Sunday, April 30, 2023

2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships--Musings on Teams

 April 29, 2023 This part of the preview on teams will be more impressionistic than usual, with fewer details provided and no pics; time has been scarce. Previews are based on teams as declared prior to packet pickup. If there seems a strong likelihood that an undeclared teammate would be added at packet pickup, I tried to account for that. As always, all projections should be taken with a hefty dose of salt. There are many uncertainties and imponderables that go into team scores at championships.


40+ It is excellent to see so many teams contesting the Women's 40+ team championship. It looks like the BAA team has enough overall strength to take this win, perhaps with a total time of around 2 hours flat.  The HFC Striders are probably #2 at something around 2:09 or so. Perhaps West Valley got their third runner, who was registered but not declared, onto the team at packet pickup. If so, they have a good chance at third with a 2:13-ish effort. Liberty AC, Manchester, and the greater Lowell Road Runners might well follow in that order.

50+ The Clubs are all out for this one too! Shore AC looks to have the edge by a few minutes, perhaps scoring around 2:15. Then it appears to be a barn burner between GVH, Greater Lowell, and Liberty AC. If the top three runners for each of those teams run close to what I have as a projection, then the three teams might wind up within a couple of minutes of one another. That is, no doubt, well within the margin of error. For what it is worth, on paper, I would have it as: Shore AC to win, followed by GVH, Liberty, and GLRR in that order. But is is really too close to call.

60+ Liberty AC A is by far the strongest team. They could easily break 2:15 as a team. It looks like their B team could break 3 hours by a few minutes and that should be enough to take 2nd place ahead of the Greater Lowell team.


40+ HFC 'Hurtin For Certain' Striders will put up a good fight but it looks like the B.A.A. has the answers. They are probably the only team that can put three runners under 35 minutes. I have them up on HFC by 5-6 minutes. HFC has no close rivals for 2nd though. Their score, likely to be around 1:48 or so, should ensure that. GLRR is likely to come next, a few minutes under 2 hours for a total score. GLRR's B squad should come next, followed by GVH. GVH has fielded a team designed to earn Grand Prix points; they will pick up at least 60. GLRR's B squad has the job of keeping GVH less than 70 GP points richer.

50+ Ten teams will vie for this division championship. The top 4 teams appear to be the Atlanta TCCentral Mass Striders, GVH, and Greater Springfield. I have them finishing within a few minutes of each other, again more or less within the margin of error. I have Central Mass around 1:46-ish, with ATC+ around 1:47-ish, GVH around 1:48:30 and GSH around 1:49:30 or so. ATC and CMS have little drop-off if their #4 runners have to be among the scorers. GVH and GSH appear to have a bit more of a drop-off. Having said that, the top three for both those teams are quite reliable. Manchester, Willow Street, and the BAA come next, around 2 hours or a bit under. They are followed by HFC, Tri-Valley and Greater Lowell.

60+ If Atlanta's three runners all continue running as well as they have been, they should take the win, with a score several minutes under two hours. After that, the crystal ball gets murkier. I have GVH and Shore AC as a toss up along with Ann Arbor. Among those three, Shore has the greatest uncertainty. If Stirrat's piriformis holds up and Zamek performs as well as it looks like he will, they could come in ahead of GVH and Ann Arbor. But if not, both of those could come in ahead of Shore. All are right are just a little over 2 hours on my scratch sheet. On paper I would have ATC+ winning, with probably GVH 2nd because of greater stability in expectation. Although GVH's score does depend on one of their runners who ran a good half marathon in 2022 and then had some good xc outings in the Pete Glavin series. I can find no Athlinks results for 2023. GLRR looks to be a few minutes behind those three but they, too, have less uncertainty surrounding the projection. My pick would be ATC to win, followed by GVH, then Shore, AATC, and GLRR, followed by HFC. GLRR B and Shore B are in for the points with scores over two and a half hours probably.

70+ With the addition of a 4th runner to shore up some uncertainty in their scoring, it looks like Atlanta  is the favorite to take this division also, perhaps with a time a few minutes under 2:20. The Syracuse TC, GLRR and GVH appear to be quite closely matched. It is really a toss-up; it will come down to a few key battles in the trenches, a half minute here, 45 seconds there, could make the difference. On paper I have Atlanta, followed by Syracuse, Greater Lowell, and GVH in that order

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