Monday, October 31, 2022

A Great Day of Racing on the Front Range of the Rockies--Mile High Cross Country Championships at Boulder

 Boulder, Colorado. October 22, 2022. 

Temperatures climbed and the sun blazed forth at Harlow Platts Community Park. It was a great day for spectators. The Cross Country course was an honest one, with your classic sharp, short up- and downhills, technical sections, and some cross-slope running. The warm temperatures, dry conditions and high altitude made this day of racing a challenge. Some were able to overcome the challenges brilliantly, while others had less success, and were left shaking their heads, wondering how they could have managed to run as slow as they did. But most vowed it would make them stronger so they could rebound and fight another day.  Lee Troop and his T.E.A.M. Boulder crew provided great organization of the Event; they also arranged for Award presentations by some of the many Olympic athletes who make the Boulder area their home. To the delight of the winning Masters athletes, Olympic athletes, Colleen De Reuck, Benji Durden, Adam Goucher, Kara Goucher, Joe Klecker, Alicia Monson, and Jake Riley presented the medals.



The Women’s race went off first. The top contenders appeared to be Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, Kathryn Davis, Melody Fairchild, Jessica HruskaAnn Kirkpatrick, Shelly McDonald, Katherine McGee, and Trina Painter. The gun sounded, the runners streamed down the slope toward the first short climb up and across slope to the right. Kirkpatrick, who finished 27th in the Women’s Open Championships at Tallahassee last December, was in the lead, with McDonald running beside her. McDonald finished 3rd this year in the Equinox Half Marathon in 1:20:58, a serious rival no doubt. Tucked in behind those two was Hruska, who took the 5K Masters Championship on the roads last February. Fairchild, who had competed for Team USA in the World Mountain Running Championships in 2012 and won the Overall Masters title at the 2017 USATF Cross Country Championships in Bend, Oregon, was a few strides back. Off to her right was Cherobon-Bawcom the 2012 Olympian in the 10,000 meters. 

The Early leaders in the Women's race-From left: Janet Cherobon-Bawcom #43Melody Fairchild #79Rochelle Persson #284Ann Kirkpatrick #303 and Shelley McDonald #146
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

The others fell in behind in the pack and bided their time. As they cruised around the lake for the first time, Kirkpatrick, McDonald, and Hruska were leading the field, with Cherobon-Bawcom 50 meters back and Fairchild another 20. Cherobon-Bawcom, an Olympian in 2012, had run a 16:38 5 K a couple of years ago. Since that time, she has focused on her 'real job', a nurse testing for Covid at the Grand Canyon, and has devoted less time to training. Nonetheless, she has the talent and enjoys running with her team! But today was not her day. Fairchild passed Cherobon-Bawcom on the latter part of the first loop. Once McDonald fell back from the stiff early pace that Kirkpatrick was setting, Fairchild passed her as well and found herself in third as the leaders headed back around behind the starting area at the end of the first big loop. From there it was just a question of whether Hruska could stay with her or not. In the end, Kirkpatrick had a little more to call on and pulled away from Hruska over the second loop. Kirkpatrick was home with the win in 19:21, with Hruska a half minute back in 2nd. 

Ann Kirkpatrick heads to the Finish Line where she takes First Place in the Women's race at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Cross Country Championships at Boulder CO
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

Fairchild, a very determined runner, was able to hang there in 3rd the rest of the way, finishing just ten seconds back from Hruska. 

Kirkpatrick did not compete in college, starting serious training only after starting a career and having two children. Nonetheless, she was able to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta and finish in the top 30 at the USATF Cross Country Open Championships in 2021, at the age of 39! Winning a Masters National Championship in her first outing seems only fitting! 

Hruska did her best to stay with Kirkpatrick but was delighted to claim her first Silver Medal this year at a National Championship, adding to the Gold she earned at the 5 Km in Atlanta and the Bronzes in the Half marathon in Syracuse and the 10 Km in Dedham, MA. As one might guess, with that record, she was even more delighted at her ability to close out the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix in style. The 90 points from this contest gives her 445 points and a dominant Grand Prix win in the 40-44 age division. Fairchild, who focuses primarily on Coaching her Boulder Mountain Warriors, was, no doubt, pleased to podium at the age of 49.

Painter, who competed for Team USA in the 1998 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and raced in four different Olympic Trials, in events from the 3000 meters to the Marathon, was able to pull away from the rest and finish strong in 4th at 20:45. Painter, 56, like Fairchild, focuses primarily on Coaching but apparently stays in top condition to inspire her charges. Davis, an Ultra Runner, was just three seconds back in 5th. McGee took 6th and McDonald 7th.

Ann Kirkpatrick 19:21     Jessica Hruska 19:52     Melody Fairchild 20:02


In the Men’s Overall Championships, it was a Marathoner, Anthony Bruns, vs. a trail runner, Chris Gomez, vs. a smoking fast 5K road specialist, Adam Rich. All sorts of runners have done well in Cross Country. Marathoners took the top two spots, for example, at the 2018 Club Cross Championships in Spokane. Fast Miler and 5K specialist, Neville Davey, won the 2017 Club Cross at Lexington KY. Simon Gutierrez, the 2005 USA Mountain Runner of the Year, was on the podium at Cross Nationals in Boulder in 2015. 

Bruns ran 2:25:35 for a Masters win at the 2021 edition of the California International Marathon CIM and finished 3rd overall at the Denver Colfax Marathon this past May in 2:32:48. Known primarily for his trail running, Gomez has won the Soulstice Jackie Weintraub Mountain Trail Run over 11 miles in Flagstaff the last two years. He also finished 2nd Masters this September at the Imogene Pass Run over 17.1 Miles. The race has a mile of elevation rise in the first ten miles and then falls 4300 feet over the next 7 miles. No doubt a 5 Km XC race would feel short after that kind of Mountain Race. He also found time to win 1st Masters at Flagstaff's Pride 5K in early October, clocking 16:39. Rich, on the other hand, took 1st masters at the Cookie Chase 5K in Denver in July with a 15:40, and at the Evergreen Town Race 5K in August with a 15:19, and won the Golden Gallop 5K Overall in 15:49 in September in Golden CO, all at altitude. 

There were plenty of others with strong credentials, even after star Open Runner, Fernando Cabada, had to withdraw from his first Masters National Championships due to work conflicts. Ryan Baker entered the race with credentials in the ballpark of his rivals. Baker took first Masters at the 18th Annual Pat's Run in Flagstaff over 4.2 miles, roughly equivalent to a 16:45 5K. Then he won the Masters race at the Flagstaff Mile in 4:43 on the 4th of July.  Anthony Gallo, in a similar vein, lacked truly impressive credentials coming in. He ran 17:47 at a 5K in June and 16:55 at the Pride 5K in early October, finishing 16 seconds behind Gomez. Both were at altitude, so more impressive, but all of the times mentioned here, except CIM, were at altitude.  Neil McDonagh brought in a strong and broad road runner's resume, from a 1st Masters, 2nd Overall 4:36 at the Mile High Mile this summer, back to a 15:46 5K and a 33:07 10K, both at altitude in 2021, to a solid 2:41:59 at Grandma's in 2019. 

Front of the Men's Field 200 Meters into the Race--From Right: Adam Rich #186, Neville Davey black singlet right behind Rich, Neil McDonagh #144, Jesse Armijo, Anthony Bruns #34, Jonathan Huie #275, Anthony Gallo #91, Jerry Snider #214, and Peter Newton #302 
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

Rich took it out hard, daring the others to go with him! Up the short hill and around the lake, Rich held the lead for the first loop. Gomez, Bruns, McDonagh and Gallo formed a chase pack that was a good 50 meters behind Rich. Neville Davey, Masters winner of the 2017 Club Cross Country Championships in Lexington KY, was just 20 meters back from the chase pack at that point.  Gomez and Bruns were able to drop McDonagh and Gallo. They then passed Rich and gapped him on the last loop. Gomez had just a little more in the tank over the finishing half mile, pulling away for a three second victory over Bruns in 16:35! 

Chris Gomez Enjoys the Overall Win in the men's race at the 2022 USATF Masters National 5 Km Cross Country Championships in Bouder CO
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

Rich claimed 3rd in 16:48. McDonagh closed strong but could not quite catch Rich, finishing two seconds back in 4th. Gallo was 5th in 17:05, five seconds ahead of Baker, who moved up strongly over the 2nd loop of the course.

Chris Gomez 16:35     Anthony Bruns 16:38     Adam Rich 16:48



40-44 It is not always this way, but everyone mentioned in the Overall race came from the 40-44 division. It was Gomez, Bruns and Rich on the podium with McDonagh, Gallo and R. Baker in 4th through 6th.

Chris Gomez 16:35     Anthony Bruns 16:38     Adam Rich 16:48

45-49 This division was packed. Neville Davey, winner of the 2017 Masters Overall Club Cross Championship and current holder of the Masters Road Mile record at 4:22 was, arguably, the headliner. If one focuses on Open Cross Country credentials, Clint Wells comes to the fore. A three-time member of Team USA at the World Cross Country Championships, Wells also enjoyed success on the roads, with Masters wins in 2016 at the UA NYC Half Marathon in 1:06:47 and at Boston with a 2:24:55. Mike Madsen lost by a whisker at the 2019 Masters Road Mile Championships in Flint to Chuck Schneekloth (now also the 2022 Fifth Avenue Mile Masters Champion). Todd Rose won this division at Club Cross in Tallahassee, getting a rare win over Jacques Sallberg. Julian Marsh did not compete at Tallahassee last December but was just outside the top ten Overall in the Masters Race at Club Cross at Lehigh. Aaron Kleinman entered with a 2:38:33 at the CIM last December, a 2:57:47 at Boston and a 36:44 at the Bolder Boulder 10K. On a warm, humid day in Tallahassee last December, Brantley Lutz found himself finishing almost two minutes behind Rose. He was looking forward to a better day in the mountains. Lutz had also built a base last winter, prepping for a 2:50:21 Marathon in Rome, Italy in March. [It may not have the prestige of a Berlin or a London, but it sounds like a heck of a destination race, starting and ending at the Coliseum!

When the gun sounded, Davey shot off like a bolt! He positioned himself, in the first quarter mile, off of McDonagh's left elbow, slotted in right behind Rich. By the time they were headed around the lake for the first time, Davey was leading the division, but Lutz was moving up through the pack. Madsen and Wells were biding their time behind Lutz, with Rose, and then Marsh, tracking them. Lutz eventually passed, and pulled away from Davey, enjoying a 14 second gap by the time he crossed the finish line 1st in the division! Rose, in the meantime, had been closing on Davey over the second loop of the course, and nearly nipped him. Davey's strong finishing kick served him well as he edged Rose by a single second in 17:37! Then they came pouring in! Kleinman at 17:44, followed 5 seconds later by Wells, Madsen at 17:52, and Marsh six seconds further back. What a race! Lutz certainly enjoyed that one more than Tallahassee!

Brantley Lutz 17:23     Neville Davey 17:37     Todd Rose 17:38

This Photo of the Men's Chase pack, consisting of Chris Gomez, Anthony Bruns, Neil McDonagh, and Anthony Gallo shows off the spectacular beauty of the setting in Boulder for the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

50-54 Mark Yuen was the King of this division last winter, taking the division crowns at both Tallahassee and San Diego. His teammates, Ivan Lieben and Charles Mullane, were not far back. Yuen did not participate in the roads portion of the Masters National Grand prix, but Lieben and their West Valley teammate, Mark Callon did.  Callon took the Half Marathon title at Syracuse with a fine 1:15:43, edging his Central Mass Striders rival, Gregory Putnam by just 5 seconds. Lieben, meanwhile, gathered in points at the 10 Mile, 10K, and 12K Championships, entering the final Championship in 2nd place in the Grand Prix, just twenty points back from Putnam. Chris Grauch, Glen Mays, and Flavio De Simone were prepared to defend the home turf of the Boulder Road Runners. In August 2021, Grauch took 2nd Masters, behind Max King, at the USATF Mountain Championships at Mt. Hood, Oregon. Mays clocked 1:20:21 at the Bar Harbor, ME Half Marathon in mid-September. De Simone, who provided videos of the course for the benefit of out-of-state runners, was just 49 seconds behind Callon in Tallahassee. Chokri Dhaouadi, who finished 4th overall at Cross Nationals in San Diego in 2020, made the trip up from another mile high city, Albuquerque, to try his luck. Dhaouadhi took it out hard, running with the second Overall chase group for the first part of the race. Then the Mountain King, Grauch, took over. Grauch came in at 17:18, a whopping 45 seconds ahead of Dhaouadhi. Dhaouadhi made the trip from Albuquerque worthwhile, though, managing to hold off Lieben by a single second for the Silver medal. Lieben's 18:04 gave him his 3rd consecutive national Cross Country podium, to go with Tallahassee and San Diego. Twelve seconds later, Callon took 4th, with Mays 5th in 18:23, and Mullane just 3 seconds back. Putnam finished 7th in 18:44, followed by Yuen and De Simone.

Chris Grauch 17:18     Chokri Dhaouadhi 18:03     Ivan Lieben 18:04

The Races within the Race--From Right: Craig Godwin 55 Bowerman TC orange singlet/lenses, Ivan Lieben 53 West Valley TC lime green cap/reversed, Glen Mays 52 Boulder Road Runners #141, Julian Marsh 48 West Valley TC #139, Eric Monda 43 Boulder Road Runners white singlet/ blue shorts, Will Drexler 47 Team Run Flagstaff #71, Francis Burdett 57 Greater Springfield Harriers #35
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

55-59 Christian Cushing-Murray aged up after claiming the 5 km national 50-54 title in Atlanta with a 16:45 and finishing 3rd at Cross Nationals in San Diego behind Yuen and Lieben. Craig Godwin won the 50-54 division at Highlands NJ in the 12 Km in September 2021 with a nifty 41:23. He took 6th in that division at Tallahassee and followed it up with a 1:18:52 Half marathon at the Eugene marathon in April and clocked 16:30 in a September 5K. David White would be a formidable Cross Country opponent. He finished 2nd at Tallahassee and took the division crown at San Diego. Rick Granquist took top Masters honors in 47:15 at the CMRA South Seven Trail Run. That would only be equivalent to a 41:29 10K but was on mostly gravel trails with a fair amount of up and down and, of course, at altitude. In some sense, you never know what to expect from Francis Burdett. You will always get top effort, but Burdett often runs with injuries that would sideline others. He had a great outing at the Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth Maine in early August, taking the division prize in 37:03. A month later, he ran with a minor injury at the 12 km Championships in Highlands NJ, still managing an 8th place finish in the division in 46:40, equivalent to a 38:28 10K. Mike Nier finished off his hamstring rehab and would, presumably be at full strength. He finished 4th at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta with a 17:43 but was back in 13th at Dedham at the 10 Km Championships with a 38:48, in the early stages of rehabbing the hamstring. Would he be ready for Cross Country? He had a good outing at the 3rd of the Pete Glavin XC Series on Oct 9th, with a 16:05, and was only 19 seconds out of first in the division.

After the gun sounded and the field was 200 meters out, one naturally looked for Cushing-Murray, who often gets out fast with the Overall leaders. In contrast, he was more restrained this time, going out with the 50+ leaders but keeping himself in check. Godwin was a few strides back, and Burdett, off to his right. Godwin pushed the pace from there, with Cushing-Murray a few strides back, and Burdett back a few more. The rest could not be picked out but were, no doubt, there in the mix. When they headed up the hill at the end of the second loop, White was able to pass Godwin, who appeared to be having breathing difficulties. White's hopes of a big win were soon dashed, however, as he had trouble catching his breath on the downslope, and Godwin went roaring past. Godwin said, after the race, that until he got to the final few hundred meters, he doubted if he would finish. But finish he did, clocking 18:54 to take the division win with 9 seconds to spare! White did eventually find his breathing again and was able to stay ahead of Cushing-Murray. Granquist had been right behind Cushing-Murray on the way up the final big hill on the second loop. But, by the end, Cushing-Murray nailed third in 19:15 with Granquist ten seconds back. Nine seconds later it was Burdett in 5th, with Nier claiming 6th just three seconds later.

This Cross Country win was sweet for Godwin; he has had medical issues over the last few years but has not let it slow him down. His first national Masters Cross Country outing seems to have been at Cross Nationals in Bend, Oregon in 2017, where he finished 4th in 45-49. It has been up and down ever since. At Club Cross in Lexington later that year, he was 15th in 50-54, and the following year, 13th in Spokane. He had his best Club Cross finish at Lehigh, claiming 3rd in 50-54. Right before Covid hit, Godwin had his first national Cross Country win, taking the 50-54 crown at Mission Bay in San Diego in early 2020. But then at Tallahassee last December, he was back to 6th. Coming into Boulder, up against so many top runners who train at altitude, must have seemed daunting. Nonetheless, at the end, he was atop the podium. 

Although he was not able to claim the top prize, White has a nice XC trifecta, with a 2nd at Tallahassee last December, a 1st at San Diego a month later, and another 2nd here in Boulder. Cushing-Murray was happy to return to a Cross Country podium, especially in a race at altitude! Cushing-Murray has been on Cross Country division podiums many times and won the whole show at Cross Nationals in 2012 in St. Louis! His most recent division podium was at Tallahassee Cross Nationals in 2018 where he took Silver in 50-54. Granquist salvaged some of the hometown pride for this division, while Burdett and Nier enjoyed a return to form and helped themselves out a bit in the Individual Grand Prix contest.

Craig Godwin 18:54     David White 19:03     Christian Cushing-Murray 19:15

60-64 All eyes were on Dan King. He was winning everything in sight, on the track, coming out of Covid in 2021. He ran faster than the 60-64 American Mile record and faster than the 1500 Meter record. He set the 60-64 Road Mile Record at 5:00 flat in Lincoln, Nebraska. Coming off the track season, he went on a tear on the turf! He has won the last three 60-64 Division Cross Country crowns, at Boston last November, at Tallahassee last December, and at San Diego in January of this year. Could he win 4 in a row? There was some doubt as 2022 has been more up and down. A Master at rehab, he still did get injured and however good you are at rehab, it will, necessarily, slow you down for a period of time. His most recent injury was to his knee. That rehab was coming along, but he was not far enough along to win the 60-64 division at the Fifth Avenue Mile, as everyone expected. He did still come second. And he was able to run a 37:55 10 Km at the Boulderthon 10K on October 9th. At Tallahassdee last December, Tim DeGrado and Roger Sayre finished 2nd and 3rd, well back from King. Mark Tatum finished 7th and Joe Mora 12th. Would they all move up on King? If King's knee held up, it appeared his chances for a 4th straight win were good. DeGrado had a tough outing at the BOA Chicago Marathon 2 weeks before this race, running a good bit slower than he anticipated. That would work against him perhaps. Sayre is in the last few months of his time in the 60-64 division; he ages up next year. Tatum might be the more dangerous of those three Boulder Road Runner teammates. He won Dipsea in 2021. He did not win this year but did very well again. He had no known weaknesses coming into the race. Mora has not been quite as strong on the turf as he has been on the track and on the roads. And he was coming to altitude from the flatlands of Upstate New York.

When the gun went off, King left little doubt that the knee was fine. He mentioned to me that one of the secrets of altitude running is to be cautious at the start so you can make a strong move over the 2nd half of the race. DeGrado pushed to the front of the field. That had worked well for him in the 10 Km Championships at Dedham, where he went out hard and was never headed. Despite employing his conservative strategy, King was not far back. He was followed by Tatum and the others. King started to move up on the longer uphill in the second half of the 1st loop, and really extended himself on the downslope. King's knee held up, his strategy worked, and he had another big win on the turf! He crossed the finish line in 1st at 18:57. DeGrado probably felt a bit of the Marathon in his legs. In any case, this time he could not hold off a challenge from Tatum, who claimed second in 19:58. De Grado was 7 seconds back in 3rd. Considering the altitude and the warm, dry day, Mora did well, claiming 4th in 20:19. He was followed 7 seconds later by Daniel Greer, primarily a Trail Runner, with Sayre in 6th at 20:35. 

King had his 4th straight win on the turf. More than one athlete was wondering if anyone, in any Masters division, had ever accomplished that feat before. My guess is that it is quite rare. But, in one of the ironies of sport, immediately before King did it, Joe Sheeran did it, and in the same 60-64 division, winning at Tallahassee in February 2019 (Cross Nationals), at Mission Bay in San Diego in October 2019 (5 Km Masters Cross), at Lehigh in December 2019 (Club Cross), and at Mission Bay again in January of 2020 (Cross Nationals). To be accurate, Sheeran actually got the 5-peat, because he also took the division win at Spokane in December 2018 (Club Cross). He did not go to Buffalo, NY in October of 2018 however, so it stops at five. And yes, King was second to Sheeran at the last three of those. Sheeran has not competed nationally since that last win in San Diego. A snowstorm kept Sheeran from catching his flight to San Diego in 2022. It would have been fun to see that race; King was at the top of his game. Either way, King has one more to go to match Sheeran. Will he get it at San Francisco?

Dan King 18:57     Mark Tatum 19:58     Tim DeGrado 20:05

65-69 This division looked, initially, like it would have one of the most competitive fields. Jacob Nur has been setting records left and right on the roads. He currently holds the American Records at 10 Km 35:42, 10 Miles 58:34 and the Half Marathon 1:18:29.  Rick Becker is one of the finest XC runners of his age and a 3-time USATF Masters Harrier of the Year. Last year he broke the 5000 and 10,000 65-69 American Records on the track at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships. Ken Youngers had had a remarkable 12 months, starting with a 12 Km American 65-69 Record at Highlands, NJ in September 2021, and including a 37:46 10 Km at the National Championships in Dedham MA. That established the 65-69 Course Record. That possibility vanished when Youngers had a nasty fall at Highlands this year when his hamstring gave out in mid-stride. Of course, it still looked like Becker and Nur might have a rematch. Becker took their meeting in Spokane in 2018 and Nur had the edge in San Diego last January. Then that fell apart, too, when Becker came up with a calf strain heading into the race. That meant it would be up to one of the high-altitude guys to try to rein in Nur. It was good to see Dan Spale running well again. In 2016 and 2017, he was a 60-64 podium regular on the Masters National Grand Prix circuit, whether Club Cross at Tallahassee or a 15K in Tulsa or an 8K in Virginia Beach. He ran 41:43 at Bolder Boulder this year and followed that with an 18:53 5K in August, and a 1:34:02 Half Marathon on Labor Day, all at altitude. Kansas City is not high altitude, but Stan McCormack should also be a podium contender. He took 7th in the 5K National Championships in 65-69 at Atlanta in 19:22. Others in the hunt included Normand Guilemette, Jack Pottle, and Jerry Blair. 

Nur, as it turned out, ran splendidly and no one in the division could keep him in sight. He clocked 19:13, finishing 1st by well over a minute. His time was also faster than all of the 60-64 year-olds except for Dan King. Despite McCormack's best efforts to stay close, Spale was able to pull away on the second loop, claiming the Silver medal in 20:53. McCormack earned the final podium spot with a 21:37, holding off Guillemette, who was just six seconds back in 4th. Pottle finished at 22:06 in 5th place, with Blair in 6th at 22:30.

Jacob Nur 19:13     Dan Spale 20:53     Stan McCormack 21:37

70-74 In a 12 Km Road matchup in Highlands, NJ in September, Robert Qualls, the 'new kid on the block' in the age division, was able to beat Gene Dykes. For those who do not know Dykes's recent history, he came within a whisker of breaking the World Marathon 70-74 record of the legendary Ed Whitlock in 2018, clocking 2:55:22. Dykes was winning everything in sight in 2018 but is now looking toward the 75-79 division. Essentially injury-free in 2018 and 2019, the last two years have seen more injuries for Dykes. He always seems to come back strongly, though.   

But Qualls is formidable right now. At the WMA Championships in Finland this summer, he came home with a Gold Medal from the Cross Country, a Silver in the 10 Km Road Championships and a Bronze in the 1500! He kept that rolling with his win at the 12 Km Championships. Not to ruin any suspense, but Dykes, it turned out, was not ready for the altitude or just needed more recovery time from the London Marathon on October 2nd and the Indiana Trail 100 Miler on the 9th. He was not in the race after the first mile. 

No one else had a chance of staying with Qualls, who ran a superb race, taking the win in 20:50. Doug Bell is a tough customer on the turf. He was upset at Boston in October, finishing 2nd in the division. But he righted the ship and took 1st at Club Cross in Tallahassee. He had run well this summer, with a 44:33 at the Bolder Boulder. He could not stay close to Qualls, but had everyone else beat, clocking 23:08 to enjoy a margin of over 40 seconds back to his teammate, Carl Mohr. Perry Linn who had a good outing at Ames this summer, with a 21:04 5,000 meters and a 44:23 10,000-meters, was just off the podium at 24:09. Jerry Learned had another fine outing; he is has had a very consistent year. He edged Pablo Vigil, taking 5th place in 24:18, with Vigil three seconds back. It is very tough to take a place away from Learned in the final stages of a race; he can always find a strong kick!

Robert Qualls 20:50     Doug Bell 23:08     Carl Mohr 23:51

75-79 The big question in this division was whether Dave Glass could come into Gary Ostwald's home territory and keep his amazing season going in style. Last year at Tallahassee, Glass finished 2nd to Ron Wells at Tallahassee but had an off day at San Diego. Ostwald came in 12 seconds ahead of Glass. And, of course, Ostwald should have the advantage from this race being at altitude. In the interim, Glass bounced back to beat Ostwald by 44 seconds a month later at the 5 Km Road championships in Atlanta and went on to win every national championship from 10 Km up in 2022. To say the least, he was coming in on a roll! Ostwald went out strong and led for most of the first loop. Glass was able to move past Ostwald as they passed the Tennis Courts on the way out to begin the second loop. Glass never looked back and took the win in 23:57. Ostwald claimed 2nd 45 seconds later. His teammate, Jeffrey Dumas, took 3rd in 26:42, a minute ahead of the pair from the Genesee Valley Harriers, Keith Yeates and Jim May, who took 4th and 5th.

Dave Glass 23:57     Gary Ostwald 24:42     Jeffrey Dumas 26:42

Dave Glass #96, eventual winner of 75-79, and Brian Cloherty yellow singlet work their way back around the lake at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

80-84 I did not know what to make of Richard Zerbe's credentials. What I could find on Athlinks was that he has competed regularly in the race walk at distances up to 1500 Meters. This past summer, he clocked 11:37 for the 1500 Meter Race Walk. The track races I could find topped out at 400 Meters. But I should have looked more closely at the times to figure out that Zerbe is quite an athlete. And maybe I should also have remembered that Michelle Rohl who is setting records as a distance runner had a career as a race walker before that. Stan Edelson looked like the favorite. He took first in Rochester at the Road Mile Championships with an 8:38 and also claimed the division title at Boston in the 5 km XC Championships last autumn, with a 30:47. But once the gun sounded, it was Zerbe's day! He had no trouble covering the course in a fine 31:49, over two minutes faster than Edelson. Edelson was not ready for Zerbe but was ready for everyone else, claiming 2nd in 34:03. Andrew Sherwood had his fourth podium finish of the year, adding to his win at the 10 Mile Championships and thirds at Club Cross and the 1 Mile at Rochester. Shenk was not far off, finishing in 4th a half minute back from Sherwood. 

Richard Zerbe 31:49     Stan Edelson 34:03     Andrew Sherwood 39:50


40-44 The top runners in this division either made the podium or were just off. Kirkpatrick took the win, followed by Hruska. Fairchild is from the next division and Painter from the 55-59. But Kathryn Davis who finished 5th Overall, claimed the final spot on the Division podium. Shelley McDonald was 4th, followed by Katie Famous in 5th.

Ann Kirkpatrick 19:21     Jessica Hruska 19:52     Kathryn Davis 20:48

45-49 Melody Fairchild, a Boulder native, took 3rd Overall and, in passing, won the 45-49 division. Katherine McGee, who also trains at altitude in Flagstaff, AZ, could not stay with Fairchild but distanced all others, claiming 2nd in 21:02. Two low-altitude runners, Sara Girotto, out of Philadelphia, and Liz Gottlieb of Impala Racing, battled for the final podium spot. Girotto has taken wins at the 5 Km, Half Marathon, and 12 Km national championships this year, but was untested on the turf. Gottlieb did not compete on the national circuit this year. Her times were not as impressive as Girotto's but, unlike Girotto, she could draw on recent Cross Country experience. In 2018 she competed at both Spokane for Club Cross, and at Buffalo NY for the Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championship. She finished 7th overall and 3rd in 40-44 in Buffalo. It turned out that the faster times mattered more than the Cross Country experience. Girotto took 3rd in 21:38, with Gottlieb over a minute back in 4th. 

Melody Fairchild 20:02     Katherine McGee 21:02     Sara Girotto 21:38

50-54 Samantha Forde had the strongest credentials based on road racing. She finished 4th in 50-54 at the 5 Km National Championships in Atlanta in 20:22, and 2nd at the 12 Km in 50:19, age-grade equivalent to a 41:30 10K effort. The one worry was the lack of any Cross Country experience in the last few years. Road runners do not always adapt easily to the turf. Her teammate, Jennifer Bayliss has plenty of Cross Country credentials but has not raced as much recently on the national level. In 2018, Bayliss took the overall Masters win at both the Cross Nationals in Tallahassee and the 10 Km Championships in Dedham, where she clocked 37:19. She competed in two events with her teammate, Forde, a 5K and a 6-Miler. In both cases, Forde was the faster. Both, of course, would have to overcome the altitude to make the podium. Marcey Cote, of the Boulder Road Runners, Jennifer Lee, of Fort Collins Running, Rochelle Persson, of Colorado Springs, and Sara Wagner, of Team Run Flagstaffwere high altitude trainers who would try to defend the home turf. Cote had finished 5th in 50-54 at San Diego Cross Nationals and clocked 45:56 at the Bolder Boulder. The only race I could definitely identify as this Jennifer Lee's was a 5:49 at the Mountain Avenue Mile 5 years ago. Persson dropped down to Pittsburgh this year to test herself at the Liberty Mile. A 2nd place finish in 50-54 at 5:41 showed she has good speed. A 26:24 in the 5 Km Rim-to-Rim Royal Gorge runs shows that she is fit and unafraid of challenging herself with a trail run with elevation change, first down, then up. Wagner ran a 47:38 10K in Flagstaff this August and won her division and finished 3rd Masters at the Soulstice Jackie Weintraub Memorial 11 Mile Trail Run in 1:18:07. Persson's combination of speed and trails did the trick. She crossed the finish line in first in 21:31, thirteen seconds ahead of Wagner, giving the high-altitude runners 1-2. Bayliss used her Cross Country savvy to close well and claim third, just 6 seconds back from Wagner. Lee, Frde and Cote had quite the battle for 4th, 5th and 6th over the last half of the final loop. Lee took 4th in 23:24 with Forde just 8 seconds back, edging Cote for 5th by three seconds!

Rochelle Persson 21:31     Sara Wagner 21:44     Jennifer Bayliss 21:50

55-59 Trina Painter who took 4th overall out of this age division took this title with almost a minute to spare. She moved up into 5th early on and no one from the division gave her a serious challenge the rest of the way. As noted, she was able to claim 4th in the end. It was a different story for Kristine Clark, Allyson Serrao, and Lisa Valle. They were well matched. Clark had taken 1st in 55-59 at the Bolder Boulder with a 43:11 and dropped down in altitude to take a division first in the Alameda 10 Miler in Oakland CA in 1:10:24. Serrao had a slight edge on the roads. She ran two 10K's in February and march, one just under and one just over 42 minutes. She also took a 55-59 1st place at the Pearl Street Mile in Boulder at 6:08. Her hometown is apparently Golden CO now, but she is listed in Athlinks for Houston. She ran 1:06:50 in the Space City 10 Miler. In the summer of 2021, Valle took 3rd in the 55-59 division 1500M event at the Masters Outdoor Championships in Ames, clocking 5:08. According to, that converts to a 5:33 mile, but was not at altitude. She also ran a 33:23 8K in May, in Albuquerque at altitude, which is age grade equivalent to a 41:58 10K. After they crested the first short hill and started circling the lake, with painter out in front, Clark settled in ahead of the rest. Valle was right on her heels and Serrao was 15-20 meters back, but well in contact. As the race progressed, Serrao found herself falling back from those two. Eventually Clark was able to pull away from Valle as well, clocking 21:39 to take 2nd place 17 seconds ahead of Valle. Serrao was almost a minute back in 4th. After trailing Lydia Dissly for most of the race, Lesia Atkinson was able to surge past her in the end to claim 5th place by 4 seconds in 23:58.

Trina Painter 20:45     Kristine Clark 21:39     Lisa Valle 21:56

60-64 This division had a loaded field. Lorraine Jasper, who would ordinarily have been one of the favorites, was injured and in Boulder strictly to score points for her team. Jasper had taken first in the division at Club Cross in Tallahassee last December. Stella Gibbs must also be in the same boat as she was not competitive either. Gibbs took 2nd earlier this year at Cross Nationals in San Diego. Hall of famer Carmen Ayala-Troncoso won the 60-64 division at Club Cross in Lehigh after winning the 60-64 race at the Masters 5 Km Championships at Mission Bay in San Diego. She competed in the 1500 Meters at the WMA Championships this summer, taking 7th in 5:54 (equivalent to a 6:23 Mile). She also clocked a 20:44 5K at the Austin Marathon. Mary Swan tends to have the role of solid supporter to Jasper and their teammate, Doreen McCoubrie. With McCoubrie not able to make the trip and Jasper injured, Swan was expecting to step up; she is a very strong runner. She finished 4th last year when this event was in Boston and followed that up with a 4th place at the highly competitive Club Cross Championship in Tallahassee. At the WMA Championships in Finland this summer she finished 4th in the 6 Km XC race. Suzanne Cordes finished 3rd in 60-64 at Club Cross in Tallahassee, finishing 12 seconds ahead of Swan. She then took 3rd in the division at cross Nationals in San Diego. She has not participated in National Championships since then and her Athlinks account is not public. Two of the local runners, Lisa Mills, a Trail Runner, and Judy Chamberlin, who ran 52:31 at Bolder Boulder, would try to break up the trio of outsiders, Ayala-Troncoso, Cordes, and Swan. 

In the early going, Cordes moved to the front of the division field, with a gap back to Jasper, who was clearly running with pain. After another gap, Ayala-Troncoso came next, but Swan was tracking her just a few strides back.  Eventually Jasper had to fall back, but never gave in, finishing just inside the top ten in the division. Cordes proved to be the strongest on the day, claiming the win in 23:16, almost 40 seconds ahead of the field. Swan, in the end, was able to pass Ayala-Troncos. By the time she crossed the finish line, Swan had an 11-second gap on Troncoso, who had to fend off a strong finish from Mills, edging her by just three seconds! Chamberlin was another 7 seconds back in 5th. It was a great day for Cordes and Swan could hardly have been happier with her performance. You do not beat a Hall of Famer every day! And she had a Silver Medal at a National Championship; those have been hard to come by!

Suzanne Cordes 23:16     Mary Swan 23:55     Carmen Ayala-Troncoso 24:06

65-69 Abbie Wade looked to be the class of this field. She won her age division at Boston in October of last year, clocking 3:26:53. She proved that was no fluke by taking the division title at the Slacker Half Marathon in 1:42:10. The race is in Georgetown, Colorado at over 8,000' of elevation. Mo Bartley was returning to a National Championship for the first time in a few years. She won the 8K Championship in 2017 with a 35:23. This past year she has focused more on Trail Runs, which seems to be good prep for Cross Country. She also clocked 22:55 in a 5K road race last November. Christine Rodriguez ran a 52:14 10Km at altitude in the Evergreen Town Race. Sharon Vos lives in Denver but her top road-running credentials came on trips to the East. Vos ran a 50:46 at the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine and clocked 1:23:41 in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler. Those are impressive road credentials, but will they transfer to the turf? Cindy Williams is a mainstay of the Atlanta Track Club's 60+ team. When this event was in Boston last year, she finished 3rd in 65-69 and when Clubs were at Tallahassee, she improved to 2nd. Coming up to Boulder would have additional challenges. The race unfolded with Wade moving to the front of the division field and never being challenged. She took the title in this strong field of runners with a minute and a half to spare. Each runner found their pace and had a fine race. Bartley enjoyed a 2nd place finish in 26:55, with Rodriguez 24 seconds back in 3rd. Vos missed the division podium by just 19 seconds. Williams, running for team points as well as individual objectives, took 5th in 28:25.

Abbie Wade 25:17     Mo Bartley 26:55     Christine Rodriguez 27:19

Deb Cunningham Revolution Running #56 and Mo Bartley Impala Racing #20, with Sabra Harvey Team Red Lizard #111 competing at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

70-74 Three of the four outstanding runners at the top of this field were from Team Red Lizard, Jeanette Groesz, Sabra Harvey, and Suzanne Ray. The 4th was home-grown Boulder Road Runner, Edie Stevenson. Harvey was the 2018 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year. In the years from 2016 to 2019, she would win her Age Division and stand atop the Age Grading podium. It did not matter if the distance was 800 Meters or 21.1 kilometers (Half Marathon). She was strongest at distances 10 Km and shorter, and, arguably, stronger on the track than the roads, but that was subtle. How as she at Cross Country. She was late to the turf in her running career but had no trouble. She was USATF Masters Harrier of the Year in 2018. Groesz has many of the same qualities as Harvey but is not quite as fast. Groesz's best surface is the turf; she is tenacious. Ray gives them depth on the turf, and a podium threat on the roads at any distances from the 15K up. In her last year in 65-69, Ray took the national title at Syracuse with a 1:49:32, and then finished 3rd at the 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento. After her 70th birthday, Ray went to Finland and came home from the WMA Championships with a Silver Medal in the Half marathon at 1:45:50. She followed that up with another win at the 12 Km Championships. Groesz finished a bit behind Ray in Sacramento and Highlands NJ, but when they take to the turf, their roles tend to be reversed. Groesz took the 70-74 title at both Clubs in Tallahassee and Cross Nationals in San Diego last winter before Ray aged up. But Groesz ran faster at San Diego. Stevenson is a terrific runner as well. Her 1:13:16 at the 15 Km National Championships in 2019 still stands as the 70-74 American Record. As I cannot find any Cross Country results for her, it is probably that Stevenson is better on the roads than the turf.  There were no real surprises. Harvey went out strong and Groesz held on as long as she could. Harvey pulled away in the late stages of the race to win in 26:18. A half-minute later, Groesz finished second. Stevenson could not keep up with that pair but had a fine run, claiming 3rd in 28:36. Twenty-seven seconds later, Ray took 4th. Stevenson's teammate, Nancy Antos, took 5th in 32:11.

Sabra Harvey 26:18     Jeanette Groesz 26:47     Edie Stevenson 28:36

75-79 Everyone in this division finished on the podium. Irene Terronez added this gold medal to the one she earned at the 2019 Masters National 15 Km Championships at Tulsa, clocking 36:45. Andrea McCarter had taken 1st in this division at the Road Mile Championships in Rochester, and 3rd at Atlanta in the 5 Km Championships. She was happy to finish 2nd here, at altitude, in 41:05. Forty-six seconds later, Linda Yarr came across the finish line in 3rd, happy to close off the 70+ scoring for the Boulder Road Runners and finish on a national podium as an individual. 

Irene Terronez 36:45     Andrea McCarter 41:05     Linda Yarr 41:51


Age-Grading is a statistical procedure that grades each the time of each runner against a standard for their age and sex. The anchor distances are 5 Km, 10 Km, Half Marathon, and Marathon. The World's Best times for Women and Men are plotted separately for each single age and a curve is fitted. That curve then predicts a 'World's Best' time for each age separately for women and men. If the standard is 14 minutes for a 5K, for example, and the runner in question runs 15:00, their age grade is 14/15 or 93.3%. Over the years, the convention has emerged to refer to scores at 90% and above as 'World Class', 80-89.99% as 'National Class'. These differences are institutionalized in the USATF Elite Performance medals awarded at Road Races which are gold for 90% and above, Silver of a high national standard, 85% and above, and a national standard, 80% and above. Like all such procedures it is not perfect. An athlete can run a better time on a challenging course and score a lower age grade than they did the week before when running less well on an easier course. When all runners are competing at the same time on the same course, they are a good measure of how athletes have run compared to the best for their age and sex. If cross country courses are measured accurately, the scores are typically lower than they would be on a road course, because of the challenge of running on grass rather than pavement, and with many sharp ups and downs and sometimes other challenges. The standards of 'World Class', etc. should not be applied to these races on the turf. A World Class run might grade well below 90%, as was the case in Boulder.

From the descriptions above, many may be able to guess which runners were atop the age grading tables. Trina Painter, whose 20:45 at age 56 allowed her to finish 4th Overall, scored the top Women's age grade at 85.06%. She was joined on the podium by Kristine Clark 59, whose 21:39 graded 84.45%, and Sabra Harvey 73, whose 26:18 achieved an 83.58%. Jeanette Groesz 73 and Suzanne Cordes 62 rounded out the top 5. 

Trina Painter crosses the Finish Line, 4th Overall, 1st in the Team Competition for Team Run Flagstaff and with the Top Age Grade at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

Jacob Nur ran just as well on the turf as on the road. His 19:13 at age 67, merited the top Men's score of 87.92. 

Jacob Nur Breaking the American 65-69 10 Mile Record in 58:34 at the USATF Masters 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento CA 
 Nur turned in the top Age Graded Performance at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships Photo courtesy of SRA Elite

Dan King 63 was just behind at 86.05 with his 18:57. 

Dan King Powers Past David White on his way to the 60-64 Win and the Silver Age-Grading Medal at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships
Photo Credit: Dave Albo Lane 1 Photos

Chris Grauch 50 joined them on the podium with his 17:18 scoring 84.51%. Robert Qualls 70 and Anthony Bruns 43 completed the top 5.



40+ This division was for Club bragging rights along the Front Range. The West Valley Track Club, out of the San Francisco Bay area was the only team from the lowlands to enter. The home team, the Boulder Road Runners, fielded two. And the Boulder Track Club had a team. But they had to go up against strong teams from Albuquerque NM Dukes and Sports Warriors, Colorado Springs Square State StridersFlagstaff AZ Team Run Flagstaff, and Fort Collins CO, Fort Collins Running Club. Adam Rich let everyone know that Square State was for real. Midway through the 1st of two loops, he had a gap on the field. His teammate, Neil McDonagh, was prominent in the chase pack. But leading the chase pack was Flagstaff's Chris Gomez and his teammate, Anthony Gallo, was there as well. Gomez, as noted above, caught Rich by the end. With Gomez 1st, Anthoy Bruns 2nd, and Rich third, Flagstaff, Square State and BRR were all on the board. McDonagh gave Square State a 2nd score, but then Flagstaff got #'s 2 and 3 in at 5th, Gallo, and 6th, Ryan Baker. Then the Dukes started to come in with Brantley Lutz 7th and Brett Winegar 9th, sandwiched around BTC's Jeff Schuler. West Valley announced itself next with Neville Davey and Todd Rose taking 10th and 11th. Up to this point, Flagstaff was clearly in the lead, but it was still anyone's game. But then the other shoe fell when Flagstaff's Dirk de Heer claimed 12th. That gave Flagstaff 4 runners in and just 24 points. No other team had their third runner in yet. The next four runners in tightened up the race. BTC had Aaron Kleinman 13th and Clint Wells 16th, sandwiched around Jesse Armijo, #3 for the Dukes, and Thomas French, #2 for BRR. Three seconds after Wells finished, Mike Madsen sealed the deal for Flagstaff, claiming 17th and giving them 41 points. No one could catch them-Flagstaff had the win!

What about the rest of the podium? Wells had given BTC 37 points from 3 runners; Armijo raised the Dukes' total to 30 from 3. No one else had three runners in.  But now the runners from this division were pouring in with scores changing every few seconds! Four seconds behind Madsen was Square State's Vitaly Stepanov, and his teammate, Logan Wealing was just 4 spots back at 22nd. Those two gave BTC 47 points from 4 runners. West Valley's Julian Marsh, split those two, finishing 19th, as did Christopher Copenhaver, 22nd, who gave Fort Collins their first scorer. West Valley had 40 from 3 athletes. Behind Wealing was BRR's Kirk Anderson and Eric Monda in 23rd and 24th. BRR had 64 from 4 finishers. Which team would be the next to have 5 runners in? West Valley's John Montgomery took 25th, giving West Valley four runners and 65 points. Nine seconds later, jeff Maybach delivered the mail for BTC. They had 5 runners in and 83 points! But they did not have 2nd place yet. Square State could still salvage 2nd if their 5th runner finished in 35th place or better. Jon Teisher took care of business for the Striders, crossing the finish line in 34th. That gave Square State 81 points and 2nd place!  BTC could not be too disappointed making the podium among such a strong field. BRR got their 5th score from Michael Kraus, who took 30th to give them 94 points, edging 4th place from the Dukes by a single point!  Those teams had to wait for the Fort Collins train to pass. They had hoped to finish higher, but the tight pack of Florian Hild, Jason Toth, Juan Morales, and Nick Clark finished off Fort Collins with 27th, 28th, 29th and 31st place; Ft. Collins was 7th. West Valley took 6th; they came as emissaries as well as competitors. We have come up to the Mountains for your Championships; we hope we will see you in San Fran' for the Club Cross Championships in December! We will be ready for you!

Team Run Flagstaff 41   Chris Gomez   Anthony Gallo   Ryan Baker   Dirk De Heer   Michael Madsen   Jason Troxler   Will Dressler   Sean Baker    

Square State Striders 81    Adam Rich   Neil McDonagh   Vitaly Stepanov   Logan Wealing   Jon Teisher 

Boulder Track Club 83   Jeff Schuler   Aaron Kleinman   Clint Wells   Marty Stevens   Jeff Mayback   Chaiwat Engtrakul

50+ This was an exclusive division. Only West Valley that wanted to finish off their Grand Prix season in stye with a perfect 500 points, and the hometown team, Boulder Road Runners were entered. West Valley showed up big; most of their top finishers for their winning efforts at Tallahassee and San Diego were here. Their top runner at those Championships, Mark Yuen, must have had some hitches with his training, as he was a bit off his best. But the rest of the team stepped up. Only Chris Grauch from BRR could finish in front of them. After Grauch it was almost all West Valley, with Ivan Lieben, Mark Callon, Charles Mullane, David White, and Yuen in 2-3-5-6-7 for 22 points and the win. Glen Mays broke up the West Valley train by taking 4th. Flavio De Simone, Chris McDonald, and John Borthwick finished in 8th, 9th, and 10th, ahead of West Valley's #6 - # 8 runners. 

West Valley Track Club 23   Ivan Lieben   Mark Callon   Charles Mullane   David White   Mark Yuen   Russell Fairles   Denis Glenn   Matthieu DesJardins

Boulder Road Runners 32   Chris Grauch   Glen Mays   Flavio De Simone   Chris McDonald   John Borthwick

60+ This was more like 40+ in that there were 7 teams contesting the outcome. It helps that the minimum size for a Team is 3 for 60+ and higher, and for Women of all age divisions, while Men's teams in 40+ and 50+ use the traditional 5-runner minimum. The BRR entered two teams and there was one more from Athletics Boulder. Aurora, Colorado is the home for the Colorado Racing Club run by Darren and Colleen De Reuck. They were joined by the Atlanta Track Club, Cal Coast out of Southern California, Genesee Valley Harriers out of Greater Rochester NY, and the Kansas City Smoke. Dan King led the way for AB. A minute later, Mark Tatum crossed the line in 2nd, followed a few seconds later by his BRR teammate, Tim De Grado.  Despite the altitude, Joe Mora snagged 4th for GVH, seven seconds ahead of Colorado Racing's Daniel Greer. Before they could get their hopes up, BRR's Roger Sayre came across in 6th, closing off BRR's scoring with 11 points and the win! Eighteen seconds later, Dan Spale came across as their 'insurance' runner. Had any of the top three run into problems, Spale would have been right there to mop up! Eighth place went to AB's Rick Bruess, giving AB 9 points from their first two runners. Jay Survil nipped Jay Littlepage at the tape. Survil gave the 'B' team of BRR their first scoring runner, but Littlepage gave AB their third scoring runner, 19 points,  and the Team Silver medals! Stan McCormack gave the Kansas City Smoke their first scoring runner at 11th. Lester Dragstedt put Atlanta on the board with his 13th place finish. Three seconds behind Dragstedt, in 14th place, it was John Van Kerkhove giving GVH their 2nd scoring runner, leaving them as the tentative leaders for the final podium spot. Twenty-three seconds later, the suspense was over; Timothy Riccardi finished 15th, giving GVH their third scoring runner, leaving them with 33 points and the Team Bronze medals. The Smoke's John Blaser and Robert Harber took the next two spots, 16th and 17th, giving the KC Smoke 44 points and 4th place. The BRR 'B' team finished 5th, followed by Colorado Racing, Atlanta, and Cal Coast.

Boulder Road Runners 11   Mark Tatum   Tim DeGrado   Roger Sayre   Dan Spale   Adam Feerst

Athletics Boulder 19   Dan King   Rick Bruess   Jay Littlepage

Genesee Valley Harriers 33   Joe Mora   John Van Kerkhove   Tim Riccardi   Mark Rybinski

70+ The Boulder Road Runners fielded three teams to fend off the invaders from the Atlanta Track Club and the Genesee Valley Harriers. When Doug Bell and Carl Mohr went 1-2, that pretty much settled things for the BRR 'A' team. Atlanta put up a good fight with Dave Glass and Jerry Learned taking 3-4. But BRR A's Gary Ostwald put an end to speculation 24 seconds after learned crossed the line. Ostwald's 5th place gave BRR 'A' 8 points and the win! Three of the next 4 runners in were BRR B team members, John Van Camp, John Trull, and Jeffrey Dumas, giving that team 6-7-9 and 22 points. Atlanta could still beat them for second place but would need their 3rd runner to finish 15th or better. Keith Yeates and Jim May took 12th and 13th for GVH. The places they didn't take were covered by BRR A insurance runners or 'B' or 'C' teams. The BRR B team's 22 points held up for 2nd. When Sam Benedict closed off their scoring, Atlanta had the final Team podium spot with 26 points, followed by BRR C in 4th and GVH 5th. 

Boulder Road Runners A 8   Doug Bell   Carl Mohr   Gary Ostwald   Rick Katz   Rich Castro

Boulder Road Runners B 22   John Van Camp   John Trull   Jeffrey Dumas   James Reynolds   Dave Dooley

Atlanta Track Club 26   Dave Glass   Jerry Learned   Sam Benedict


40+ The Impala Racing Team came from the San Francisco Bay area to challenge 'Mile High' teams, Fort Collins Running Club and Team Run Flagstaff. As with West Valley in the Men's races, the presence of the Impala team was an invitation to the Mountain clubs to come to San Fran in December for Club Cross. But they also came to compete for the win! Trina Painter and Katherine McGee went 1-2 for Flagstaff before Ft Collins's Shelley McDonald claimed 3rd. Katie Famous, in 4th, gave the Impalas their first score. But it was not enough; Sara Wagner took 5th for Flagstaff, giving them an unbeatable 8-point total. After Flagstaff's insurance runner, Valerie Cross took 6th, Liz Gottlieb finished 7th, just 12 seconds ahead of Ft Collins's Janet Clemens. The Impalas and Fort Collins were tied at 11. Both teams needed their final scoring runner. The Impalas got one first; Alexandra Newman finished 10th for the Impalas, to the 11th place finish of LeAnn Williams of Ft. CollinsImpala Racing takes the Team Silver, and Ft. Collins the Team Bronze!

Team Run Flagstaff 8 Trina Painter   Katherine McGee   Sara Wagner   Valerie Cross   Janet Cherobon-Bawcom

Impala Racing Team 21   Katie Famous   Liz Gottlieb   Alexandra Newman

Fort Collins Running Club 22 Shelley McDonald   Janet Clemens   LeAnn Williams

50+ The Impalas from the West Coast and the Greater Philadelphia Track Club from the East Coast converged on Boulder to challenge Front Range teams from the Boulder Road Runners, Fort Collins Running Club, and Highlands Ranch Running Club, out of Greater Denver. Jennifer Bayliss, who took the overall title for the Impalas at the 2018 Cross Nationals in Tallahassee, showed that she can still motor om the turf, taking 1st in the 50+ Team competition. A minute later, Allyson Serrao took 2nd for BRR, followed by Jennifer Lee, of Ft. Collins in 3rd. The Impalas Samantha Forde nipped BRR's Marcy Cote by three seconds for 4th to give Impalas 5 points for their first two scorers compared to 7 for BRR. After Mary Swan claimed 6th for Greater Philadelphia's 1st score, Lesia Atkinson sped across the line in 7th to give BRR a chance. They had 14 points. If the 3rd scorer for the Impalas finished next, they would get the win. As it turned out, Kate Schulte, of Ft. Collins claimed 8th, with Patti Shore 9th for the Impalas. BRR and Impalas were tied at 14. The tie-breaker would determine who got Gold. The Old Rule up until a few years ago was head-to-head competition--compare #1's, then #2's and so on through the list of scoring runners, three for Masters Women and Men 60+, but five for Open and Masters Men 40+ and 50+.  That rule always delivers a verdict if there is an odd number of scoring runners. If that were still the rule, Impalas would have won. But USATF changed the rule a few years back, if I understand correctly because in some of the either Junior or Youth Cross Country Championships, there are 4 scoring runners and there were too many instances where teams were still tied after applying the tie-breaker. So they adopted a rule saying that ties would be broken by comparing *only* the final scoring runner for each tying team. By that rule, which is the current Official Rule, BRR gets the Gold and Impalas the Silver. 

Aside: Many people prefer the old rule. It seems you could have a two-part tie-breaker. Use head-to-head competition. If that does not resolve the tie, then go to the 'last scoring runner'.

The other three finishing places were clear-cut. After Michelle Bierstedt took 10th to put Highlands Ranch on the boardTina Jones finished 11th for Ft. Collins. They had 22 points, and the Team Bronze medals. GPTC happily took 4th when Julie Pangburn took 12th and Lorraine Jasper 14th, giving them 32 points and 4th. Highlands Ranch took 5th with 44 points.

Boulder Road Runners 14 Allyson Serrao   Marcy Cote   Lesia Atkinson   Katharine De Simone   Jeannie Freis

Impala Racing Team 14 Jennifer Bayliss   Samantha Forde   Patti Shore   Angela Longworth

Fort Collins Running Club 22 Jennifer Lee   Kate Schulte   Tina Jones   Tina Duncan   Heli Uusitalo

60+ In this division, it was again the Impalas from the West Coast challenging the Mountain squads, but this time it was Atlanta from the East. The Boulder Road Runners entered two teams as did Revolution Running, out of the west Denver suburbs. Suzanne Cordes went right to the front and was never headed, taking a solid first for the Impalas. Almost a minute later, Lisa Mills claimed 2nd for BRR, with Judy Chamberlin taking 3rd for RR seven seconds later. Eileen Brennan-Erler kept things going for Impalas with her 4th place finish giving them the lead with 5 points on two finishers. They just needed one more. Abbie Wade came 5th for RR-B. Apparently either by design or misjudging runner strength on the turf, RR split up its top 3 runners between A and B. BRR's Stephenie Scholl took 6th to give BRR 8 points on two runners, behind the Impalas but solidly in 2nd. The Impalas' Carol Keller was just 7 seconds behind Scholl. Her 7th place closed things off for the Impalas and gave them the win with 12 points. Four seconds later, Ellen Hart claimed 8th for BRR giving them 16 points and second place. Despite RR-B taking 5th form Wade and 9th from Trina Richey, RR-A was able to claim the third spot on the podium, with 29 points, when Christine Rodriguez finished 12th and Carol Breglio 14th. RR-B took 4th with 32, Atlanta 5th with 52 and BRR-B 6th. The efforts of Atlanta's Robin Tanner, Cindy Williams, and Margaret Taylor not only got Atlanta 5th place on the day, it enabled them to finish 4th in the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix!

Impala Racing Team 12   Suzanne Cordes   Eileen Brennan-Erler   Carol Keller   Mo Bartley   Stella Gibbs

Boulder Road Runners A 16      Lisa Mills   Stephenie Scholl   Ellen Hart   Vicki Hunter   Lynn O'Donnell

Revolution Running A 29   Judy Chamberlin   Christine Rodriguez   Carol Breglio   Maureen Harvey   Jill Fruhwirth

70+ Team Red Lizard was nationally competitive before this year. In 2017 they won 4 team Championships, finishing 3rd in the 60+ Grand Prix. The next year they won the Grand Prix and finished 2nd in 2019. As they transitioned from 60+ to 70+, they added to an already strong team by recruiting Sabra Harvey, out of Houston. Harvey was the 2017 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year and the 2018 Masters Harrier of the Year. By USATF rule, any team can have one team member who is not from their USATF Association and Harvey was it. They had come to Boulder with one aim in mind, to win the 70+ Championship! That would give them a perfect 500 points in the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix. The local BRR team and the Atlanta Track Club stood in their way. With just three runners making the trip to Boulder, Red Lizard had no room for error. Each runner had to deliver! BRR had a strong team, led by 15 Km American 70-74 Record holder, Edie Stevenson. Harvey and Team Captain, Jeanette Groesz, who took 1st in the Division at Club Cross in Tallahassee and at Cross Nationals in San Diego this past Winter, moved out to take positions 1 and 2 in the first loop around the lake. Stevenson was not too far back, and then the 3rd Red Lizard runner, Suzanne Ray was running behind Stevenson but ahead of Nancy Antos, BRR's 2nd runner. There were no surprises the rest of the way. Harvey took the win with Groesz 2nd for Team Red Lizard. After Stevenson claimed third for BRR, Ray took 4th for the Red Lizard team. That gave them 7 points and the win! And they had their 500 Masters National Grand Prix points, a perfect score! After Antos finished 5th and Lynn Hermanson 6th, BRR had 14 points and a firm hold on 2nd place. Atlanta was happy to take the final podium position after Kathleen Allen, Andrea McCarter and Mary Reed took 7th, 9th, and 11th, giving them 27 points and the Team Bronze medals. It also generated 80 Grand Prix points allowing them to solidify their hold on 2nd in the Masters National Grand Prix behind Team Red Lizard.


In general, the top Individual winners tended to be those who live and train at altitude; they defended the home turf well! A few athletes from lower elevations did surprisingly well!

Hats off to all of them!

This event concludes the 2022 USATF Masters National Grand Prix; Club and Individual Champions will be honored at an Awards Ceremony later in the afternoon, after the Club Cross Country National Championships in San Francisco on December 10th.

NOTE: Dave Albo's pictures are provided, compliments of Lee Troop and his T.E.A.M. BOCO organization which planned and conducted these Championships in Boulder.

Friday, October 21, 2022

2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships-Preview-Challenging Course-Loaded Fields

 October 20, 2022. The race is this Saturday, October 22nd; the Women’s Championship commences at 1 PM, with the Men ‘s start at 2 PM at the Viele Lake/Harlow Platts Community Park in Boulder, CO. 

They are pouring out of the Canyons and down from the Mountaintops. Road Runners, Track Athletes, Trail Runners, Triathletes, Marathoners and Ultra-Marathoners, the strongest cross country runners from the Mountain West and across the country, are headed to Boulder to compete for a national championship. Competitors at the USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships look to enjoy a gorgeous sunny day, with temperatures in the low 70’s and moderate winds. And that is good, because athletes will have plenty to handle without having to worry about the weather! 

Jacques Sallberg gloves and Gregory Mitchell sunglasses tow the lead pack across one of the few level areas at 2016 Cross Nationals in Bend OR

Grace Padilla leading Marisa Sutera Strange up and around the middle field. Footing was very tricky because the snow was melting onto the course--2017 Cross Nationals at Bend OR

This could be the most challenging National Championship course since Masters athletes encountered the Max King-designed course at Bend, Oregon. Lee Troop and his team have designed a classic cross country course. After starting across a large, undulating field there is a 30-meter hill to traverse at an angle, rising about 4 meters. You then swing around Viele Lake and back towards a one-lane footbridge over the middle of the lake. After navigating that you are on flat ground but with some exposed tree roots to worry over. You wind back around the lake and take a shorter way down to the lower field but hug the edge of the field toiling up a 100-meter hill. The first short hill tops out at close to 14% grade. This has a longer steep section, with the middle from 9 to 12% grade, but one section rising to 16%.  Then, of course you have to descend back down to the bottom of the field and around behind the Start. After running up around another field with a technical bit where harriers exit the field, they have completed the first loop. Runners then do another loop just like that one except that when arriving in the field next to the Start for the 2nd time, they circumnavigate that field and do a U-turn to finish. It is not a complicated course, and it will be well-marked, with plenty of course marshals pointing the runners in the right way. But the athletes will know they have run a cross country course!

Note: I continue my practice of picking a podium but feel I am often out of my reckoning with Cross Country races. Every course is different, and even the same course is different under different weather conditions. Strong runners come in with a focus on 5k-10K races and equally strong runners from Marathons, Ultra Marathons, Trail Runs, Mountain Runs and Triathlons.


Both fields are rich with talent. 


Janet Cherobon-Bawcom will be going for her first national Masters LDR title as a member of Team Run Flagstaff. Cherobon-Bawcom finished 12th for Team USA in the 2012 Olympic 10,000 meters and won the 2014 Ten Mile national championship on the roads at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run. As a newly minted Masters athlete she took the Women's title at the Sprouts Mesa-Phoenix Marathon in 2:42:18 and finished mid-pack at the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta in 2:49:13. Already a public health nurse at Grand Canyon National Park, Cherobon-Bawcom was testing community residents for Covid during the pandemic. Luckily, she did not contract Covid despite that exposure. Cherobon-Bawcom has no Athlinks results since 2020 so she may have withdrawn from competition; this event may be a way for her to ease back into competition. Nonetheless, her talent, experience, and training know-how, make her a definite contender.

She will enjoy plenty of competition. Jessica Hruska, the current leader in the Women’s 40-44 Masters National Grand Prix, looks to close out the 2022 season with some strong points from Boulder. She finished 7th at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships but has been a podium regular since then at the 5 Km, 10 Km and Half Marathon Championships. Hruska only need finish in the top 13 to assure herself of the Grand Prix title, but she wants to end the Grand Prix season on a high note. Melody Fairchild, at age 49, focused more on coaching than competing these days, had impressive accomplishments as a Mountain runner for Team USA, finishing 8th at the 2012 World Mountain Running Championships. The Boulder native took the 2017 Masters Cross Country title at Bend, OR after taking the Silver medal in both 2015 and 2016 when the Championships were in Boulder. 

Caiomhe Kilroy and Jessica Hruska pushing across the top field at the end of the first loop--2022 Club Cross at Tallahassee FL


Sara Girotto broke onto the National scene in a big way this year. She has taken 45-49 division wins at the 5 Km, 10Km and 12 Km Championships. She had her best finish at the 12 Km Championships where she finished on the Overall podium. This will be Girotto's first appearance at a National Masters Cross Country Championship. Another local runner, Shelley McDonald, who clocked 1:20:58 to finish 3rd overall at the Equinox Half Marathon in Fort Collins last month, will also make a bid for the podium. In addition to half marathon credentials, her 18:34 at the Valley 5K in August shows she has the speed necessary to do well in this race.

Ann Kirkpatrick was a late entrant to the Championships but should be considered a prime favorite. She ran Tallahassee last year as an Open athlete, finishing 27th in a time that was 20 seconds faster than the winning time in the Masters race. She also raced in the Olympic Trials Marathon, finishing in 2:44:59.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order: 

Janet Cherobon-Bawcom     Ann Kirkpatrick     Shelley McDonald


Fernando Cabada will also be going for his first national Masters LDR title. Cabada took national titles at 25 Km and the Marathon during a stellar Open career. He will try to emulate the examples of nationally prominent Open competitors, Sergio Reyes and Riley Cooper, who took their first titles as Masters runners earlier this year. Cabada is definitely on his game. He won the RiNo 5K in Denver on July 23rd in 15:07 and followed that with a 1:06:14 Half Marathon win at the First Energy Akron Marathon in late September. Nothing comes easy, though. Neville Davey took the Club Cross Country title at Lexington, KY in 2017. He has not competed in a Cross Country Championship since the 2019 Club Cross Championships at Lehigh. Most likely he is running for team, not individual goals, but Davey cannot be ignored. 

Neville Davey, driving the bus at the end of Loop 2, with from L to R John Howell red singlet, David Angell #1635 and John Gardiner #1470 in tow--2017 Club Cross-Lexington KY

Clint Wells, a sub 28-minute 10,000 meter runner in his day, and three-time member of tTeam USA at World cross Country Championships, is among those trying to deny Cabada the win. After a strong Open career, Wells entered his first year as a Masters athlete in 2015 with impressive performances. He took the Masters National Marathon title at the Twin Cities in 2:24:00, and finished top 5 in the Masters race at the Club Cross Country Championships in San Francisco. He was the fastest Masters athlete at Boston and Chicago the following year. Like Fairchild, his focus is now more on Coaching than competing. Ultra-runner, Galen Burrell, who took the Masters title at Grandma’s Marathon in 2021 with a 2:32:35, should also contend. The one doubt is that he ran the Aspen Gold leaf Half Marathon in a slow 1:32:41 this September. On the other hand, he was not pushed for the Overall win, and may have been approaching it as just a training run. Anthony Bruns has a more consistent record this year. He finished on the Overall podium at the Denver Colfax Marathon this spring in 2:32:48 and clocked 1:08:43 to take 4th Overall at the Equinox Half Marathon in September. It seems to go against stereotypes but Masters Marathoners have often done well at Cross Country Championships. Keep an eye, too, on Ultra Trail Runner, Christopher Copenhaver, who was 1st Master and 15th Overall at the 2021 Pike's Peak Ascent and Marathon in 4:25:23. That is a fine time; had he run that time this year he would have been in the top 10 overall. Another who could surprise is Adam Rich, who has been turning in some fast 5K times at altitude this summer, averaging under 5 minutes per mile in a couple of them.

Note: I learned after this was composed that Cabada had to withdraw because of work commitments. I substitute Burrell in the list of podium picks below.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Anthony Bruns     Fernando Cabada     Christopher Copenhaver


National Champions are crowned in each 5-year age division as well as Overall Masters Champions.


40-44 The athletes identified as likely to contend for the overall win, with the exception of Davey and Wells, will also compete for top honors in the 40-44 division. The favorites for the Overall championship are, by necessity, the picks for 40-44.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Anthony Bruns     Fernando Cabada     Christopher Copenhaver

45-49 Neville Davey and Clint Wells were identified as contenders for the Overall win. Davey, 47, and Wells, 49, are top contenders for this division's win. Four years ago, Wells ran a 32:43 10K at altitude. It will be interesting to see where his fitness is now. I find no recent results in Athlinks. Like Wells, Davey has been less active on the national scene in recent years. As noted, he won the 2017 Masters race at Club Cross in Lexington, finished top 5 at Spokane and then just outside the top 10 at Lehigh in 2019. Davey has raced on the roads from time to time. He clocked 16:18 at the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run in March of 2020 and showed in early September of this year that he had not lost anything. He ran 16:23 in a local race where the 2nd place runner was over a minute behind him. Because of the recent results, I have more confidence that Davey is prepped to do well. Presumably Wells is prepped enough for this division, at least, if not for overall contention. Todd Rose deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as those two. At the Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee last December, Rose finished 10th overall and won the 45-49 division. 

Todd Rose leading his teammate, Mark Yuen and several chasers including Gregory Mitchell red singlet, Chris Magill yellow singlet and John Gardiner green singlet--2019 Club Cross-Lehigh course at Bethlehem PA

He came in 15 seconds ahead of Davey at Lehigh, finishing 5th in the division. He also finished 4th in 45-49 at the Ten Mile National Masters championships at Sacramento.

Many other athletes enter with strong credentials. Chaiwat Engtrakul, a Boulder Track Club teammate of Wells's, ran 2:37:44 at Chicago in 2021 and ran 7 seconds faster at Boston this year. He clocked 37:46 at the Bolder Boulder 10K and 1:17:27 at the Boulderthon HM. Michael Kraus, who stayed closer to home, had faster times: a 2:36:15 at the Colorado Marathon, a 36:25 10K at the Yeti Chase, and a 1:16:44 at the Equinox Half Marathon. A Silver Medalist overall at a 2019 Masters National Championship, Michael Madsen deserves a mention. He took 2nd Overall at the 2019 USATF 1 Mile (Road) Championships in Flint MI. If Madsen has the same love of Cross Country that most accomplished middle-distance runners have, he is probably looking at this primarily as a chance to help his team. This is not a goal race for him. There is no reason to expect him to be a top contender for the podium here. Jerry Snider has barely missed the 45-49 podium at the 5 Km and 1 Mile national masters championships this year, finishing 4th in both. It will be interesting to see if he can accomplish on the turf what has eluded him on the roads, a national podium finish. Marty Stevens, another Boulder Track Club harrier, possesses a 2:37:45 CIM time from last December, as well as a 36:42 at the Bolder Boulder this spring. It is hard to evaluate Jason Troxler's 3:36:13 Trail Marathon Masters win in July, with almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Add to that a winning 34:16 in the Northland Hospice 10K in Flagstaff and you have an impressive combination. 

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Neville Davey     Todd Rose     Jason Troxler

50-54 Mark Yuen was the main man for this division last Winter. He took the title at Tallahassee in December by 27 seconds and a month later at Cross Nationals in San Diego, was breaking across the finish line 37 seconds ahead of the next 50-54 runner. His teammate, Ivan Lieben, took 3rd at Tallahassee and second at San Diego. The 2nd place runner at Lehigh is not entered here and Cushing-Murray, who finished 3rd, is now in 55-59. Nine months can make a difference, but will it? Yuen took his talents to the World's in Finland last July, hitting the podium with a Bronze Medal in the 1500M with a snappy 4:20.7, and a Silver in 5000M at 16:02! No doubt he is fit. His team, West Valley, has come to win and he is a key part of their plan. Lieben, unlike his teammate, has been almost a regular at Masters LDR Championships this year. In addition to his two Cross Country division podiums to start the Grand Prix year, he added 3rds at the 10 Mile and 12 Km Championships. His lone trip without a podium finish was to Dedham, where he was one place off in 4th. The fellow he is chasing in the Grand Prix, Gregory Putnam, is entered here. Lieben has a slim chance to reverse their 1-2 GP standing. Lieben must win and Putnam must finish no better than 4th. Putnam was 16 seconds behind Lieben at Tallahassee but has since beaten him at both the 10 Km and 12 Km races. That will be a race within the race to watch for! One thing nine months does is to bring new competitors into the age division. Two runners who did not compete in San Diego in January are now in this division. John Gardiner competed in the 2020 edition of the Mission Bay race as a 45-49 year old, as did Chokri Dhaouadi. Their times, with Dhaouadi edging Gardiner for 4th Overall, were 28:07 and 28:24. Those times compare favorably with Yuen's winning 2022 time of 28:47. But, of course, they were not in a race together. Yuen will bring confidence from Lehigh where they were in the same race and Yuen bested Gardiner by 19 seconds. Of course, every course has different effects on different runners and the same may be said of the weather. Again, this will be another battle to watch. Dhaouadi apparently races sparingly. I can find no Athlinks results in the past eight years. In 2010 he was running Half marathons in the 1:02-1:06 range. By 2014 he was winning 5K's in the low 16's. What will he be running in this race? Mark Callon has had his days this year, a division win at the National Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse and a 2nd at the Ten Mile in Sacramento. Saturday is probably a day he will be focused on running solidly for his team and not worrying much about individual results. Chris Grauch is another wild card. Except for Max King, he was the first Masters runner to finish at the USATF Mountain Running Championships over 10 Km in 44:33. To keep some perspective it is important to note that King finished 2nd overall while Grauch finished 27th, 4 minutes later. But that gives you an idea of the kind of competition there was in the race. Yuen seems strong. Gardiner broke 16 at Carlsbad this spring to win the 45-49 division and competed well at Dipsea. Without more evidence to go on, I will leave Dhouadi and Grauch out of the picture and let them surprise me.  Between Lieben and Putnam, it is tough to say. We will see if Putnam can stretch his winning streak over Lieben to 3 or whether Lieben can reverse the tables again and start his own streak.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

John Gardiner     Gregory Putnam     Mark Yuen

55-59 West Valley's David White took the honors at San Diego in January, besting Nat Larson by three seconds. Larson is now in 60-64 and unless he enters at the last minute, will not be in Boulder. White took 2nd in Tallahassee behind the B.A.A.'s Peter Hammer, but he is not entered here. It appears that White joined his teammate, Yuen, at the World's in Tampere, Finland, taking 7th in both the1500M and the 5000M in 7th place, with times of 4:30 and 17:07. At first glance, White looks like the man to beat. But there is new blood in the division. Craig Godwin raced in 50-54 at Tallahassee, finishing 23 seconds ahead of White who was racing in 55-59. Godwin appears to be fit, taking 1st in 50-59 at the Bowerman 5K in mid-September in 16:30. Christian Cushing-Murray has also aged into the division. In the past year he has not been able to keep pace with Godwin or White on the turf when they have met. He was a half-minute behind White at San Diego and well behind both Godwin and White at Tallahassee. But he has done well on the roads this year and appears to be fit. One of the highlights of his last year in the 50-54 division was winning the 5 Km National title in Atlanta and a division win at Carlsbad, and top 10 overall, must have been sweet as well. He has Cross Country and 5K outings under his belt this summer and, apparently, a comfortably sub-5 50-54 podium finish at the Fifth avenue Mile in NYC. Michael Mallon, running for the Boulder Road Runners, could be in the mix as well. He has recent Half Marathons in the 1:18-1:19 range and captured the 55-59 division title at the challenging Quad City Bix (7 miler) in 40:56. There are plenty of other strong runners in the field but those four appear to have the best shot at the podium.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Christian Cushing-Murray     Craig Godwin     David White

60-64 Dan King, of Athletics Boulder, ruled the turf in this division last winter, taking first at Tallahassee with 45 seconds to spare and repeated the feat a month later at Mission Bay with a minute between Gold and Silver. King has had more challenges with his fitness this year but is a master at rehab. Despite a wonky knee, he just turned in a 37:55 10K at Boulderthon. Two of the guys who looked likely to challenge for the win, Nat Larson and Rick Lee, will not be here. After a tough outing at Chicago, Lee decided to focus all his energies on the upcoming NYC Marathon. Lee's new running partner with Shore AC, Henry Notaro, turned in a 2:53 marathon at London. He would be a formidable competitor but is rumored to be a scratch for Boulder. That means the three athletes most likely to challenge King for the title are his rivals from the Boulder Road Runners, Tim DeGrado, Roger Sayre, and Mark Tatum. Like Lee, DeGrado did not have as strong an outing at Chicago as he had hoped, clocking 2:58:52. Will that have a lingering effect on his chances this Saturday? Last December at Tallahassee, it was DeGrado, Sayre and Tatum finishing 2-3-7 to King's win. Sayre is in his last year in 60-64 but had a good outing at the 12 Km national championships taking 3rd in 46:17 and followed that with a nice 59:30 at the Hot Chocolate 15K in Denver on October 2nd. Tatum was almost a half minute behind DeGrado and Sayre at Tallahassee, but one might argue that this course at Boulder is marginally better suited to trail runners than the one at Tallahassee. If so, Tatum has the ability to move up in the order. He had another good outing at Dipsea this past year, although he couldn't repeat his 2021 win; he finished 8th in this age-related handicap trail race up over the Marin headlands in the San Francisco Bay area. Of course, that argument works in favor of DeGrado as well, an accomplished trail runner. If King's knee holds up, he could win again. Plenty of rivals are there if he is off a bit though.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Tim DeGrado     Dan King     Roger Sayre

65-69 A month ago I would have written that Boulder would be another chance to witness a battle between three-time Harrier of the Year, Rick Becker and Ken Youngers. They were going to meet on the roads at Highlands in the 12 Km Championships and then on the turf at Boulder. Unfortunately, a hamstring problem sent Youngers, the American 65-69 Record holder in the 12 Km, to the ground at Highlands. Becker developed first a calf issue, and then an Achilles issue, in the run-up to this race. It appears that neither will be competing on Saturday. Jacob Nur is competing as far as I know.  When he and Becker met on the turf at Spokane in 2018, Becker enjoyed a 20 second edge. In a rematch at Mission Bay in January, Nur reversed the tables, enjoying a 28-second win, with Becker 2nd. In the last year and a half, though, Nur has been on a tear! He now has pending American 65-69 records in the 10 Km, 35:42, the 10 Mile, 58:34, and the Half Marathon, 1:18:29! With both Becker and Youngers out, it appears he has no close rivals for the win on Saturday. 

Looking back at San Diego in January, Kyle Hubbart finished 4th in 65-69 in 36:41, but Brian Nelson and Stan McCormack, racing in 60-64 then, had faster times at 36:05 and 36:09. In late summer, Nelson clocked a 1:35:55 HM and a 42:42 10K. McCormack, enjoying his new age division, ran 19:46 to claim the Silver medal in the 65-69 5000M race at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships. None of the top 65-69 runners from Tallahassee are entered here. Reno Stirrat would ordinarily be a factor. He is entered but is rehabbing an injury and is under Doctor's advice not to run. Six years ago, at Club Cross in Tallahassee, Dan Spale was on the 60-64 podium. He has not run as strongly recently on the national circuit but could still factor into the podium race on Saturday. He turned in a 41:13 at Bolder Boulder in May and followed that with a 1:34:02 HM.

Nur looks like a lock for the win as long as he is healthy. After that it looks like a classic dustup between McCormack, Nelson and Spale, with Hubbart ready to pounce if any of those three is off even a little bit.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Brian Nelson     Jacob Nur     Dan Spale

70-74 Gene Dykes loves to run races. He especially loves to run Ultra trail races. He notes that he only trains for the Marathon; he just runs the trail races. In 2019 he ran a 200-Miler in Australia over 4 days. In the runup to this race, he ran a 100-Miler in Indiana in order to qualify for the Western States 100. He runs lots of road races too. He occasionally runs Cross Country too. He finished 2nd to Terry McCluskey at Lehigh in 2019 and won the 5 Km XC in Buffalo the year before. He was not at his strongest in 2019 and is not this time either. He was taking giant steps in recovery through the first half f this year, with division wins at the Half marathon Championships in 1:32:37 and the Ten-Mile Championships in 1:07:43. He won his division at Boston in 3:12:38. Then he ran into some problems. At the Outdoor Championships he was back to running a 51 minute + 10,000 meters. But even when not at his best, he is a terrific runner. He finished 2nd at the 12 Km Championships in Highlands to the 'new kid on the block', Robert Qualls. But then he ran an uncharacteristically slow, by his standards, London Marathon in 3:50:33. a few weeks ago. Then at the 100-Miler he fell a few times. Does that mean he will be at less than his best this weekend? I would assume so. Will he be strong enough to still make the podium? I imagine so. 

Qualls must be seen as the favorite. He won the 70-74 division Cross Country race over 6 Km at the World's in Finland this summer and, as noted, took the title at the 12 Km Championships in mid-September. Just to keep his head in the game, he won a local 5K in Reno NV in 20:52. Doug Bell is always in the mix, especially on the turf, and will be here this Saturday. He took 2nd in the division at the 5 km XC Championships in Boston a year ago and then won all the division marbles at Tallahassee. He took 3rd in Atlanta in 21:10. A little off his game, he ran 6:06 at Rochester to finish 5th. If any of those three, Bell, Dykes or Qualls has an off day, there are several poised to advance to the podium: Perry Forrester, Rick Katz, Jerry Learned, James Linn, Perry Linn, and Eugene Myers. Forrester was a threat for national podiums 5 years ago and ran a few 21:30 5K's this summer. Katz claimed the 5 Km XC title in San Diego in 2019 but then had injury problems. His comeback has been gradual since then, with a 7th place at Tallahassee and a 6th at Atlanta in the 5 Km Championships in 22:38. Learned always seems to be on or near the podium. He finished just 20 seconds back from Bell at the 5 Km XC in Boston and took 3rd at Cross Nationals at Mission Bay this past January. In 2021, J. Linn finished 6th in 65-69 at Highlands in the 12 Km Championships in 52:33, faster than Learned in the same race, and ran 45:34 at a 10K this past spring. P. Linn competed in a few National Masters Championships in 2018 and 2019. This summer he turned in a 21:04 5000M and 44:23 10,000M at the Outdoor TF Championships in Ames. Myers was still in 65-69 at Boston where he ran a few seconds faster than Bell. Myers clocked 55:15 at Highlands this September, finishing 4th behind Qualls and Dykes.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Doug Bell     Gene Dykes     Robert Qualls

75-79 You have to start this with Dave Glass. The 2022 Masters National Grand Prix title is his with one race left to go; he doesn't need this one. He is just here to run with his teammates. No one in the USA has beaten him at National Championships at 10 Km and above, and he has been at them all! And only two fellows at the Worlds were able to finish ahead of Glass's Bronze medal effort in the 10 Km Road Race. He is lethal on the roads, but he is also very competitive on the turf. he took the 75-79 title in Boston last fall over 5 Km and finished 2nd to Ron Wells in Tallahassee. He had an off day at Mission Bay but was still only 12 seconds away from the podium. At Worlds, he finished 2nd over 6 Km. Gary Ostwald is the one athlete in the field who has a win over Glass this year. He finished 12 seconds ahead of Glass at Mission Bay to take third place. But he was 40 seconds behind Glass in the 5 Km at Atlanta and the gaps got bigger as the distance increased. But we are back on the turf and Ostwald should have a chance on Saturday. It is hard to see anyone else running with those two. Jan Frisby has run strong on the turf. He finished 3rd in this division at Boston. But he has been removed from the Boulder Road Runner Team roster. I do not know if that means he is a scratch or is just stepping aside so one of the younger guys can compete on a team. If Bill Dunn were running the way he was before going down in a Start Line kerfuffle in Virginia Beach, he would definitely be in the mix. His last national championship before that was the 15 K at Tulsa where he was on the podium!  As is, he is glad to be back at the Show! Dave Dooley, of the Boulder Road Runners, could find his way onto the podium with a good outing. He ran 52:18 at the Bolder Boulder this spring. Jim May and Keith Yeates, both strong harriers, should have a good showing. May has generally finished ahead of Yeates, but that was reversed at Tallahassee. where Yeates had the better time by 16 seconds. May was rehabbing for wa while this year but came back strong at Rochester, finishing 3rd, well ahead of Yeates. What about Paul Carlin, your author? So far I have not turned the corner, and though I finished 4th in the 12 Km at Highlands, I was far back from being in contention. I had a good local 5K outing a couple of weeks ago but that may have been a short 3.1 Km. And the turf has not been my strong suit at the national level.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Dave Glass     Jim May     Gary Ostwald

80-84 Four runners are entered. it would have been 5, but a family commitment required the attention of John Elliott. Elliott won the division at Tallahassee but then had a fall in training in early February. He was feeling his oats again by Rochester, where he took 2nd place. In his absence, Stan Edelson, John Shenk, Andrew Sherwood, and Richard Zerbe will fight it out. Edelson is a clear favorite. He took the 5 Km XC title at Boston last year and his 29:23 took 2nd in the 5k at the Championships in Atlanta. He also won the division championship in the 1 Mile at Rochester. Sherwood finished well back from Edelson at Atlanta and Rochester, finishing 5th and 4th respectively in the division. Sherwood's 10:46 at the 1 Mile in Rochester suggests that he should be able to pull away from Shenk, who ran a 4:39 800M at the National Senior Games this summer. Sherwood's extensive experience at Cross Country may also come into play. Sherwood took 3rd at Club Cross in Tallahassee with a 57:55. Zerbe competed at the Outdooor Championships in the 1500M walk (11:37) this summer.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Stan Edelson     John Shenk      Andrew Sherwood


40-44 The favorites for the overall race are all from the 40-44 division, so they are also the favorites for this division.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order: 

Janet Cherobon-Bawcom     Ann Kirkpatrick     Shelley McDonald

45-49 Melody Fairchild and Sara Girotto were mentioned as contenders for the Overall Championship. At the same time, they are competing for a Divisional National Championship. Others who are likely to compete for the podium include Liz Gottlieb and Katherine McGee. Gottlieb finished 7th Overall at the 2018 5 Km XC Championships in Buffalo NY and 3rd in 40-44. 

Melody Fairchild captures the Masters title at the 2017 Cross Nationals in Bend OR

At Club Cross in Spokane, she finished 21st in 40-44. Gottlieb ran 1:32:36 at the Urban Cow HM last October. She has run 19:51 and 20:21 at two 5K's this summer. McGee ran a 1:24:31 HM in Phoenix last November and a 3:14:02 at Grandma's Marathon this June. Gabrielle Panepinto could also contend. She finished 5th in the division at Tallahassee. She ran 21:09 at the Asbury Park 5K in August.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order: 

Melody Fairchild     Sara Girotto     Katherine McGee

50-54 The headliners, in a sense, though neither may think of herself that way, are Jennifer Bayliss and Samantha Forde. Though neither competed in Tallahassee nor San Diego this past year, they both have impressive credentials. In 2018, just 4 years ago, Bayliss took the overall Masters win at both the Cross Nationals in Tallahassee and the 10 Km Championships in Dedham, where she clocked 37:19. 

Jennifer Bayliss captures the win in front of Maggie Shearer and Sonja Friend-Uhl -- 2018 Cross Nationals at Tallahassee FL

A year later she was moving away from the intense training she had been committed to. She still finished 9th overall and 2nd in W45 at 2019 Cross Nationals in Tallahassee. She ran 1:31:03 at the Urban Cow HM this year and clocked 39:24 at the Wharf to Wharf 6 Miler, equivalent to a 40:51 10K. Forde took 2nd in the division at Highlands with a 50:19 12K. Her time at the same Wharf to Wharf race as Bayliss was a half-minute faster at 38:54.

Despite this being the Women's division with the most entrants, few of the top Masters runners from Tallahassee and San Diego are entered. The exceptions are Kimberly Aspholm and Marcy Cote. Aspholm finished 11th at Tallahassee, but has finished higher at Masters National Road Championships. In particular, Aspholm finished 4th at the 5 km Masters Championships in Atlanta in 20:04 and 4th at the 12 Km Championships in 51:51. She has carried that fitness through the summer, clocking a 20:21 and a 20:37 5K this summer. Cote finished 5th at San Diego in 28:29. A few months later, she clocked 1:36:19 at the Eugene Marathon HM in April, and then turned in a 45:56 at the Bolder Boulder 10K. Alyssia Puma raced at Tallahassee, dropping down in age to run in the Open race. The time she clocked, 2 minutes slower than Aspholm, would have earned a 9th place in the W45 division race she would have been competing in. Rochelle Person, who ran some low 20's 5K's in 2019 and was 2nd in Women's 50-54 at the Pittsburgh's Liberty Mile in 5:41, might also play a role in the podium battle.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order: 

Jennifer Bayliss     Samantha Forde     Kimberly Aspholm

55-59 Lisa Veneziano is a clear favorite. She set the American 55-59 Record for the 12K at Highlands NJ in September 2021. Four months later she took 2nd at 2022 Cross Nationals in San Diego. The only runner ahead of her was 4-time Olympian, Colleen De Reuck. For most of the season, she has been chasing multiple American Record holder on the track, Michelle Rohl. Veneziano finished 2nd 55-59 at Cross Nationals in San Diego behind Rohl, and then acquired 2nd at Atlanta with a 19:29 5K and at Rochester with a 5:40 road mile. With Rohl's attention elsewhere this Saturday, Veneziano has a clear path to the win. 

Lisa Veneziano leading Christy Peterson and Lorraine Jasper down a gentle slope at the Mission Bay course in San Diego--2022 Cross Nationals

Apart from the national championships Veneziano has taken Age Division wins at the Crim 10 Miler with a 1:01:42 and found time to run an 18:32 5K in September. It appears she is ready to roll. Three athletes stand out as the strongest challengers. Lydia Dissly was 6th at San Diego, finishing about 3 minutes behind Veneziano. She also has a 1:33:30 at the Revel Rockies HM and a 21:42 5K last December. Allyson Serrao took 1st 55-59 at the Bellaire Trolley 5K in Houston in April in 19:25 and took the division title at the Pearl Street Mile in 6:08. She clocked 1:06:50 at the Space City 10 Mile earlier this month. Lisa Valle took 3rd last year in the 1500M with a 5:08 at the USATF Outdoor Championships. That is 7 seconds faster than the 1500M time Veneziano turned in this summer. Because the times were from different races, I conclude they have roughly comparable speed at the distance. Valle also had a 33:23 8K outing in May. Perhaps her Spartan competitons are a signal of aptitude for Cross Country? These are formidable competitors, but I still see Veneziano as most likely to stand atop the podium. If it were a road race, Serrao probably stands as more likely for the Silver medal. But the Cross Country turf can be a great equalizer. It might be closer than it looks and Valle appears to have good closing speed if that makes a difference.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order: 

Allyson Serrao      Lisa Valle     Lisa Veneziano

60-64 Lorraine Jasper ruled this division in Cross Country last year, taking 1sts at Boston, Tallahassee and San Diego. The first was close, an 8 second win; the last two were by almost a half-minute and over a minute, respectively. She continued that dominance on the roads with wins at the 5Km in Atlanta (a close win over her teammate, Doreen McCoubrie, in 20:24, and in the 1 Mile at Rochester in 5:42. McCoubrie took the honors at the Half Marathon and Stella Gibbs at the 10 K. Otherwise Jasper appeared unbeatable. But something slowed her down over the summer. At the Outdoor Championships in Ames, she was only able to complete the 400M rather than her usual triple of 400, 800, and 1500. At Highlands, it appeared she was running for the team as she finished 6th in the division in 57:31, six minutes slower than her own time a year earlier. Jasper has had another month to recover. If that has gone well, she will likely compete for the podium. Jasper will not have an easy path to a win even if she is fully recovered. Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, already in the Masters Hall of Fame, is in the field. Cross Country may be her best discipline. She took 1st in this division at the 5 Km XC Championships in San Diego in 2019 and then captured the crown at Lehigh as well. Shee ran a 20:44 5K in Austin TX in March and finished 7th at the Worlds in Finland over 1500M in 5:54. Gibbs is in the field as well. Her victory over Jasper in the 10 Km was impressive. If Jasper is at her best, though, she appears to be stronger on the turf than Gibbs. At their two previous meetings at Boston and San Diego, Jasper finished well ahead of Gibbs. The two runners who finished behind Gibbs at San Diego in 3rd and 4th were Suzanne Cordes and Eileen Brennan-Erler, both of whom are in this field. Cordes also finished 3rd at Clubs in Tallahassee, a half minute behind Jasper.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Carmen Ayala-Troncoso      Stella Gibbs     Lorraine Jasper

65-69 If her road credentials are a good guide to her performance on the turf, Abbie Wade, could well be headed for 1st place in this division. She won the 65-69 crown in Boston last October with a 3:26:53 and followed that with a 1:42:10 at the Slacker Half Marathon this June. Cindy Williams cannot match Wade at those distances but has strong credentials on the turf. She finished 3rd in this division at Boston last October and 2nd at Tallahassee. She finished 4th in the division at Atlanta with a 25:28 5K. Mo Bartley had a faster 5K last November at 22:55. All I find for her this year is a 54:21 Trail Run over 5.8 Miles in May and a 2:27:27 Half marathon Trail Run in August. Those should be good preparation for a Cross Country outing. Bartley finished 6th at Clubs in Spokane 4 years ago and, further back, took the 60-64 division title at Clubs in Tallahassee in 2016. Sharon Vos ran the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in 50:46 and followed that with a 1:56:51 in the Boulderthon HM. If she can manage an effort like her 10K effort in Maine, she will definitely be in contention.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Mo Bartley     Abbie Wade     Cindy Williams

70-74 To say this division is loaded is an understatement. We have a USATF Masters Athlete of the Year, an American record holder over 15K, a WMA Silver Medalist in the Half Marathon, and the winner of this division at booth Tallahassee and San Diego. Sabra Harvey, the 2017 Masters Athlete of the Year, took a few years away from the USATF Masters circuit before joining up with Team Red Lizard to compete at the 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento. Her 1:23:57 there was good for the Division win, although she needed a strong final kick to defeat Kate Stewart. Harvey's most impressive feats have come on the track but she is also strong on the turf. She was named USATF Harrier of the Year in 2018. In a similar vein, it has been a few years since we have seen Edie Stevenson at a Masters LDR National Championship. At her last outing, in Tulsa in 2019, she set the new 70-74 record at 1:13:16! She has not competed on the turf in recent years but when Cross Nationals were in Boulder in 2014, she finished 2nd in the division behind Hall of Famer, Kathy Martin. On the other hand, the most recent result I find for Stevenson is a 23:57 5K last August. Suzanne Ray went over to Finland and finished 2nd in the 70-74 division with a 1:45:50 Half Marathon. Like many top road runners, Ray has found less success on the turf. In Ray's case, her teammate, Jeanette Groesz, has tended to outshine her in Cross Country. They were in different divisions in January but Groesz outran Ray at San Diego by over a minute and a half. Groesz also took the 70-74 title at Tallahassee and, three years earlier in Spokane. At Club Cross in Lexington in 2017, Harvey took the title and, to belie what I just wrote, Ray finished 12 seconds ahead of her teammate, Groesz, finishing 2nd and 3rd to Harvey. Furthermore, Ray did just come in 2 and a half minutes ahead of Groesz in the 12 Km at Highlands NJ.

Harvey must be considered the favorite. After Harvey it should be close between Groesz, Ray, and Stevenson.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Sabra Harvey     Suzanne Ray     Edie Stevenson     

75-79 Each athlete competing in this division, upon finishing, will be on the podium. The strongest of the three appears to be Irene Terronez, who took the 15K national title in this division at Tulsa in 2019 with a 1:43:57. More recently, she ran a 33:19 5K this February and a few weeks ago, claimed the 75-79 win at the Twin Cities Medtronic 10 Miler in 1:56. Linda Yarr has a 37:49 5K and a 1:17:41 in the Boulderthon 10K. Andrea McCarter finished 3rd 75-79 in Atlanta with a 36:46 5K and clocked a 1:21:48 10K at the Big Peach Sizzler in Georgia.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Andrea McCarter     Irene Terronez     Linda Yarr


Age-Grading contests aim to identify the athletes who run fastest for their age.  


Sabra Harvey, 73, the 2017 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year and 2018 Masters Harrier of the Year must be a prime contender. Hall of Famer, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 63, will be pushing her. American 55-59 12-Km Record holder, and 2nd place age-grade finisher at Cross Nationals in San Diego, Lisa Veneziano, 58, will be in the mix. The 70-74 15-Km Record holder, Edie Stevenson, 73, has been on many national age-grading podiums. One that just eluded her in 2014 was the Cross Nationals in Boulder. With phenoms, Colleen De Reuck, Kathy Martin and Libby James in the field, 4th place was a rather lofty accomplishment. Ordinarily, Lorraine Jasper, 61, who took 2nd in Age Grading at Cross Nationals in January this year, would also be in the mix, but may not be at peak fitness.  Abbie Wade, 67, took the 65-69 title at the Boston Marathon in October 2021 in 3:26:53; a strong marathoner should never be ignored!

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Carmen Ayala-Troncoso     Sabra Harvey     Lisa Veneziano


Jacob Nur, 67,who set a new 65-69 American record at the Masters Ten-Mile Championships this spring, Dan King, 63, who set American M60 Records at the Mile and 1500 meters a couple of years ago, Craig Godwin, 55, and Mark Yuen, 51, are top contenders for the Men’s title. Gene Dykes, 74, who holds American 70-74 Records at distances from the 10 Km to the 50 Km, can never be ignored, but is not quite at his best.

Podium Picks in alphabetical order:

Craig Godwin     Jacob Nur     Mark Yuen



40+ It is perilous, at best, to venture opinions on team outcomes. There are so many variables already and I am not that familiar with many of the runners. And the exact makeup oof each team is not certain as final Team Declarations are not in. But, based on paper, out of the many strong teams coming from the Mountain West, Team Run Flagstaff looks the strongest. They have a complete 9-man team, and plenty of fast runners, so there is room for someone having an off day or a surprisingly 'on' day! After them it looks like the Boulder Road Runners, Boulder Track Club, and the Dukes Track Club, out of Albuquerque are pretty evenly matched. The Dukes are coming with just 5 team members so everyone has to have a good day. The two Boulder teams are not that much better off. They have 6 team members listed each, with the 6th member appearing to represent a significant drop off in time. Fort Collins, the Square State Striders and the Sports Warriors of Albuquerque, do not appear to be hugely behind those others and could upset this prediction.

Podium Picks

Team Run Flagstaff       Boulder Road Runners     Boulder Track Club        

50+ This one looks like a hard-fought battle between the West Valley Track Club and the Boulder Road Runners, with West Valley having a bit more firepower. Boulder Road Runners B looks solid for third.

Podium Picks:

West Valley Track Club     Boulder Road Runners A     Boulder Road Runners B

60+ It looked initially like this division would feature a classic battle between Athletics Boulder, the Boulder Road Runners, and two challengers from other regions, the Atlanta Track Club, and the Shore Athletic Club out of New Jersey. But Atlanta's two strongest runners are likely scratches due to various injuries, and Shore is coming in with a thin team due to Marathon fatigue and/or injuries for key competitors. Atlanta will still have a very solid team but will have trouble matching the front runners of the two Boulder squads, Athletics Boulder, as at Tallahassee last year, needs all three of their runners to be at their best. The BRR has a little more leeway and appears to be the stronger squad at this time in addition to having more depth with a full 3-man team. The Genesee Valley Harriers are bringing in a very solid team. If their top runner has a good day and their next two stay close, they could be very close to BRR. The top runner for AB, Dan King, is a little off his best so will probably not dominate the race by as much as he did last at Club Cross and Cross Nationals. Their other two runners will have to be on their game if AB is to be on the podium again. They will need to come in ahead of two solid clubs, Cal Coast Track Club and the Kansas City Smoke. Those clubs lack star power but could wind up with a fairly tight 3-man pack that could cause trouble.

Podium Picks:

Boulder Road Runners     Genesee Valley Harriers     Athletics Boulder

70+ The Boulder Road Runners A team looks good for the win. They have a couple of strong runners who should be close to the front for the 70+ team competition and their depth is good. The Genesee Valley Harriers also have a solid squad. As long as all three of their runners have a good day, they should be able to claim 2nd. The Atlanta Track Club will fight it out with Boulder B for the final podium spot.

Podium Picks:

Boulder Road Runners A     Genesee Valley Harriers     Boulder Road Runners B


40+ Team Run Flagstaff looks too strong overall. If the Impala Racing team had brought more of their top 40+ runners, it might have been a closer match up. Impala will probably still take 2nd place but will have to watch out for the Fort Collins Running Club, which has a strong runner up front and two solid support runners.

 Podium Picks:

Team Run Flagstaff     Impala Racing     Fort Collins RC

50+ The Impalas are bringing a very solid 50's team. Their top 3 should all be close to the front of this division team competition. After that, it looks close between the Boulder Road Runners and the Greater Philadelphia Track Club, depending on how well their individual runners fare. It is hard for me to figure out Fort Collins. They may be stronger than they look. Two of their five runners move their results on Athlinks into their own account and make it private. From what I can see, Fort Collins is not quite competitive with those top three teams. 

 Podium Picks:

Impala Racing     Boulder Road Runners     Greater Philadelphia Track Club

60+ The Impala Racing team brings the strongest squad. Their top 3 runners went 2-3-4 in this division at Cross Nationals in San Diego and there is no reason to suppose they will do any worse here. And in this race, they have two other runners as insurance who are very solid. Next should be the Boulder Road Runners with a solid team and, like, the Impalas, two extra runners as insurance. With the teams as currently declared, it appears that Revolution Running Team B is next strongest, although that could change during Team Declaration period later today. The Atlanta team will compete hard but may find that the final Revolution Running A team keeps them off the podium.

 Podium Picks:

Impala Racing     Boulder Road Runners     Revolution Running

70+ Team Red Lizard should have the firepower to take home the win. With just three runners, every athlete has to have a reasonable day at least. Boulder looks good for 2nd and Atlanta will take 3rd as long as all three of their runners have a good day.

Podium Picks:

Team Red Lizard     Boulder Road Runners     Atlanta Track Club

There is lots to follow in individual and team races. It will be a thrilling day on the turf at the Harlow Platt Community Park in Boulder!