Friday, June 23, 2023

Who's In For Indy? Some fabulous competition! Overall, Age Division, Age Grading & Teams Preview

June 18, 2023 From Southern California to New England, from Oregon to Florida, folks are converging on Indianapolis for the 2023 1 Mile Championships. The first preview focused on record opportunities and there are many. This will focus on the individual Overall and Age Division Championships. The field is somewhat smaller than last year but very comparable to the years in Flint. The fields are very strong though; there will be excellent competition, as you will see below.

Conditions, followed by Overall, then Age Divisions, Age Grading and finally Teams.

CONDITIONS: Course As noted earlier, the course is certified, flat, and record eligible. Rob Mullett, Senior Events Manager for the race noted that the road was paved between last year's race and this one. He added that the two 90-degree turns are not as sharp as they first appear, that runners can soften them by pursuing a soft curve on the cross-over street, St. Clair, in front of the Main Library. Mullett, a sub-4-minute miler in his day, speculated that the new course is not only record eligible but may be as fast or faster than the old 'straight-shot' course down Meridian Street. The turns break it up a bit. There will be a clock and timing mat at the halfway point and a Volunteer has been found to call out splits at the quarter mile. 

It's All Out from Here to the Finish!

Weather The current projection for Saturday during the Masters races is for clear skies and mid-to-upper 70's temperatures with relative humidity below 70% and a dew point of 61. That would be warm for races of 10 Km and up but for a mile, it seems fine. By one standard that is on the borderline between comfortable and slightly uncomfortable [too warm]for some runners. Winds are forecast to be in the low range under 5 mph, but with possible gusts up to 8 mph. This race is in the Midwest and like most places, weather forecasts can change from day to day. But, all in all, most runners will be happy to run a Mile in these conditions.


WOMEN The top entrant thus far is Katie Sherron Tallahassee FL; Gulf Winds TCwho won the Masters Women's Race overall at the 2022 edition of Club Cross in Tallahassee. On April 15 she ran 17:34 on the Palace Saloon 5K, a certified course in Tallahassee. The last 2600 meters are a straight shot, so it is not record eligible even though it drops way less than a meter per kilometer. The course could be fast. If not, that 17:34 suggests Sherron should be able to run a mile in something close to 5:00 flat. Her closest competition should come from Angela Giuliani Irving TX; Unattached. Giuliani finished 4th in the 35-39 division last year at the Fifth Avenue Mile in 5:16. Her Athlinks profile is private. The most recent result I can find from other sources is from 2015 when she ran 38:41 at the AJC Peachtree Road Race at the age of 32. That is roughly consistent with a 5:16 to 5:20 if we assume Giuliani is more competitive at shorter distances or is more fit now than in 2015. Giuliani finished 3 seconds ahead of Fiona Bayly New York, NY; Unattached at the Fifth Avenue Mile. Bayly, out of the 55-59 division, is one of the most competitive long-distance runners in America right now. Current holder of the 8km and 15 Km American 55-59 Records, Bayly has been an Overall podium threat at every Masters National Championship she has contested this season. She finished 5th overall at the 5 Km in Atlanta in 18:37 (chip), 4th at the Ten-Mile in Sacramento in 1:03:06, 4th in the Half Marathon, and then 3rd at the 10 Km Championships in Dedham MA in 38:10. Bayly took first in her division at the fifth avenue Mile in 5:19! Bayly is no stranger to the podium at Masters National 1 Mile Championships. She finished 2nd overall at Flint Michigan in 2019. It should be almost impossible to do that well this year at the age of 55, but I doubt anyone could convince Bayly of that. 

Jennifer Bigham and Michelle Rohl lead the Women's Wave at the 2022 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships at the Rochester Mile Photo courtesy of GVH

Jennifer Harvey New York, NY; Central Park Track Club-Tracksmith  could also make a run at the podium. She ran a 5:23 Indoor Mile in early March at the NY Road Runners 'Night at the Races.' Last July she ran a 5:29 at the Liberty Mile in Pittsburgh. Hidi Gaff Ft. Wayne IN; Three Rivers Racing finished 6th overall at the Masters 5 Km championships in Atlanta in 18:39 (chip). The Age Grade equivalent for the 1 Mile is 5:21, which should be fast enough to put her in the mix. Bayly edged her by 2 seconds in that race. Gaff's two indoor track efforts that bookend that 5 Km, raise some questions about that equivalence. On January 7th, Gaff ran a mile indoors at the Twilight Indoor Chicago Meet in 5:38. In mid-March, she ran a 5:12.97 1500M finishing 3rd in her 25-44 heat of the Masters Indoor Championships in Louisville, 1st 40+ Masters in the heat, 3rd Masters 40+ over all heats. That, interestingly, is also equivalent to a 5:38. The key for the slower times is either strategic racing or running more than one race in a short time. In Chicago. Gaff also turned in a 10:59 3000 Meter Run in the same evening. In Louisville, she ran a 10:39.91 3000M on Friday evening and the 1500M run the next afternoon. And on June 10th, Gaff ripped off a 17:58 5K at the Brian Diemer 5K in Grand Rapids, taking 1st Masters. That 17:58 equates to a 5:09. The Brian Diemer race is known as one of the fastest 5K races in the Midwest, but that result adds weight to the notion that Gaff, at the top her game now, is likely to cross the finish line in something under 5:20! Abby Dean Wilmington DE; Greater Philadelphia TC, the 2022 Masters National Grand Prix 50-54 Champion, finished 6th overall last year at Rochester in 5:33. She has multiple age division wins already in 2023. A longshot to make the podium, Dean cannot be counted out. In late May, she ran the Memorial Main Street Mile in 5:24. The 18:51 she turned in at the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5K in March is also consistent with that kind of time.   Perry Shoemaker Vienna VA; unattached has made a name for herself at longer distances. She claimed the Overall win at the first set of USATF Masters 12 Km Championships in Alexandria VA, from 2013-15. Her winning time improved each year, from 44:14 to 42:54, and, finally, 42:04. It was a similar story with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. Shoemaker took 1st Masters in 2016 with a 1:00:53, skipped 2017, but then came back and took 1st Masters in 2017 in 58:56. The next year, the 'smart money' was on the Olympic Marathon Bronze medalist from 2004, Deena Kastor, but Shoemaker proved them wrong by improving her time yet again, coming in well ahead of Kastor in 57:29 and taking the 45-49 age group win from Kastor as well. After a few years away from the Masters LDR circuit, Shoemaker surfaced in 2021 as a 50-year-old, finishing 3rd overall in the Masters 12 Km National Championships, and taking first in her new age division in 46:09. And here she is again, ready to contest the Mile. Her most recent credits include a 2nd among 40+ Masters in the 3000 Meters at the recent National Masters Indoor Championships in Louisville, with a 10:07.36 clocking. Two days later she was the first woman to finish the Lucky Leprechaun 5K in Virg0inia, with a time of 18:08. A week later she took the Masters crown at Cherry Blossom yet again with a 1:00:37. The 18:08, if the course is well measured, represents an equivalent of a 5:12 Mile. The 3000M time is also consistent with Shoemaker covering a mile in well under 5:20. That suggests that Doreen McCoubrie's 5:18 American Record for this age division might be at risk. Shoemaker had not entered when my earlier piece on record attempts was created.

Katie Sherron takes the win in the Masters Women's Race at the 2021 USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee FL Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

I will go with Sherron-Gaff-Giuliani in that order. Bayly defeated Gaff by a single second gun time and by two seconds chip time at the Masters 5 km Championships. I am guessing that the longer distance, relative to the mile, and the hilly finish in Atlanta worked in Bayly's favor.  Perhaps I am wrong? Bayly, Dean, Harvey or Shoemaker can prove it out on the course!

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Hidi Gaff     Angela Giuliani     Katie Sherron

MEN The top favorite is Mark Guyer Fishers, IN; Indiana Elite AC. As a 39-year-old in 2022, Guyer christened the new Monumental Mile course with a swift 4:24.05 which rounds, by rule, for road events, to a 4:25. That was good for the win in the Open Division. He recently ran a 1:14:57 Half Marathon and a 2:29:12 Marathon. In late 2021, he clocked 16:09 in a 5k, and last summer, ran 16:34 in a 3.17 Mile Run (Area code for Indianapolis). That 3.17 Mile Run equates to a 16:13 5K. Split those two and their age-graded mile equivalent is 4:46. That calculat1ion suggests that Guyer is either much faster at the Mile than the 5K or that the Mile course at Indy is super0 fast! Either way, the prime contenders should take hope from the fact that Guyer's other recent efforts are not quit0e as spectacular as that 4:25 Mile. One of Guyer's Indiana Elite teammates, Bryan Lindsay, Zionsville, IN; Indiana Elite AC, was a standout middle distance runner for BYU. He ran a 3:38.31 to finish 2nd in the 1500 meters at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships.  More recently he took the overall title at the Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta in 2022. His time, 15:35, was on a course that is 'Atlanta Flat' meaning, 'kinda hilly.' He won convincingly with an 11 second margin of victory. That 15:35 equates to a 4:36. But we would expect to see a faster time from Lindsay on a flat course. Lindsay finished 9th, at 4:21, in the Men's Elite Wave of the 2017 Monumental Mile, when he was 36. Another of Guyer's teammates, Thomas Burns Westfield IN; Indiana Elite AC  just ran a 4:16.9 1500 Meter at the USATF Indoor Championships in March in Louisville, converting to a 4:38 Mile. Burns finished 2nd, 0.6 seconds ahead of Jaret Herter Rochester, NY; Genesee Valley Harriers GVH . Herter was 3rd overall last year at the 1 Mile Championships in Rochester; he will try to reverse the finishing order with Burns in Louisville and move up on the podium. Herter's time in Rochester was 4:35 but he ran two seconds faster at the Fifth Avenue Mile and 6 seconds faster at the Main Street Mile in Pennsylvania last summer. 

Start of Masters Men's Race at the 2022 USATF Masters 1 Mile in Rochester NY Photo by M. Nier courtesy o fGVH

Two athletes from 45-49 and one from 50-54 deserve mention even if they are longshots to make the overall podium. David Angell Blue Ridge VA, unattached finished 3rd at the 2017 1 Mile Masters Championships in 4:39. Angell struggled to deal with long-standing foot and ankle issues over 2021 to 2022 but appears to have turned the corner. He ran 33:15 at the 10 km Masters championships in Dedham MA at the end of April, finishing 3rd overall. That would suggest an upper 4:40's time. Interestingly enough, Angell clocked 15:48 at the Braveheart 5K in Virginia; if he could match that age grade in a mile, it would come out the same 4:39 time he clocked in 2017. Jasen Ritter Indianapolis IN; Indiana Elite AC finished 5th at the 2022 5 Km Masters Championships in Atlanta with a 16:01 (chip). If he can match that effort on Saturday, he should come in under 4:45 and perhaps under the 4:44 he ran on the straight-shot Monumental Mile course in 2021. Ritter's speed has not diminished. He clocked 15:58 at the Colts Back to Football 5K in August of last year. Mike Madsen Flagstaff AZ; Team Run Flagstaff is coming to town with his eye on the 50-54 One Mile American Record of 4:40. In looking for a piece of data that would suggest a good chance, I noticed his 4:46 performance last 4th of July at the Downtown Flagstaff Mile. Mid 4:40's does not sound that fast until you remember that Flagstaff is at almost 7,000 feet. The course is basically two loops around a square. The NCAA has an altitude adjustment converter for races run at altitude. Applying that suggests the 4:46 is equivalent to a sea level 4:36! Interestingly Madsen ran a second slower than that in finishing 2nd Overall in the Masters 1 Mile Championship in Flint MI in 2019. 

Bryan Lindsay takes the Overall Win at the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Championsh5ips at the PUBLIX Atlanta Marathon Weekend 5K Photo by Marathon Photo courtesy of Atlanta Track Club

Angell, Ritter and Madsen are long shots for the podium, but no one should ignore them! It is tempting to put Lindsay, with his NCAA pedigree, ahead of Guyer, but running a 4:24 and change on this Monumental Mile course should get Guyer the favorite's mantel. If Lindsay, Burns and Herter run true to form, it could be an Indiana Elite sweep. I will go with Guyer-Lindsay-Burns and give Herter the incentive to break them up and land on the podium! And watch out for Angell, Ritter and Madsen; they won't be far back! 

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Thomas Burns     Mark Guyer     Bryan Lindsay



40-44 If the analysis of the Overall Championships pans out, then Guyer, Lindsay and Burns will go 1-2-3 in this division, in that order, as well. Jaret Herter will try to break up the Indiana Elite trio. He was only a second behind Burns at their most recent meeting. Chris Bielsa-Brown clocked a 4:51 in the Grand Blue Mile in April; he should run faster in June in Indy. His recent set of 5K's in the 15:59 to 16:31 range confirm the potential to go under 4:45. Mike Olson ran two 5K's last summer. The early one was 16:57, the late one 16:03. If the 16:03 Olson shows up he will be right there pushing the pace with Bielsa-Brown, taking no prisoners, keeping the rest of the entrants honest!

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Thomas Burns     Mark Guyer     Bryan Lindsay

45-49 David Angell and Jasen Ritter were highlighted in the analysis of the Overall Championships as having a podium chance. If Angell's return to competition continues on its trajectory a low 4:40's to high 4:30's is possible. If Angell can get there, he should be able to close down Ritter's shot at a division win. 

David Angell winning the overall Title at the 2018 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships at the Atlanta's Finest 5K Photo by Jason Getz, courtesy of Atlanta Track Club

Ritter ran a 4:44 at the Monumental Mile in 2021. The following year, Ritter finished 2nd in the division at the Masters 5 Km Championships, in 16:02. Six months later he ran a 15:58 at the Colts Return to Football 5K. Both suggest a low 4:40's was capable then. Low 4:40's might be just short of what it will take to win the division. Jonathan Bishard Kansas City MO; KC Smoke and Christopher Hernandez Charleston SC; GVH will be in the crunch for the final podium spot. A year ago, Bishard clocked 4:36.95 at the Music City Distance Classic MCDC. But at the Masters0 TF Indoor Championships this March, Bishard came up short, finishing 5th 45-49 in the 1500M in 4:26.4. His time converts to a 4:48 Mile. But Hernandez was 2nd in the division in that same race, ahead of Bishard by 2 seconds. If Bishard can kindle the spark that got him to the line in 4:37 at MCDC, he can have a big day. But, as of now, it looks like Hernandez is the one to beat for the final podium spot. He would repeat his 3rd place finish at Rochester a year ago when he ran it the mile in 4:48. What about Matthew Di Pretore Newtown Square PA; Greater Philadelphia TC. Di Pretore, 44 at the time, ran 5 seconds faster than Hernandez in the 2022 Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta. That would carry more weight if Hernandez had not come in 7 seconds ahead of Di Pretore at the Rochester Mile six months later. I will opt for Hernandez on the final step of the podium. That gives me Angell-Ritter-Hernandez in that order.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

David Angell     Christopher Hernandez     Jasen Ritter

50-54 This division should belong to Mike Madsen Flagstaff AZ; Team Run Flagstaff, who is coming down from the mountains seeking to lower the 50-54 American Road Mile record below 4:40. According to the NCAA calculator, Madsen's 4:46 at the downtown Flagstaff Mile at 7000 feet is equivalent to a 4:36 at sea level. But Madsen also knows his own fitness and has opted for the attempt. In 2019 he went to Flint MI for the 1 Mile championships and came within a fraction of a second of the Overall victory. He probably will not get the Overall victory this year either, but he should get the division win easily and, more importantly, the record. It would taste so sweet! 

Mike Madsen winding it up in the final spring to the finish at the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships at the Michigan Mile Photo courtesy of the HAP Crim Festival of Races

No one else in the field at present seems a threat to break 5:00. Jason Newport Avon IN; Indiana TC should come the closest; he christened this course with a 5:10 last year. Newport did not have a great outing at the Masters 5 km Championships in Atlanta this year, finishing 13th in the division in 19:40. Six months earlier he had run an 18:56 at the JMF RWR 5K. In November 2021, Andrew Hector Indianapolis IN; Indiana Elite AC ran an 18:26 at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon 5K. That was equivalent, at the time, to a 5:25. But his more recent 5K's have been in the 19:14 to 19:30 range, very similar to those of Matthew Cutrona Wilmington DE; Greater Philadelphia TC up through early March. Cutrona was ten seconds back from Newport in Atlanta but has posted two impressive times since then. He ran 18:48 in the Haddonfield NJ 5K and posted a 5:13.65 at the Memorial Main Street Mile in May. And last year, Cutrona posted a 5:07 at the Main Street Mile after finishing 9th in the division with a 5:12 at Rochester. Newport still looks the better bet for 2nd, but Cutrona should be right there! If either Newport or Cutrona has a tough day, Hector could be the surprise athlete on the podium! I am looking for Madsen-Newport-Cutrona, in that order.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Matthew Cutrona     Mike Madsen     Jason Newport

55-59 Like Madsen in 50-54, Christian 'Cush' Cushing-murray Orange CA; Cal Coast TC is flying in from the west, focused on an American Record try. He went to Portland a couple of weeks ago to have a try for the 55-59 Track Record but came up just short at 4:39.28. Here Cushing-murray goes after the 4:49 road mile record, set by Nat Larson at Flint in 2017. Check out the previous article on these championships for Cushing-Murray's pedigree as a sub-4-minute miler in the 1990's, his 6th place finish in the US Olympic 1500 M Trials, and international competition. More recent exploits as a Masters athlete include his 50-54 win at age 54, of the 2022 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta off a 16:43 (chip) effort. Three months later he took the same division title at Carlsbad in 16:27. Whether Cush can get the record or not, and it looks like a good shot, he should take the win in the division and have a chance at an age grade prize as well. 

Christian Cushing-Murray takes the 55-59 win and a Top Ten Age Grading Overall at the 2023 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta Photo By Joaquin Lara courtesy of the Atlanta Track Club

Todd Straka Broomfield CO; Boullder Road Runners should break 5:00 with room to spare. He chased Cushing-Murray around the track at Portland, clocking a 4:52. The last time Straka ran in a national championship road mile, he took 2nd in 4:56 at Flint MI in 2019. Last summer, Straka took 2nd in 55-59 at the Masters Outdoor Championships in 4:39. This March he went a few seconds faster in nabbing another silver medal at the Masters Indoor Championships in 4:35; that is age grade equivalent to a 4:57. Straka will surely break 5:00. Is there anyone else? At Flint in 2019, Straka finished 2 seconds ahead of Jeffrey Conston Hopewell Jct, NY; Shore AC and 4 seconds ahead of John Borthwick Dillon CO; Boulder Road Runners. At Rochester last year, Conston finished 6th in 50-54 at 5:07. That would have been 4th in 55-59, right behind Borthwick in 5:05. Conston is running well this winter and spring. He clocked 18:09 for 5th 55-59 at Atlanta in the 5K. Apart from his duels with Conston, Borthwick picked up a 5:12 at the end of April at the Grand Blue Mile. He should be ready for a 5:10 or better in Indy; the temperature in Des Moines was 60F, according to Athlinks. At Outdoor Masters Nationals last summer, Mike Nier came in six seconds behind Straka, but twelve seconds ahead of Borthwick, taking 6th place 55-59 in the 1500M in 4:45, which equates to a 5:08. The final order should be: Cushing-murray- Straka- Nier. Borthwick and Conston will be battling each other and, should any of the favorites have an off day, the victor of the battle might find himself on the podium.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Christian Cushing-Murray     Mike Nier     Todd Straka

60-64 Some of the biggest names in the division are entered. Three of those are: Rick Lee, Dan King, and Joe Mora. Prior to 2020, King was known primarily for his Cross Country prowess; starting in 2015 when he won his 55-59 division at both Cross Nationals and Club Cross, King was always a podium threat on the turf. In 2020, King started focusing his attention and energy on breaking the Outdoor Mile Record for Men 60-64. He came close at the Music City Distance Carnival in 2021 with a 4:57.27. On July 18, 2021, King had the record when he ran 4:51.45. No stranger to Road Miles, King has competed at the Pearl Street Mile, the Mile High Mile and the Fifth Avenue Mile. King has struggled with injury since last1 year; his outing at the Fifth Avenue Mile was an experience but not as fast as he would normally have expected. King ran 5:12 at the Portland Track Festival. Disappointed with his time, he has had very solid workouts since then. I am sure he hopes to be under 5:10, and maybe under 5:05. Rick Lee is a runner who not only knows no boundaries but seeks out unusual races. He has raced across the Sahara and just two weekends ago completed the 55 Mile Comrade's (Ultra) Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in South Africa. His recovery turnaround time after races is as amazing as his choice of races. He thinks nothing of running a 5K soon after an ultra. And he does them all at high quality. he is the 60-64 American record holder at 50K, 3:31:44, and the 50 Mile, 6:27:30. Despite that prowess at long distances, Lee won the 60-64 Half Marathon Championship last year and took 2nds at the 10 Km and 1 Mile Championships, the latter in 5:04 at Rochester. This year he won the 5 km Championship in Atlanta with a time of 17:31, which equates to a 5:09. A big question will be whether Lee still has the Comrades Marathon in his legs, especially his quads. [It was the downhill year for Comrades.] The runner Lee lost to in Rochester last year is Joe Mora, a much more traditional middle-distance guy on the track who runs Cross Country and longer road distances for his team. If he can stay close to Lee in the mile or the 5Km, he is likely to win with a kick. Mora won at Rochester last year but the times, when rounded were the same. At Atlanta in 2022, Mora was able to kick away from Lee to take the win. When Lee won this year, Mora was not entered, but Lee's time was 20 seconds faster than in 2022. Those three should battle for the win. Nothing is ever certain though.

Rick Lee heading for the Finish and the 60-64 Win at the 2021 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships in Highlands NJ Photo courtesy of Jason Timochko

In 2017, Dave Bussard Elkhart IN; CHT Elite finished 2nd in 55-59 at the Flint MI National Masters championships in 5:01. During the Covid suspension of races and after, Bussard was rehabbing. But last year he started to turn in mid-18:00 5K's and last weekend recorded a 17:42 at the Brian Diemer 5K; that equates to a 5:12 Mile. His teammate, Eric Stuber Lansing MI; CHT Elite, finished 3rd in 55-59 at the 2018 1 Mile national championships. Stuber ran several local Michigan 5K's this past summer and fall in the 18:02 to 18:20 range, suggesting he should crack 5:20 and might go faster. Both will push the pace and if anyone is off their best, could crack onto the podium. Mark Zamek Minneapolis MN; Shore AC also deserves mention. Zamek won the 2019 1 Mile National 55-59 title in Flint Michigan with a 4:55. He had been rehabbing various nagging injuries for months leading into this year. Zamek seemed to be on the road to full recovery. Although not quite as fast as he would like, Zamek finished 4th in Atlanta with a 17:47 and then was able to run a 36:12 at the 10 Km national championship to take 3rd in 60-64 at the end of April. He started to ramp up his training for the Outdoor track season. Within a week, he announced increased pain during workouts, with a diagnosis shortly thereafter of Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy PHT. That has progressed off and on, and Zamek had hoped to race full out on Saturday. His most recent assessment is to run at 'tempo' pace to finish for the team. Tim Mylin Noblesville IN; Indiana Elite AC is running for the Indiana 50's team. He was a solid sub-18 5K runner up through his mid-50's. He has apparently raced less frequently in recent years. But he ran a 5:21 at the 2021 Monumental Mile and last summer clocked 19:02 to win 60-64 easily at the certified and sanctioned JMF RWR 5K. Saturday will probably be his first challenging age division race in some time. It will be interesting to see what he can do.

Despite the uncertainty, the most likely podium seems to be: Mora-Lee-King, possibly in that order.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Dan King     Rick Lee      Joe Mora     

65-69 Early on it appeared that this division would belong to David Westenberg Wellesley MA; Greater Lowell Road Runners. Not only had he won the division at Cross Nationals in Richmond VA and at the 10 Km in Dedham MA, he set the Indoor Mile and 1500M records for 65-69 this past winter. He ran a 5:10.61 Mile on December 3rd. He would be going after Tom Bernhard's 5:18 Mile Record. 

David Westenberg heading fo rthe 65-69 Win at the 2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo posted on FB by D Westenberg

But then Jacob Nur Elk Grove CA; SRA Elite entered. Nur currently holds 65-69 records at the Half Marathon, 1:18; the Ten Mile, 58:34; the 10 Km, 35:42; and the 5 km, 17:00. Nur ran that 5 km last November; it is age grade equivalent to running a 4:59 Mile. But equating down from 5 Km, already at the short end of Nur's range, to a 1 Mile, suggests a wider band of uncertainty. Nur ran the first 1-mile race I can find for him on May 8th. At the Mile of Truth in Danville CA, he ran 5:19. That could be due to his fast twitch muscles not being as trained as his slow-twitch endurance muscles. Or perhaps he ran it tentatively as a test and did not go all out. He ran in the 50+ heat, finishing 5th and beating all 60+ athletes by a wide margin. On the other hand, there were other Masters 50+ athletes there to compete with. I think the distance still favors Westenberg, but no one would be that surprised to see Nur crack one off and go under 5:10. If so, the race is his! 

Left to Right: Dan King, Jacob Nur and Rick Lee running in a torrential downpour in the Masters race at the 2022 USATF Club Cross Country Championships in San Francisco Photo courtesy of Dan King-posted on Srava

The 65-69 field is deep. Michael Lebold was able to defeat Westenberg in the 800 meters at the Indoor Nationals. If this race were a Half Mile rather than a Mile, Lebold might be the favorite. Roger Sayre Golden CO; Boulder Road Runners is a high-altitude runner. Sayre ran a 5:43 at the Carnation Mile in the Denver area last August. The NCAA altitude adjustment calculation puts that as equivalent to a 5:35 at sea level. Sayre finished 2nd at the 5 Km in Atlanta in 18:24. That suggests a faster time for Sayre is possible, perhaps in the mid 5:20's. In 1984, Fred Torneden set a new course record when he won the Twin Cities Marathon in 2:11:34 and set the American record for the 20 Mile distance along the way. He has not been active in national Masters events until recently. At the Masters Indoor Championships in early March, Torneden ran a 5:06.56 1500 Meters, finishing second, seven seconds behind Westenberg. That time is age grade equivalent to a 5:32. He showed he might be a little faster than that when he ran a 5:30 at the Ad Astra Running Irish road mile a week later. Reno Stirrat Rockaway NJ; Shore AC has been coming into championships banged up or in rehab with some uncertainty about how he would do. But he has held up well in the actual race. Despite having to stop and walk on occasion, he still took 4th in the division at the Half Marathon championships and 5th at the highly competitive 10 Km Championships in Dedham. Last year, Stirrat ran for the team despite his injuries; Stirrat is a Master at competing when hurt but figuring out where the dial should be, so he does not set back a rehab effort. This year, this rehab stretch may be over; Stirrat has been training well recently. With the depth of the field; it would be an incredible accomplishment for Stirrat to make the podium. He will certainly run his best for the team and who knows what might happen? I will go with a predicted order of Westenberg-Nur-Sayre. If Torneden was still in his 'build' phase in March, he could be much faster, given his past accomplishments, on Saturday!

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Jacob Nur     Roger Sayre     David Westenberg

70-74 Robert Qualls finished 3rd at the 1500 Meter Run in the WMA (World) Championships last June in 5:12.18, which equates to a 5:38 Mile. Since then, he has been the 70-74 champion at every cross country and road championship from the 5 Km to the Half Marathon. At Rochester last May he finished 2nd to track legend, Nolan Shaheed, 5:39 to 5:40. His win in Atlanta over a hilly 5Km in 20:02 suggests a time around 5:53. But it seems more likely Qualls will come across the line under 5:50. 

Robert Qualls winning the 70-74 Race at the 2022 Masters 12 Km National Championships in Hig0hlands NJ Photo courtesy of Jason Timochko 

If so, no one is likely to be too close. Doug Bell Greeley CO; Boulder RR, Doug Chesnut Keller TX; Boulder RR, and James Linn Harleysville PA; New Jersey Pacers appear to be closely matched. At Rochester last year, Bell finished 5th in the division at 6:06; his 3rd place finish in Atlanta in February at 20:51 equates to a 6:07. I look for Bell to go under 6:05 and maybe 6:00 if his training has been going well. Chesnut has been a step ahead of Bell for much of the past year. He finished 8 seconds ahead of Bell in Atlanta, claiming 2nd behind Qualls. Whether that can translate to the Mile is an open question. I do not find any recent efforts from Chesnut shorter than the 5K. Linn, on the other hand, has run a few road miles this year already. He ran both the Mile and the 10K at the Ridgewood Run, clocking 43 and change for the 10K and 6:11 for the Mile. That being part of a double suggests he could run faster. At the RUNway Mile on June 10th, Linn did; he clocked 6:02. In 2018, Kirk Larson Atlanta GA; Atlanta TC finished 2nd in 65-69 at 5:55. But this year, Larson was a half-minute behind Chesnut and Bell at the 5 Km, suggesting something in the 6:10 to 6:15 range would be more likely. Keeping that in mind, it looks like Qualls-Linn-Chesnut, with Bell and, possibly Larson, looking to prove me wrong!

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Doug Chesnut     James Linn     Robert Qualls

75-79 Were this 5 Km or up, I would have no hesitation in suggesting Dave Glass as the winner by a good margin. He has been winning everything in sight this year except when Gary Ostwald shows up. He still comes in ahead of everyone else. Ostwald is not entered in the Mile.  Glass won the 75-79 5 Km in Atlanta in 22:54, over a half minute ahead of Keith Yeates in 2nd. 

Dave Glass heading for the 75-79 Win at the 2023 USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse NY Photo courtesy of Syracuse Half marathon

When they have run together in the same race over the last half year, Yeates has finished in front of his teammate, Jim May. Yet last year, when Glass was running as well as he has this year, May was able to beat Glass by a step, taking 2nd in 6:34 to Glass's 6:35.  Does that mean that both Yeates and May will beat Glass this year? It seems doubtful. Yeates was well back from May and Glass last year so the Mile may not be his best event. May got out fast in the 10Km; Glass did eventually catch and pass him, coming in well ahead. But 10 Km is more Glass's distance so May again showed the possibility that he might have greater leg speed available for short distances. Jan Frisby is always a threat at the Mile but he is a scratch due to an inner Ear problem that cropped up over the last couple of days. The only other runners who might be close are Liam Finnigan Farmington NY; GVH and me, Paul Carlin Three Oaks MI; Ann Arbor TC. Finnigan was running for the team last year when not at his best, but he beat me by a couple of seconds at the 10 Km championships a month earlier. Still, even if he can run with me, it would be doubtful that we can run with Glass, May and Yeates. I finished 5th last year at Rochester in 7:15, and my 3rd place finish at Atlanta was in 24:30. That 5K time is age grade equivalent to a 7:11. In 2017, I took 2nd in 70-74 at 6:16. But even if I could recapture that speed, it would only equate to a 6:54 at 77. It should take a 6:40 or better to make the podium. I will go with May-Glass-Yeates, and give Glass an extra incentive to run hard!

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Dave Glass     Jim May     Keith Yeates

80-84 Masters Hall of Famer, Doug Goodhue Milford MI; Ann Arbor TC rarely loses in this division. Even though he had difficulty with a dicey hamstring at Atlanta, he still won in 26:27. That equates to a 7:45. Ed Bligh Alpharetta GA; Atlanta TC finished 2 minutes behind Goodhue in 2nd. That time equates to an 8:21. Bligh's teammate, Charlie Patterson Mount Ida AR; Atlanta TC ran an 8:06.5 1500M at the Masters TF+ Indoor Championships this March. MileSplit converts that to an 8:45 Mile. There are always uncertainties in every race but I have no reason to suggest anything other than Goodhue-Bligh-Patterson in that order.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Ed Bligh     Doug Goodhue     Charlie Patterson

85-89 Adrian Craven Greenville SC; Atlanta TC took the 85-89 division last year at Rochester in 10:40, beating his teammate, Sid Davis. Davis will not challenge him this year. He did not enter; nor did anyone else. Craven will take the win. It will be interesting to see if he can better his time this year or not.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Adrian Craven


40-44 If the analysis of the Overall championship turns out to be accurate, then Sherron, Giuliani and Gaff should go 1-2-3.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Hidi Gaff     Angela Giuliani     Katie Sherron

45-49 The two favorites seem to be Julie Mercado Springboro OH; Dayton Track Club and Euleen Josiah-Tanner Atlanta GA; T.H.E. Track Club. On June 30th last year Mercado ran 5:33 in the Dash for Cash Mile. That gave her the Masters win and 4th woman overall. A month later she finished 5th 40+ Masters at the 1500M run at the Masters TF Outdoor Championships with a 5:13. That converts, via the MileSplit calculator to a 5:39. But Mercado should be capable of a faster mile without having to run with a 19:05 5000 meter run in her legs. Mercado's 5K's this spring have ranged from 19:28 to 20:28; the fastest of those, on Memorial Day weekend, equates to a 5:35. That evidence confirms the projection of a low 5:30's mile effort on Saturday.  Josiah-Tanner will push Mercado for the win. She took 3rd in the division at the Masters 5 Km Championships with a 19:20, equating to a 5:33. At the World Masters Athletics WMA Indoor Championships, she ran the 3000 Meters in 11:18.15, finishing 4th in this 45-49 division. If that were on the roads, it would equate to a 5:35. She also competed in two non-stadia events, the 10 Km in 39:27 and the Half Marathon in 1:26:28. If it comes down to endurance, Josiah-Tanner probably has the edg0e; if it comes down to speed, Mercado may have the edge. 

Euleen Josiah-Tanner finishing 4th for the USA in the Half Marathon at the 2023 World Masters Athletics Championships in Finland Photo courtesy of Todd Straka

Yasamin Dahlstrom Indianapolis IN; unattached and Hiroko Guarneri Villa Rica GA; Atlanta TC should battle for the final podium position. Dahlstrom ran 6:23 on this course last year. A month later, Dahlstrom posted a 26:35 time for a 6K race; that equates to a 6:20. Guarneri counters with a 22:50 for 10th place in the division at the Masters 5 Km national championships in Atlanta. That equates to a 6:33 Mile. As noted earlier, the 5Km course in Atlanta is comparatively challenging. I could imagine it being equivalent on a flatter course to something closer to 22:40. and that would be equivalent to 6:30. I am largely ignoring a 6:56 in the Spring Midweek Mile & Dash on May 10th. That was primarily an event for youth and the course meanders around a large park in Atlanta. Was Guarnieri running all out or was she doing it as a workout before or after a daughter or son, perhaps, was running in the main event? My guess is that Dahlstrom has the edge because she has run a faster recent Mile than Guarnieri. She also is familiar with the course. My picks: Mercado--Josiah-Tanner--Dahlstrom to go 1-2-3.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Yasamin Dahlstrom     Euleen Josiah-Tanner     Julie Mercado

50-54 Abby Dean and Perry Shoemaker were featured in the analysis of the Overall Championship. The time projections for Dean and Shoemaker suggest that Shoemaker should have the edge, but it will be a close race either way. 

Perry Shoemaker kicking it in for the 50-54 win at the 2021 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships in Highlands NJ Photo courtesy of Jason Timochko.

At the moment, Cassandra Crane Chittenango NY; GVH is a strong runner but is not likely to challenge Shoemaker and Dean. Her eyes are on the team prize, in any case. Crane competes mostly in longer races, from the 10 Km to the Half Marathon. She finished 8th in the division at the Masters 10 Km championships in 46:57, helping her GVH team to a 50+ win. Crane ran a 31:32 4-Miler this past March at the Tipperary Hill race; that equates roughly to a 6:58 Mile. Her 10 Km time suggests a stronger mile than that, perhaps closer to a 6:35. But it is tricky equating from a race that is 6 times as long. Either way Crane would not be close to 2nd place but will make a real contribution to the team effort. Prediction: Shoemaker to win, Dean 2nd, and Crane 3rd place.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Cassandra Crane     Abby Dean     Perry Shoemaker         

55-59 Fiona Bayly and Jennifer Harvey were mentioned as contenders for the overall win, out of the 55-59 age division. How amazing is that?! The analysis of the overall contest does not indicate a finishing order for these two. Despite being in contention, I do not predict that either will, in the end, make it onto the podium. Bayly has the faster recent mile, her 5:19 at the Fifth Avenue Mile. Harvey did not compete that year, but the year before Harvey clocked 5:17 at the Fifth Avenue Mile, to win the 50-54 division. Bayly did not compete that year. However, Bayly has not competed in a race this year shorter than 5 Km; Harvey has competed on the Indoor track and at the Grand Blue Mile. Will those matter as tune-ups? It looks like a 'barn burner' of a race. it will come down to the runner who has the better day. Lisa Veneziano Fenton MI; Pursuit of Excellence TC is also in the field. She is a terrific competitor at the Mile, and a fine runner at every distance up through the Marathon. She holds the 55-59 12 Km American Record at 46:13. Veneziano finished 2nd in the division last year at Rochester in 5:40. Veneziano also finished 2nd in 50-54 at the 2019 Masters Mile Championships in Flint MI, clocking 5:35. Bayly won the division that year in 5:23, finishing 2nd overall. Bayly, by the way, holds the 55-59 American Records in the 8 Km and the 15 Km at 30:05 and 58:35. 

Fiona Bayly claims the 50-54 Title at the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships at the Michigan Mile in Flint MI Photo courtesy of HAP Crim Festival of Races

Melissa Chiti Durham NC; Pursuit of Excellence TC and Roxanne Springer Durham NC; Pursuit of Excellence TC are two strong runners who are likely to run in the upper 5:50's to lower 6:00's. Chiti and Springer are likely to finish close to one another. Chiti ran a slightly faster 1500M at the WMA Indoor Championships in late March than Springer did at the USATF Masters Indoor championships in early March. The more likely podium is Bayly-Harvey-Veneziano, probably in that order, but the first two are incredibly close on paper.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Fiona Bayly     Jennifer Harvey     Lisa Veneziano

60-64 Suzanne La Burt Greenwood Lake NY; Shore AC, Doreen McCoubrie West Chester PA; Greater Philadelphia TC and Deb Torneden Manhattan KS; unattached go head-to-head in this division. La Burt finished 3rd last year at Rochester in 55-59 with a 5:57. A month after Rochester, La Burt clipped two seconds off that time. With a straight-shot mile ahead of her at the Fifth Avenue Mile, La Burt lowered her mark still further with a 5:41. La Burt is almost always on the podium at national championships across the distances, including a notable win at the 2022 Masters 10 Km Championships. 

Doreen McCoubrie claims a 55-59 Silver Medal along with a Bronze Medal in Age Grading overall at the 2019 Masters 1 Mile Championsh8ips in Flint MI Photo courtesy of the HAP C=rim Festival of Races

McCoubrie had the edge over La Burt at last year's 1 Mile championships in Rochester. McCoubrie took 2nd in 60-64 in 5:50; La Burt was 3rd in 55-59 at 5:57. McCoubrie has been active in the Mile this spring with a 5:38 at the Memorial Main St Mile at the end of May and a 5:53 at the RUNway Mile where you run on an airport runway! That suggests McCoubrie will be ready to roll on Saturday! Torneden is not far off those two; at the Masters Indoor Championships last summer, Torneden took the 60-64 1500M win in 5:36. The MileSplit calculator converts that to a 6:03 Mile. This March, Torneden confirmed that with a 6:01 at the Ad Astra Running Irish Mile in Lawrence KS. La Burt's teammate, Anything can happen, but McCoubrie-La Burt-Torneden looks to be the most likely order of finish.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Suzanne La Burt     Doreen McCoubrie     Deb Torneden

65-69 Susan Stirrat Rockaway NJ; Shore AC is the reigning 65-69 Individual National Grand Prix champion. She finished 3rd last year in Rochester in 7:30 and ran ten seconds slower two months later at the NJ Association Championships at the Big Bang Mile. She will have to contend with Carol Poenisch Northville MI; unattached. If this were a longer race, Poenisch would definitely be favored. Stirrat has run two half marathons this year, both around, or slightly over, 2 hours. Poenisch has run three half marathons with times ranging from 1:54:44 to 1:56:08. But this is a Mile. In 2018 she ran in the 1 Mile Championships at Flint, clocking 7:20 to take the 60-64 bronze medal. But Poenisch has no recent Mile times to examine. She has two recent 5K's, a 25:26 at the Corktown 5K in March and a 24:21 at the 'I Ran the D 5K' in May. Both are certified so the difference may be just in terms of having more speed in May than in March. Those times are faster than Stirrat's but not way faster. Stirrat, for example, finished 3rd in this division at the 5 Km national Championships in Atlanta in 25:48, at the end of February. Her most recent effort was a 26:05 in June. Overall, it looks as if Poenisch is the favorite, but it will not be a cakewalk. Stirrat could be right on her heels. 

Carol Poenisch approaching the finish line and a 65-69 Win at the 2023 Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon Photo courtesy of DXA2

The third entrant in the division, Linda Cullison Bloomfield IN, Unattached ran a 31:09 5000 Meter Run at the Masters TF Outdoor Championships last July. She is likely to finish over a minute behind Poenisch and Stirrat, but will happily collect a Bronze Medal for her efforts, nonetheless. It should be: Poenisch-Stirrat-Cullison.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Linda Cullison    Carol Poenisch     Susan Stirrat

70-74 Two teammates, Jeanette Groesz Redmond OR; Team Red Lizard and Sabra Harvey Houston TX; Team Red Lizard enter as co-favorites. Recent races suggest their current fitness is close. Historically, Harvey has been the faster. The 2017 Masters Athlete of the Year, Harvey still holds many 800M and 1500M American records on the track, including 60-64, 65-69 and 70-74 division records. The lone road record she still holds is the 65-69 record for the 1 Mile at 6:06, set in 2017. Groesz is a very strong runner as well, especially on the turf. She placed first in the 70-74 division at the highly competitive Club Cross Country Championships in San Francisco. She finished 2nd in the division at the 5 km National Championships in Atlanta, clocking 23:50. That is age grade equivalent to a 6:50 Mile. 

Jeanette Groesz on her way to the 70-74 Crown in the Women's Race at the 2021 USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee FL Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

The only recent short distance result for Harvey is from a 23:57 'parkrun' 5K in Houston, which would be equivalent to a 6:52. The temperature for that Houston race is listed as 87 degrees so that may be an underestimate of current speed. If not, Groesz's 5K time from February is actually faster. The third member of the Lizards, Suzanne Ray Jacksonville OR; Team Red Lizard, prefers longer races and, recently at least, triathlons. She was able to win the 70--74 division at the National Masters Half Marathon Championships this year ahead of Groesz in 1:51:43 on a (too) warm day in Syracuse. She runs 5K's though, and her 24:06 in the Pear Blossom 5K in early April suggests a mile, at that time, would likely have been under 6:55, perhaps faster. Ray last competed in a triathlon (Olympic Aquabike) at the end of April. I heard a couple of weeks later that one f the Team Lizard crew was injured. If that was Ray, which seems likely as she is a late entry, perhaps she was waiting to see if the injury was far enough along in recovery that she could run a mile without endangering the recovery? If so, her time might be much slower. Given Harvey's history, however, I have to make her the favorite, with Groesz a close 2nd. I find no recent results for the fourth entrant, Hannah Phillips Alexandria VA; Potomac Valley TC. In 2017, Phillips ran a 28:08 5k and a 15:08 3000M on the track. Phillips may finish more than a minute behind Harvey and Groesz. That probably leaves enough room for Ray to take the bronze medal even if injured. The likely order of finish is: Harvey-Groesz-Ray.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Jeanette Groesz     Sabra Harvey     Suzanne Ray

75-79 As noted in the previous article about potential record breakers, this division belongs to the 2019 Masters Athlete of the Year, Jeannie Rice Concord Township OH; Unattached. Rice just averaged 8:08 per mile, running the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 33 minutes, and 15 seconds! She won the 75-79 division, of course! And they were running with a moderate headwind, an important consideration for a point-to-point course like Boston. The 8:08 average is notable because the 1 Mile American Record is 8:36. Rice breaks that by almost a half-minute if she just runs her average marathon pace! Of course, she will run faster. Rice is the holder of the 70-74 American record for the Mile; she won the 70-74 division in 2019 at the Masters National Championship with a 6:24. That record should stand for a long time!  Last year, Rice won the 70-74 division at 6:49. 

Jeannie Rice on her way to a 70-74 Win and the American Record at the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Champiionships at the Michigan Mile of t1he HAP Crim Festival of races in Flint MI Photo courtesy of HAP Crim Festival of Races

There are at least two indicators that her current fitness is better than it was last year. She ran 20 minutes faster in the Boston Marathon in 2023 compared to 2022. And she ran almost a minute faster in Johnny's Run, an Ohio 5K, run at the end of May in both years. She is not likely to run a 6:24, but a time close to 6:30 is certainly within her reach. I fully expect her to set a mark that will stand for years to come. The other two competitors in the division are there to compete for their team in the 70+ competition. Andrea McCarter Duluth GA; Atlanta TC finished 2nd in the division in Atlanta at the Masters 5 Km national championships. Her 36:59 suggests a mile time around 10:30 should be possible. Carol Patterson Mount Ida AR; Atlanta Track Club finished 3rd in the 75-79 division at the Masters TF National Outdoor Championships, with a time of 10:24. The MileSplit calculator converts that to an 11:14 Mile. Patterson may be able to run faster than that; she ran in four additional flat events from the 400M to the 10,000 meters, not to mention the 2000M Steeplechase. I will make McCarter the favorite for 2nd, but Patterson could certainly surprise! The likely order of finish is: Rice-McCarter-Patterson.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Andrea McCarter     Carol Patterson     Jeannie Rice

80-84 No entries

85-89 Joyce Hodges-Hite has found a way to travel for championships this year. She won the division at Cross Nationals in Richmond, VA; at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta, and the 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento. Now she is signed up to travel to Indy for the 1 Mile Championships. No one from this division has ever done so in the past. She will not only win the race when she finishes, she will establish a new American Record. Hodges-Hite is breaking boundaries and inspiring others to imagine what can be achieved.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Joyce Hodges-Hite


WOMEN It would be amazing if anyone other than Jeannie Rice wins the Age Grading. She will likely grade in the upper 90% range. When she set the 70-74 record at the Mile in 2019 she graded at 97.23%. Fiona Bayly, Sabra Harvey, Doreen McCoubrie,  Perry Shoemaker, Lisa Veneziano are the strongest additional candidates for the age grade podium. In that 2019 Mile at Flint, McCoubrie graded at 94.19 and Bayly at 91.55%. It is not a Mile but this year in Atlanta, the age grading order was Rice-Veneziano-Bayly-McCoubrie. Harvey's 23:57 5Km grades at 93.11% and Harvey is stronger at the mile so she is also a threat for the top prize. Shoemaker's 18:08 grades at 92.92%, but she is not known primarily as a middle-distance runner. It will likely be close. I will venture to suggest an order of Rice-Harvey-Bayly but any of the others could prove that inaccurate. McCoubrie loves the Mile and she excels at it; Veneziano also seems to love a good mile race. Shoemaker is a strong all-around runner, so maybe she can run a great Mile too!?

Likely age grading podium in alphabetical order:

Fiona Bayly     Sabra Harvey     Jeannie Rice

MEN Jacob Nur is the favorite; his recent American Records and national championships efforts are grading, typically at 94% and above. If he should run a 5:17, which seems plausible, his grade would be 93.72%. If David Westenberg would edge him in the race but have the same time (all times are rounded up to the next whole second), his age grade would be 92.05%. If Christian Cushing-Murray gets his 4:48 and the AR, his age grade would be 93.15%. If Madsen gets the 50-54 AR by a second in 4:39, his age grade would be 92.33%. If Rick Lee can match his age grade from last year at Rochester, it would be amazing, just 2 weeks after a 55-mile race. But, if so, he would age grade at 92.71%. If Dan King merely matched his 5:12 at the Portland Track Festival, he would grade at 92.72%. King was disappointed with that effort and recently report1ed that his training was going well. I will take that as a sign we are likely to see a good performance from King and that his age grade will move up accordingly. The 'crystal ball' is dim but I will go with Nur--King--Cushing-murray.

Likely podium in alphabetical order:

Christian Cushing-murray     Dan King     Jacob Nur


Up to 5 athletes declared per team. Fastest three times are added for a cumulative team time. Lower times rule! Team predictions, especially, should be taken with several g0rains of salt; there are so many athletes at different stages of commitment, injury, health, etc. I treat the numbers without specifying the broad band of uncertainty around each one. Otherwise I would be making qualifying remarks every few words. Any team with just 3 entered always run the risk that one may run into difficulty getting to the event or may be unable to finish. The 'fortunes of war' are not considered below.


40+ The Indiana Elite AC look to dominate this division as the home team. There is no reason to bet against them. If Guyer, Burns and Lindsay run as expected, they can run under 13:40 as a team. No other team should crack 15:00. GVH looks to have the edge for 2nd but not by a huge margin. If Herter can get close to 4:30 again and Hernandez close to 4:45, then Passamonte, dropping down from 65-69 only has to run a 6:05 for GVH's total to be around 15:20. Cal Coast, Greater Philadelphia, and the 'B' squad of Indiana Elite look to be all between 15:40 and 15:48 depending on the individual performances on the day. Indiana will run with hometown pride on the line. Cal Coast runs with a lot of historic success, both as a team and as individuals. Greater Philly needs points to move up in the Club Grand Prix. After a slow start, they could still pull themselves up onto the GP podium with strong scores in the last three events of the GP season. With Cushing-murray high 4:40's and a lot of guesswork on two guys who have not run a lot lately but were good a while back. I am guessing Sullivan for something like 5:15 and Bryson for something like 5:40. That puts Cal Coast with a cumulative time around 15:45 or so. But, with a lot of imponderables, it looks tight. Olson should lead the way for Indiana B. Can he come home a few seconds ahead of Cushing-murray, maybe a 4:45 or so? If Awe can hit 5:20 and Daugherty 5:35 or better, they might just total 15:40 and nip Cal Coast. Greater Philly has Cutrona coming back from injury, maybe running 5:15; Di Leva maybe a 5:02, and Conheady, dropping down from 65-69 with a 5:30. If so, that looks like a 15:47 and they wind up losing to Indiana B and Cal Coast. The pressure is on! I can almost hear the talk among the Cal Coast and Philly guys...'Can you imagine? A 'B' team picked to beat us?! Time to show 'em!' 

Best guess: Indiana Elite AC     GVH      Indiana Elite AC 'B'

50+ The Boulder Road Runners, with Straka a bit under 5, Borthwick a bit over, and Adam Feerst dropping down from 60+ to give them a credible third scorer, are the favorites. They should be able to break 16 minutes as a team. Feerst had a tough bike crash a couple of days ago let us hope the residual soreness does not slow him down. GVH should have the edge for 2nd. With Nier able to run around 5:05 or under; Flanders able to contribute a 5:20 and Mertens a 5:40, they should clock in right around 16:05 or so. The Indiana Elite AC and Shore AC+ should battle for 3rd. Mylin, dropping down from 60+ might lead the way for Indiana but they should have a pretty tight pack with Mylin a bit under 5:30 and Gonzalez and Hector maybe right around 5:30 for a cumulative time just under 16:30. Conston should lead the way for Shore AC around 5:10 to 5:15, with Rinaldi giving them a 5:35 or so, and Di Leva a 5:50. If so, they score around 16:35 or so. The numbers point to a finishing order of Boulder-GVH-Indiana.

Best guess: Boulder Road Runners     GVH     Indiana Elite

60+ Shore AC 'A' looks good subject uncertainties surrounding Lee's recovery form a 55 Mile race 2 weekends ago and Zamek's PHT and his intended tempo run of around 5:20. If Lee can run between 5:05 and 5:10 and Zamek runs around 5:20, then a 6:00 effort from Weisinger gives them somewhere between 16:25 and 16:30 and that should be enough for the team win. But there is not a lot of room for error. If Zamek's tendon is not up to it, then all bets should be off. The 'new' CHT Elite team should run close to that. Running in the teens as Playmakers Elite, this group has stayed away from national championships for a few years. Bussard may be able to give them a 5:15. If Stuber can deliver something like a 5:22, and Lambrecht a 5:55, the team score is 16:42, just 12 seconds higher than the projection for Shore. GVH should be in contention as well. Mora should give them something like a 5:05. If Riccardi chips in a 5:40 and Rybinski a 6:07, they are at 16:52 and probably good for third. Of course this all assumes that Boulder follows through on their plan to drop Feerst down to the 50+ squad. Unless I am wrong about Cottrell, we should expect him to run around 6:36. If Sayre can clock 5:20 and Spale 5:40, they are still at 17:36 and out of contention for the podium. They are still likely to pick up 70 GP points however. Shore has designated Weisinger to run on the 'A' team; they must expect the B team to total 18:00 or higher.

Best guess: Shore AC     CHT Elite     GVH

70+ The Boulder Road Runners should have no problem winning this division. Bell and Chesnut should come in close to 6:00 and Katz should be well under 7 minutes, probably under 6:45. That gives them a likely total under 19:00. GVH has the best shot at 2nd place. If May can come close to the 6:38 he ran last year and Yeats is not far behind, perhaps around 6:50, then Finnigan can finish in 7:15 and they total 20:43. Of course if Yeats gets closer to May's time, they move closer to 20:30 but are still not close to Boulder. For the Atlanta TC, it looks like Larson might run around 6:12 and Glass around 6:38. In the absence of Jerry Learned, who was committed to a family event this weekend, Morris Williams agreed to step in. Their cumulative time is likely to be around 21:20. ATC and the Ann Arbor Track Club could be close. If one goes by how McCluskey, Carlin and Goodhue did at Atlanta, their projected times would be 7:00, 7:10, and 7:45, for a total of 21:55. But it may be that Goodhue, with a few good weeks of training under his belt, can run closer to 7:30. My goal is to run 7:00 or better. If McCluskey could run a few seconds under 7:00, then AATC would be right at 21:20 and the outcome would be down to how the race unfolds. But it takes more than three 'if's' to make a certainty. Based on the numbers it makes sense to project: Boulder-GVH-Atlanta.
Best guess: Boulder Road Runners     Genesee Valley Harriers     Atlanta Track Club

80+ There is no guesswork in this division. As long as Bligh, Patterson, and Craven all finish the race, Atlanta takes the team win.
Best guess: Atlanta Track Club


40+ VACANT--There are no complete teams declared.

50+ At present the only declared team is the Genesee Valley Harriers. It is possible that another team might declare at packet pickup. Unless that happens, GVH will take the win once Osovski, Crane and Geiger cross the finish line.
Best guess: Genesee Valley Harriers

60+ The Shore AC is the only complete team entered in this division. La Burt, Stirrat, and Brathwaite can waltz their way to the finish. As long as all three cross the finish line, they get the team win. They can each focus on their individual races.
Best guess: Shore Athletic Club

70+ Surprisingly, the only division with more than one complete team is the oldest, 70+. Team Red Lizard should have no trouble taking the win, even if one of their three athletes is running injured for the team. Their competition comes from the Atlanta Track Club. Mccarter, Patterson and Hodges-Hite are happy to take the silver medals and collect the 90 GP points that go with it. A reasonable guess for their times gives ATC a cumulative team total of over 36 minutes. The first two runners for Red Lizard, Harvey and Groesz should be finished in 13:30. If they do not hurry, it could be 14:00. Even so, Ray, who is, I am guessing, running injured for the team, can take it easy and jog through the course in 10-15 minutes, if she needs to, and the Red Lizard express will get another championship and another hundred points toward the 2023 Masters National Club Grand Prix title.
Best guess: Team Red Lizard     Atlanta Track Club

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Record Possibilities at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships at Indianapolis IN

June 11, 2023 The originally scheduled 1 Mile Championships at Rochester NY had to be cancelled due to events out of the control of the organizers. Beyond Monumental, the organization that hosts the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and Half Marathon in early November, offered to host the 1 Mile Championships on June 24, 2023. They hosted their first Marathon in 2008. They have also run a Half Marathon, at least since 2009, adding a 5K along the way. They have also run the Indy Half Marathon at Fort Ben in October. In 2013, they hosted their first road mile, the Indianapolis Monumental Mile, placing it in June. By 2017 the Marathon and Half Marathon combined were attracting over 12,000 entrants. 

Women's Race at the 2022 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships hosted by the Rochester Mile

The original Monumental Mile course was a straight shot down Meridian Avenue to Monument Circle, ala the Fifth Avenue Mile. It was fast, very slightly downhill, and not record eligible. That was, coincidentally, the first year that the 1 Mile was approved as a record eligible distance for Masters runners. The Masters LDR Committee held their first national 1 Mile Championship in Pittsburgh PA that year. The course in Pittsburgh was record eligible and flat, with just two 90 degree turns. Some of the records set there in 2013 still stand. In 2014, the Championship was moved to a Friday evening in August as part of the Michigan Mile/Crim Festival of Races weekend in Flint MI. They hosted the event through 2019. After the Covid interruption to racing, Rochester NY's Rochester Mile became the host in 2022, in conjunction with a USA Cycling Criterium event.  When the local sponsor of that event cancelled its plans for 2023, the local organizers, despite heroic efforts, were unable to host the event in 2023. This will be the first year since 2014 that the 1 Mile Championships will be held on a flat, record eligible course with just two 90-degree turns. If you want to view the Event (2013-2022) and Course (2022 only) Records, scroll down to the bottom of this article.

Although there is still a week and a half to register, it appears that several age division American Records are at risk. Here is the complete list of current American Records for both Men and Women, as posted at:

American LDR Road Records
Men - 1mi

40-44Neville Davey(43)4:22Devil Mountain/Mile of Truth, Danville, CA05/06/2018
45-49Kevin Castille(45)4:24Flint Mile, Flint, MI08/25/2017
50-54Alan Wells(50)4:40Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA08/09/2013
55-59Nat Larson(55)4:49Flint Mile, Flint, MI08/25/2017
60-64Nat Larson(60)4:49Big Bang Mile, Holmdel, NJ07/16/2022
65-69Tom Bernhard(65)5:18Flint Mile, Flint, MI08/26/2016
70-74Doug Goodhue(71)5:43Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA08/09/2013
75-79Gary Patton(75)5:56Lincoln Mile, Lincoln, NE07/11/2021
80-84Sherwood Sagedahl(80)7:08Medtronic Mile, Minneapolis, MN05/09/2019
85-89John Desenberg(85)10:11Flint Mile, Flint, MI08/24/2019
85-89Louis Lodovico(89)10:11Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA08/09/2013
90-94Nathaniel Firestone(90)12:51Flint Mile, Flint, MI08/24/2019
95-99Mike Fremont(96)13:56Grand Blue Mile, Des Moines, IA04/25/2018


American LDR Road Records

40-44Andrea Pomaranski(40)4:47Liberty Mile, Pittsburgh, PA07/22/2022
40-44Magdalena Lewy-Boulet(40)#4:50Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA08/09/2013
45-49Sonja Friend-Uhl(47)#5:07Navy Mile, Washington, DC09/30/2018
50-54Doreen McCoubrie(51)#5:18Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA08/09/2013
55-59Marisa Sutera-Strange(56)#5:27Flint Road Mile, Flint, MI08/24/2019
60-64Kathryn Martin(61)#5:44Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA08/09/2013
65-69Sabra Harvey(68)#6:06Flint Road Mile, Flint, MI08/25/2017
70-74Jeannie Rice(71)#6:24Flint Road Mile, Flint, MI08/24/2019
75-79Joann Hall(78)8:36NorCal Mile, Redding, CA03/07/2020
75-79Ellen Nitz(76)#9:46Flint Road Mile, Flint, MI08/26/2016
80-84Joann Hall(80)8:38NorCal 1-Mile, Redding, CA03/05/2022

* mark pending   ^ course aided   # women only   AC = All Comers   MAC = Masters All Comers


Not to put pressure on anyone, but, with several days of registration yet to go, a number of American Record holders at the Mile distance are entered.

Jeannie Rice winning the 70-74 Division by over 5 Minutes in 6:25 at the 2019 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships at the Michigan Mile in Flint Michigan Photo courtesy of the Crim Fitness Foundation

Sabra Harvey 65-69 American 1 Mile Record holder and Jeannie Rice, 70-74 American 1 Mile Record holder respectively, are entered in the Women's race. Harvey has the tougher task ahead of her. Rice set the 70-74 record 4 years ago in Flint at 6:24. It is six years since Harvey ran her 6:06 to set the 65-69 record. Rice, on the other hand, could run 2 minutes slower than she did in 2019, and still set the record for 75-79 year olds, and she could run three minutes slower and set the record for 75-79 in a Women's only race. Considering that Rice just ran Boston, into a moderate headwind, in 3:33:15, averaging 8:08 per mile, a new Women's 75-79 record seems almost inevitable. Harvey is running well, but not at the level she was running in 2016 through 2018. She was the USATF Masters Athlete of the Year in 2017. In 2017, she set that 1 Mile record of 6:06. Age-Grading suggests the equivalent performance for Harvey now that she is 74 rather than 68, would be 6:40, 14 seconds slower than Rice's 70-74 record. Most likely Harvey is focused on running well for her Team Red Lizard and will let any records take care of themselves. Harvey recently ran a 5 Km in 23:57. That, too, suggests running a Mile in less than 6:40 would be a big ask.
Doug Goodhue giving it his all as he approaches the Finish Line and the 75-79 win in 6:17 at the 2017 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships hosted by the Michigan Mile in Flint Michigan Photo courtesy of Carter Sherline/Frog Prince Studios

Doug Goodhue, now in the 80-84 division, holds the American 70-74 12 Km Record and, more relevantly, the 70-74 One Mile Record at 5:43. Were he running as intensively as he was in 2013, the 80-84 record of 7:08 would be well within his reach. His 5:43 projects up to 6:53 for an 81-year-old who could achieve the same age grade. But Goodhue is coming back from knee surgery and has had some hamstring problems. He took some time off from training after the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta. He, like Harvey, will be primarily looking for team points in Indy. Although with Goodhue, you can never tell!

So far, those are the only Road Mile American Record Holders entered. There is one Indoor American 1 Mile record holder entered, David Westenberg. Westenberg broke the 65-69 Indoor Mile Record last December in Boston with a 5:10.61 effort. That is a good 7 seconds under the existing road mark. Last year at Rochester, Westenberg ran a 5:15, so cracking 5:18 outdoors on the roads is, by no means, guaranteed. The course at Indy should be faster. Whether the Sports Committee and the LOC opt for one or two waves for Masters Men, could also make a difference. Running in a smaller 60+ wave should thin out the crowd through which top 65+ runners navigate. That could be important from the start through the first turn. There will also be competitive pressure within the age division. Two runners who excel at longer distances on the road are dropping down to test their fast-twitch muscles. As that last note suggests, we need to look beyond existing record holders to see if other records are likely to be threatened.

David Westenberg, winning the 2019 Men's 60-64 National 1 Mile Championship in 5:13 at the Michigan Mile in Flint MI, hosted by the HAP Crim Festival of Races Photo courtesy of the Crim Fitness Foundation


40-44 Katie Sherron, who won the Masters race at the 2021 Club Cross Championships in Tallahassee is probably the top entrant so far. Based on a recent 17:34 5K, Sherron may threaten the 5:00 barrier but anything much below that is likely to be out of reach. Two other entrants, Angela Giuliani and Hid Gaff, are strong runners but are not likely to press Sherron. Neither Andrea Pomaranski's 4:47 nor Magdalena Lewy-Boulet's Women's only 4:50 appear to be threatened.

2021 Club XC

45-49 Euleen Josiah-Tanner finished 3rd in 45-49 in Atlanta at the 5 Km Championships and ran 11:19, while finishing 4th in the 3000 meters at the WMA Indoor Championships. She is the strongest entrant so far. Josiah-Tanner should be well under 6:00, and probably under 5:55, but Sonja Friend-Uhl's 5:07 record is not at risk.

50-54 Cassandra Crane is the sole entrant at this point in this division. Her aim is mostly oon the team competition. Along with two Genesee Valley Harrier teammates entered in the 55-59 division, she is looking for a strong showing in the 50+ team division. Doreen McCoubrie's 5:18 shouold be safe for a while longer. 

55-59 Marisa Sutera Strange's 55-59 1-Mile American Record of 5:27 is in danger. Fiona Bayly does not currently hold any 1 Mile records, but she did just break Marisa Sutera Strange's 55-59 course record at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships. And she is the 55-59 American Record holder in the 8 Km and 15 Km. She clocked the 30:05 8K at the end of July last year in the NYRR Team Champs race and recorded a 58:55 at the Ted Corbitt 15K in NY last December. In early September she ran 5:19 to win her division at the Fifth Avenue Mile. The Fifth Avenue Mile is considered one of the fastest Road Miles. A straight-shot event, it is not record eligible. Bayly will have some competition in the division.

Fiona Bayly capturing the 2019 USATF Masters Mile 50-54 Title at the Michigan Mile in Flint MI, hosted by the HAP Crim Festival of Races Photo courtesy of the Crim Fitness Foundation

Jennifer Harvey, like Bayly, from New York City, ran a 5:29 at the Libert1y Mile in Pittsburgh last July. This March, she turned in a 5:23 indoor Mile at the NYRR Night at the Races. She should be able to push Bayly; if they can push each other, maybe Bayly or Harvey would have a record at the end of the day. It is a sign of the strength of the field in this division already that Lisa Veneziano, who holds the 12 Km American record at 46:13. 

From Left: Lisa Veneziano, Marisa Sutera Strange, and Tammy Nowik vying for 4-5-6 Overall in the Women's Race at the 2018 USATF Masters Championships at the Michigan Mile in Flint MI, hosted by the HAP Crim Festival of Races Photo courtesy Carter Sherline, Frog Prince Studios 

Veneziano finished 2nd to Bayly last year in 5:40. She could run faster this year and still only finish 3rd. Veneziano loves to compete though, so we will have to see how things unfold on race day!

60-64 Suzanne La Burt, new to the 60-64 division, will battle Deb Torneden, at least, for the win. La Burt ran 5:57 at Rochester last year, finishing 3rd in 55-59 behind Michelle Rohl and Veneziano. La Burt ran two seconds faster two months later at the Big Bang Mile. Torneden ran 6:01 at the Ad Astra Mile around St Patrick's Day. Her winning 5:36 in the 1500 Meter Run at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships this past March is also consistent with a low 6-minute mile. Torneden ran that one from the front, so the time is probably a good indicator for a track effort. Kathy Martin's 5:44 AR does not yet seem to be at risk.

65-69 Carol Poenisch ran a 24:21 5K in late May, after running a 25:26 at the Corktown 5K in Detroit just before St Pat's Day. If Poenisch is on the upswing, a sub-7 Mile should be possible. That makes her the favorite among current entrants but Harvey's 6:06 looks safe for a while longer.

70-74 Harvey, as noted above, is the favorite. Not only does she hold the 60-64 American Mile record, she also ran a 23:57 5 K in April. That suggests a sub-7-minute mile is likely for Harvey but that a sub-6:30 is probably not within her reach. Her main focus will be leading her Red Lizard teammates in for a team win, assuming they have a 3rd teammate poised to make the trip. Rice's 6:26 record should be secure.

75-79 As noted, Rice continues to amaze on the roads. Her 3:33:15 Boston Marathon this year provides ample evidence of that. On a day that was not conducive to a fast Boston Marathon Rice averaged 8:08 per mile for the 26.22 miles. The 75-79 American Record for the Mile is 8:36, and 9:46 for a Women's only race. Both should be obliterated on the 24th! Rice continues to inspire in terms of what is possible for humans as we age!

80-84 No entries as yet.

85-89 Joyce Hodges-Hite goes after her fourth victory this year in the Masters National Grand Prix. Her 13:37 1500-Meter Run in last year's Senior Games suggests something around 15 minutes seems possible. Regardless of the time, Hodges-Hite will establish a new American Record once she finishes the event!


Start of the Men's Race at the 2022 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships at the Rochester Mile Photo by Megan Nier, courtesy of the Genesee Valley Harriers

40-44 As a 39-year-old in 2022, Mark Guyer won the Open Division of the Monumental Mile in 4:24.05! The aging effect suggests that converts to a 4:26 this year. But such small changes can be overcome by other effects related to conditioning and the exact weather and racing conditions on the day. Jaret Herter and Thomas Burns will give chase. Herter finished 3rd overall last year in Rochester at 4:35 but followed that with a 4:29 at the Main Street Memorial Mile in Pennsylvania. His 4:18 at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships in Louisville converts to a 4:37 Mile. It seems probable he would run a faster Mile this June than in March. In fact, at the Main Street Memorial Mile this May he ran almost 7 seconds faster than last year. That suggests a sub 4:30 mile might not be out of reach for Herter in Indy. Burns finished 16th overall in the highly competitive Club Cross Country Championships, contributing key points for his team's win in San Francisco. At the USATF Indoor Championships in March, Burns edged Herter for 2nd by a half second! The American 40-44 Mile record of 4:22 set by Neville Davey will likely last beyond the weekend but it could be close.

45-49 The three main protagonists should be David Angell, Christopher Hernandez, and Jasen Ritter. Angell spent much of 2021 and 2022 either injured or rehabbing long standing ankle/foot issues. Following a PRP treatment after cross nationals in Richmond, Angell appeared to be back in top form with a 3rd place overall finish at Dedham in 33:15. If we go back to a 5 km in 2021, Angell's 15:43 at age 44, equates to a 4:38. Using the age grade calculator allows me to say that is equivalent, roughly, to a 4:42 for a 46-year-old at the same level of fitness. The 33:15 10 Km is more recent but further away in distance covered. That time equates, roughly, to a 4:50 Mile. Hernandez ran 4:48 to finish 3rd in the division at Rochester last year. Ritter, also, seems to fit into that same range. He ran 4:44 in the 2021 Monumental Mile. Aging that up to 2023 as with Angell's 5Km gives us a 4:49. Angell appears to be the favorite among those three. A sub-4:24 to take down the record is not in the cards.

50-54 Mike Madsen, 46 at the time, finished 2nd overall, losing to a Chuck Schneekloth lean at the tape, at the 2019 Masters 1 Mile Championships in Flint. He recorded a 4:37. He is back! If all has gone well with his prep, Madsen has a shot at taking down the 4:40 AR of Alan Wells

From Left: Mike Madsen edged for the Overall Win in the Men's Race by Chuck Schneekloth at the 2019 USATF Masters Mile Championships at the Michigan Mile in Flint MI, hosted by the HAP Crim Festival of Races

The primary result in favor of that quest is Madsen's 4:46 in winning the Masters title at the 4th of July Downtown Mile in Flagstaff, AZ last summer. The NCAA has an altitude adjustment calculator to convert high altitude performances to equivalent ones at sea level. That calculator suggests that Madsen's 4:46 was roughly equivalent to a 4:36 at sea level. An extra year of age could add a couple of seconds but that would still leave Madsen under 4:40. No one else entered at present seems likely to run much under 5:30.

55-59 Christian Cushing-murray is interrupting his busy social calendar to make a quick trip to Indy. Flying in on Friday and back in the air by 12:30 pm after the race, he needs the race to go off on time! Then all he has to do is run a 4:48 or better and he is under the American Record. 'Cush' is one of the very few athletes to have had an exceptional professional career and then continue competing as a top Masters athlete through his 50's. At the 1500 Meter Olympic Trials of 1992, he placed 6th*. His best 1500 Meter time was 3:37.94 and his best Mile time was 3:55.2. As a Masters athlete, from 2009 to 2013, he owned the Masters title at1 the Carlsbad 5000. His fastest victory was a 14:40 that netted him the Overall, not just Masters, win in the non-Elite section. But perhaps his sweetest victory came in 2016, when he took the title in the Masters race with a 15:11 at age 48! Six years later, in 2022, he won the 50-54 5 Km national title on an 'Atlanta-flat' course in 16:42. Two months later he would run 15 seconds faster at Carlsbad, again winning the 50-54 division. 

Christian 'Cush' Cushing-murray wins the 2022 Men's 50-54 National 5 Km Championship in Atlanta GA at the Publix Atlanta Marathon Weekend Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Track Club

Cushing-murray would be the first to say, that was then this is now. The 55-59 record is 4:49, set by Nat Larson in 2017 at the 1 Mile Championships in Flint. Cushing-murray was at the Portland Track Festival last weekend to go after the 4:36.94 track record for the Mile. At 4:39.28 he came up short. But that suggests a 4:48 or better mile is in his wheelhouse right now. Todd Straka, who clocked a 4:34.84 Indoor 1500 Meters at the USATF Championships this past March, has a good shot at breaking 5 minutes but cannot push Cushing-murray to a sub-4:48.

60-64 Unless Nat Larson is a late entry, his American Record, set at the Big Bang Mile in New Jersey last July, is secure. Larson is the leading 60-64 distance runner right now from the Mile to the Half Marathon. Two very strong runners are entered, Joe Mora and Rick Lee. They went 1-2 last year in 60-64 at Rochester, with both receiving the same rounded up time of 5:04. Lee is a tremendous runner at all distances, up through the Comrades 55-Mile race he contested this past weekend. But Mora is the wilier miler and typically has the better kick. After a tough Comrades race, Lee declared that no harm was done and that he will be ready for the Mile on the 24th. Lee has done quicker turnarounds from Ultras in the past. It will be interesting to see if Steve Schmidt and/or John Van Danacker show up to compete. At the 5 Km Championship in Atlanta, that Larson and Mora both missed, it was Lee-Van Danacker-Schmidt, separated by just 6 seconds!

65-69 As noted above, David Westenberg is the leading Miler entered and will be trying his best to get the American Record set by Tom Bernhard at 5:18 in 2016 at the Championships in Flint. The 5:10.61 Mile, that he ran indoors last December to take the American Record, shows that he has an excellent shot at the road record of 5:18. Jacob Nur has been breaking 65-69 American Records left and right. He currently holds American Records at 5 Km, 10 Km, 10 Miles, and Half Marathon. If he could run as well for a Mile as he runs for a 5 Km, his age grade equivalent mile to his 17:00 record would be about 4:59. But he ran the Mile of Truth in Danville, CA on May 8th in 5:19. It appears to be his first 1 Mile race since 2014. If so, he may have been using it as a time trial/test run. 

Jacob Nur finishes off his 58:34 American 65-69 Record run at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Mile Championships at the Sactown Ten Miler, hosted by the Sacramento Running Association SRA Photo courtesy of SRA

Even at 5:19, he can press Westenberg. If Nur can run under 5:15, the 65-69 division will have a 'barn-burner' of a race down Meridian Street toward Monument Circle!

70-74 The only division rival who has been able to beat Robert Qualls at any race from a mile to a half marathon over the last year, has been Nolan Shaheed, who turned the trick in Rochester last year when he edged Qualls for the 70-74 title, 5:39 to 5:40. 

Robert 'Jerry' Qualls approaching the finish line and the 70-74 Win at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships at the By Hook or By Crook Race in Highlands, NJ, hosted by USATF New Jersey Photo courtesy of Jason Timochko

That would have given Shaheed the record had the course measurement held up under post-race verification. Perhaps Shaheed will register to compete again? Whether he does or not, Qualls should be poised to run under the 5:43 American Record posted by Doug Goodhue at the first USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships in Pittsburgh. 

75-79 So far, Dave Glass and Jim May have the strongest Mile credentials of the entrants. They went 2-3 at Rochester last year in 6:37 and 6:38 (gun times). Keith Yeates's strong performance in Atlanta, finishing 2nd in 23:31, suggests he can break 7:00 but it seems unlikely that he could keep pace with Glass, or with May if he runs as he did last year. But Yeates has beaten May at the races they have both run this year. The big question is whether either of the two Gary's will enter. Gary Patton won the event last year in Rochester with a 5:59 (net)/6:02 (gun) time. He holds the record at 5:56, set in 2021. If he enters and the stars align, he might be able to lower that mark. But first he has to enter. The other Gary, Gary Ostwald, has won the last four Masters LDR events he has entered. At Club Cross and at Cross Nationals, he won with a kick to the finish that allowed him to catch and pass the leader in one case and kick away from a rival. At the 10 Km, he again was able to kick away from all rivals up the last rise to the finish. The character of those victories suggest he would be a formidable opponent in the Mile, should he enter. None of the current entrants can threaten Patton's American Record, and that would probably still be true even if Ostwald entered.

80-84 The 70-74 record holder in the mile, Doug Goodhue is entered. If he had been running continuously without issues, he would be a strong favorite to take down the American record. The 80-84 mark was set by Sherwood Sagedahl in 2019 in Minneapolis. But Goodhue had knee surgery last December, was coming back from it and had some good training leading into Atlanta. But his hamstring was bothering him over the last week or so before the race and it acted up during warm-ups. He still won the race in 26:27. He then purposely took a few weeks off to make sure the hamstring was recovered before resuming serious training. Goodhue is still the favorite to take the win, as long as the hamstring does not act up during the race, but breaking the record might be a stretch too far. We shall see.

85-89 Adrian Craven is the lone entrant at this point. Last year he won this division at Rochester in 10:40. Ordinary aging from 85 to 86, according to the age grading tables, could add 20 seconds to that time. Even if he could repeat the 10:40, which would be quite an achievement, he would not be able to threaten the record. It is currently shared by Louis Lodovico and John Desenberg, who ran their 10:11 record times in 2013 and 2019 respectively.

Based on those currently entered, anywhere from zero to seven athletes might run faster than the existing American Records. It would be impressive if the top number is reached!


Luckily the Monumental Mile has tracked its records; not all races do that. With some events, the course and event records are the same. That was true for the Monumental Mile up through 2021. They then altered their course from straight-shot down Meridian Street to a record-eligible layout with two 90-degree turns. The Event records cover both the straight-shot and the record-eligible course. The Course Records are just from the fastest runner in the division last year. Many of the Course Records are very approachable for a nationally competitive runner. That is also true of some of the Event Records as there have been no elite Masters fields in years past. But there is one record from the straight-shot years, when it was not record-eligible that is three seconds faster than the Men's 45-49 American Record. Steve Maki ran 4:21 in 2015. No one is likely to touch that this year! But the Course Record for that same age division is 6:05. At least 7 of the 9 athletes currently entered will, almost surely, run faster than the course record. Take a look at the Event and Course Records posted below. This could be a runner's big chance to brag that they beat the Course Record (and/or Event record) at the USATF Masters National 1 Mile Championships...and that will be true even if several other runners in the division come in ahead! It also means that athletes who do not quite get that American Record they were shooting for, may get the consolation prize of an Event or Course record. Pick out a record and see if you can crush it!


[Courtesy of Rob Mullett, Beyond Monumental]


DIVISION     NAME                         TIME      YEAR


40-44           Kim Novak                 5:31       2022

45-49           Chikage Castle           5:44       2016

50-54           Lucie Sulewski           5:42       2021

55-59           Julia Orzesk                7:33       2019

60-64           Lisa Green                  7:16       2019

65-69           Char Cooper               7:59       2019

70-74           Patty Palencer             11:25     2019

75-79           Tessie Lloyd Jones     9:52       2019

80+               ----------------            --------    ------

90+               ----------------            --------    ------


40-44           Jesse Davis                 4:35       2022

45-49           Steve Maki                 4:21       2015

50-54           Joseph Baer                5:07       2019

55-59           Tim Mylin                  5:19       2019

60-64           Tim Mylin                  5:21       2021

65-69           Doug Balogh              6:07       2019

70-74           Doug Balogh              6:46       2022

75-79           Steve Gilbert              7:51       2021

80+               Richard Campi          11:00     2019

90+               -----------------           -------      ------


DIVISION     NAME                         TIME      YEAR


40-44           Kim Novak                 5:31       2022

45-49           Loralee Weaver          6:08       2022

50-54           Lucie Sulewski          5:51       2022

55-59           Carla Roberson          8:46       2022

60-64           Julia Orzesk               7:54       2022

65-69           Barbara Ellwein         11:35     2022

70-74           Char Cooper              8:06       2022

75-79           ----------------             --------    ------

80+               ----------------            --------    ------

90+               ----------------            --------    ------


40-44           Jesse Davis                4:35       2022

45-49           Brent Dawes              6:05       2022

50-54           Jason Newport           5:11       2022

55-59           Christopher Zevers    5:25       2022

60-64           Gary Moore               6:51       2022

65-69           Jeff Rhodes                6:41       2022

70-74           Doug Balogh             6:46       2022

75-79           Steve Gilbert             7:57       2022

80+               Richard Campi         15:13     2022

90+               -----------------           -------     ------