Sunday, July 25, 2021

Masters LDR Goes to Ames--#4--1500 Meters

July 24, 2021. This is the last preview for the Middle and Long Distance events of the 2021 USATF Masters Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Ames, Iowa. If the 1500 Meters goes off tomorrow on schedule,  temperatures will rise from the low 70's, when the Women's race for athletes from 70 - 89 go off, up to the low 80's by the time the M40's run at 9:59 AM. Those temperatures should not be too much of a factor for a short race like this; my earlier previews of the 5000M, and especially the 10,000 meters should have acknowledged the warm weather. I imagine some of those toeing the line yesterday said to themselves--Okay, I'm ready for this, it's just Peachtree without the hills; others may have found their running a bit more bothered by this kind of heat. The 1500 Meters is the premier middle and long distance event of these Championships. It has inherited the mantle of the mile because of its status as the 'Metric Mile' and the distance contested at all international events including World and Olympic Championships.

8:00 AM 

W80 & W85 Janet Baumann & Tami Graf are unopposed in their divisions. They must have scared away all rivals! They will take the Gold once they cross the finish line in their respective divisions.

W75 Cora Hill Unattached has a 1500 M seed time of 9:00. Hill, who li ves in Michigan, or did at the time, finished 3rd in the 2016 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships in Flint MI, running 9:28. The others, Angela Staab Piedmont Pacers and Kathleen Frable So Cal TC, do not have seed times. From a quick look at Athlinks, it appears the race is Hill's to lose. 

W70 If the 'Norma Hudnall' entered in this division is the same person as 'Nonie Hudnall'  then she is a longtime mainstay of the Atlanta Track Club's W60+ squad. Among other races, she took a Bronze Medal in Women's 65-69 at the 2018 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta with a 27:06 8;43/mi pace, age grade equivalent to a 7:45 mile (similar to a 7:07 1500M). Coreen Steinbach is the runner to beat. Her seed time is 6:13 and in 2017 at the USATF Masters 5 Km Championships, she finished 3rd in Women's 65-69 with a 23:07. Hudnall could well come in ahead of Isabel Bentz, who has a 7:30 seed time, but she does not often run a race as short as this.

8:15 AM

W65 Amy McCormack appears to have by far the fastest seed time in the division at 6:13. Terry Ozell, another mainstay of Atlanta's W60+ team, seems slotted in for 2nd, with her 7:30, if seed times are anywhere near to being accurate. The one runner without seed times, Mary Lowe Mayhugh has been running 5K's recently at around 25:45, age grade equivalent to a 7:22 mile (similar to a 6:45 1500 Meter). That suggest Ozell will have her work cut out for her to take 2nd. She should be comfortably on the podium in any case.

 W60 This division is loaded with talent. Susan Lynn Cooke Unattached has the top seed time with a 5:30.6. Cooke competed at Masters LDR Championships for her New Balance Tampa team between 2017 and 2019. One of her best moments came at XC, not a discipline that is a favorite of track runners. In 2019, she took the W60 title over 6 Km in 25:55! Cooke has been experimenting with a variety of track events over the last year, everything from hurdles to sprints. At the NY/NJ Track Championships this June, she clocked 33 seconds and change for the 200 meters. Watch out for her finishing kick! One of her former teammates, Lesley Hinz, T.H.E. Track, has the second best seed time at 5:35.7. Julie Hayden Greater Philadelphia TC has a seed time just 2 seconds slower, 5:37.8. Suzanne Cordes Impala Racing enters without a seed time. She typically competes at Club XC and a few other Masters LDR Championships each year. The race is shorter than most of the ones she races, but her time at the 2018 Masters 5K Championships in Atlanta over a hilly course, was 20:56. That is age-grade equivalent to a 5:56 Mile (similar to a 5:27 1500 meter effort). It is tricky to project a 1500 meter time from a 5k, and that was three years ago. But it suggests Cordes cannot be ignored as a threat for the win. Cordes would probably need to take the pace to her rivals and not worry about their likely greater speed in the final sprint.

8:30 AM

 W55 The top two seed times belong to Michelle Rohl and Judy Stobbe. Rohl appears to be talented but I am not familiar with her from Masters LDR. Stobbe is by no means a regular, but she did run Club Cross at Lehigh in 2019 and at Lexington in 2017. Like most track athletes, it is likely she runs the race on Coach's advice, as a way to toughen oneself up for Indoor season and because it is a different kind of race that changes things up. Nonetheless at the 2017 race in Lexington, she cracked the top ten in her division, racing to a 25:41 over 6 Km. In that race, Stobbe was a half minute slower than one of her competitors in this race, Lorraine Jasper Greater Philadelphia TC.  Jasper is a strong athlete, but it is tough to compete for a National Championship in your last year in an age division. Jasper will give it her all and will be a factor but it will be tough to land on the podium. In addition to Rohl and Stobbe, Kathy Wolski, Alisa Harvey, and Lisa Veneziano, all Unattached, will vie for the podium. Wolski's seed time is only a minute slower than Stobbe's 5:10. See my discussion of Wolski, Harvey and Veneziano vis a vis Masters LDR Championships in earlier previews posted in the last few days. Harvey's seed time is 5:17. That seems about right for current fitness. She ran 5:43 in the Loudoun Street Mile in Virginia, which is similar to running a 5:16 1500 Meter event. So Harvey will need to find a few seconds. Harvey often finds a way to win, however, and if not, wind up on the podium. this is her new Age Division. Veneziano does not often run races liike the mile and the 1500 meters. She has made an exception for the USATF Masters 1 Mile when it was in her home state of Michigan. In 2019 she ran 5:35 to finish 5th overall and 2nd in her division behind Fiona Bayly. That is similar to a 5:08 in a 1500 meter run. Veneziano has run two 5K's in the low to mid 18's suggesting she could be ready to set a fast pace.

8:40 AM
W50 None of the entrants in this division have any history to speak of in Masters LDR. I wish them all well and have no reason to think the seed times are not a good indicator. If so, Elizabeth Guerrini, Dianne DeOliveira, and Terry Ballou should make up the podium.

8:48 AM  

W45 Sascha Scott took the Overall win at Club Cross at Lehigh in 2019 and won the Masters 5K National Road Championship a couple of years earlier. She has the fastest seed time by far, at 4:36.1. That should be  a good indicator of her likely margin of victory. Euleen Josiah-Turner will likely take 2nd; her seed time of 5:16 is over 20 seconds faster than the seed time of her closest rival.

 W40 The only athlete I am familiar with from Masters LDR in this division is Laurie Knowles who, unfortunately, had to scratch. Like W50 I am not familiar with the others and wish them well.


 8:56 AM

M95 Dixon Hemphill is in a Division by himself. Once he crosses the finish line, the Gold Medal is his. He put in the hard work to get here. No other 95 year old did.

M90 Gunnar Linde So Cal TC and Vance Genzlinger Unattached will have to sort out which is faster. Neither has a seed time listed. No stranger to Masters LDR Championships, at least when they are on or close to the West Coast, Linde won the M85 Gold at the 2017 USATF Masters 8K Championships in Brea CA, clocking 58:21. He ran 1:07:21 over the same course last year. In 2017 Genzlinger ran a 45:50 5K. That is age-grade equivalent to a 1:13:31 8K. If they had raced at that time, Linde would have won with a comfortable margin. That seems likely to be the case on Sunday.

M85 I am not familiar with nor , but the seed times seem to tell the story that the race should go to Cantu. Best of luck to both!Inocencio CantuColben Sime

M85M85 M85M80 The seed times tell the story that this division belongs to Sherwood Sagedahl Unattached 6:17, Norman Goluskin Central Park TC 7:25, and John Elliott Potomac Valley 8:20. But I know Elmo Shropshire Unattached 8:50 was able to upset Elliott at the 2019 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships in San Diego, clocking 29:44 to Elliott's 29:55. Supremacy in XC does not automatically confer supremacy on the track. But it does mean that Elliott should take nothing for granted. Furthermore, Roland Cormier Shore AC, since resuming his racing after being away for a couple of years, has been turning in some good times. Over the same course in San Diego three months later, but covering 8K instead of 5K, Cormier took the M80 title in 48:42. That time is age grade equivalent to a 30:14, suggesting he was not far off, at that time, from Elliott and Shropshire. Things can change a lot with masters runners in a year and a half so nothing is guaranteed. It will be interesting to see how it sorts out. 

M75 I have picked to win every race in which he is entered so far. I am not likely to stop with the 1500 Meter Run, arguably the race he puts most emphasis on. He holds the American M65 1500 record at 4:46.05 and the M70 at 5:04.87. A couple of weeks ago, Patton broke 5:57.2 Mile Record, which had stood for almost 20 years,Gary Patton Scotty Carter's by two seconds. Ross Bolding is no slouch, with a seed time of 5:36 but Patton should  carry the day.

9:11 AM  M70Much as I would love to see , a long time mainstay of M60+ and M70+, crack the podium, that seems a tall order. On the other hand, after apparently taking a lot of time off last year during the Pandemic, he was still able to find the fitness to run a 6:07 1500 Meter run in Atlanta on the track in early May. If his fitness has improved, he could shake things up yet. , who is every bit as much of a middle distance legend as is Gary Patton, should take the Gold with little trouble. His 4:53.01 Mile from 2012 is still the M60 American Record. He also holds the M60 record for the 1500 M. Apparently and will give chase but, most likely have to settle for 2nd and 3rd. , if healthy, could upset their apple cart, as well as learned. During most of his Masters LDR career, Mullin hit the podium more often than Learned, and he did run a 20:02 5K and a 41:01 10K just before the Pandemic hit in 2020. His seed time of 5:57 probably indicates he is not coming out of the layoff at peak fitness.Jerry Learned Atlanta TCNolan ShaheedPaul Pearson Tim WiggersPeter Mullin

9:19 AM  M65 Stephen Chantry, and have the top two seed times at 4:52.7 and 5:24.36. They should go 1-2. But could have some say. Chantry's teammate was faster at longer races than Chantry a few years back. In 2017 at the USATF Masters 8K Championships in Virginia Beach, Gibson clocked 30:14 to Chantry's 30:37. Leddy was at just over 33 minutes. Even back then, Gibson might not have beaten Chantry at shorter distances on the track. But he would likely have been able to come in ahead of Leddy at any distance a mile or longer. Like many Masters athletes, Gibson has battled various niggling injuries since then. It is good to see him making a comeback! In January Gibson ran a 33:01 8K and in June, a 20:24 5K. That effort is age-grade equivalent to a 5:59 (similar to a 5:30 in the 1500). Leddy will be tough to beat for 2nd in the 1500, but Gibson could have a shot at it, especially if his fitness is on the upswing. Colonial Road RunnersHarold Leddy Shore AC Pete Gibson

9:27 AM has the best seed time, 4:32.12 but he runs for Canada. Among Americans, the top three seem to be 4:44, 4:45.27, and 4:50.74. Of those I am only familiar with Westenberg, the M60 winner of the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship in Flint MI in 5:13 (similar to a 4:47 1500 M effort). Westenberg built his base over 2020. It is impressive that once he worked on fine-tuning for middle distances he was able to generate a seed time like that. Class ran 18:04 in the Brian Kraft 5K on May 31st, age grade equivalent to a 5:18 mile (similar to a 4:52 1500 meter). I give Westenberg a slight edge to take first among the Americans, with Class second and O'Driscoll 3rd. Two top Masters LDR runners, and will also contest but appear to lack the speed necessary to compete with the top few.Mark PincardM60 Rob Class Run MN David Westenberg Greater Lowell Road RunnersConor O'Driscoll WestchesterWilliam Enicks IVSteve Brumwell

9:35 AM M55Among the runners with the top 6 seed times, I am most familiar with , his teammate, , and their rival, . All three participate regularly at Masters LDR Championships both on the turf and on the road. I am somewhat familiar with from his entries in Clb Cross Championships. At Lehigh in 2019, Barbee finished 4th in M55, just ahead of Nier who was assigned the same finishing time of 37:07 for the 10K race. Heuck was a couple of minutes back; he runs XC for his team but doe snot love it as he does track. Burdett was injured, but ran anyway. He loves to run and compete with his team; he often runs when others would advise caution. By the fall of 2020, he was running 5K's in the mid 17's and clocked a 5:30 mile. Burdett's seed time is 4:37.74, with Heuck a tenth of a second slower. Barbee probably does not care for XC any more than Heuck does; he ran 4:51 at the Hartshorne Memorial Mile in early 2020, coming in 5 seconds ahead of Nier. Barbee's seed time is 4:32; it appears to be justified. If the seed times are good indicators, it is likely that and Barbee will take Gold and Silver. After that, it is anyone's guess and will come down to fitness on the day and how the race unfolds. has the third best seed time, but Burdett, Heuck and Nier will be fighting all the way.Alejandro Heuck Greater Springfield HarriersFrancis BurdettMike Nier Genesee Valley HarriersKenneth Barbee Greater Philadelphia David White Dean Thompson

9:43 AM M50 Mark Yuen has the top seed time of 4:15. That appears to be the class of the seed times for this group, and is consistent with his reputation for National Masters Cross Country Championships. At the 2019 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in San Diego, Yuen, 48 at the time, finished 6th in the 40+ team contest, clocking 16:47 to help his team to victory. Yuen should win. I am less familiar with the others so will leave it to and to sort themselves out in the race for the remaining podium positions.West Valley TC Mark Elworthy, Brian Schilling, James McDonald

9:51 AM and . I understand Williams took the honors in the 800 m the other day, with Brady 2nd. Brady will hope to reverse that order tomorrow. Brady has the better seed time, at 4:10, with Williams's seed time almost 5 seconds slower. Brady is coming in with some niggling issues though, which forced him to rest and apply ice this week. It is very tough to chose betweenthese impressive Masters middle distance runners. I do not know , but with a seed time just over a second slower than Williams's, he could clearly be in the mix. , who is only credited with a 4:30 seed time, might make more noise than that,. In researching one of hte other distances, I saw that he had a 33:06 effort at the 2019 AJC Peachtree 10K and later that year ran a 1:10:50 Half Marathon. Perhaps he does not have the same fitness, but if he does, I would expect him to be under 4:20 on a good day. That would put him in the hunt for a podium spot.M45 It looks like another classic 1500 meter battle between Peter Brady CPTCMark Williams UnattachedWilliams had the better seed time in the 800m and he took the honors. Perhaps that will work for Brady in the 1500.Jonathan BishardSam Krieg

9:59 AM It should be tight! If it comes down to a kick and a lean, I give  the edge to Schneekloth. M40The only runner I know in this division is the athlete with the top seed time, . Schneekloth took the top spot overall and in his division at the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championship; he clocked 4:36.1 on a very technical course. His training seems to have gone well this spring and summer. there is no reason to doubt that he will live up to his seed time of 4:10 and battle with 4:10 and 4:12.Chuck Schneekloth Garden State TCPhilip SteadJeremy Ruston

That's it for the preview of the final of the four middle and long distance events at the Outdoor Track Championships.  Next up, the recap! 



1 comment:

  1. Nice work on the preview and predictions. Think this post may have been truncated though. At least I am having difficulty seeing past 9:11 am.