edged Garden State's Kevin Shirk 16:13 to 16:15 for 4th place. In the most recent event, the 3000 meter run, around the Halloween holiday, it was Nyasinga, Gilmore and Shirk in that order, with times ranging from 8:58 to 9:02. Leaving Boulder and Cal Coast aside, as they are not competing in this event, it was West Valley's Todd Rose next in 9:22, followed 3 seconds later by GSTC's Dave Ferrugia. Yuen was a mere 1 second back!

Gilmore has apparently been rounding into condition, perhaps after some down time in training due to the pandemic. Whatever the reason, he dropped 20 seconds off his 5K time from 5 weeks ago, clocking a nifty 15:14 to take the  win; Nyasinga clocked 15:24 to take 2nd. If you thought taking 20 seconds off your time in a 5 week period was impressive, Neville Davey dropped his time by almost a full minute. In Davey's case the reason is evident; something was wrong in early October. Remember that Davey won the 2017 Masters 10K title at Club Cross in Lexington KY, and ran  15:20 to capture the 2018 Carlsbad 5000 title. His 16:30 in October was way off his usual marks. A 15:46 to take 3rd in this contest was closer to what we would expect from Davey. Rose was just off the podium in 15:52, and Shirk followed six seconds later.

Peter Gilmore 15:14   Duncan Nyasinga 15:24   Neville Davey 15:46

TEAM In October, West Valley took the team title 32 to 42. The top two from both teams, Nyasinga and Shirk from GSTC and Gilmore and Yuen from WVTC totaled 6 points each. But the margin of victory was 10 points because the 3rd through 5th runners for WVTC, Rose, Konrad Knutsen, and Davey, came in a few seconds ahead of GSTC's 3rd through 5th runners, Ferrugia, Shawn Williams and Elliott Frieder. In this contest, with WVTC's Gilmore taking the title and Davey and Rose in 3rd and 4th, GSTC would have their work cut out for them. Shirk's 15:58 5th place, three seconds ahead of Knutsen helped. But once Knutsen crossed the line, WVTC had 4 runners in for a total of 14 points and GSTC had only two runners in and a total of 10. But Garden State had the next two runners across the line, Williams and Marco Cardoso in 16:47 and 16:52 to give GSTC 25 points on 4 runners. Garden State was still alive, but only for 11 seconds. WVTC's Jamey Gifford, John Markell, and Travis Price sped across the finish line between 17:03 and 17:19 to take 9th through 11th. The 9 points from Gifford capped the WVTC score at 23. GSTC's 5th runner, Dan Reiser clocked 18:12 to close out their scoring at 34 points. The oscillations continue. GSTC won the 8K and 3K; WVTC the 1st and 2nd 5K's. Whichever team wins the Mile will have the 3-2 edge for the Time Trial section of the Games.

West Valley Track Club 23  1:19:56  15:59 per scoring runner Garden State Track Club 34 1:23:13 16:39 per scoring runner

M50 INDIVIDUAL In the October 5K, West Valley's Ivan Lieben, Mark Callon, and Chuck Mullane shared the podium. Lieben and Callon were well ahead but Mullane came in just a whisker ahead of Garden State's Todd Wiley, with Mark Zamek right on his heels. Mark Yuen, who finished 4th in the M40 race for WVTC in the October 5K, aged up to join his 50's in this contest. He immediately took on the favorite's role. He did not disappoint! Yuen cruised to victory in 15:29! Lieben, the October winner, claimed 2nd in 16:11, followed 29 seconds later by Mullane in 3rd. Zamek improved his October time by over 20 seconds! That was impressive, but Mullane still had enough in the tank to outlast him by 4 seconds. Zamek claimed 4th and a dozen seconds later Elliott Frieder edged Callon for 5th, 16:56 to 16:57! That would have been a fun duel to watch!

TEAM With West Valley's Yuen, Lieben, and Mullane taking the first three spots, there was no doubt about the outcome. WVTC would roll to their 4th consecutive M50's time trial event victory in these Quarantine Games.  After Callon's 6th place finish in 16:57, behind Garden State's Zamek and E. Frieder, West Valley had only 14 seconds to wait before Ed Randolph closed off their scoring with a fine 17:11. With 1,2,3,6, and 7 they totaled 19 points. Eight seconds behind Randolph, Joe Hegge claimed 8th for Garden State, with his teammates, Steven Segaloff and John Hogan clocking identical 17:55 times for 9th and 10th. That gave GSTC 36 points. The Garden State M50's can deny West Valley a sweep but they do not have enough top level competitors right now to break up the top bunch from West Valley. There is no shame in that. From the times turned in, it is clear these are two of the fastest M50's teams in the nation. The Greater Springfield Harriers have dominated M50 Cross Country over the last few years, not to mention the Masters Grand Prix overall. But West Valley has not contested those events at the M50 level. Perhaps now that Yuen and Lieben are both in the 50-54 division, they will consider a try for the M50 win at Club Cross as a start. They are already a contender every year for the M40 Club Cross crown.

West Valley Track Club 19 1:22:28 16:30 per scoring runner   Garden State Track Club  36 1:25:29 17:06 per scoring runner

M60 It was all the Cal Coast Track Club again. Somehow they never got involved in the Boulder Road Runners 60's Summer Holidays series. They are now, to their dismay, in a class by themselves, literally, in these Quarantine Games. No matter! They show up, they run their race, and enjoy the victory. Brian Nelson led the way with a nifty 19:48, followed by the newest member of the crew, Bill Amor in 20:43, and Tom Albright not far back in 22:17. The legendary Coach, Bill Sumner, dropped down from the 70's to help out in case he was needed. His 24:48 capped the race for Cal Coast.

Cal Coast Track Club 6 1:02:48  20:56 per scoring runner 

W40 It was the same story for Garden State's W40 team. They took this 5K title unopposed.Elena Rozhko and Kim Aspholm sandwiched their 18:21 and 20:34 around the 20:05 turned in by the QG newcomer, Gabrielle Panepinto. Rozhko's winning 18:21 surpassed her October effort by 4 seconds!

Garden State Track Club 6 59:00  19:40 per scoring runner  


One event to go! The Quarantine Games 1 Mile Run results will be reported next week.