September 25, 2022 The USATF Masters 12 Km Championships were hosted for the second year by the USATF-NJ's By Hook Or By Crook Run. A record number of athletes gathered on the Jersey Shore and a record number, 299, finished. The course is out and back on the National Park Service roads on the Sandy Hook National Gateway recreation Area. There is very little elevation change, there is scrub and some trees along the road that provide some protection from crosswinds and provide a small amount of shade. The course is largely open to the sun. On a warm and sunny September 18th, athletes needed to be careful to avoid dehydrating or overheating. Most athletes dialed back their pace over the final couple of miles. A very few ran into problems and had to either stop or jog it in. One athlete collapsed and was taken to a nearby hospital for observation. Two others that I have heard of had to stop, but both were able to jog it in after a break. One of those two was also taken to an ER for observation. All athletes currently appear to be in good health. The first installment reported on the Overall Races, both Men and Women and on the Age Division contests within the Women's Race. This Recap will start with the Men's Age Division Championships, and then move to Age Grading and, finally, the Team contests.
AGE DIVISION NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS - MEN
40-44 As noted in the first recap, Riley Cook South Weber UT, Ben Bruce HOKA Naz Elite AZ and Darryl Brown Greater Philadelphia went 1-2-3, with Jesse Davis Indiana Elite 39:55, Fabian Daza Garden State 40:27, and Dickson Mercer Pacers Running GRC-Greater DC area 40:43 taking 4th through 6th. It was Cook's 2nd win in as many tries. He adds this to his Overall win in the USATF Masters Ten Mile Championships in Sacramento.
|Riley Cook #335 leads out Ben Bruce #321, Jesse Davis tucked in behind Cook-gray shoes and Two Open Runners at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships Photo Credit for this and all other photos in this article: Jason Timochko|
Next up for Cook is the California International Marathon CIM in December. Cook explained, "I am looking to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I feel I left some unfinished business with the Marathon in my Open career."
Riley Cook 38:20 Ben Bruce 38:38 Darryl Brown 39:53
45-49 I was told that Brock Butler Greater Philadelphia, the defending Overall Champion, would either be a scratch or would be running at reduced fitness, purely for the good of his team. He had been working at overcoming an injury but was not far enough along in fitness to be competitive. That seemed to leave an open door for David Angell Roanoke Valley Elite-VA, Marco Cardoso Garden State, Chris Shaw Montgomery County Runners - Greater DC, Nicholas Thompson Brooklyn TC - New York, and Aaron Totten-Lancaster Garden State to challenge for the podium. Angell, Cardoso, Shaw and Thompson all competed here last year. Shaw won the division in 40:34, with Thompson 2nd at 41:19 and Cardoso 3rd at 44:03. Angell was still in 40-44 then and clocked 41:31 which would have been 3rd best in 45-49. Angell came into this year's Championships as a bit of a wild card. He has not competed since an unsatisfactory outing at Club Cross in Tallahassee. He had an Achilles issue to resolve. It took him several months but by June the heel was feeling good enough to try the Clarksburg 10K. A 33:38 validated that he was on his way back. He also had good results in a 4-Miler and an 8K, but none of these had the competition or the pressure of a National Championship. On the other hand, Angell knows a lot about National Masters Championships, having won a ton of them! He was the USATF Masters National Grand prix Champion in the 40-44 division for three consecutive years from 2017 through 2019. Totten-Lancaster was also a bit of an 'unknown' known. In 2019, when he ran for the Atlanta Track Club, he finished 8th overall at the 10 Km Championships in 34:12 and 3rd Overall in the 15 Km National Championships in 51:11. At Tallahassee he finished 15th in the 45-49 division, but that was on the turf. Recently moved from Colorado to NJ, he has not competed in a Road National Championship since the 15 Km in 2019. A 39:01 10K at altitude at the end of May suggested his fitness was not what it has been in the past but might be enough to make things interesting. Mike Cole Indiana Elite was coming in nursing a small injury. Cole had finished 2nd in the division at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships in Dedham in April. Ordinarily he would be in the mix for the podium. But in July he ran a local 5 Km race in Indy in over 17 minutes; a year earlier he had run the same race over the same course in 15:42. Primarily running for the team, but you can never count Cole out!
The Gun sounded! Angell and Totten-Lancaster led out the 45-49 pack. At the Mile mark those two formed a front row, with Cole and Jerry Snider Greater Waco TX tucked in behind. Chris Shaw was running alone about ten meters back and then another 15 meters back was a pack of mostly 50's guys, but Thompson was there, wisely tucked in behind the leader, and Cardoso a little further back in the pack. Angell and Totten-Lancaster dropped Cole and Snider in Mile two and traded the lead for a couple of miles. Once they were into the historical section after Mile 3, Angell started to gap Totten-Lancaster. By Mile 4, the effort of staying with Angell for the first three miles had taken its toll on Totten-Lancaster; his pace slowed substantially. Thompson's steady pace over the first few miles worked for him as he had edged ahead of Totten-Lancaster by the 4-Mile mark. Thompson was not gaining on Angell but he did add another 40 meters over the next mile to his gap on Totten-Lancaster. Angell cruised into the finish line in 41:00. It must have felt sweet to have a division win after not being able to race at national championships for 9 months!
|David Angell #305 and Aaron Totten-Lancaster #261 lead out the 45-49 Field at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
Thompson kept his pace going all the way to the finish, crossing in 2nd a half minute after Angell. Thompson must have enjoyed his second straight National Championship Silver Medal in this division! And it was another good race under his belt for the upcoming Marathon season. Totten-Lancaster struggled over the last three miles but gritted it out and claimed a hard-earned third place in 41:52. It was his first podium at a National Championship since 2019! On the weather conditions, Angell summed it up as "It definitely got warm out there with no shade, but I didn't think the wind was as bad as last year." Cole came next at 42:52, followed by Cardoso, 5th in 43:17. Cardoso ran 46 seconds faster and finished two places back; it was a strong field!
David Angell 41:00 Nicholas Thompson 41:32 Aaron Totten-Lancaster 41:52
50-54 The top contenders were: Mark Andrews Genesee Valley Harriers- Greater Rochester, Mark Callon West Valley TC-SF Bay Area, Christian Cushing-Murray Cal Coast TC-So Cal, Richard Falcone Garden State, Ivan Lieben West Valley, and Gregory Putnam Central Mass Striders. The field was deep in this division; strong runners like Brent Fields Atlanta, Charles Mullane West Valley, and the trio of Garden State runners, Jonathan Frieder, Joseph Hegge, and Todd Wiley, did not get a mention in the preview. Recent performances suggested that Callon and Putnam were the two strongest contenders. Putnam had the honors from Club Cross but Callon had prevailed at the Masters Half Marathon Championships. Lieben, likewise, had the edge over Callon on the turf, but Callon had gapped Lieben at the Masters Ten Mile Championships by a half minute. And Putnam had edged Lieben by 17 seconds at the 10 Km Masters Championships. The three were clearly close but based on those races it looked like Callon and Putnam vying for the win, with Lieben just off the pace. Falcone came in a half minute ahead of Putnam and more ahead of Lieben at the 10 Km Masters Championships. My only worry about Falcone was the lack of any recent races to judge by.
Andrews took off with the pack of 45-49 year old's, tucked in behind Angell, next to Cole at the 1 Mile mark. Brent Fields, typically a fast starter, led the rest of the 50's field though the first mile, with Lieben, Putnam, Callon, and Cushing-Murray tucked in behind. There was a small gap filled in by two runners from other divisions, and then Falcone and David Guzik Manchester Running Company, running side by side. Five meters back were Frieder and Mullane, aside each other, with Wiley and Hegge not far behind. Andrews's hot start was a good indicator of the eventual finish. Andrews surprised me by dominating this strong field at a distance over 10 Km. He crossed the finish line in 41:26, a good 47 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. It was a magnificent win!
|Mark Andrews would not be Denied as He Drives for the 50-54 Win at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
With a possible exception mentioned below, Lieben and Putnam were able to drop all the others as they matched each other, stride for stride, through six miles. After making the last left turn to head to the finish line a mile away, Putnam started to notice Lieben falling back, first imperceptibly, and then more noticeably. Putnam kept his stride going, applying firm pressure. Soon the Finish Line was rushing at him as he sped to take the Silver Medal in 42:13. Though Lieben was not able to match Putnam on the final stretch he was well away from the 4th place finisher; Lieben claimed Bronze thirteen seconds later. Lieben's teammate, Mullane, had started conservatively and was able to pick off a number of runners, but Lieben kept it together, finishing a good 40 meters ahead of Mullane. After Mullane at 42:34 in 4th, Fields came across in 42:54, breaking up the Three Musketeers of West Valley. The conditions made for a tough day at the office; it affected some more than others. Callon came across next in 43:02, thirteen seconds ahead of the Garden State trio of Frieder, Wiley and Hegge.
Mark Andrews 41:26 Gregory Putnam 42:13 Ivan Lieben 42:26
Although I do not have details, it appears that Falcone, the top GSTC runner, was in contention for the podium until he collapsed somewhere in the final half-mile, presumably from heat-related problems, possibly dehydration. He was taken to a nearby hospital for observation. I understand he recovered fully. We all wish Falcone the best--good health and many future runs at a national podium finish!
55-59 Brian Crowley Freedom-Garmin Runners-NJ entered as a strong favorite; he was the defending Champion, winning 55-59 here last year in 42:06. He also clocked 35:02 in April, finishing 2nd at the Masters 10 Km Championships in Dedham to reinforce his claim as favorite. Other strong runners who, on a good day, could replace Crowley atop the podium include Scott Grandfield Central Mass Striders-NH, Keith Guilfoyle Bellmore Striders Long Island NY, and John McMahon Checkers AC-Greater Buffalo NY. Grandfield finished 3rd in the division at the 10 Km Championships in Dedham in April, clocking 36:19. In mid-August he cracked out a 28:58 at the Bobby Doyle 5-Miler. Those two efforts suggest that on a good day, under comparable conditions, a 44-minute 12 Km race would be well within his grasp. Guilfoyle finished 3rd in the division last year in 43:33. He had a good outing at the Utica Boilermaker 15K in early July and ran a 17:44 5K later in July. McMahon has two Silver Medals at National Championships this year, a 1:19:58 at the Half Marathon in Syracuse, and a 5-minute flat Road Mile in Rochester. That shows McMahon's range as a distance runner! He is a dangerous runner at 12 Km (7.45 miles)!
Now that Crowley no longer has Nat Larson to worry about in this age division, he has a clear path to the finishing tape. Larson is in 60-64 now, although on this day, Crowley had the faster time anyway. When the gun sounded, Crowley wasted no time and latched onto the 50-54 pack that was chasing Andrews. As a result, Crowley had 50 meters on the field by the time they hit the 1-mile mark. Grandfield was in 2nd, enjoying a 15-meter lead over McMahon. Guilfoyle was ten meters behind McMahon in 4th, with Strickland another twenty meters back. Crowley ran into no serious problems and cruised to a big win, taking first in 42:23, a minute and a half ahead of the field! Crowley opined later that he had gone out too fast and struggled home. That may be, but then his struggling is everyone else's f-a-a-a-s-s-s-t! It was a fantastic outing for Crowley!
|Brian Crowley Drives for the Finish Line and the 55-59 Win at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
To be frank, most of the runners I spoke with felt they struggled over the last couple of miles, whether they went out too fast or not. McMahon was able to move up with and eventually pass Grandfield, taking 2nd in 44:02. Guilfoyle did not stay as close to McMahon as he was at the mile mark, but he kept within a couple of hundred meters, and that was enough to claim the last spot on the podium. Grandfield felt he had little left in his legs over the last couple of miles and could not fight off either McMahon or Guilfoyle. But he held it together enough to cross the finish line in 4th place in 45:28, a half minute ahead of Michael Strickland Atlanta TC.
Brian Crowley 42:23 John McMahon 44:02 Keith Guilfoyle 44:45
60-64 Nat Larson Greater Springfield Harriers-MA entered as the strong favorite. He has been getting stronger and more consistent since returning from surgery he had during the Pandemic restrictions when there were no races. He finished 2nd in 55-59 here last year in 43:13, but by March of 2022 was able to win the Masters Half marathon Championships in 55-59 in a fine 1:16:30. He also took top honors at Sacramento, clocking 57:11 to take the 55-59 Ten-Mile Championship. Three weeks later he surprised himself by running a stunning 34:20 to take top 55-59 honors at Dedham in the 10 Km Championships. Those taken together suggested he had the fitness at the time to run under 43 and perhaps under 41 under equivalent conditions. Larson turned 60 before heading to Finland and the World Masters Athletics Championships. He picked up a Silver Medal there, clocking 35:21 in the 10 Km Road Race, finishing just 8 seconds back from the Spaniard who won the Gold Medal. Two of the stronger potential contenders both love Ultras, Trail Races, and Marathons. Tim DeGrado and Rick Lee, the defending 60-64 champion in 44:16, were off at the Pikes Peak Marathon. There were plenty of rivals entered who would have loved to have knocked Larson down from the top spot. Mark Neff Shadow Project TC-Greater D.C. finished 4th in this division at the Road Mile in Rochester in 5:13. It is hard to learn much about a 7.45-mile race (12 Km) from a Road Mile. But finishing just off the podium provides some context. More telling is the 1:00:23 he ran at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler in early April. And he was still running strong in mid-August with a 17:52 5K. If conditions were similar, those are roughly equivalent to running a 12 Km race in the low 44-minute range. Henry Notaro Shore AC-NJ is new to the Masters national Grand Prix circuit. The only National Championship result he has so far is his 3rd place in the Road Mile at Rochester, finishing 6 seconds ahead of Neff. But he ran a 56:07 15K at Gasparilla in February and followed that in May with a 36:55 10K. Both suggest that Notaro might be able to clock low to mid 44's at a 12 K. Roger Sayre Boulder Road Runners-CO was coming out of injury rehab last year but still managed to take 2nd in this division in 45:49. He also finished 2nd at the Half Marathon Championships in mid-March, clocking 1:21:42. That is roughly equivalent to a low 45's 12 K. Michael Salamone Shore AC-NJ was the other runner most likely to crack the podium on a good day. He finished 5th here last year in 47:27 and ran equally well at the 10 Km Championships against a tougher field. His 39:18 there was good for 8th place in the division.
Larson started out conservatively, running with the 2nd wave of 50's guys at the 1 Mile mark. Notaro was 50 meters back in 2nd. Neff was tracking Notaro about 25 meters back. Sayre had started conservatively and was another 30 meters behind Neff, followed 20 meters back by Salamone. And that told the story. Everyone ran at least somewhat sensibly; these runners made up the top 5 at the finish. Larson took the win in 43:33, a 5:51/mile pace, a good 200 meters ahead of the 60-64 field. A bit slower than last year but it seemed the conditions were tougher this year. Supporting that notion is the fact that Larson also made the Age Grading podium this year!
|Nat Larson strides to the Finish Line and the 60-64 Win at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
Notaro, like many others, slowed substantially after his 3rd mile, but then held strong the rest of the way. He held the others at bay, enjoying a margin at the end of more than 500 meters. Moving up from Bronze to Silver at his 2nd Masters National Championship, a very nice result! Sayre's sensible start paid off as he was able to work his way past Neff and claim the Bronze Medal in 46:21, 26 seconds ahead of Neff. Sayre will be in 65-69 at this race next year so folks in that division had better watch out! I learned after the race that this was Salamone's first race since catching Covid in June. Salamone was happy he was able to hold it together all the way to the finish and claim 5th in 48:09, helping his Shore AC team to a fine team outcome.
Nat Larson 43:33 Henry Notaro 44:20 Roger Sayre 46:21
65-69 This division was expected to feature a duel between Rick Becker Selah WA and Ken Youngers Atlanta TC but Youngers was not able to finish the race (See immediately below). You can only race against the folks who are there from start to finish. In terms of those folks, Becker dominated the race. The top contenders for the other two podium spots were John Blaser KC Smoke IA, Kevin Dollard Shore AC - NY, Scott Lucking Atlanta TC-SC, and Robert Reynolds Greater Philadelphia. Blaser finished 4th at the 10 Km Championships in late April with a 41:59. He took on the Quad City Bix 7-Miler in late July, clocking under 7:00 per mile on that challenging course! Dollard has been solid all year, regardless of distance. He finished 5th here last year in 51:29 but took 2nd at the Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse in 1:32:43 and then another 2nd in the division at the 10 Km Championships in late April, clocking 41:07. He also managed a third-place finish at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta and a 5th at the Road Mile in Rochester. Lucking prevailed over Dollard by a whisker in the Mile, with both getting the same time. But Dollard had the edge at the 5 Km and the 10 Km Championships.
Becker started out conservatively but by the 1 Mile mark had a good 40-meter lead on Lucking, who had a similar lead on Dollard. Reynolds was only a few strides back from Dollard, but Blaser was the better part of a hundred meters back from that pair. Becker went from strength to strength, stretching his lead throughout the contest. By the time he crossed the finish line to claim the win in 46:36, a pace of 6:15/mile, he had a kilometer on the rest of the field, a supreme victory for Becker!
|Rick Becker striding to the finish and the 65-69 Win at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
Reynolds and Blaser must have started conservatively or simply dealt better with the warmth and the sun. Both worked their way past Dollard. Lucking held tough all the way, though, keeping those two at bay. Lucking took 2nd in 50:51, just 20 meters in front of Reynolds. Blaser finished 11 seconds behind Reynolds in 4th. Dollard, who is a fighter, never gave up, taking 5th in 51:21!
Rick Becker 46:36 Scott Lucking 50:51 Robert Reynolds 50:56
Note: The expected M65 duel between Rick Becker and Ken Youngers, who won the division last year in 45:03, materialized, but only for the first six miles. All I know about the early part of the duel is that Youngers took it out hard, running at the 1 Mile mark with the leaders of the Women's race and a few of the 2nd wave of 50's runners, with Becker about 40 meters back. Both appeared to be running easily at that point. Youngers had a hamstring that acted up after a Labor Day 5K race in 17:29. He had eased back on mileage hoping the hamstring would respond and he could have a good race at Sandy Hook. The hamstring started to act up between miles 5 and 6, slowing him down. Shortly after mile 6, the right leg stopped working in mid-stride and Youngers went down hard, with road rash as a dubious badge of honor. After trying to get up to continue the race, he found the right leg would not bear any weight, Youngers moved to the side of the road and stepped off onto the jogging path so as not to impede any other runners. Youngers reports that he is working with a PT and hopes to resume training soon. It will probably be a while before he is ready to compete again.
70-74 The new kid on the block, Robert Qualls River City Rebels-Reno NV, was taking on the established King of the 70-74 year-olds, Gene Dykes Greater Philadelphia, in his last year in the division. Dykes roared into the 70-74 division in 2018, intent on chasing down the Marathon World Record held by the legendary Ed Whitlock. At 2:54:18, many thought it might never be broken or at least not for decades. And there was Dykes, getting within a half-minute on his first try, over the same course where Whitlock, in 2004, set the record. Dykes tried again at the Jacksonville Marathon in mid-December 2018 and ran faster. He thought he had the record as his time was 2:54:23. But there are details to worry about. The record must be on a certified course, in an event sanctioned by USATF. Dykes thought it satisfied both; the course was certified but the race had not obtained a sanction. It did not count. Dykes's Toronto time stands as the American Record but Whitlock's World Record stands. In 2019, Dykes ran in a bunch of USATF National Championships, winning the Grand Prix that year. He set the 70-74 American 10 Km Record that still stands at 39:02! Then came Covid and no road races for a while. Dykes has been a little more up and down over the last couple of years. He has sustained some injuries that have interrupted his training. He was coming back strong this year, with wins at the Half Marathon Championships in 1:32:37 and at the 10-Mile Championships in 1:07:43. He was entered in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Finland but was forced to withdraw because he could not recover quickly enough from a mishap on a 100-Mile Trail Run in Norway. A Master of quick recovery, Dykes was back in action at the Outdoor Championships where he was able to run a 23:29 5000 and a 51:28 10,000 meter-run. A 20:29 at a local 5K a week before this Championship, much slower than he had hoped for, confirmed that he would not be at the top of his game but might be competitive for the win. Qualls finished 7th in 65-69 at the 2018 Club Cross Championships. In August 2019, at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta, much of the attention was on Joe Reda and Reno Stirrat, who finished 1-2, just 1 second apart, but Qualls was just 14 seconds back in 3rd at 19:26! Club Cross moved from Spokane to Lehigh in Bethlehem PA and Qualls upped his game, finishing 4th in 65-69. Coming out of the Covid road race interruption, Qualls did not have the same fitness he had going in. In April of 2021 he ran a 5K in 25+, with a 24+ the next month. By the end of 2021, he was down to 22+ for a 5K. By May of this year, he was cracking 21 minutes and he was feeling competitive. He tested himself at the National Senior Games in May and was pleased to come out with a 19:41 5000-meter effort. At the WMAs in June and July, he ran 42:02 to come home with a Gold Medal in the 70-74 10 Km Road Championship. He was ready to rock and roll at Highlands! Other podium contenders included Jerry Learned Atlanta TC, Fernando Moura Greater Philadelphia-Southeastern PA and Eugene Myers Potomac Valley-Columbia MD. Learned is a known quantity. At his first National Championship as a 70-year-old in 2018, he finished 3rd in the Road Mile Championships at Flint MI. A week later he took the Bronze in the 5K in Atlanta in 21:37. That fall he finished 2nd at the 15 Km National Championship in Tulsa. He has been contending for the podium at every National Championship he has raced since that time, and he has raced a lot of them. In this year alone, he was on the podium or just off it in 4th at the 5 Km, the Half Marathon, the 10 Mile, the 10 Km and the Road Mile National Championships. That is consistency! Surprisingly, he has been able to maintain his fitness without significant injury. His 5K Championship time in 2022 was 5 seconds faster than his time over essentially the same course in 2018. He turned 74 before this 12 Km Championship. Even if a runner does not slow down much, it gets harder to make the podium because younger runners enter and contest the podium. Moura is one of those newcomers to the Masters LDR National Championships. He ran a 1:36:04 at the 2019 Philadelphia HM. This summer he focused mostly on triathlon and duathlon. But he also found time to run a 35:59 5 Miler in April and a 35:12 8K in June. Those times suggest that a sub-54 12 Km could have been feasible if conditions had been more favorable. That was roughly comparable to what we could expect from his two podium rivals in this race. Myers finished 8th in 65-69 here last year in 53:29. His 43:14 for 6th place at the 10 Km National Championships in Dedham suggested he could run faster this year.
In the early going it was Dykes dictating the pace and Qualls laying off it slightly. At the 1-Mile mark Quall was behind, but within striking distance at 5-10 meters back. Learned and Moura were running stride for stride beside each other a good 40 meters back from Qualls. Myers started more conservatively, with a 7:01 1st mile, and was 60 meters behind Learned and Moura. Exactly where Qualls struck is not known to me, but when he did, he made it stick. Dykes, from splits posted on Strava, started at 6:35 pace but that was too ambitious. Like most of the other athletes in this race, Dykes found his pace slowing. His slowest mile was his 4th, which was 6:56. Dykes rallied from there, and successively lowered his pace on each of the next three miles. Perhaps that was when Qualls went past him, and Dykes did his best to stay with him. It is a tribute to Dykes that he could speed up after mile 4. Many others had a slow mile 4 and a slower mile 5. And many others got successively slower all the way through Mile 7. It was a tough day at the office! Qualls handled the warmth well, crossing the finish line 1st in 49:53, a 6:41 pace per mile! Denied the win by Track legend, Nolan Shaheed at the Road Mile, it must have been sweet to get the win here against an LDR legend.
|Robert Qualls displays great finishing form as he wins the 70-74 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
Dykes gave it all he had but finished a minute later in 2nd. Moura shook off Learned at some point and took 3rd a good minute after Dykes finished! Myers's strategy paid off; he was able to track down and pass Learned, taking 4th in 55:22, a half minute ahead of Learned. It was a big win for Qualls, perhaps not as big as his Gold Medal at Worlds but it was, as far as I know, his first Gold at a Masters LDR National Championship. Dykes had hoped to run faster but he, like Learned, is in the last year of the division. It was a good prep for the London Marathon, which he will run on October 2nd. This is all part of a build-up to some good Marathons next year when he is 75. Dykes did not get Whitlock's sub-3-hour World record for 70-74 but he should have an excellent shot at taking down Whitlock's 3:04:54 for 75-79!
Robert Qualls 49:53 Gene Dykes 50:58 Fernando Moura 52:08
75-79 Dave Glass Atlanta TC-Glenville NY entered as a strong favorite; he has won every Masters LDR National Championship this year at or over 10 kilometers. None of them have been close. He won the 10 Km by 2:41 in 44:42, a gap of over 500 meters. He won the ten-mile championship by over 3 minutes, and the half marathon by over ten minutes. Last year at this venue, he won in 56:16. Everything pointed to his running faster this year, even with difficult conditions! His two main rivals were Gary Ostwald Boulder Road Runners-CO, who was able to defeat Glass in one of the XC championships but finished 44 seconds behind Glass at the 5 Km Championships and was the 2nd place finisher at the 10 Mile. Ezequiel Garcia Clifton Road Runners-NJ finished 2nd to Glass here in Highlands last year, only 43 seconds behind. Garcia ran well at the 5 Km Championships in February of this year, finishing a minute back from Glass in 23:46. But starting at the Half Marathon in March, the gaps to Glass grew, not just because Glass was running faster, but because Garcia was not running as well. Something was not right. He finished 2nd to Glass at the Half marathon but was over 10 minutes back. At the 10 Km 6 weeks later, he was almost 6 minutes back from Glass, and was almost caught by Liam Finnigan GVH-NY and your author, Paul Carlin Ann Arbor TC-MI. Garcia struggled through the summer but then started to get faster in late summer. He clocked tow sub-23-minute 5K's in mid-August and on September 8th. That suggested he would have no trouble making the podium. The question was whether he or Ostwald would prevail. Other potential contenders included Thomas Jennings Greater Philadelphia, Edward Leydon Rose City Runners-NJ, and me. Jennings ran 1:26:03 at the Blue Cross Broad Street 10 Miler, suggesting something in the 1:02+ range for a 12 Km. But he also ran a 26:56 5 Km in early August, which raises some doubts. Leydon finished 4th here last year in 1:02:51 and ran a 1:20:16 15K in March. That equates roughly to a 1:03+ 12 km under similar conditions. I hit my high point for the year at the 10 Km in late April. I finished 7th in 50:08, just 3 seconds behind Garcia. But I opted to go long in my training for a bit and ran a slow 25 Km time in winning my Age Division at the 45th running of the Amway Riverbank Run in late May on a warm day. It was a struggle. Whether it was that race or going longer with my training, I could not improve on my 10 K time. In two tries, I got slower each time. In June I ran 51:47 at a 10K in Michigan and then in early August ran 53:41 at the Beach to Beacon 10K. In late August I had niggling knee and heel issues that made training less effective. If I could run as I did in April, I had a good chance of finishing 4th but little chance of finishing better. But it was very possible that Leydon and/or Jennings could come in ahead of me. They, too, would need a major change in the performance of the top three to open up a podium position. As it turned out, under the tough conditions, with the exception of Glass, no one got close to what was being projected for them.
Glass had no problems. He ran another superb race. At the 1 Mile mark he was already a hundred meters ahead of the field. Garcia was running easily in 2nd place, with Ostwald a good 50 meters back in 3rd place. Eighty meters back, Carlin and Nowicki were running side by side, with Jennings and Leydon right with them, off to the side. There were no surprises up front. Glass led from wire to wire, crossing the finish line in 53:29, a pace of 7:10 per mile. Almost three minutes faster than in 2021, it was a tour de force for Glass!
|Spectators Put Their Hands Together for Dave Glass, the Winner of the 75-79 Division at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
Ostwald's conservative start worked for him. He nearly caught Garcia for the Silver Medal. At the end it was Garcia taking Silver in 58:05 with Ostwald just 4 seconds back! It was a while before places 4th through 7th were revealed. I was able to hold on, despite significant slowing as the miles wore on, finishing 4th in 1:04:12 as the others gradually dropped back. Leydon took 5th in 1:05:27, with Jennings a half minute back in 6th, and Nowicki in 7th.
Dave Glass 53:29 Ezequiel Garcia 58:05 Gary Ostwald 58:09
80-84 If George Gilder Tyringham MA could work the magic he did at Dedham in the 10 Km Championships, there was no doubt who would win. Gilder won that one in 58:03, roughly equivalent to a sub-1:11 12 Km. Even if he could not run as well as on that day, he had some other fine runs later in the spring and summer. In June he ran a 1:10:55 in a 7-mile race, equivalent to a 1:15 and change 12 Km. In July he ran 1:36:08 in the Utica Boilermaker 15K, also suggestive of a 1:15 plus 12 Km. If Gilder were only in condition to run a 1:15 under good conditions, then either Gary Cochrane Atlanta TC or John Elliott Potomac Valley, who won the 5 Km and 8 Km 80-84 Championships in 2019, might be able to challenge him. Cochrane ran a 1:02:14 10K in June; that, too, is roughly equivalent to a 1:15 and change 12K. Elliott's 1:02:35 at the 10 Km Championships in Dedham was slightly off that standard, suggestive of a 1:16 and change 12 Km effort. Tony Fiory who finished 3rd here last year in 1:21:55 cannot be ignored. Even if his time does not seem quite as fast as others, he knows the course and the conditions! He also ran a 1:08:08 at the Ridgewood 10K on May 30th, suggesting his fitness has not varied much. Daniel Kirsch finished 7th in M75 here last year in 1:23:10. But this past April he ran a 1:07:54 at the Essex County 10K, suggesting he might well be close to Fiory in fitness. Like Fiory, he knows the course and the conditions; that could be a big advantage.
Gilder took off at a good clip and by the 1st mile marker, he was leading the way, with Fiory about 20 meters back. Cochrane came next after a 40-meter gap. He was being tracked 15 meters back by Kirsch who had 40 meters on Elliott. Gilder kept a good pace going all the way to the end. He did not run 1:11 but his time of 1:15:05 was good enough to win by well over 500 meters. Considering the conditions, that was not far off the exceptional effort he was able to generate at the 10 Km Championships.
|George Gilder Claims the 80-84 Win on a warm Day at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
Cochrane was able to overtake Fiory and pull away, taking second with a 3-minute margin. Fiory kept it going nicely, finishing in the Bronze Medal spot 53 seconds ahead of Kirsch. Fiory made the podium for the second straight year!
George Gilder 1:15:05 Gary Cochrane 1:19:53 Tony Fiory 1:22:55
I learned after the race that Elliott was having real trouble with dehydration. He started walking some segments after the 4th mile. By 5 miles he was bonking, and the walking became more frequent. He was worried about collapsing and needing an IV or worse. The water at the aid stations helped, but he resolved to bring his own Gatorade next year.
85-89 Adrian Craven ran unopposed in this division, adding this title to his two earlier ones this season. He started out the Grand Prix year with a first at Club Cross and followed that with a first at Rochester in the National Road Mile Championships. Given the challenging conditions, Craven, no doubt, stayed focus on the main goal, which was to finish the race and take the win!
|Adrian Craven wins the 85-59 National Championship at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
There was no need to chase John Keston's 85-89 American Record of 1:16:04!
Adrian Craven 1:50:30
Age-grading is an adjustment mechanism based on data from the fastest Masters runners in the World. Looking primarily at data worldwide for single age bests from the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon, and fitting a curve to those gives rise to the age grading formulas. These are calibrated so that 100% is essentially a 'World's Best' equivalent for that person's age. For example, if a 60-year -old male runs 15:58 for a 5K, that grades at 100%. A 17:37 for the same individual would be assigned a 90.07% and would be considered 'World Class' because the grade is 90% or above. A 19;50 would be graded at 80% and would be considered 'National Class' because it is 80% or higher. USATF Masters LDR honors Age-Grading excellence as the best indicator of overall excellence in that it measures how well an individual is running for their age. Championship medals, and often prize money, are awarded to the top age grading individuals. In this Championship, prize money went 5-deep for both Women and Men. Elite Performance Medals are awarded for runners who grade at 80% or above. Given the challenging conditions, the Age Grade scores in this Championship were not quite as high as one might ordinarily expect.
MEN Henry Notaro Shore AC, who finished in the top ten age grading at Rochester, but not the Top 5, was in the money this time. His 44:19 at age 60 merited an 88.88% and 5th place. Gene Dykes Philadelphia TC did not score as well as he did at the ten-mile, where he finished 3rd above 92%. But he still hit the Top 5 with his 50:56 at age 74; that graded at 89.60%. One can hardly count the number of times Dykes has graded above 90%, but his training has been interrupted at times this year by injury. Brian Crowley's Freedom-Garmin-NJ fine 42:23 at age 57 earned him a 90.41% and the Bronze Age-Grading medal. Nat Larson Greater Springfield Harriers-MA, 60, edged Crowley for the Silver medal by a mere 0.03 percentage points. His 43:33 graded at 90.44%. Rick Becker Selah, WA, 67, was at the top of the pile, although again by a small margin, 0.04 percentage points.
|Rick Becker's Pre-Race Warmups Paid Off--He took first Place Overall in Age Grading at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
This was Becker's first Age-Grading Gold Medal this year on the roads. He has won a few on the turf in past years!
Roger Sayre, Dave Glass, Mark Andrews, Riley Cook, and Robert Qualls rounded out the top ten.
Rick Becker 67 46:34 90.48% Nat Larson 60 43:33 90.44% Brian Crowley 57 42:23 90.41%
WOMEN Doreen McCoubrie Greater Philadelphia made the Top 5 in Age Grading for the 3rd time this year. Earlier she made the top group at the Half Marathon and 1 Mile Championships. Her 51:31 at 60, merited an 89.37%, good for 5th place. Mary Cass Liberty AC-MA had her first Top 5 of the year; she was in the Top Ten at Dedham in the 10 Km Championships. Her 51:50 at age 61 graded at 89.99%. Too bad, she missed a Gold Elite performance Medal by 0.01 percentage point--a terrific run! Suzanne La Burt Shore AC made her 4th Age Grading podium this year, adding the 12 Km to the one's she earned at Club Cross, the Half Marathon, and the 10 Km. Her 50:10 at age 59 netted a nifty national class 90.62%. Fiona Bayly New York, NY returned to the Age-Grading podium for the first time since the Half Marathon Championships in mid-March. Two age-grading podiums in a single Grand Prix season is a real achievement! Her 47:38 at 55 scored 90.83%. The top spot belonged to the Home State age-grading monarch, Nora Cary Shore AC!
|Nora Cary Means Business-She Makes Every Second Count and takes the Age-Grading Championship at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships|
Cary earned her 2nd consecutive Age-Grading Gold Medal at this Championship. Her 54:05 at age 67 graded an impressive 93.55%!
For all age divisions in road racing, the top 3 runners for each team are scored. The scoring is by cumulative team time. Exact ties, to the second, are rare; ties are broken by examining the time of the 3rd runner in for each team. The team whose #3 runner is faster wins the tie-break.
WOMEN 40+ The Impala Racing Team from the San Francisco Bay area, was the only team entered from outside the Mid-Atlantic region. They were aiming to make the podium in this Championship and move to the top of the standings in the 40+ team standings in the 2022 USATF Masters National Grand Prix! Coming into the Championship, Impala was in third place in the Grand Prix, but none of their chief rivals, Cal Coast, Team Red Lizard, Atlanta, nor Genesee Valley Harriers were contesting the 12 Km. Standing in the way of Impala were some determined Mid-Atlantic teams who were intent on defending their turf. Shore AC drew first blood, with Kristen Prendergast and Karen Dos Santos going 1-2 in 46:07 and 47:42. The Impalas got the next time in with Jacqueline Cooke's 48:35. But before the Impalas could get another runner in, Shore's Lauren Jackson ended the suspense about Team Gold by zipping across the finish line in 50:26. That gave Shore the win with an unbeatable 2:24:15, an average of 48:05. (Fourth and 5th runners for Shore were Karyn Baig & Rebecca Keenan.)
|Karen Dos Santos|
If the Impalas could take 2nd rather than 3rd, they would get 90 GP points instead of 80 so it was important. But Greater Philadelphia would not make it easy. They had the next runner finishing, Patricia Heppelmann in 51:58. Jodi Buuyounouski scored 12 seconds later, at 52:10, to give Impala a good shot at 2nd. But Greater Philly's Alison Schwalm and Kimberly Dietrich were having none of that. They took the next two spots in 53:16 and 54:07, giving GPTC a cumulative time of 2:39:21! The Impalas still had a shot, but their third runner, Laura Meadors, made the trip to add depth to the squad. She was not able to deliver a time that would get them 2nd place, but she delivered handsomely on the time they needed for third place in the team results. Her 1:00:41 gave the Impalas a cumulative time of 2:41:26, several minutes ahead of the 4th place team, the Raritan Valley Road Runners. Shore AC had their first Team Gold, and Greater Philadelphia a fine Team Silver, but Impala had the Bronze and 80 GP points that moved them ahead of Cal Coast and into 1st place by 60 points. With just one event in the Grand Prix to go, the Impalas will be tough to beat!
Shore AC 2:24:15 48:05/scoring runner Greater Philadelphia TC 2:39:21 53:07 avg. Impala Racing 2:41:26 53:49
50+ The stakes were higher in this division; the top 4 teams in the Grand Prix were all entered. The home turf team, Shore AC, came in with the lead, but the Janes Elite Racing, out of Southern California, currently in 2nd, the Impala Racing, in 3rd, and the Greater Philadelphia TC, in 4th were looking to gain ground. Abby Dean was first across the line for GPTC with her 2nd place overall time of 46:44. It was almost 4 minutes before the next runner came in, but she was not wearing a GPTC singlet, as Dean might have hoped. Instead, it was Shore's Suzanne La Burt in 50:13, followed closely by Samantha Forde of Impala in 50:22. But then the Jane's juggernaut arrived. Tania Fischer, Mary Lynch, and after a bit of a scare, Ingrid Walters all arrived before any runners from any team. The Janes had expected Walters to be first or second runner in, but she, like some others, got seriously dehydrated, but forced herself to jog it in for the last mile. She knew her team needed her to have a decent time! Fischer's 51:06 combined with the 52:21 from Lynch and a gritty 54:36 from Walters to give the Janes a cumulative time of 2:38:03, an average of 52:41. Walters arriving as #3 for the Janes before the #2 runners of any other club gave them the win!
|Ingrid Walters ahead of eventual Overall Winner in the Early Stages|
But would it be GPTC, Shore, or Impala for the rest of the podium? Shore's Alysia Puma came next in 55:25, giving Shore some hope, but GPTC's Julie Pangburn was right behind in 55:31, essentially canceling out the gain that Puma had given to Shore. It was down to the 3rd runner! Shore needed their 3rd runner to come in next and be at least three minutes ahead of the GPTC #3. Despite having had a tough year in terms of injury and health, Laura Delea lived up to her #KFG motto, coming next for Shore in 56:52. Now it was all done but the waiting. A minute and a half later, Annabelle Broadbent got it done for GPTC. Her 58:16 gave GPTC a cumulative of 2:40:31 and 2nd place. Shore had 2:42:30 for 3rd, well ahead of Impala. Impala Racing was happy with their 4th place finish. they had sent the strongest 50+ team they could but did not expect they would be able to make the podium against these three strong teams. Alexandra Newman and Teresa Quan finished as #2 and #3 for Impala giving the team a cumulative score of 2:58:42 and 4th place. The 70 points they got for 4th place will make a difference in the Grand Prix race. The Janes were ecstatic with their win and the 100 GP points, especially considering the difficulties Walters ran into. GPTC was relieved to finish 2nd. Like the Janes, they too had a scare. They had expected Michelle Rohl, a record breaker on the track and a force on the turf and over the shorter distances on the road, to be their third runner in. But, like Walters, Rohl got dehydrated. But Rohl had to stop completely for a bit to recover enough to walk and, eventually, jog. Luckily Broadbent stepped up and got them the score they needed. Shore did their best and was happy to be on another national podium, and to collect the 80 GP points for 3rd place.
Janes Elite 2:38:03 52:41 Greater Philadelphia TC 2:40:31 53:30 Shore AC 2:42:30 54:10
60+ There was no Grand Prix suspense for this division. Greater Philadelphia had the win already with a perfect 500 points. But there were still bragging rights at stake, especially in the Mid-Atlantic area. GPTC was sending their terrific trio of Lorraine Jasper, Doreen McCoubrie, and Mary Swan. Whether they could beat GPTC or not, the Liberty Athletic Club of Greater Boston was looking to get on the podium and score some GP points to move up from 3rd to 2nd. Shore AC was not in GP contention but wanted to defend the home roads no less. It was not widely known, but Jasper was entering the contest at less than full fitness. Some kind of injury prevented her from running anything other than the 400 Meters at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships; normally she would have competed in the 800 and 1500 meters as well. Apparently, she lost some training time. It made little difference to the Team result except in terms of margin of victory. Last year, in their last year in the 55-59 division McCoubrie and Jasper came in 3-4 with just six seconds between them. This year McCoubrie was the first runner in, at 51:35. But this time there was no Jasper 6 seconds later. The next runner to finish was Liberty's Mary Cass in 51:56. When Cass's teammate, Lauren Leslie, crossed the finish line in 52:39, a full minute ahead of GPTC's Swan who clocked 53:46, it looked as if GPTC might have finally entered a Championship they would not win. After Swan crossed the line, Liberty led GPTC by 46 seconds! Cary got Shore into the action at 54:10 and then there was a gap of three minutes before the next runner appeared. It was Jasper! She was leading a trio of runners across the finish line. Jasper clocked 57:36 to 57:40 for Shore's Kitty Musante; Betty Otarola of the Clifton Road Runners followed them both in 57:48. Greater Philadelphia had the win, yet again, with 2:42:57.
Liberty had to wait for their 3rd runner. Before she appeared, Dalva Santos and Debbie Brathwaite of Fleet Feet/Essex Racing crossed the line in 58:48 and 59:11. A half minute later, Victoria Bok capped the scoring for Liberty at 59:47, assuring them of the Silver Medal with a cumulative time of 2:44:22. A minute and a half later, Dianne Rothman completed the scoring for Shore with a 1:01:03. They took the final podium spot with a cumulative 2:52:53. Less than 2 minutes later, Candace Stanton provided Fleet feet with the third score they needed, enjoying 4th place in 3:00:51. Greater Philadelphia was happy they were able to keep their record intact--6 attempts and six national championships this year. Liberty not only enjoyed their Team Silver medals, they also enjoyed moving past Impala into 2nd in the Grand Prix standings!
70+ There was only one team entered in this division, Team Red Lizard out of Oregon. They made the trip with just three athletes. They needed all three to finish or the trip would have been for naught! If all three complete the race, they get the win and the 100 GP points that go with it. Those 100 points would move them 110 points ahead of Atlanta and would lock up the 2022 Grand Prix title for Red Lizard. With the challenging weather conditions, it was not guaranteed that all three would finish. A few runners at this Championship ran into problems that left them as a DNF. But all three performed very well. Suzanne Ray won her 70-74 division with a fine 1:03:17. Her teammate, Jeanette Groesz, gritted her way to a 1:05:51. Then they had to hold their breath and wait. Seven minutes went by, and they were still waiting. Seven minutes can seem like an eternity when you are waiting. But their wait was over at 1:13:19 when Cande Olsen gave then the third score they needed. Their cumulative total was a very fine 3:22:27.
It is unlikely any other team could have stayed with them. The win also gave them the 70+ Club Grand Prix title.
Team Red Lizard 3:22:27 1:07:29
MEN 40+ The Indiana Elite Athletic Club had entered the Club Cross, 5 Km, Half Marathon and 10 Km Championships and come away with four wins. They might not need a 5th win to take the Grand Prix title, but it would make the 2022 Club Grand Prix very special. They would have won it with a perfect 500 points! The Club Grand Prix started in 2012. In these ten years, no other team has won the 40+ Grand Prix title with 500 points. In 2016 Cal Coast won with 4 Championships and a 3rd place finish at Club Nationals at bend, Oregon for a 480-point total. In 2018 Garden State won with 4 Championships and a 3rd place finish at the 10 Km Championships in Dedham. They appeared to be coming in at full strength. But, of course, there were mid-Atlantic teams bent on denying them the win! Gsarden State appeared to be their strongest rivals for the win. Greater Philadelphia, if they could have come in with the team they had last year, would have pushed Indiana as well, perhaps even more. But their 1-2-3 from last year was, in 2022, Brock Butler, entered, but not at full fitness, Chris Naimoli, not entered as he is pursuing Triathlon glory (successfully) this fall, and Matthew Waggoner, also not entered. To be sure, Darryl Brown was a more than ample replacement for Naimoli. When Indiana's Davis went out too fast, trying to run with the eventual 1-2 of Cook and Bruce, Brown stayed with his race plan. it worked perfectly and he was able to pass Davis in the last mile to be the first team runner to finish at 39:43. Twelve seconds later Davis finished at 39:55 to give Indian its first scoring. After the race, Davis would excoriate himself to his teammates, "What a stupid race I ran! Why did I ever think I could go out and run the first mile in under 5 minutes on a day like this!?" But the team was forgiving. it did not cost them much. Garden State's Fabian Daza came across next in 40:27. But then the Indiana train rolled in as Jeff Zeha crossed at 40:57, followed thirteen seconds later by his teammate, John Poray. Their teammate, Mike Cole, did not stay as close as usual; his training had been thrown off by a niggling injury. But Indiana had the win. Garden State could not catch them. Indiana had a cumulative score of 2:02:02, averaging 40:41! That also gave them the first perfect 40+ Club Grand prix win ever!
Indiana Elite AC 2:02:02 40:41 Garden State TC 2:03:46 41:15 Greater Philadelphia TC 2:11:07 43:42
Note: I understand that Shawn Williams of Garden State dropped out of the 40+ race to help a fallen 50+ teammate who collapsed from dehydration. He stayed with his teammate until a medical team arrived. I do not know if Williams would have finished in their top 3.
50+ Garden State, the Atlanta TC, the West Valley TC, out of the San Francisco Bay area, and the Genesee Valley Harriers, out of the Greater Rochester NY area, are 1-2-3-4 in the 50+ Grand Prix and they were all entered in this 12 Km Championship. Greater Philadelphia and Shore AC would try to short-circuit their quests for GP points, but it might be in vain. After a few years of the Greater Springfield Harriers dominating the 50+ Club Grand Prix, it is now West Valley that looks to be the strongest on paper. Mark Yuen, who led the team to victory at Club Cross and Cross Nationals, would not be making the trip. But most of their strongest runners would be here. The first team runner to score was, to the surprise of many, GVH's Mark Andrews. He chose a great time to have a 'break-out' run. He was at the top of this division a few years back but had been struggling coming out of the Covid shutdown of races. His dynamite 41:26 showed that he is back in spades. His time gave GVH the early lead, although it did not last long. A minute later Ivan Lieben arrived in 42:26. Eight seconds later, his teammate, Charles Mullane arrived. Twenty seconds later, Atlanta's Brent Fields finished in 42:54. Eight seconds after Fields finished, West Valley's Mark Callon, who had taken 1st at the Half Marathon Championships and 2nd in the division at the 10 Mile Championships, struggled home in 43:02, and West Valley was done. Their cumulative time was 2:08:02. That gave them Team Gold and 100 GP points.
Garden State, despite having a very tight pack, could not match them. Unfortunately for their team, Garden State's top runner, Richard 'Rocky' Falcone, who finished 2nd in the division at the 10 Km Championships in April, collapsed int he final stages of the race and could not finish. I understand he was in contention but am not sure exactly where he was. I understand he was the lead runner for GSTC when he collapsed. Had he been able to finish, the team race would have been tighter. The next three runners after Callon were all wearing the Black and Yellow of Garden State: Jonathan Frieder 53:15, Todd Wiley 53:15, and Joseph Hegge 43:48. That gave Garden State a total time of 2:10:18 and 2nd place! It also gave them 90 GP points. GVH had Andrews, but Atlanta had a tighter pack. With Michael Strickland clocking 45:27, and Simon Angove crossing the line in 46:24, Atlanta had a total of 2:15:15 and 3rd place. GVH, with Dale Flanders finishing in the #2 spot and Venelin Tchamov in #3, finished 4th in 2:21:41, ahead of Greater Philadelphia and Shore AC, in that order.
The results led to a small shake up in the GP standings. Garden State still has the lead, now with 470 points. West Valley is in 2nd with 455 points, Atlanta third with 400 points, and GVH in 4th with 370 points. West Valley is definitely contesting the Masters 5 Km XC in Boulder. If they win that, West Valley takes the 50+ GP title with a perfect 500 points. They do not have to win to take the Grand Prix title. No doubt the Boulder teams will try to prevent that from happening. If West Valley finishes 2nd or third, and come in ahead of Garden State, they would still win the GP, although not with a perfect score. They would not be the first 50+ team to win with a perfect 500 points. The Greater Springfield Harriers did it in 2017 and 2018. It would still be a neat accomplishment!
West Valley TC 2:08:02 42:41 Garden State TC 2:10:18 43:26 Atlanta TC 2:15:15 45:05
60+ The stakes in this division were similar to the 50+ as far as the Grand Prix is concerned. The top four teams were entered. The Boulder Road Runners and Shore AC were neck and neck in the lead at 450 and 440 respectively. The Genesee Valley Harriers and Atlanta were fighting for the podium. Even though GVH had the lead, 375 to 300, Atlanta had just four events in that total, compared to GVH's 5. That meant Atlanta could, potentially, move past GVH with a podium finish at Highlands. Both Boulder and Shore were coming to Highlands without their top runner. Tim DeGrado of Boulder and Shore's Rick Lee were both enjoying [?!] the Pike's Peak Marathon, held that same weekend. But both squads have depth so it would still be a good matchup. Shore was coming in with Henry Notaro, Mike Salamone, Kevin Dollard, Carl Gensib, and Donald Schwartz. Notaro was a close substitute for Lee and the others are all solid runners. Boulder was coming in with a more tightly matched squad, Adam Feerst, Mike Fronsoe, and Roger Sayre. On paper, if everyone ran well, it looked like Boulder had the edge. With just three runners, Boulder had no room for error; everyone needed a good day! Notaro wasted no time in getting a good score on the board for Shore, crossing the finish line in 44:20. Two minutes later, Sayre was across for Boulder--46:21! A minute and a half later, Salamone gave Shore their 2nd score at 48:09. Next was Greater Philadelphia's Keith Davies popping across the line in 49:22. GPTC was not in contention for the Grand Prix podium, but they were definitely a threat for the 12 Km Team podium. Feerst was only 11 seconds behind Davies. That gave Shore two runners in with a total of 92:30 compared to Boulder's two runners totaling 95:54. That meant Shore was in better shape than perhaps I thought going in. Feerst noted after the race that his hamstring was not perfect going in and did give him some trouble, but mostly just not his day. Would Fronsoe be able to come in over three minutes ahead of Dollard (or Gensib). That was no sure thing! As it turned out, not only would Fronsoe not be able to beat Shore's 3rd runner by three minutes, but he was also lucky to finish. For the first four miles, Fronsoe was behind Feerst, but had kept him in sight. At four miles he was about 45 seconds back. Soon after, Fronsoe said, "I lost my hamstring out of the blue and had to back off." His 5th mile was almost 2 minutes slower than his 4th mile and it did not get much better. The next bunch to come across the line included Scott Lucking of Atlanta in 50:51, GVH's John Van Kerkhove at 50:54, and GPTC's Robert Reynolds at 50:56. Lucking was, no doubt, looking around for his Atlanta teammate, Ken Youngers, who set the 65-69 American record on this course last year with a 45:03. But, like Fronsoe, Youngers was sidelined by his hamstring. He strained the hamstring at a 5K a couple of weeks before Highlands. He had to slow after Mile 5 and right after Mile 6, his right leg stopped working completely in mid-stride; he took a hard fall and acquired road rash all up his right side. He got up and tried to run but his right leg would not bear weight. He had to get out of the way of other runners so moved onto the bike path next to the road and walked on to the finish.
Boulder expected to see Fronsoe approaching the finish line about then, but they would have to wait almost ten more minutes because of his hamstring blow-up. Instead, Gensib closed out Shore's scoring with a 51:04, finishing just 17 seconds ahead of his teammate, Dollard. Shore had great depth in this race. That gave Shore a cumulative time of 2:23:33. No one could catch them now! Casey Hannan gave Atlanta its 2nd scoring runner 3 seconds later at 51:24. Then Philadelphia got its 3rd scoring runner when Chuck Shields stopped the clock at 52:28. Their total was 2:32:46. Fronsoe would have to finish in the next three minutes for Boulder to edge GPTC for 2nd. Fronsoe limped across the finish line at 1:00:10. His effort to finish paid off with a 3rd place team finish. Boulder's 2:36:04 gave them a 4-minute edge over the 4th place team, the 'B' team from Shore. The 'Killer B's' took 4th from Atlanta with scoring runners Kevin McCormack 51:54 Gene Gugliotta 53:53 Reno Stirrat 54:25 giving them a total of 2:40:12. Mike Anderson had been coming back this season from a myriad of problems. Then he had heart surgery. There was no way he expected to be one of the scoring runners for Atlanta. He was just insurance. But this was the day Atlanta needed that insurance; Anderson delivered when it was needed! When Anderson joined Lucking and Hannan across the finish line, that capped Atlanta's scoring and gave them 5th place with 2:45:21. They were followed by Shore's 'C' team and GVH and then several others.
When the dust had settled, Shore had increased their GP points from 440 to 480. Boulder had needed at least a 2nd place finish to increase their point total so now they are in 2nd at 450. Even if they win on their home turf, their maximum possible score is just 470 and that is not enough. So Shore AC takes the GP crown.
It is a bitter pill for Boulder. But they will rebound and look to win on their home turf and gain some momentum going into the 2023 GP season.
Atlanta had hoped for more points but the 60 points for fifth placed reduced the gap between them and GVH. The 7th place did not allow GVH to increase its point total, so they were still at 375. Atlanta raised its total to 360. In the 5 Km XC at Boulder, GVH needs to finish in the top 5 to increase their point total. If they do not, then Atlanta can move ahead of them into a GP podium finish by finishing anywhere in the top 5. If Atlanta finishes in the top 5 and comes in ahead of GVH, they get the 3rd spot in the GP.
Regardless of how the Grand Prix works out, Shore was delighted to take the win on their home roads! Greater Philadelphia felt they had done their Mid-Atlantic duty in taking 2nd place, forcing the invaders, Boulder and Atlanta, further down the finishing order. Boulder at least made the podium, even if they had hoped for more.
Shore AC 2:23:33 47:51 Greater Philadelphia TC 2:32:46 50:55 Boulder Road Runners 2:36:04 52:01
70+ There was no Grand Prix drama in this race. Atlanta led the standings coming into this race with 460 points. Boulder was in 2nd at 390, based on 4 events. If Boulder can come first in the Masters 5 Km XC on their home turf on October 22nd, they gain a hundred points and finish at 490. Regardless of what Atlanta does at Highlands and Boulder, they cannot match that total. Boulder decided not to contest the 12 Km. Atlanta contested it, but their only motivation was in terms of the Championship itself. The Greater Philadelphia team appeared stronger on paper, but Atlanta would battle them for the win! The Syracuse TC was a solid bet for third. Gene Dykes did not have as strong a run as he was hoping for, finishing 2nd in the Division to his new, younger rival, Robert Qualls. But Dykes's 50:58 was enough to finish a minute ahead of the 2nd finisher, his teammate, Fernando Moura. Atlanta's Dave Glass, in winning the 75-59 division going away, gave Atlanta its first score at 53:29. His reliable running partner, Jerry Learned, finished a couple of minutes later, adding his 55:57 to give Atlanta two runners in, just like Philadelphia. GPTC was 5 minutes ahead at the moment. The 3rd Atlanta runner would need to beat the 3rd GPTC runner by at least 5 minutes for Atlanta to move ahead of GPTC. Atlanta's Allen Joyce was the next runner to finish, at 1:01:25, so they had a shot. Their total with three runners in was 2:50:51. Less than a minute later, however, GPTC's David Broadbent, put an end to any speculation by crossing the finish line in 1:02:18.
That gave Philadelphia a total of 2:45:24 and the win! Syracuse took third with scoring runners: Spider Rossiter 1:01:33 Peter Auteri 1:02:29 Bill Bosmann 1:02:27.
Greater Philadelphia TC 2:45:24 55:08 Atlanta TC 2:50:51 56:57 Syracuse TC 3:06:49 1:02:16
80+ Like the 70+ division, there are no GP issues in this division. The Atlanta TC has sewn up the GP win! The only question was whether Atlanta or the Clifton Road Runners out of New Jersey would win the 12 Km 80+ Championships. Atlanta got on the board first with Gary Cochrane clocking 1:19:53. Clifton answered three minutes later with Tony Fiory's 1:22:55. Clifton upped the pressure when James Leitz came in at 1:26:00. Eight minutes later it was all over when Roland Ratmeyer provided Clifton with their third scoring runner in 1:34:03,
seven seconds before Andrew Sherwood provided Atlanta with its second scoring runner. Clifton had a total of 4:22:58 and that was good enough for the win. Al Swan's insurance time of 2:38:41 was not needed. Even if Atlanta's third scoring runner, Adrian Craven, had finished right behind Sherwood, their total time would have been 5 minutes over Clifton's. Clifton was delighted to have defended the home roads. Atlanta was happy to add another set of Silver Medals at National Championships to their large collection and bump up their winning Grand Prix total from 300 to 390.
Clifton Road Runners 4:22:58 1:27:39 Atlanta TC 4:44:33 1:34:51
That concludes the coverage of the races at the 12 Km Championships with so many implications for the Individual and Team Grand Prix races! The warm and sunny conditions got in the way of any new American Records being set, but the races themselves were thrilling!
Now we turn to the concluding event of the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix series at Boulder CO on October 22nd! With a course on the Front Range of the Rockies, runners will encounter the challenge of competing at altitude. The many Masters Runners from the Boulder community look forward to hosting and competing against their many guests from around the country. As of this writing, there are 138 athletes registered. Not only is the Boulder scenery spectacular, but the event will be as well. You knpw that Lee Troop will provide a classic Cross Country course to race on. The race also serves as the last Club Cross tune-up with national caliber competition on the turf! That number is expected to climb significantly over the next two weeks. Don't miss it!