Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Memorable Middle Distance Races in Ames-2021 USATF Outdoor Championships

 August 7, 2021. Most of the runners who entered the Outdoor Championships competed in the 5000 and 10,000 meter events. But many others who love the Middle Distances also run Cross Country or even Road Championships from time to time. As with the longer distances, American Records were set in both the 800 and 1500---Check out the 800 Meter results at W85 and W55 and the 1500 Meter results for W55 and M75!

800 METERS The 800 meter race went off on Saturday from 11:45 AM to 2 PM. Under fair skies, the temperatures started at 86 degrees and rose to the low 90's before the last heat ended. Luckily this was an 800 meter run, not an 8K run. The wind was mostly moderate around 6 mph but it occasionally rose to 10 mph. [No splits provided in the results; that lack limits the detail I can provide/improvise.]


1. As with all Track and Field recaps, any age grade scores reported are based on the latest Calculator available specifically for Track & Field. The 2015 factors have been updated but will not be implemented until approved by the WMA at their 2022 meeting in Tampere, Finland. The current calculator is located at: http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmalookup15.html

2. I use the Masters LDR definition of Masters runners being 40 and up. Masters TF Championships include younger runners. I have not reported on their races.

11:45 AM W70+

W85 Tami Graf Potomac Valley TC  was unopposed, taking the win in 7:34.33. Not taking a shot at the record allowed her to take it easy and save energy for some of the other events she entered. Graf competed in the 800, 1500, 5000, and 10,000 Meters among the flat races, added the 200 meter hurdles and 2,000 meter steeplechase, and, for good measure, threw in the Javelin and Discus. Not only that, she broke the American Record in the 5000 and 10,000 meter runs!

W75  Kathleen Frable So Cal TC took this heat by a half minute in 4:47.04, with Angela Staab 2nd.

W70 Coreen Steinbach Unattached had no problem with the heat as she took the win with a half minute to spare in 3:05.85. Nancy Rollins who took wins in the 5000 and 10000 meter runs, finished 2nd, followed by Norma Hudnall and Isabel Bentz.

11:55 AM W60-69

W65 Amy McCormack Unattached won by 20 seconds in 3:11.33, followed by Mary Lowe Mayhugh in 2nd.  Debra Wood was just 4 seconds back in 3rd. 

W60 Lesley Hinz T.H.E. TC edged Julie Hayden by 2 seconds, winning in 2:45.11.

12:03 PM W55  Michelle Rohl Greater Philadelphia TC was going up against a loaded field of highly decorated runners; Alisa Harvey and Lorraine Jasper have taken the Gold at races on the track,t he roads, and in Cross Country. Rohl went off confidently and took care of business. Not only did she win the race, she took down the American Record by over 2 seconds! Rohl clocked 2:23.26, five seconds clear of Harvey, who took Silver, one second ahead of Bronze medalist Lisa Valle.

12:11 PM W50 Dianne DeOliveira Bella N Motion clocked 2:26 to take the win with ten seconds to spare. Terry Ballou took second, with April Flynn six seconds back in 3rd.

12:19 PM W40-49

W45 Euleen Josiah-Turner T.H.E. TC took one of her four Gold Medals at these Championships in 2:38:30. Twenty seconds later Melissa Cockerham took 2nd, with Lace Luedke 8 seconds back in 3rd.

W40 Christine Laccata Garden State TC won the Gold Medal with a 2:24.07, eight seconds ahead of Alison Schwalm. A half minute after Schwalm claimed Siver, the Bronze medals was decided by four seconds as Alex Dietrich  edged Melissa Cote.

12:35 PM M80+

M90 Gunnar Linde So Cal TC ran 4:58.15 to win the Gold Medal with 2 minutes to spare over Vance Genzlinger. This was one of four Golds that Linde won.

M85 Inocencio Cantu Potomac Valley TC won this division unopposed in 3:48.87.

M80 Sherwood Sagedahl Unattached ran 3:27.68 to win the division by over half a minute. Johnnie Lucassen, Jr. So Cal TC took 2n d place, almost half a minute over Ram Satyaprasad, the first of three New England 65 Plus Runners Club to compete in the division.

12:45 PM M75 If he had not been focused on nailing the American Record in his primary event, the 1500 Meters, the following day, Gary Patton So Cal TC might well have taken down the 800 Meter M75 Record in this race. Patton's winning time of 2:38.25 was only 1.19 seconds off the record! William Reiter came across the finish line 25 seconds later in second. A minute later  Hal Lieberman claimed 3rd.

12:53 PM M70 Ten runners toed the starting line and there were plenty of fireworks. This must have been fun to watch. Nolan Shaheed So Cal TC was not gunning for a record and was content to wait until the right moment and bring it home for the win in 2:48.58. Three seconds later, David Williams edged Jerry Learned by 0.7 seconds. Learned showed the toughness I have come to admire from his participation in many Road and Cross Country Championships, but had to settle for a Bronze medal this time..  

1:05 PM M65 Stephen Chantry Colonial Road Runners claimed the division Gold Medal with a solid 2:36.26. Sixteen seconds later, John Harmon claimed second, with Peter Michaelson another 7 seconds back in third.

 1:13 PM M60 This must also have been fun to watch-the top 6 finishers were within six seconds of one another! With a fitting surname, Rob Class Run MN pulled away from the field to win the Division in 2:17.56. William Yelverton was just one second back, edging Kevin Paulk for the Silver Medal by a mere 0.45 seconds! Michael Lebold missed the podium by a second and was followed closely by McDuffrie Allen and David Westenberg.

1:28 PM M55 Throw a blanket over the top 4! Mike Nier Genesee Valley Harriers had just enough to take this one with a 2:18.73, claiming the Gold Medal by a half second over Jeff Mann, with John Borthwick another half second back in 3rd, and Alan Wells hot on his heels in 4th place. Nier is the mainstay of the Genesee Valley Harriers M50+ team and knows how to win, whether on the track, the cross country turf or the roads!

1:38 PM M50 Mark Yuen has been one of the key contributors to the West Valley Track Club,  helping them to podium finishes at a number of USATF Masters Cross Country Championships. Yuen celebrated his new Age Division by taking the Gold in 2:03.89. Eight seconds later bernard Henry took 2nd, just three seconds ahead of Myron Filipoff.

1:45 PM M45 This division featured the always entertaining rivalry between Peter Brady and Mark Williams. This outing belonged to Williams Unattached, who got the coveted sub-2 at 800 Meters, nailing the win in 1:59.42. No doubt Williams ran faster, knowing that Brady was chasing him. 

Mark Williams heads for the finish line, an M45 win and  sub-2 800 Meter Run at the 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Ames IA Photo by Tina Klein, posted on FB


Brady claimed 2nd, less than 3 seconds back, with Ryan Anderson in 3rd, another 3 seconds behind Brady.

1:52 PM M40 This division featured another tight race. Joshua Slamka Wisconsin Runner Racing Team just missed a sub-2, but his 2:00.30 was good enough to edge Philip Stead by a half second! Jason Abbot claimed the Bronze Medal 2.6 seconds later.

1500 METERS To beat the heat, these races were scheduled between 8 and 10 AM Sunday morning. As a result, the athletes encountered temperatures ranging from 78 for the first heat to 83 degrees for the last division to race. The athletes did not disappoint, with two turning in American Record-breaking performances. Look for the ** below for the record-breakers!

8AM W70+ 

**W85 Tami Graf Potomac Valley TC finished off her middle distance double (distance quadruple/Track & Field octuple!) with yet another Gold as she won in 13:19.76.

W75 Angela Staab Piedmont Pacers TC took the honors with a 11:44.71 Gold Medal effort.

W70 Victorious earlier in the 200, 400, and 800, Coreen Steinbach Unattached capped off her weekend with the Gold Medal in the 1500. Her 6:28.18 95.15% PLP enabled her to coast home victorious. A minute and change later, Norma Hudnall claimed the Silver Medal, followed 20 seconds later by Isabel Bentz in 3rd.

8:15 AM W60 - 69

W65 Amy McCormack Unattached took her 4th distance Gold Medal in 6:27.84 89.61% PLP; there was a 40 meter gap back to the rest of the field. It was a tight race for the remaining two medals. Debra Wood pulled away to claim 2nd with 10 meters to spare. She was followed by Mary Lowe Mayhugh in third, with Terry Ozell 4th.

W60 In one of the closest races of the day, Lesley Hinz T.H.E. TC edged Julie Hayden by a single stride. Hinz's time was 5:40.29 97.39%PLP; Hayden was credited with a 5:40.90 94.34%

Lesley Hinz sprints for the Finish Line and a swift win in the W60 1500 Meter Run at the 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Ames IA Photo by Tina Klein, posted on FB


The top two both turned in World Class times!  

Julie Porter Hayden strides toward the finish line and a Silver Medal in the W60 division at the 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Ames IA Photo by Tina Klein, posted on FB

Eugenie Candon claimed the Bronze Medal nineteen seconds later, followed by Cheryl Bellaire in 4th.

8:30 AM **W55 With top runners like Lisa Veneziano, Alisa Harvey, Lorraine Jasper, and Michelle Allen in the field, Michelle Rohl Greater Philadelphia TC knew she needed to give her best effort and she did not disappoint. Her 4:54.16 gave her 30 meters on the field and a new American Record! Two events, two Golds, two American Records, not a bad weekend's work! To give some perspective, Veneziano's 2nd place time of 5:05.65 earned her a 97.99% age grade score. Rohl's was 100.42%! Veneziano took Silver two seconds ahead of Lisa Valle

Lisa Veneziano on the way to a 2nd place finish in the W55 1500 Meter Run at the 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Ames IA Photo by Clint 'Flash' Santoro


who had two seconds on Alisa Harvey; Harvey was followed another two seconds later by Judy Stobbe.

8:40 AM W50 Dianne DeOliveira Bella N Motion had a 35 meter lead as she crossed the finish line, with the win, in 5:21.90. Elizabeth Guerrini took 2nd, followed a dozen seconds later by Tracy Lee of Ireland.

8:48 AM W40 - 49

W45 Euleen Josiah-Tanner T.H.E. TC took her 4th Gold Medal with a 5:14.66 effort that gave her more than a hundred meters for her margin of victory. Bridget Augustine finished 2nd with Melissa Cockerham 13 seconds back in 3rd.

W40  Jodi Smith Unattached had a lead of over a hundred meters on Canada's Amy Armstrong when she crossed the finish line in 4:56.12. Seventeen seconds later, Sara Schwendinger claimed the Bronze Medal.

8:56 AM M75+

M90 Gunnar Linde 93 So Cal TC claimed his 4th Gold Medal with a time of 10:25.54. Vance Genzlinger finished 2nd three minutes later.

M85 Inocencio Cantu Potomac Valley TC finished his middle distance double with a second Gold Medal effort, topping his rival by 2 and a half minutes in 7:49.10. Colben Sime claimed his Silver to go with his Gold Medals in the 5000 and 10000 Meters.

M80 Sherwood Sagedahl Unattached added the 1500 Meter Gold to go with the 400 and 800 meter Golds he won in the sprints. He had half a minute on the field, winning in 7:03.73. Roland Cormier and Stan Edelson were locked in a tight battle for 2nd place. By the end Cormier had carved out a 5 meter edge to take Silver. Cormier added this to his other two silver medals and his Gold in steeplechase. Edelson enjoyed his second Bronze medal.

**M75  This was the main event for Gary Patton So Cal TC. Earlier this year he broke the M75 1 Mile Record on the Roads with a 5:56 effort in Lincoln Nebraska. But his main focus is always on the track. In March Patton ran a 5:22.38 in a sanctioned track meet in Phoenix. As of July, though, the paperwork was still uncompleted. Fearing that time might not be approved as a US Record, Patton decided to aim for the 1500 Meter record at Ames. The idea was to go for an easy win on Saturday in the 800 Meters. That certainly would have been possible; he could have stayed behind the 2nd place runner and kicked away at the end. But, in the end, Patton couldn't make his body go that slowly. He just had to run it. In the end, he almost pocketed the 800 Meter Record, finishing just 1.19 seconds off of it. So much for taking it easy! Nonetheless, he took off on Sunday as if he meant to get the 1500 Meter Record anyway. He just had to hit his splits. In the end it worked out perfectly; the weeks of preparation paid off. Patton's 5:19.87 not only got him the M75 Gold Medal, it got him the record. He now owns the Outdoor 1500 Meter Record for M65, M70 and M75! Patton also collected a 94.51% age grade score, world class all the way! Norman Frable took 2nd in 8:49.19.

9:11 AM M70 Nolan Shaheed So Cal TC collected his second middle distance gold medal, crossing the finish line in 5:47.83. Thirty meters back, Jerry Learned and David Williams were matching each other stride for stride. Williams had nipped Learned for 2nd in the 800 by 0.7 seconds. Who would get Silver this time? Strength won over speed this time as Learned clocked 5:55.71, to edge Williams for 2nd by a mere 0.6 seconds. Peter Mullin was just off the pace in 4th.

9:19 AM M65 Stephen Chantry Colonial Road Runners earned his second gold medal, coming across the finish line in 5:18.57 with 30 meters of daylight back to the next athlete.  Kenneth Hammer took 2nd 20 meters ahead of Thomas McBride III.

9:27 & 10:10 AM  M60 This was the longest 1500 Meter race in memory. The gun went off as scheduled at 9:27 AM. Seven hundred meters into the race the Officials realized the timing system had malfunctioned. They decided to stop the race and rerun it after a 40 minute break. Most runners were confused and some were unhappy. In the end, though, everyone accepted that it was the card they had been dealt, and they could and would deal with it. 


M60 1500 Meter competitors and the Official who stopped the race due to a timing malfunction--all smiles and ready for a break and a re-run at the 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Ames IA Photo posted on FB by David Westenberg, 2nd from right

At 10:10 everyone lined up again, the gun sounded, and the race was on. By the bell lap, Rob Class Run MN had a gap on three athletes who were locked on each other, Mark Carver, Kevin Paulk, and David Westenberg. Class took the Gold Medal, crossing the finish line thirty meters ahead of the field in 4:47.35 89.06% PLP. The other three hit the final turn still together, with Carver struggling to maintain contact. In the end, it came down to the last hundred meters. Paulk had just enough in the tank to gain the Silver Medal with a fine 4:55.10 86.72%, edging Westenberg by just 0.2 seconds. Westenberg had to settle fro the Bronze medal, but at 63 to Paulk's 60 years of age, Westenberg had the higher age grade score 88.99%. Carver was 8 meters back, just off the podium. William 'Hugh' Enicks III, who took 2nd in the 10,000 meters, turned in a 5:08.29 83.75% to finish 6th. Steve Brumwell, one of the stalwarts for the Cal Coast M60 + team, who is working his way back into condition, finished 8th.

9:35 AM M55 David White West Valley TC made his trip from the West Coast count; he collected the Gold Medal with a fine 4:37.14 89.20% PLP. Five seconds later, Dean Thompson gained the Silver medal by half a  stride over Mike Nier. Alejandro Heuck was another full stride back, just off the podium, followed in close order by Jeff Mann, Dale Flanders, and Francis Burdett.

9:43 AM M50 Like his teammate in M55, Mark Yuen West Valley made sure the trip from the west Coast was worth it; he took his 2nd middle distance Gold Medal with a 4:18.19 91.13%. This race was more spread out; Brian Schilling was almost 50 meters back, finishing strong to take 2nd in 4:27.55 87.95%. Ten seconds later Mark Elworthy outlasted a strong close by Bernard Henry to take the Bronze.

9:51 AM M45 The Dynamic Duo of Peter Brady and Mark Williams Unattached was at it again. This weekend, the honors go to Williams, who outran Brady in both the 800 and 1500. Brady may be thinking, "Hmmm, maybe there is something to this 3,728 consecutive days of workouts!?" 

Mark Williams lime singlet overtaking Peter Brady orange singlet in the M45 1500 Meter Run-Does competition get any better than this? Photo posted on FB by Peter Brady


In any case, Williams was able to pull away on the last lap to take the win with a dozen meters to spare, clocking 4:08.98 92.98%. The clock ticked to 4:12.07 92.59%. Brady will lick his wounds, rehab whatever needs rehabbing, and be back to challenge Williams at the next Championship! And back and forth it will go in this ongoing battle of the Champions! Jonathan Bishard of the KC Smoke was only two seconds behind Brady, nearly upsetting the apple cart of the two NY/NJ track stars!

9:59 AM M40 Chuck Schneekloth, the 2019 USATF Masters Road Mile Overall Champion with the Garden State TC, was out to see if he still had the speed to take the M40 title in his last year in the age division. He was going up against Philip Stead Unattached, a newcomer to the division. who took the 800 Meter title in 2:00.89. After an initial sorting, Schneekloth fell in behind Stead and stayed just off his shoulder for the first two laps. Jeremy Ruston was shadowing Schneekloth. As they approached the bell lap, Schneekloth had fallen a 5 meters back from Stead, and Ruston made his move, kicking past Schneekloth. Stead continued moving well in first. Schneekloth accelerated, passing Ruston on the last turn, but Stead had too much of a lead as he eased across the finish line to claim the Gold in 4:11.70 86.53% PLP. Schneekloth took 2nd in 4:13.01 88.73%, with Ruston taking the bronze two seconds later, just ahead of Abraham Mendoza. I would say Schneekloth is looking forward to being in the M45 division next year, were it not that he will have to compete against Williams and Brady--no easy victories in Masters Track and Field!

That sums up Masters LDR participation in the middle distance and distance events at the 2021 Outdoor Championships. Next up for Masters LDR athletes, the USATF Masters 12 km Championships on the Sandy Hook National Gateway Park at Highlands NJ! 




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