Saturday, November 26, 2022

Which Teams Are in for San Fran? Masters Women and Men 60+ Races

 Wednesday, November 23. The biggest bash of the year for Masters LDR Teams is Club Cross. That's where Teams get their ultimate bragging rights. Last year things were settled on the turf at Tallahassee on an unseasonably warm and humid day. Conditions worsened as the day went on and several runners ran into trouble; others thrived! Before launching into prospects for Club Cross 2022 at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, let's take a look at the Team Podiums from last year's Club Cross contests. Those winners have had bragging rights in 2022! And, of course, the 2nd and 3rd place clubs have bragging rights over those who did not make the podium at Tallahassee. This post looks at the contests for the first two races, the Women and the Men 60+. Updates will come later once entries close. The next post will cover the third race, Men 40+.

2021 Tallahassee, FL. Weather Cloudy, low to mid 70's, humidity in the 80-95% range. Women 9 AM/Men 60+ 10 AM/ Men 40+ 11 AM. 

Note: Scoring in the Women's races and the men 60 and over is the sum of the places of the top three (3) finishers. For Men's teams 40 and up, scoring is the sum of the first five finishers, as is traditional in Cross Country. Low score wins. The number in parentheses, after the gender/age identification, was the number of complete scoring teams in the division at Tallahassee. 

Race #1---Women---9 AM---6 Km

Women 40+ (12) Boston Athletic Association 30     Cal Coast Track Club 34     Club Northwest 50*

Women 50+ (10) Sirius Athletics 19     The Janes Elite Racing 24     Garden State Track Club 31

Women 60+ (4) Greater Philadelphia Track Club 9     Club Northwest 17     Atlanta Track Club 22

Women 70+ (3) Team Red Lizard 6     Atlanta Track Club 15     Atlanta Track Club B 27

Race #2---Men 60+---10 AM---8 Km

Men 60+ (8) Boulder Road Runners 11     Athletics Boulder 29     TC Running Company 37

Men 70+ (7) Boulder Road Runners 11     San Diego Striders 18     Atlanta Track Club 27

Men 80+ (1) Atlanta Track Club 6

Race #3---Men 40+---11 AM---10 Km

Men 40+ (20) Indiana Elite Athletic Club 85     West Valley Track Club 88     Bowerman Track Club 121

Men 50+ (11) West Valley Track Club 29     Garden State Track Club 62     Central Mass Striders 93

 * In Women 40+, Club Northwest and Gulf Winds Track Club were tied at 50 but Club Northwest took 3rd on the tie-breaker rule, 

Who's In For 2022?!

Comments are based on registration and team declaration as of November 25th. Registration closes on December 2nd--just 9 days left!


Women 40+ The top two teams from 2021, the B.A.A. and Cal Coast have both declared compete teams. Karolyn Bowley, Heather Cappello, and Amanda Watters have entered for the B.A.A.. Erika Holroyd, their #2 runner from 2021 is not yet entered. Without Holroiyd or her equivalent, the B.A.A. will struggle to repeat on the podium. Cal Coast has entered four: Carla McAlister, Maggie Shearer, Kristen Soloway, Jamie Sweningson. Shearer led the way for Cal Coast last year, finishing 2nd overall. But Audrey Kroot and Laura Osman who finished 2nd and 3rd on the team are not entered yet. McAlister finished just 2 seconds and one place back from Osman; McAlister backs up Osman perfectly. That leaves them one short at this point unless Soloway or Sweningson can match what Kroot gave them last year. Club Northwest, the 3rd place finisher last year, has not been heard from yet. But six other teams have already entered complete squads. 

Katie Sherron #820 and Maggie Shearer #896, who eventually finished 1-2, lead out the field--at 2021 Club Nationals in Tallahassee Photo Credits for all photos in this post--Michael Scott 

The Boise Betties and Billies did not compete at Club Cross last year but in 2018 in Spokane, they finished 3rd among 13 teams, behind The Janes Elite and the San Diego Track Club. The top two runners for Boise, Gretchen Hurlbutt and Sarah Barber are back. The Garden State Track Club will try to move up from 5th at Tallahassee. Moving up an average of two places per runner would have gotten them on the podium; they do not have a long way to go! Like Boise, GSTC has their top two, Caoimhe Kilroy and Mary Babcock, running again, with different runners in support. One of those, Elizabeth Wakeling is likely to do more than support. She just clocked 29:23 at the Ashenfelter 8K; that is age grade equivalent to a 18:07 5K. If Wakeling is as strong on the turf, Garden State should definitely be in the podium hunt. Impala Racing did not send a team to Tallahassee, but they are turning out in force to defend the home turf. Juliette Wahleitner, Celeste Prothro, and Katie Famous finished within 18 seconds of one another at the recent Pacific Association XC Championships. Without a true front-runner, the Impalas will rely on a tight pack of athletes. With 5 strong runners entered, their top three should finish close to one another and not too far back from the front. Alanna Bernacchi gives the Phoenix Free Soles an experienced Club Cross runner; she finished 16th in W40-44 at Spokane. Two others, Apryl Campbell and Julie Swanson appear to have decent Half marathon outings. If they can convert those to the turf, Phoenix could be dangerous. As noted above, the San Diego TC finished 2nd in Spokane. They are back; their top two runners from that race, Meriah Earle and Kimberly Mueller, who finished 3rd and 5th in the team competition there, are entered. Their third runner is not, but they have four new teammates. One of those will have to be dropped as only five may be declared. One of the new teammates is Natasha Bliss who finished 3rd in 40-44 at Carlsbad this year with a 17:59. If she runs along with Earle and Mueller, San Diego is, arguably, the team to beat. 

Lead Pack--L to R in front, Meriah Earle #991, Maggie Shearer #1056 and eventual winner, Kate Landau #1041--at 2018 Club Nationals in Spokane

The Impalas are regulars on the 40+ National Championships circuit; they took the top prize in the Masters National Grand Prix for the 40+ division this year. Not so the West Valley Track Club which hardly ever fields a W40+ team for national competitions. Nonetheless they are forming a team to join the Impalas in defending the home turf. Sharon Lemberger who, at age 49, is on her way out of this division, will provide them with a strong front-runner. Seven years ago, she finished 3rd overall at the 8K national road championship in 29:35. She scorched a 1:22:55 Half Marathon on a fast course in Berlin this year. She was first Masters athlete to finish at the recent Pacific Association PA XC Championships. One of her teammates, Alyson Barrett, finished 5th in 40-44 at the Ten Mile Masters Championships in Sacramento and notched a 1:26:30 HM. Other teams are poised to complete their entries and some teams may play the waiting game, either by choice or necessity, and enter after Thanksgiving!

Top 3 Contenders*: Garden State Track Club     Impala Racing     San Diego Track Club

* For all divisions, in alphabetical order, based on entries posted so far. No incomplete teams are listed, no matter how promising.

Women 50+ Only five clubs have complete teams now, Buffalo Chips Running ClubImpala Racing, Lake Merritt Joggers & Striders, Oregon Track Club and the San Diego TC. Neither of the top two teams from Tallahassee, Sirius, out of Oregon, and the Janes Elite Racing, out of So Cal, have been heard from yet. The Janes, perennial contenders, and Sirius, podium finishers at both Lehigh and Tallahassee, will surely enter strong teams. Garden State has entered two runners. That is news because one of them is a top 50's competitor, Fiona Bayly, running for GSTC for the first time. In years past she competed at national championships either unattached or as the sole entry from Urban Athletics. Among many other accomplishments, she won her division at both the Half Marathon and 12 Km Masters National Championships this year. Kimberly Aspholm, who is also entered, and finished 4th W50 at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta, gives GSTC a strong 1-2 punch. We will have to wait to see who else will compete for them. Last year Hortencia Aliaga led them to the final podium spot at Tallahassee. She ran a strong 10K on November 13th so appears to be fit. If she joins Bayly and Aspholm, Garden State can compete for the win. 

L to R: Suzanne La Burt, who finished 2nd in 55-59, leads Carla McAlister and Hortencia Aliaga, who finished 6th in 50-54, mid-race--at 2021 Club Nationals at Tallahassee

The Impalas have 9 runners entered; they could be split into an A and a B team or, possibly, an A, B, and C team. Chris Lundy will likely lead the way for them. She took the 50-54 title at the Masters 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento with a 1:01:50 and, at the age of 50, clocked 50:16 to take 4th place among the Women at Dipsea this year. Samantha Forde and Megan Kossar, experienced XC runners, should provide strong support. Lake Merritt looks like a solid team that may need one additional strong runner if they are to compete for the podium. 

Ingrid Walters #930, who finished 2nd in 50-54, leads Michelle Rohl, #771, who finished 1st in 55-59
    --at 2021 Club Nationals at Tallahassee

In Valerie Miller, San Diego has someone who can run with Bayly, should that be necessary. She finished 53 seconds behind Bayly at the California International Marathon last December, in 2:57:44. Eileen White looks solid with a 43:18 10K at the Oakland Running Festival and Jeanine Holmlund brings XC experience from competing at Spokane in 2018. Atlanta has Kris Huff and Katharine Serrano entered; they will compete hard but will need help if they are to make the podium. Beverly Anderson-Abbs finished 4th in this division in Spokane. With Allison Orofine and Jackie Sword-Olson providing strong support, the Buffalo Chips look like a podiu m contender, at least for now.

Top 3 Contenders: Buffalo Chips     Impala Racing     San Diego Track Club

Women 60+ Six complete teams are entered but the top team from this past year, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club, are waiting to enter. Their top harrier, Lorraine Jasper, was coming back from injury earlier this autumn. They will need her to be healthy, and close to her norm, to capture a second straight crown. Mary Swan showed she could step up if needed, finishing 4th in the 50+ team division at Boulder. Doreen McCoubrie, their other front-runner, does not usually join them for Club Cross, If Cheryl Bellaire joins Swan and Jasper to compete for the top prize, they should be favored if they enter 60+. At some championships, Greater Philadelphia has opted to drop their strong 60+ runners to help the Club to compete for a 50+ prize; that is another possibility. The Impalas and the San Diego Track Club already have enough entrants to field both an A and a B team, the Impalas 'B' team has just one athlete so far, but San Diego B is complete. 

Lorraine Jasper on her way to the 60-64 win--at 2021 Club Nationals at Tallahassee

Three of the top 4 Impalas who went up to Boulder last month and brought back the 60+ championship are already entered, Mo BartleyEileen Brennan-Erler, and Carol Keller. Their top runner at Boulder, Suzanne Cordes, is not entered currently. 

Nancy Simmons #1004 and Suzanne Cordes #1000, who finished 2-3 in 60-64, head into the 2nd loop in their 6K race--at 2021 Club Nationals in Tallahassee

San Diego is not quite as strong, but they have a good core of runners. Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, who finished 7th in 60-64 at Cross Nationals in San Diego and Linda Powers, who finished 8th in 60-64 at Spokane, will likely lead the way. Tina Breen and Annie Deioma should not be far back. They will surely make a run for the podium. Liberty AC has made more of a commitment to the Masters National Grand Prix, finishing third in the 60+ division. At the 5 km Masters XC in Boston in 2021, they finished a close 2nd to Greater Philadelphia. Two of their top three from that race, Mary Cass and Victoria Bok will be in San Francisco. Their #2 runner, Amanda King, is not entered. But Alda Cossi, who is entered, will not be far back from Bok. The Atlanta Track Club enters their veteran squad of Cynthia Williams, Robin Tanner, and Margaret Taylor. They finished 3rd at Boston behind Philadelphia and Liberty, and 5th at Boulder last month. If Mireille Silva joins them, as she did at Tallahassee last year, Atlanta might have a good shot at the podium. With Nora Cary, the American 65-69 Record holder at 12K, and Susan Stirrat, the 60-64 winner of the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix entered, Shore AC has a solid core. But will they have a 3rd runner?

Top 3 Contenders: Impala Racing     Liberty AC     San Diego Track Club

70+ All that is certain at this point are complete teams from the Impalas and Atlanta. Jo Ann Rowland and Donna Chan should lead the way for the Impalas. Irene Herman will have to take off her Local Organizing Committee hat and put on her competitor's singlet to help land the team on the podium. Norma 'Nonie' Hudnall led Atlanta to the win at the Road Mile Championships in Rochester with a 7:59. Her teammates, Andrea McCarter and Catherine Radle were almost three minutes back, but that was close enough to give Atlanta the victory. McCarter is entered along with Hudnall. If the rest of Team Red Lizard shows up and Radle joins her teammate, a podium finish is likely; it would be a stretch for them to beat the Impalas or Red Lizard

Jeanette Groesz on her way to the 70-74 win--at 2021 Club Nationals in Tallahassee

Their chief rivals are likely to be Team Red Lizard out of Portland. Only Cande Olsen is currently entered, but Jeanette Groesz and her two running pals, Suzanne Ray and team newcomer, Sabra Harvey, are likely to sign up. If so, they bring plenty of firepower and are favored for the win. 

Top 2 Contenders: Atlanta Track Club     Impala Racing


60+ Thirteen teams have entered but the only team from the Tallahassee podium with a complete team is Athletics Boulder. As at Tallahassee, they are going with three runners, Rick Bruess, Dan King, and Jay Littlepage. Their success is based on King contending up front, with Bruess and Littlepage getting as close to the front as they are able. It got them 2nd place last year. 

Dan King, who eventually won the 60-64 championship, leads the pack chasing after Rick Lee, in the early going--at the 2021 Club Nationals in Tallahassee

The Boulder Road Runners, who took the 60+ title at Tallahassee, have two entered, Roger Sayre and Adam Feerst. They were joined at Tallahassee by Tim De Grado and Mark Tatum, but they have not entered yet. If they join Feerst and Sayre, BRR will likely be the favorite. The TC Running Company out of the Twin Cities in Minnesota took the final spot on the Tallahassee podium; no one is entered yet. The Ann Arbor Track Club is back at Clubs. They have two strong runners in Lawrence Saks and Steve Schmidt. Saks took 3rd in 60-64 at the USATF Masters HM with a 1:24:15. Schmidt achieved fame in 2020 as one of the first two entrants to Amby Burfoot's 6DS3 Club, runners with a sub-3-hour marathon in each of six decades. More recently he competed on the track at Lexington this past summer, claiming gold in the 5000 and 10,000 meters with a 17:37 and 36:20 respectively. They have two good support runners in Aaron Pratt and Michael Mester, but neither is likely to finish close to their first two. Atlanta Track Club has acquired one of the all-time great Cross Country runners in Rick Becker, who previously ran for Club Northwest. A three-time Masters Harrier of the Year, Becker won the 60+ race in San Francisco in 2015. But now he is 68. It will be hard enough for him to win 65-69, much less compete at the front of the 60-64 pack! Mike Anderson has been one of the mainstays of the ATC 60+ team for the last several years but is on the comeback trail from a series of setbacks. He will run hard, but this is too early; he will contribute more in 2023. That leaves it up to Lester Dragstedt and Casey Hannan to support Becker. Dragstedt also had some setbacks but is well along on the recovery road. New to the 60-64 division, he clocked an 18:26 5K on Labor Day and a 39:35 10K on the 12th of November. Hannan finished 4th in the Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta in February and was 15th in 60-64 at Tallahassee. There is a new wave of runners for the Cal Coast 60+ team. Most have been around for decades competing on the 40+ and/or 50+ teams. Pete Magill needs no introduction. He wrote the book on FAST!, literally! But first he ran it! A breaker of records on the track and the road, he also excelled at XC, His most recent division titles were at 2016 Club Nationals in Tallahassee, taking M55 in 34:13 over 10 K. and at 2017 XC Nationals in Bend, also for the M55 win, with a 30:27 over 8K. He is returning to national competition after several years away. An 18:18 5K at Corona Del Mar in June shows that he is on track for a good outing at Golden Gate Park. His long-time running partner, David Olds, is also entered. he clocked 34:59 to finish 8th in this division at Cross Nationals in San Diego in January, helping Cal Coast to a 2nd place finish. Joining them is Luis Morales who ran 18:28 at Carlsbad this year. With Mark Core and Mike Filipow providing backup support, Cal Coast should be in the mix! Cal Coast is also sending a B and a C team! The Jamul Toads could be in the podium mix as well. Their top two are likely to be Jim Walsh and Adam Weiner Walsh finished 6th in M60 in XC Nationals at San Diego this year in 34:03 and clocked 19:16 at Carlsbad. Weiner has a recent 19:24 5K and has a 7th palce finish in M55 at Lexington Clubs as part of his history. Rick Siebern, Arno Sist, and Marshall Varano. All are capable of running in the low 20's over a 5K. If Walsh and Weiner have good days and one of those three is 'on', the Toads could wind up on the podium. The Shore AC 'A' team will miss its long-time ace, Reno Stirrat. On the comeback trail, Stirrat will run for the B team. Rick Lee and Henry Notaro should lead the way for Shore. In his first race for Shore, Notaro finished right behind Lee at the Masters Road Mile Championships, taking 2nd and 3rd in the division. Last year at Tallahassee, Lee took it out hard and was passed by several runners on the final run to the finish, finishing 8th. He redeemed himself, and then some, with his first place M60 finish in the Cross Country race at the WMA Championships in Tampere Finland. He also took the HM crown there with a 1:18:32. Lee was busy in 2022. He won the Masters Half Marathon and was on the podium at three other Masters national championships. He found time to win his age division at prestigious road races like the Boston Marathon, Gate River Run, Broad Street Run, and the Fifth Avenue Mile. Moreover, Lee loves to race in Ultra Marathons. He just set the M60 course record at the JFK 50 Miler in 7:08:19. Five days later he ran 28:49 at the Ashenfelter 8K, finishing 2nd to the record-breaking effort of Nat Larson. Notaro is almost as amazing. He finished 2nd at the 12 Km Masters Championships at Highlands, and ran two fast marathons, 2:55:51 at the Boston Marathon in April and 2:53 at the London Marathon this fall. Unlike Lee, I can find no recent XC results for Notaro. But strong marathoners have often done well at XC. They will be supported by Kevin Dollard, who finished 3rd in M65 at Tallahassee in 34:43, and then went on to win the M65 Masters National Grand Prix. A highly dependable runner, Dollard was a fixture ont he M65 podium. Were this a 65+ team competition, Dollard would be one of the front runners. He cannot keep up with the fastest 60-year-olds, but he will give a strong effort. If Lee and Notaro do their job, Shore could well wind up on the podium. The SRA Elite will rely on Jacob Nur and Iain Mickle up front. Nur has been breaking 65-69 American road records left and right this year. And he is strong on the turf. At Boulder last month, he took on high altitude and came away with a strong 65-69 victory. His 19:13 over the 5 K course not only took the M65 crown, it was faster than the times of all 60-64 runners except the legendary Dan King. Mickle is fast, but not quite as fast as Nur right now. Mickle finished 2nd M60 at the Masters 10 Mile Championships, losing to Boulder's Tim De Grado by just ten seconds. Chris Little is the third entrant for SRA. He recorded an 18:54 5K in June 2021, and was just 20 seconds back from Mickle at the Pacific Association XC Championships. If he can contribute that kind of effort at GG Park, it might be enough to put SRA on the podium. There are many fine runners on the other complete teams entered, including the Bowerman TC, the Colorado Racing Club, River City Rebels, San Diego TC, and Team Bula. They will compete hard at Golden Gate Park, but they do not appear to have the firepower to stay with the teams mentioned above. This will be one of the most hotly contested divisions. 

Robert McCormack, Kevin Ostenberg, Tim De Grado and Roger Sayre, vying for 2nd through 5th, with less than a quarter mile to go--at 2021 Club Nationals in Tallahassee

The Boulder Road Runners are likely to contend for the podium. But they do not have a complete team so cannot be listed yet. It is tough to leave Athletics Boulder off the podium contender list. Of course, any team with just three runners entered is potentially vulnerable. It will be tough for both King and Littlepage to repeat the sterling performances they turned in to put AB on the podium at Tallahassee.

Top 3 Contenders: Cal Coast TC     Shore AC     SRA Elite

Men 70+ There are ten complete teams, 9 'A' and 1 'B'. The Ann Arbor Track Club M70+ team is reunited on the turf for the first time since their win at Club Cross in Lehigh. Doug Goodhue has had at least one knee surgery and Lloyd Hansen has been figuring out how to live well with Mesothelioma. Pretty soon there will be new guys on the 70+ team and these four, Goodhue, Hansen, Terry McCluskey and yours truly, Paul Carlin, will figure out if competing as an 80+ team makes sense. Goodhue is already there and Carlin is just three years away. It's a couple of years more for Hansen and McCluskey. They do not expect to compete for the 70+ team podium but will enjoy competing! The Atlanta Track Club keeps rolling along. Kirk Larson will be running again after missing a couple of events due to conflicts. When he joins Dave Glass and Jerry Learned, they are a team to be reckoned with. They were on the podium in Tallahassee even though Larson ran into trouble with the conditions. They might have taken 2nd had Larson had his usual day. They won at Dedham, for example, with Larson, Learned and Glass finishing in that order, with just 40 seconds between them. 

Doug Bell #872 and James Foster blue singlet next to Bell take the lead from the start in the 70-74 field, with 60+ runners around them--at 2021 Club Nationals in Tallahassee

The Boulder Road Runners return to defend their title, with two of the same three that brought them the win last year: Doug Bell and Mike Wien. Rick Katz who was the #3 scorer last year, is not listed. Gary Ostwald, who is one of the top M75 runners is included. Ostwald did not compete at Tallahassee, but he and Bell competed in Boston the October before. At that event Ostwald was about 2 minutes back. At Tallahassee in December, over 8K, Katz was a little over 2.5 minutes back. That suggests, on paper, that the substitution could cost them around half a minute; the big question will be how many places. And, of course, Katz might yet register. They should be one of the top teams. Cal Coast has upgraded their talent with the addition of Ignacio 'Nash' Jimenez. Jimenez raan 21:42 at Carlsbad and 1:23:05 at Sactown, where he finished 7th. His strength over the years has been a Crosss Country though. Even at age 69 in 2019, he finished 2nd inn 65-69 at cross Nationals in Tallahassee in 34:00. At Bend in 2017, he took the 65-69 win with a 34:34! Perry Forrester has also been running his 5K's in about 21:30. He competed in Boulder, finishing 13th in M70 but would, presumably, do better at sea level. It is likely their third runner will be either John Combs or Bill 'Coach' Sumner. Sumner, one of the top Coaches of all times at all levels, had a track named after him earlier this year. Whether that will help him close the gap up to Jimenez and Forrester is another question. At Tallahassee last year, Rick Pfeiffer and Ron Wells were running with the San Diego Striders. They finished 2nd and 4th in the 70+ team competition. David Dunbar, of the Jamul Toads, finished 4 seconds behind Pfeiffer. At Cross Nationals in San Diego, Pfeiffer, running unattached, finished 1st in M70, with David Dunbar, Jamul Toads, in 2nd. Wells, if he had been running in M70 instead of M75, would have finished third. In the interim, Pfeiffer and Wells decided to join Dunbar on the Toads. As if that were not enough, Greg Wilson actually led the other three home at the recent San Diego-Imperial XC Championships! That makes them the pre-race M70+ favorite in San Francisco. 

David Dunbar #1042, with Rick Pfeiffer in the background white singlet--Pfeiffer and Dunbar eventually finished 1-2 in 70-74--at 2021 Club Nationals in Tallahassee

With Robert Qualls leading the way, the River City Rebels should make some noise. Qualls took first in M70 at the 12 km Championships at Highlands NJ. Perhaps more relevant, he took 1st place in the 70+ division at the World's in Finland over 6Km of turf! He also took top honors by over two minutes in M70 at Boulder over 5 Km. Perry Linn joins him as RCR's outside athlete. Linn finished 4th at Boulder, three minutes behind Qualls, but only 1 minute back from Boulder's Bell. It is hard to know how much of a fall-off RCR has after those two. Randall Margo does not show up on the radar at all. David Stancliffe's only recent results seems promising though, a 22:45 at Carlsbad. With no recent XC results, it is hard to know how strong he will be on the turf. Qualls won the PA XC M70 championships, but neither Margo nor Stancliffe competed. The Syracuse Track Club should be in the mix as well. James Foster did not have aa good day at Tallahassee last year but he is perennially one of the tough XC runners in his division. At Lehigh, for example, at 68, Foster finished 6th in M65. At Spokane a year earlier, he finished 2nd to Doug Winn. Ted Larison, their #2 XC runner, has typically finished within a minute or two of Foster at Clubs. But this fall, larison has been running strong on the turf, finishing as first M70 at each of the three Pete Glavin XC series over 5 Km. In the final race, in early October, he came in 14 seconds ahead of Foster. That gives them a strong 1-2 punch. Their ability to make the podium may well depend on how close Douglas Wood can stay. The Tamalpa Runners have not competed in M70+ since Spokane, when they finished 2nd to Ann Arbor. The year before, in Lexington KY, they took the top spot in 70+! Their top two from Lexington, Don Porteous and Len Goldman, are still running well. Goldman has been running his 5K's in the 22:30-22:45 range and was the first M75 athlete to finish at the PA XC Championships, clocking 37:08 over 5 miles. Porteous did not compete at the PA XC Championships but ran a 45:20 10K at the Oakland Running Festival in March and was a half-minute behind Goldman at Stow Lake, one of his 5K's. 

Don Porteous #1315 on his way to 70-74 victory, along with George Braun 60-64 --at 2017 Club Nationals in Lexington KY

They have been bolstered by the addition of John Hirschberger, who finished 5th in M70 at Cross Nationals in San Diego and was a minute faster than Goldman at Stow Lake. Another newcomer, Arthur Beckert, ran 20 seconds faster than Porteous at Oakland. Joe Schieffer was just a minute back from Hirschberger at Cross Nationals. That suggests that one way or another, Tamalpa should have a pretty tight pack. Unless one of their team can run at the front of M70, though, they are a long shot for the podium.

Top 3 Contenders: Boulder Road Runners     Jamul Toads     River City Rebels

80+ At this point, Florida Track Club/West and the San Diego Striders are in with complete teams. Atlanta has two entered. Of the two complete teams, FTC/W appears to be the stronger. James Callaway finished 6th in M75 at Cross Nationals in San Diego, finishing 5 minutes ahead of his teammate, James Metts, who finished 2nd in M80. Metts runs his 5K's in around 30 minutes, while Callaway is about 4 minutes faster. Their teammate, John Becker, is probably the Becker who ran 27 and change to win the 5000 meters at Ames IA this past summer. It appears that Keith Wetterer, of the Striders can run with Callaway and Becker. But it appears that Metts is faster than the Striders' #2 and #3 runners, Byron Mellendy and Lowell Smith. That makes FTC/W the favorites for 80+ on paper. We will have to wait to see if Atlanta gets a 3rd entrant or not. David Turner was their third entrant at Tallahassee but has not entered yet.

Top 2 Contenders: Florida Track Club/West     San Diego Striders

That concludes my early analysis of the upcoming Women's and Men 60+ races at San Francisco. Next up will be the Men's 40+ Races. Once registration closes and the USATF Annual Meeting is over, look for last-minute updates.