Saturday, March 12, 2022

Masters Athletes Conquer the Challenges of the 'Atlanta Flat' Course at the USATF Masters 5 km Championships

March 10 2022. Before the day dawned on Saturday, February 26th, Masters athletes were picking up their bibs, stretching and doing their warm-ups. Some were blowing on their hands to stay warm in the 37-degree temperatures. Most were wearing gloves. Luckily the Atlanta Track Club had a large tent set up for the Masters Championship athletes. With volunteers monitoring the premises, runners could leave their gear bags, etc. and warm up without encumbrances or worry. Once the sun was up, it was a beautiful day for a 5 km race in Atlanta! The athletes were pumped to be out competing with the best again! Some arrived at the top of their game, riding a crest of victories. Others were less sure what the day would hold, perhaps returning from injury or another interruption to training and racing. But all were ready to put it on the line and race!

The series of hills over the last part of the course were a challenge for all, but Betty Lindberg Atlanta, GA, age 97, overcame that challenge. The Atlanta Track Club reported that her time broke the existing Women’s 95-99 World Record of 1:28:36, set in 2017. 

Betty Lindberg captures the 95-99 Division and sets a World Record at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 km National Championships


Her 55:47 net time shattered the record by over 30 minutes! Wow!  

 That was the only record set but most of the races were highly competitive! This was the first national 5 km championship since 2019. Among the standard road racing distances, those with a 5 km National Championship can claim to be the fastest road racer in the land!

NOTE 1; The USATF Masters LDR Committee determined that Overall, Age Division and team Championships would be decided by gun time; Age Grading would be decided on chip/net time. This is their preferred approach to scoring and is what they have used at the vast majority of Championships over the past many years.

NOTE 2: All photos courtesy of the Atlanta Track Club's Publix Marathon Weekend unless otherwise specified,

OVERALL Championships  

MEN A lead pack of Jesse Davis Indianapolis IN, John Jackson Bloomington IN, Bryan Lindsay Zionsville IN, Chris Naimoli Philadelphia PA, Jasen Ritter Indianapolis IN, and Jacques Sallberg Pasadena CA formed early on and held together through the first 2.5 miles and the first part of the steep hill on Luckie Street. 

The Gun Sounds and they are off at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 km National Championships! Hosted by the Publix Atlanta Marathon-From left, front row: Chris Naimoli, Bryan Lindsay, John Jackson and Tommy Carroll Photo courtesy of Pam Fales


Davis, a two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier and Team USA Ultra Marathoner, had taken the win at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships over 10 km. This championship did not play to those same strengths, but a 1:07 Half marathoner will always be a contender even at such a short distance. Jackson was a wild card. This was his first national Masters championship. I could find no record of recent performances on the roads. Lindsay had finished behind his Indiana Elite teammate, Davis, at Club Cross, but was probably the fastest in this group. He had run a 3:38.31 to finish 2nd for BYU in the 1500 meters in the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Naimoli, an accomplished triathlete, had taken the 2019 Masters Overall title at 15 Km in Tulsa and finished 3rd in the 12 km Championships last September at Highlands NJ. Ritter had run a 16:34 5K last September and in December finished 9th in M45 at Club Cross over 10K in 35:52. Sallberg has been the dominant Masters Cross Country runner in recent years with multiple championships from 2014 through 2019. Sallberg's 11th place finish at Club cross was his worst result by far in the last five years, but he still ran a minute and change faster than Ritter.

By the time the crew turned left and headed up Marietta Street for the final 300 meters, Jackson and Ritter had been dropped. Davis, Lindsay, Naimoli and Sallberg were in contention. Lindsay had run a gritty race to hang with the pack up Luckie Street and onto the final stretch. He was able to kick out away from everyone and that was it! Lindsay left them in his wake. 


Bryan Lindsay wins the 2022 USATF Masters National Overall Men's 5 km Championships in Atlanta GA

Davis considered going with Lindsay but thought better of it. He focused on holding off Naimoli and Sallberg. Lindsay took the win in 15:38; Davis edged Naimoli for 2nd, 15:48 to 15:51. 

Jesse Davis holds off Chris Naimoli to claim the Silver Medal in the Overall Men's Competition at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 km National Championships


Sallberg 15:58 finished 4th overall, followed by Ritter 16:03 and Jackson 16:06 in 5th and 6th.

It was equally tight in the Women’s race. Ingrid Walters Santa Monica CA took it out hard from the gun.  Jill Braley Atlanta GA, Abby Dean Wilmington DE, Jessica Hruska Dubuque IA, Ginna Reid Asheville, NC, Michelle Rohl Mansfield PA, and  Shawanna White Columbia SC started more conservatively, but kept Walters in close sight. Once they made the 180-degree turn onto the bike path along Tech Pkwy, the chasers were able to reel in Walters. 

Walters has been an Overall contender at Masters National Championships since defeating Breast Cancer. At the highly competitive Club Cross Championships in Tallahassee, she finished 12th overall. At Mission Bay, she moved up to 8th overall. From the way she started, it appeared she was intending to keep moving up in the overall standings from race to race. Braley has been a top contender at National Championships since turning 40. She finished 2nd at the 2018 USATF Masters 5 km XC Championships behind Sonja Friend-Uhl and just ahead of Dean. She finished 10th at the 2019 5 km Championships in Atlanta in 19:22. A 6th place finish at Club Cross and a January 2022 5K outing in 18:11 signaled that she might be ready for a top five finish this time. Dean finished 5 seconds ahead of Braley at the 2019 5 km Championships but was over a minute behind at Club Cross last December. An 18:26 5K on New Years Eve suggests she might be closer to Braley on the roads than on the turf. Hruska won the 10,000 meter run in the W40 division at Ames IA last summer and finished in 7th at Club Cross 13 seconds behind Braley. Reid had run 38:19 and 39:11 10K's in 2020 and this January ran a 1:04:32 ten-miler, age grade equivalent to a 39:17 10K. Rohl has been amazing the Masters Running Community since last summer when she broke American W55 records on the track at Ames in the 800 and 1500 meters. She proved even more competitive on the turf. She finished 4th overall at the 5 km Masters Championships in Boston last fall, nipping Braley at the finish line. But she finished over a minute behind Braley at Tallahassee. Perhaps the warm day there bothered Rohl more than Braley? White's most impressive recent credential was a blazing fast 37:09 10K at the AJC Peachtree Run last July.

Hruska observed, after the race, that she felt relaxed through the first two miles. Then when they hit the steep, quarter mile hill from about Mile 2.5 to 2.75, her extensive hill training served her well. Her mantra was ‘No one runs hills better than me!” She chugged up that hill, onto the flat, right onto Baker St. and up to the finishing stretch on Marietta St. Hruska started to hear spectators murmuring ‘First Woman’ and suspected what she had not dared to hope earlier, that she might, indeed, have left all her rivals behind. She took first in 18:12. 

Jessica Hruska wins the 2022 USATF Masters National Overall Women's 5 km Championships in Atlanta GA


Just six seconds later, Braley, the woman Hruska feared the most, came across the finish line to claim 2nd.  

Jill Braley takes the Silver Medal in the Overall Women's Competition at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 km Championships


Rohl, 56,showed that Tallahassee was an off day, surprising many by claiming 3rd Overall in 18:32! 

Michelle Rohl claims the Bronze Medal in the Overall Women's Competition at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 km Championships


Her teammate, Dean, had run with her until they passed Walters; then Rohl surged, and Dean could not go with her. She kept Rohl in sight but could not close on her. Dean credited Walters with pushing her from behind. That kept Dean 18:41 going all the way to a 4th place finish. Seven seconds later, White 18:48 zipped across the line 5th, two seconds ahead of Reid 18:50 in 6th, with Walters 18:54 in 7th. Just six seconds separated 4th from 6th-that was a tight finish!

Jessica Hruska 18:12     Jill Braley 18:18     Michelle Rohl 18:32

AGE-GRADING Championships

Based on net/chip time, the age grade provides a measure of who had the best performance, adjusting for age, with 100% being equivalent to a World’s Best performance for that athlete’s age and sex. WOMEN Betty Lindberg Atlanta GA, the oldest competitor at 97, ran the course in 55:47 net, for the top age grade of 95.56%. Rohl 56 finished 2nd; her net 18:29 earned a 95.42%. Jeannie Rice 73 Concord Township OH, 2019 Masters Athlete of the Year, covered the 5 km, in 23:55 for 91.90%. Lisa Veneziano’s 57 Fenton MI 19:29 net 91.58%, left her just off the podium in 4th. Stella Gibbs 63 Pacific Grove CA 20:59 91.50% rounded out the top five. Fiona Bayly, Lorraine Jasper, Doreen McCoubrie, Nancy Simmons, and Patrice Combs all exceeded the coveted 90% mark in age grading.

Betty Lindberg 97 95.56%     Michelle Rohl 56 95.42%     Jeannie Rice 73 91.90%

MEN Jacob Nur 66 Elk Grove CA led the way at 17:43 for a 94.49%.  Ken Youngers 65 Tucker GA, who ran 18:22 for 90.32%, edged Christian Cushing-Murray 54 Orange CA, for 2nd place. Cushing-Murray posted a nifty 16:43 net time for 90.26%. Sallberg’s 4th place in age-grading 89.46% matched his 4th  place overall. Richard Larsen 70 Shelburne MA 19:32 89.27% closed out the top 5 just ahead of David Matherne Rome GA 89.17  and Ritter 89.08.

Jacob Nur 66 94.49%     Ken Youngers 65 90.32%     Christian Cushing-Murray 54 90.26%

AGE DIVISION Championships 


40-44 As with the Overall race, it was Lindsay, Davis and Naimoli 1-2-3. Jerry Faulkner NY, NY 16:16 and Perry Griffith Canton GA 16:19  could not hang with the leaders all the way to the finish but enjoyed a tight finish of their own, with Faulkner outlasting Griffiths by just 3 seconds. 

Jerry Faulkner takes 4th Overall ahead of Perry Griffith at the 2022 Masters 5 km National Championships


John Poray Fishers IN, who lost some training time over the winter to an injury, was still sharp enough to claim 6th.

Bryan Lindsay 15:38     Jesse Davis 15:48      Chris Naimoli 15:51

45-49 Sallberg’s 15:57 did not land him on the Overall podium but it did get him the Age Division win, with six seconds to spare. 

Jacques Sallberg, 4th Overall, Gets the Men's 45-49 Win at the 2022 Masters 5 km National Championships


Ritter 16:03 finished  2nd , with his teammate, Jackson 16:06 3rd. 

Jasen Ritter and John Jackson, Indiana Elite teammates finishing strong in 5th and 6th Overall, going 2-3 in Men's 45-49 at the Masters 5 km National Championships


The better part of a minute later, Neil Chandler Jacksonville FL 17:00, Chadwick Hales Decatur GA 7:05, and Jerry Snider Hewitt TX 16:59 having a dust-up of their own.  According to the official gun times, Snider edged Chandler by  0.7 seconds, with Hales a few seconds back. According to the photo below, it appears somehow the timing chips got it wrong, and Chandler #774 finished ahead of Snider #628. All close finishes for the podium were reviewed on a finish line camera so the Awards were good. When I first got involved iwth Masters LDR, I thought hving finish line cameras was overdoing it a little. Officials told me that chips are not as accurate as people think. This is an example where the chips got it wrong but the camera got it right.

Neil Chandler edges Jerry Snider for 4th place at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


50-54 The winner of the 2016 Carlsbad 5000 in 15:11, Christian Cushing-Murray, showed that six years later, at age 54, he still has some bounce in his legs, finishing 10th overall. A sub-4-minute miler several times over, Cushing-Murray did not need his big finishing kick on this outing. He was able to pull away from Mark Andrews Rochester NY 16:54 on the final hills and roll to a 16:45 M50 victory. 

Christian Cushing-Murray takes a solid win in the M50 division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

Andrews had taken the M45 crown here in 2019 in 15:57. Brent Fields Covington GA 17:28 took third for the Atlanta Track Club, the home team, ahead of teammate, Steve Bell Kennesaw GA 17:42.

Christian Cushing-Murrayi 16:45     Mark Andrews 16:54     Brent Fields17:28

55-59 In 2019, David Matherne Rome GA finished 3rd in 17:35. He felt better prepared this time to defend the home turf. He would need to be.  Michael Collins South Bend IN won the 55-59 15K national championship in 2019 and claimed division wins at the 5000 and 10,000 meter runs this past summer in Ames IA.  John McMahon Williamsville NY and Mike Nier Rochester NY battled at Club Cross and at the USATF XC Championships with Nier narrowly coming out on top both times. Would McMahon fare better on the roads? Mark Hixson, who might have been in the mix, apparently got sidelined by the winter storm, preventing him from getting to Atlanta in time. Collins started out conservatively, and then found a Division runner flying by him towards the end of the long downhill at the start. Collins let Matherne go, thinking as part of a strong pack of 50's runners, they would be able to reel him back. Collins spotted a landmark along the bike path, about 2 miles in, checked when Matherne passed it and found an alarming 18-second gap, a lot to eliminate in a mile. Matherne’s confident racing was rewarded; Collins cut the gap but ran out of race course at the  end. Matherne had a three second

David Matherne wins the M55 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


 victory in 17:23! McMahon 17:36 finished in 3rd, holding off Nier 17:46.

David Matherne 17:23      Michael Collins 17:26     John McMahon 17:36

 60-64 This division was, arguably, the most competitive among several closely contested races Tim DeGrado Arvada CO took it out hard at the gun, followed by Joseph Mora Fayetteville NY, and Rick Lee Bayville NJ, who got a little tangled up with the field in the early stages. Lee reports that he caught Mora at the 2-mile mark, but that Mora was able to surge going into the Luckie Street hill at the 2.5-mile mark. Lee caught Mora at the top of the hill. Once they turned left onto Marietta Street for the final 300 meters, Mora turned on his final kick, pulling away from Lee and catching and passing DeGrado. 

From Right: Joseph Mora heading for the win in 60-64 as Fred Weir claims 6th in 55-59 at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

Lee caught DeGrado just as they turned from Marietta Street to the final hundred meters. As they raced down the yellow brick path into Centennial Olympic Park, Lee edged ahead of DeGrado, but then DeGrado found another gear, pulled in front, and held off Lee at the line. 

From Left: Tim Degrado edges Rick Lee at the finish line to claim the Silver Medal in the 60-64 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Mora’s winning time was 18:02, with DeGrado and Lee finishing three seconds later. Degrado clearly had the edge in a photo finish!

Joseph Mora 18:02     Tim Degrado 18:05     Rick Lee 18:05

65-69 This division was the exact opposite of 60-64. Jacob Nur Elk Grove CA, who broke the American 10 Km Record for the division with a 35:42, had no trouble moving away from Ken Youngers Tucker GA. Youngers broke the 12 km Division Record last September but got injured and was not yet at 100%. It will be fun to see how close Youngers can get to Nur once he is back to full strength. Nur took the win in 17:46, with Youngers 18:27  2nd. This course makes it hard to post an impressive time. For comparison, the fastest winning 65-69 time in either 2018 or 2019 was 19:14!

Jacob Nur wins the 65-69 Division handily at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Kevin Dollard Hopewell Junction NY 19:58  took 3rd, 30 seconds ahead of Kyle Hubbart Broomfield CO 20:28. Reno Stirrat Rockaway NJ  20:34, battled Covid a couple of weeks before the race. Despite any breathing difficulties encountered, Stirrat was not far back from Hubbart in 5th.  

Jacob Nur 17:46     Ken Youngers 18:27     Kevin Dollard 19:58

70-74 Richard Larsen Shelburne MA has been tearing up 5 km road races for the last six months, including one sub-19-minute effort and a couple of sub 20's. Sub-19 was not in the cards on this course, but Larsen had no trouble taking the win in 19:37. 

Richard Larsen wins the 70-74 Division with plenty of bounce in his stride at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


For comparison, the winning 70-74 time in 2019 was 20:48. Gene Dykes Bala Cynwyd PA, won the Division with a 19:24 when he was at the top of his game in 2018. He is currently in the process of regaining fitness after some struggles with injury. Nonetheless, Dykes ran a fine 20:47 to take 2nd by a half minute ahead of Doug Bell Greeley CO 21:18. Jerry Learned Gainesville GA 21:32 put forth hi usual strong effort, finishing 4th.

Richard Larsen 19:37     Gene Dykes 20:47     Doug Bell  

75-79 At Club Cross, Ron Wells Alpine CA had no trouble winning and Dave Glass Glenville NY finished 2nd, with Gary Patton Rock Rapids IA in 4th. At the USATF XC Championships in San Diego, Wells again won handily over 8 km of turf. Patton stayed close to Glass throughout the race and, like the Hall of Fame middle distance runner he is, kicked by Glass to beat him by 3 seconds. At this race, a 5 km on the roads rather than an 8 km on the turf, Patton was aiming for the win. He was determined to stay with Wells this time and, he told me later, just managed it. Wells went out so fast!" Despite the obstacle of the final hills, Patton was able to stay close to Wells, turned on the burners and kicked past Wells for the win in 22:23, a mere two seconds ahead. For 2nd place, nationally, to be a bit of a let down says a lot about the kind of year Wells 22:25 is having!  We should all be running so well! But Patton's kick ruled in the end!

Gary Patton wins the 75-79 Division, with Ron Wells 2nd at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

Glass 22:36 stayed in contention the whole way but could not match the closing speed of Patton and Wells, finishing third, 44 seconds ahead of Gary Ostwald and then Ezequiel Garcia.

Gary Patton 22:23     Ron Wells 22:25     Dave Glass 22:36

80-84 In another very competitive division, David Turner Clarkesville GA powered up the closing hills to take the win in 29:11, with Stan Edelson Sarasota FL 29:35 in 2nd. William Wuth Canton GA 29:48 finished 3rd forty-seven seconds ahead of Gary Cochrane 31:35. Turner's last big national win came on the road in Tulsa in October 2019! 


David Turner gets the job done, winning the 80-84 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

He surely enjoyed his return to the top of the podium. It is great to celebrate a comeback with a hometown win!

David Turner 29:11     Stan Edelson 29:35     William Wuth 29:48

85-89 Steven Fuchs Stony Brook NY outlasted his rival, Sid Davis Atlanta GA, winning the division by over 3 minutes in 45:31.

Steven Fuchs captures the 85-89 Division crown at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships



40-44 Hruska and Braley went 1-2 in this division as they did overall. White and Ginna Reid Asheville NC had a terrific battle for the final podium spot; White claimed 3rd by 2 seconds in 18:48!   

Shawanna White motors to 3rd in the 40-44 Division ahead of Ginna Reid at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Reid 18:50 was not able to stay with White, but had a  24 second edge on Suzanne Larsen 19:14.

45-49 Sara Girotto Wynnewood PA, the 2nd place finisher at the 12 km Championships last September, went for the 5 km win here and got it in 19:07. 

Sara Girotto takes the 45-49 Division Win at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Fourteen seconds later, Donna Mills-Honarvar Burlington NC 19:21, who finished 2nd overall at the 2017 Masters Half Marathon Championships, claimed 2nd, with third going to Euleen Josiah-Tanner Atlanta GA 19:41. Josiah-Tanner won the 5000-meter title on the track last summer and won, as well, on the turf at Tallahassee. Samantha Forde Santa Cruz CA 20:27 took 4th, followed by Rebekah Kennedy Forest Hills NY 20:31.

50-54 As noted in the Overall summary, Dean and Walters went out fastest. Dean was able to pass Walters, taking the division win in 18:43, with Walters 2nd 18:54

Abby Dean strides to a 4th place finish Overall and winning the 50-54 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


So far the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix circuit has been a terrific Breast Cancer Survivor tour for Walters. She has been on the Division podium at all three events. 

Ingrid Walters, 7th place Overall, claims 2nd in the 50-54 Division at the
2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

Their main competition was Fiona Bayly NY, NY, who won the division in 2019. Bayly, thinking the Age Divisions were to be settled on net time, lined up several rows deep. She finished 3rd in 18:57, gun time. She was followed a minute later by Kimberly Aspholm Haworth NJ 20:10 and Kathleen Beebe Montclair NJ 20:13.

Abby Dean 18:43     Ingrid Walters 18:54     Fiona Bayly 18:57

55-59 Despite the presence of the 12 km American Record holder, Lisa Veneziano Fenton MI, this division belonged to Rohl. As noted, she finished 3rd overall and had the 2nd best age grade score. Rohl won handily in 18:32. Veneziano ran a very fast 19:31 to claim 2nd ahead of Tania Fischer Santa Monica CA who ran a swift 20:05 on this tough, hilly course. 

Lisa Veneziano takes the Silver Medal in the 55-59 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Kris Huff Newnan GA 20:05 just missed another sub-20 5K in 4th, with Laura Delea  Allamuchy-Hacketts NJ 21:53 5th.

Michelle Rohl 18:32     Lisa Veneziano 19:14     Tania Fischer 20:05 

60-64 Among loads of highly competitive races, this was the only one where the 1st and 2nd place finishers had the same time, to the second. That was some race! Lorraine Jasper Birchrunville PA out-sprinted her Greater Philadelphia teammate, Doreen McCoubrie West Chester PA, to claim first in 20:32. 

Greater Philadelphia teammates, Lorraine Jasper and Doreen McCoubrie go 1-2 in the 60-64 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


McCoubrie was tenths of a second behind in 2nd.  Impala teammates, Nancy Simmons Belvedere CA and  


Nancy Simmons takes 3rd ahead of her teammate, Stella Gibbs, in the 60-64 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

Stella Gibbs Pacific Grove CA,  finished 3rd and 4th in the division, again split by tenths of a second.

Lorraine Jasper 20:32     Doreen McCoubrie 20:32     Nancy Simmons 21:06

65-69 Kitty Musante New Smyrna Beach FL showed that her string of 5K’s over past months in the 22-minute range was for real. She came in ahead of 12 km record holder Nora Cary Morristown NJ by racing to a speedy 22:33. Cary is not often beaten but this was one of those times. Cary ran a time that I would ordinarily be fast enough to win this division at 22:44. Hats off to Musante!  

Kitty Musante takes the Gold Medal in the 65-69 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Alda Cossi  Winchester MA 24:55, took 3rd with a half minute to spare; Cynthia Williams Dallas GA 25:28 captured fourth.  

Kitty Musante 22:33     Nora Cary 22:44     Alda Cossi 24:55

70-74 It was a reversal of form for Marathoner, Jeannie Rice Concord Township OH, not to get the top age grading award, even for such a short distance, by her standards. The Overall Age-Grading Bronze Medalist had no trouble winning this division by over 4 minutes in 23:59.

Jeannie Rice, who was also ont he Age-Grading Podium, captured the Gold Medal in the 70-74 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

Barbar Sauer Buffalo NY 28:14 took 2nd, with Norma Hudnall Spartanburg SC 29:23 a minute back in 3rd. Kathleen Allen Decatur GA 30:18 finished 4th with a cushion of nearly 3 minutes.

Jeannie Rice 23:59     Barbara Sauer  28:14     Norma Hudnall 29:23

75-79 Myrna Barnett Snellville GA added this 35:12 win to  her first place finish at Club Cross in Tallahassee last December. Catherine Radle Atlanta GA 36:24, who won the division here in 2018, 

Myrna Barnett claims the Gold Medal in the 75-79 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships

matched her 2nd place finish at Tallahassee last December. Andrea McCarter Duluth GA 36:59 finished third.

Myrna Barnett 35:12     Catherine Radle 36:24      Andrea McCarthy 36:59

80-84 Joyce Hodges-Hite Millen GA took this division with no opposition in 50:05.  

Joyce Hodges-Hite wins the 80-84 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Joyce Hodges-Hite 50:05

85-89 Known for her positive outlook and good humor, Edna Hyer Orchard Park NY was a podium regular when the 5 km Championships were held in Syracuse. This was her first trip to Atlanta for the Championship and she made it count by taking first in 41:23.  

Edna Hyer captures first place in the 85-89 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships


Tami Graf Lusby MD 48:01, the 2021 Masters National Grand Prix winner in this division, and the 80-84 Gold Medalist in 2018, finished 2nd

95-99 Betty Lindberg is a repeat Age Division winner as well as a World Record-breaker and the 

Betty Lindberg approaching the Finish Line for her World 95-99 Record and her Division Championship at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Championships Photo courtesy of Pam Fales, cropped by author


Overall Age Grade winner; she claimed the 90-94  Championship here in 2019.

Betty Lindberg 55:47

TEAM Championships

Scoring is by cumulative time of first three athletes finishing for each team.


40+ South, West and East met to take home top honors. The Atlanta Track Club was determined to defend the home course, with New Jersey's Garden State Track Club and the San Francisco Bay area's Impala Racing just as determined to turn the tables. Jill Braley 18:21 got things started for the home team . Nearly two minutes later, things got interesting as Garden State's Kimberly Aspholm 20:10 and Kathleen Beebe 20:13 crossed the finish line just seconds apart. 

Kimberly Aspholm scores for Garden State in the 40+ Team Competition

Seven seconds later, Beth Presten 20:20 got things righted for Atlanta. Samantha Forde 20:27 got Impala on the books. But 9 seconds later Amy Koepp 20:36 closed it out for Atlanta, giving them an unbeatable 59:17. 

Amy Koepp scores for Atlanta in the 40+ Team Competition


A minute later Gabrielle Panepinto 21:41 made sure that GSTC took 2nd. Impala claimed third with Laura Meadors 22:53 and Katherine Miller 23:34 closing out their scoring. Atlanta's B Team took 4th- Kathy Wiegand 20:37 Heather Maginn 22:50 Cassandra Harris 39:11.

Atlanta TC 59:17 19:46 avg.     Garden State TC 1:02:04 20:42     Impala Racing 1:06:44 22:15

50+ Three East Coast clubs, from Buffalo N,Y; New Jersey, and Philadelphia; and one West Coast Club from Southern California, focused on derailing Atlanta's home club effort. Michelle Rohl 18:32 and Abby Dean 18:41 went 1-2 for Greater Philadelphia; that put the pressure on! The Janes Elite of So Cal recovered first with Ingrid Walters finishing just 11 seconds back from Dean. Tania Fischer 20:05 kept things going for the Janes when she finished next. A half minute later Amy Fakterowitz 20:36 made sure Checkers AC got counted. Kris Huff 21:08 answered for Atlanta. Kathleen Cushing-Murray 22:04 kept the pressure on for the Janes by finishing next after Fakterowitz. They were the first team with three runners in and a 1:01:03 total. 

Kathleen Cushing-Murray digs for the finish line as she closes out the team scoring for the Janes Elite Racing team in the 50+ Team Competition cropped by author


Shore AC's Laura Delea 21:53 and Alysia Plum 21:59  put their team in contention. With two runners in totaling 37:13, GPTCs third runner had to run faster than 23:50 to defeat the Janes. 

Laura Delea, 1st runner in for Shore Ac in teh 50+ Team Competition


Anabelle Broadbent was up to the task, speeding across the finish line in 22:27 with more than a minute to spare. That gave GPTC the win at 59:40. 

Anabelle Broadbent closes off the scoring for Greater Philadelphia in the 50+ Team Competition


The Janes had 2nd place locked up, and Checkers and Shore had a great start on the final podium spot. When Shore AC listed Nora Cary from the 65-69 division in their lineup, the uninitiated might have thought they were just being nice to give an older, slower runner a chance to be n a team. Not so! Cary 22:44  finished off Shore's scoring, ensuring that they were on the podium with a 1:06:36 total! With Laurie Wharton 24:27 and Katharine Serrano 24:35 finishing 2nd and 3rd for Atlanta, they had a total of 1:10:08 and 4th place. Chekcers finished off with Colleen Newman 24:01 and the queen of the 85-89 division, Edna Hyer 41:23. Her effort ensured that Checkers scored a complete team and took 60 Club Grand Prix points home to Buffalo.

Greater Philadelphia Track Club 59:40 19:54 avg.     Janes Elite Racing 1:01:03 20:21     Shore Athletic Club 1:06:36 22:12

60+ As with the 50+ division, this was Greater Philadelphia vs, the rest of the country. Two teams from Atlanta, the Greater Buffalo TC out of New York, the Impala Racing team from the Bay  Area, and the Liberty AC from Greater Boston all gave chase. It did not matter much. As with 60+, GPTC had the 1-2 combo to start things off right. Lorraine Jasper 20:32 and Doreen McCoubrie 20:32 took the top two spots, just tenths of a second apart. Thirty-four seconds later  the top two Impalas, Nancy Simmons 21:06 and Stella Gibbs 21:06 crossed the finish line in tandem to challenge GPTC. They were only a minute down with two runners in. The finishing place of the team's third runner would be decisive. Next runner in was Atlanta's Patrice Combs 21:39, followed three seconds later by Liberty's Mary Cass 21:42 and, with a 9-second lag, her teammate, Lauren Leslie 21:51. A little over a minute later, Michelle Keane 23:00 finished for Atlanta. GPTC 41:04-2 runners, Impala 42:12, Liberty 43:33  and Atlanta 44:39 all had two runners in. When GPTC's Julie Hayden 23:04 was the next runner to finish, the victory whoops could go up.  GPTC had the win at 1:04:08!  

Julie Hayden closes out the scoring for Greater Philadelphia in the 60+ Team Competition

Three seconds later Mireille Mimi' Silva 23:07 closed off Atlanta's scoring with their total at 1:07:46. Would that be enough to close the gap and mount the podium? Sadly for Atlanta, the answer was no. Liberty, which had the smallest edge over Atlanta on two runners had Victoria Bok 23:17 just ten seconds back from Silva. That gave them a total of 1:06:50. Even though Impala's 3rd runner, Rosemarie MacGuiness 24:05 finished almost a minute behind Silva and 48 seconds behind Bok, 


Rosemary MacGuinness closes out the scoring for Impala Racing in the 60+ Team Competition

it was good enough to give Impala the 2nd place at 1:06:17, thirty-three seconds in front of Liberty.

Greater Philadelphia Track Club 1:04:08 21:23 avg.      Impala Racing 1:06:17 22:06     Liberty Athletic Club 1:06:50 22:17

70+ The Atlanta Track Club provided an 'A' and a 'B' team but no other clubs entered. 'A' won with Norma Hudnall 29:23 Kathleen Allen 30:18 Marion Finley 33:02  for  1:32:43. 'B finished 2nd on Catherine Radle 36:24 Mary Reed 37:24 Carol Patterson 40:17 for 1:54:05.

Atlanta Track Club 'A' 1:32:43 30:55     Atlanta Track Club B' 1:54:05 38:02


40+  The Indiana Elite AC took the Club Cross 40 and up crown in Tallahassee in a very tight contest with the West Valley Track Club. This time they were up against three teams from the Atlanta Track Club designated 'A, 'B', and C; the First Coast Runners out of Florida; and the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. With Bryan Lindsay 15:38 and Jesse Davis 15:48 finishing 1st and 2nd, e very other team had their work cut ou for them. GPTC's Chris Naimoli 15:51 tried to break up  that pair but fell three seconds short. But that was not so much of a problem as that the next two runners to finish were also Indiana Elite, Jasen Ritter 16:03 and John Jackson 16:06. Ritter was their third runner giving them a total of 47:29. That gave Indiana their 2nd win in two shots! The other teams were now fighting for the last two podium spots!   

Perry Griffith 16:19 put Atlanta in the scoring column. After John Poray came across the line for Indiana, Neil Chandler 17:00 gave First Coast their first scorer. Four seconds later it was Nathan Deeter 17:04 giving Atlanta their 2nd scorer. Had they put Chadwick Hales 17:04 on the A' team, he would have capped their scoring. As it was, he gave the 'C' team their first scoring runner.  

Chad Hales initiated the scoring for Atlanta 'C' in the 60+ Team Competition


Matthew Dipretore 17:09 gave GPTC fans a hope when he came next. But before anyone could figure out whether they had a chance at 2nd, Atlanta 'A 3rd runner, Michael Schmitz 17:15 actually did cap their scoring. Theiur 3-runner total was 50:38. The only question now was whether First Coast could get their 2nd and 3rd runners in before the third GPTC runner came across. If so, they might still be on the podium. After Dustin Heslep 18:06 initiated Atlanta B's scoring, First Coast's Jeff Tomaszewski 18:08 and Brock Walaska 18:43 did claim the next two spots. But it was moot once GPTC's Matthew Cutrona 18:50 scored to give GPTC a total of 51:50, well over a minute under the First Coast total of 


Matthew Cutrona closes out the scoring for Greater Philadelphia in the 40+ Team Competition crop by author

53:38. First Coast finished 4th. The Atlanta 'B' team took 5th in 55:27 from Heslep, Kevin Gibson 18:27 Brad Frink 18:54, with Atlanta 'C' 6th at 1:00:29 from Hales, Mark Castleberry 21:01 Seemant Teotia 22:23. 

Note: Tomaszewski was later removed from the results for a DQ due to a positive covid test onsite. It made no difference to the order o fth eresults because First Coast's 4th runner in, Jakob Irwin 18:36 just added 28 seconds t First Coast's total, still a minute and a half ahead of Atlanta 'B.

 Indiana Elite Athletic Club 47:29 15:50     Atlanta Track Club 'A' 50:38 16:53     Greater Philadelphia Track Club 51:50 17:17

 50+ Three Atlanta TC teams and the Genesee Valley Harriers contested this Club division. Mark Andrews 16:54 was the first runner across the line for these teams, giving GVH a nice start. It was short-lived however as Atlanta was able to bunch their top 3 runners, David Matherne 17:23, Brent Fields 17:28, and Steve Bell 17:42 and bring them all in just ahead of GVH's 2nd scoring runner, Mike Nier 17:46


Steve Bell closes out the scoring for Atlanta Track Club 'A'  in the 50+ Team Competition

That gave Atlanta 'A' 52:33 total and GH with 34:40 on two runners. Their third runner would need to finish in under 17:53. There have been days when Dale Flanders has finished within a few seconds of Nier but today was not one of those days as 17:53 passed without Flanders crossing the line. In the meantime Atlanta 'B Fred Weir 18:02 and David Waid 18:06 finished for Atlanta B, threatening to move GVH down from 2nd to 3rd. But Flanders 18:21 did not let that happen. His time broght GVH's total to 53:01, which Atlanta B could not touch. GVH had their Silver Medals! 

Dale Flanders sprints to the finish line, closing out scoring and ensuring a 2nd place for GVH in the 50+ team Competition


When the B team's Simon Angove 18:43 crossed the finish line, that gave the 'B' team 3rd place with 54:51. The ATC 'C' team took 4th on Jeff Haushalter 19:38 Christopher Michaels 19:56 Ben Bailey 20:10.

Atlanta Track Club 'A' 52:33 17:31     Genesee Valley Harriers 53:01 17:41     Atlanta Track Club 'B' 54:51 18:17

60+ In addition to three Atlanta Track Club teams, the division was contested by the Boulder Road Runners, the Genesee Valley Harriers,  the Kansas City Smoke, and Shore Athletic Club. GVH's Joe Mora 18:02 was the first runner in, just ahead of Boulder's Tim Degrado 18:05 and Shore's Rick Lee 18:05. It looked like it might be a 3-way battle for the team win. But then the Atlanta 'A'train began to arrive. Ken Youngers 18:27 Casey Hannan 18:08 Kevin Paulk 19:48 took the next three spots for Atlanta, giving them 57:23 from three runners. 

Kevin Paulk closes out scoring for Atalanta TC 'A' in the 60+ Team Competition


That put them out of reach for GVH, Boulder and Shore. Things were looking good for GVH when John Van Kerkhove 19:26 finished. But they still needed their 3rd runner in. Stan McCormack 19:36 gave KC their first scoring runner. Kevin Dollard, 'Mr. Reliable, came in next at 19:58 to give Shore 38:03 and within shooting distance of GVH. Robert Harber 20:20 tightened things up by giving KC their 2nd runner in as well. They were coing fast now! Boulder's Kyle Hubbart 20:28 kept Boulder in contention for 2nd. Six seconds later, though, Shore's Reno Stirrat 20:34 came through for a three-runner total of 58:37. No one could touch that; Shore had 2nd place! 

Reno Stirrat closes out the scoring for Shore AC's 2nd place finish in the 60+ Team Competition


Two seconds later Bob Luder 20:36 finished, giveing KC a total of 1:00:32. It was not enough, though, as Jeffery Barros 20:39 finished scoring for bBoulder with a total of 59:12, over a minute ahead of KC. Boulder got the Bronze Medals! Mark Rybinski 23:09 closed off GVH's scoring; they took 5th, ahead of Atlanta 'B' 1:09:59 from Neil Feather 22:47 David Partington 23:22 Randy Stroud 23:50 and Atlanta 'C' at 1:12:28 on Mike Spencer 23:33 Bob Dalton 24:26 Mickael Anderson 24:29.

 Atlanta Track Club 'A 57:23 19:08     Shore Athletic Club 58:37 19:33     Boulder Road Runners 59:12 19:44

70+ Two Atlanta TC teams, along with teams from the Boulder Road Runners, the San Diego Striders, and Shore AC ciontested this division. Doug Bell 21:18 got Boulder on the board first, but 14 seconds later, Jerry Learned 21:32 was in for Atlanta. The battle was on. The Striders were next with Ron Wells 22:25. Mike Wien 22:29 moved Boulder ahead but was answered by Atlanta's Dave Glass 22:36. It was looking like either Boulder or Atlanta would win it. Boulder settled that when Rick Katz 22:45 gave Boulder their winning total of 1:06:32. 

Rick Katz closes out the scoring for the Boulder Road Runners' winning effort in the 70+ Team Competition


When Steve Doyle 24:48 came across the line, the Striders still had some hope for a podium finish. Next in was Allen Joyce 25:10 to close out Atlanta's scoring at 1:09:18. 

Allen Joyce provides the final score in the Atlanta Track Club's 2nd place effort in the 70+ Team Competition


They had 2nd place with minutes to spare. Milton Goldwassser 31;56  finished 3rd for the Striders, giving them a total time of 1:18:49 and 3rd place! Atlanta B' Patrick Taylor 28:13 Joseph Lenahan 30:16 Morris Williams 31:51 had a total of 1:30:20 for 4th place. Shore AC finished 5th on Przemek Nowicki 26:53 Stan Edelson 29:35 John Kuhi 38:49 for 1:35:17.

Boulder Road Runners 1:06:32 22:11     Atlanta Track Club A' 1:09:18 23:06       San Diego Striders 1:18:49 26:17

80+ The Atlanta Track Club  was unoppose din this division, winning with 1:35:24 on David Turner 29:11  William Wuth 29:48 Andrew Sherwood 36:26.

William Wuth finishes 2nd for the Atlanta Track Club in the 80+ Team Competition


Atlanta Track Club  1:35:24 31:48

The Atlanta Track Club won several Championships including the Women’s 40 and up competition in 59:17, with a victory margin of 2:47; Men’s 50+ in 52:33 with a victory margin of less than half a minute; Men’s 60+ in 57:23, with a minute to spare; and Women’s 70+ unopposed in 1:32:43. The Greater Philadelphia Track Club took the Women’s 50+ in 59:42, with a victory margin of 1:21; and Women’s 60+ in 1:04:08 with a 2 minute victory edge. The Boulder Road Runners took the men’s 70+ title in 1:06:32, enjoying a three-minute edge. Both Boulder and the Shore AC captured two podium finishes.

Everything went off like clockwork; the competition and  camaraderie were outstanding. Kudos to the Atlanta Track Club! Next up on the Grand Prix circuit, are the USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse NY on March 20th!


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