Thursday, July 6, 2023

American Records-Six of Them! The USATF Masters Road Mile at Indy

June 27 2023 Fleet Masters runners from coast to coast and in between converged on Indy. Some were middle distance specialists; many were running the short race to see what their fast twitch muscles could do or were simply there for the team. Whatever their motivation, with a warm, summer day and a flat, fast course in front of them, they were ready to roll.

The Finish Line at Monument Circle in Downtown Indianapolis, the morning before the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo from Beyond Monumental Facebook post

AMERICAN RECORDS Note: All American Records set are pending until they are ratified. The event must be USATF sanctioned and the course must be record eligible and USATF certified. Record eligibility requires a drop of less than a meter per kilometer and the distance from start to finish can be no more than half the distance being run. For Masters, the records are based on chip time. My preview suggested many American Records were possible; almost all toppled. WOMEN 55-59 Two runners who are old running buddies were primed to make it happen. Fiona Bayly New York, NY Unattached and Jennifer Harvey New York NY Central Park TC both competed for Urban Athletics a few years back. Then Harvey decided to dial down and focus more on the track and middle distances while Bayly kept up her running on the roads, from the Mile to the Marathon. Bayly set 55-59 American records at the 8 Km and 15 Km last summer and winter and won her division at the Fifth Avenue Mile in 5:19. Harvey ran a 5:29 at the Liberty Mile last summer, a 5:23 Indoor Mile at the NYRR Night at the Races meet and clocked an early 5:32 road mile at the Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines in April. If they could push each other, Marisa Sutera Strange's 5:27 AR from 2019 would be at risk. When the gun went off, the top 40's and 50's athletes took it out hard. Bayly went out with Harvey hanging back slightly for the first quarter mile. As they approached the half mile, Harvey crept up on Bayly's shoulder and then gradually eased forward until she had a lead of 2-3 meters. They both crossed the halfway mat in 2:42. They passed some 40-year-olds inside a quarter mile to go, and Bayly felt like she was starting to gain on Harvey, but if so, Bayly ran out of racecourse.

Jennifer Harvey Left and Fiona Bayly Right in a near dead heat for the 55-59 Win and the 55-59 American Record-Harvey won by a fraction of a second at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo Credit: Terry Fletcher-posted initially at USATF-New York

Harvey held for the win and the Record at 5:24.99, by USATF Masters LDR rule, rounded up to 5:25! Bayly was less than half a second back. Such a tight race; the victory and the record tasted sweet, no doubt! 75-79 There was no doubt that Jeannie Rice Concord Twnshp, OH would run faster than Joann Hall's 8:36 American record, set just three years ago. After all, on this past Patriot's Day in Boston, she ripped off a 3:33:15 Marathon into a moderate northeast headwind. Anyone can see that is an amazing feat. But then do the math; that represents carrying an 8:08 pace per mile over the 26.21875 miles of a Marathon. Rice only had to run her Marathon pace to break the record easily. But, of course, she would run it much faster. Rice holds the 70-74 Mile record of 6:29, set in 2019 when she was 71. She would not run that fast now, 4 years later, but she would run plenty fast! Rice hit the half mile split in 3:21 and slowed imperceptibly over the second half for a 3:23 closing half and a new American Record for the Road Mile of 6:44! Rice had taken the Record down by almost two minutes! 85-89 The only thing more certain than Rice taking down the 75-79 American Record was Joyce Hodges-Hite Atlanta GA establishing a new American Mile Record for Women 85-89. With no record in place for that age, Hodges-Hite had to start, and then she had to run the course and finish. Whether she ran it in ten minutes, fifteen minutes or twenty minutes would not matter; she would have the new American Record. Of course, it is also true that the faster she runs, the longer the record is likely to last. Hodges-Hite kept to a pace she could easily manage, crossing the half mile mat in 7:29 (chip). Hodges-Hite closed off her race with a 7:56 second half to establish the record at 15:25. That will now be a goal for her peers to shoot at. 

Joyce Hodges-Hite finishes off her 1 Mile Run which established the new American Record for Women 85-89 at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo Credit: Terry Fletcher, courtesy of Beyond Monumental

MEN 50-54 Mike Madsen's Flagstaff, AZ Team Run Flagstaff hometown is at nearly 7,000 feet. Madsen enjoys his altitude training. He dropped down to Indy's 732 feet above sea level with a glint in his eye. In 2019, he raced in Flint Michigan at the USATF Masters Road Mile Championships. Madsen was nipped at the finish line by Chuck Schneekloth, with a classic lean at the tape, for the Overall win. This time Madsen was after the 50-54 record of 4:40, held by Alan Wells since 2013. He had confidence in his training and knew, no doubt, that his 4:46 at the 2022 Flagstaff Downtown Mile converts, according to the NCAA, to a 4:36 at sea level. It looks like they were right! Madsen was aiming for a negative split, hitting the half mile in 2:22. He accelerated from there. David Angell who was closer to the front, said Madsen 'blew by me like I was running in place!' With a 2:16 second half mile, Madsen crossed the line at 4:38, with two seconds to spare! Madsen was the only Record breaker to negative split! 55-59 Perhaps the only entrant in the field who has a sub-4-minute mile in his running résumé, Christian Cushing-Murray Orange, CA Cal Coast TC arrived in Indianapolis knowing that he had run a 4:39.28 at the Portland Track Festival three weeks earlier. Nat Larson holds the current American Record at 4:49. Of course, track miles tend to be faster than road miles and LDR rules require that all road times be rounded up to the next whole second for record purposes. Still, having 7.71 seconds to play with, must have helped in terms of confidence. Cushing-Murray took it out hard but then settled in behind the faster 40's and Madsen. He crossed the halfway mat in 2:23 and brought it home in 2:24 for a 4:47 and Cushingg-murray had the 55-59 American Record! 70-74 In the summer of 2022, Robert Qualls, came storming back from a couple of uneven years of running. But he has been remarkably consistent since, taking the 70-74 division crown at almost every national Masters championship he has entered. He has competed on the track, on the turf, and on the roads. At the 2022 World Masters Athletics WMA Outdoor Championships in Finland, Qualls captured the Gold medal in the 70-74 6 Km Cross Country event, and the Silver at the 10 Km Road race. At the 2023 WMA Indoor Championships this past March, Qualls earned Gold in the 10 Km Road race. Silver in Cross Country and Bronzes on the track in 1500M and 3000M. In the meantime, it has been Gold Medals galore at Masters National Road Championships. The one gold medal that eluded him last year was where he finished 2nd to track legend, Nolan Shaheed in the Masters 1 Mile Championships in Rochester, running 5:39. That course was found to be short, but it was still likely, but uncertain, that Qualls (and Shaheed) would have been faster on an accurately measured mile course. This time, Qualls did not have to fret about Shaheed, who did not enter. Qualls knew he was fitter than last year. He just had to execute! Crossing the halfway mat in 2:45, Qualls had put himself in position for the Record! He slowed to 2:50 for the last half mile but held everything together for a record-smashing 5:35! Qualls was a good 8 seconds under the 5:43 established by Doug Goodhue in 2013. Good news! The Local Organizers reported on July 3rd that the course has now been post-verified by a WA 'A' measurer, in keeping with the requirements of the USATF Road Racing Technical Council and was found to be an accurately measured course. That hurdle has been cleared!

Those six record-breaking performances highlighted a morning of dramatic and competitive overall and age division races.

OVERALL CHAMPIONSHIPS MEN My preview highlighted 7 contenders, in alphabetical order: David Angell Blue Ridge, VA UnattachedThomas Burns Westfield IN Indiana Elite AC; Mark Guyer Fishers, IN Indiana Elite AC; Jaret Herter Rochester NY Genesee Valley Harriers GVH; Bryan Lindsay Zionsville IN Indiana Elite AC; Madsen. I should have included Chris Bielsa-Brown Kansas City MO Kansas City Smoke. He got to fly in under the radar.

Angell took the bronze medal at the 2017 Masters Mile Championships in 4:39. His most recent 5K was a 15:48. At 46 he was a longshot for the podium but had a shot at top 5. 

Burns finished 2nd at the USATF Masters Indoor 1500M Championships, finishing just ahead of Herter with a time that converts, according to the MileSplit calculator, to a 4:38 Mile. 

Guyer's claim to being a podium contender relies on his outstanding 4:25 at last year's Monumental Mile. 

Herter, as noted, finished just behind Burns in the 1500M at the Masters Championships in March. Herter finished 3rd overall in the Masters Mile Championships last year in 4:35. Shortly after that he ran a 4:29 at the Main Street Mile in Pennsylvania. 

Lindsay, running for BYU, was a silver medalist at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor 1500M. He won the Masters 5 Km overall championships in 2022 with a 15:35 on a somewhat hilly Atlanta course. He is familiar with the setting; he ran a 4:21 6 years ago in the Monumental Mile to finish 9th in the Elite Wave. 

Madsen is focused on his record effort but anyone who can break 4:40 is a threat for the podium.

Ritter ran 4:44 on this course in 2021 but also ran a 15:58 5K in the Colts Back to Football 5K. That equates via age grading to a 4:42. 

Bielsa-Brown ran a 4:51 at the Grand Blue Mile in late April. I may have undervalued his 15:59 5K this May. But that, too, would have him only a little faster, age grade equivalent to a 4:43. Bielsa-Brown must be on an upward trajectory.

In the end, I picked Guyer-Linday-Burns and suggested that provided an incentive to Herter to break them up. Whether he read that or not, he apparently took it to heart as a challenge.

Herter took it out hard and dared everyone to go with him. Only two did. Herter passed the halfway mark in 2:14, with Guyer right on his heels at 2:15. Lindsay was on Guyer’s shoulder, also at 2:15. When Lindsay kicked, Guyer tried to go with him, but could not. Herter held Lindsay at bay as long as he could. In the end Lindsay had a strong win in 4:25! 

Bryan Lindsay Captures the Overall Win in the Masters (Road) Mile at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo Credit: Terry Fletcher, courtesy of Beyond Monumental

Herter claimed 2nd in 4:30, with Guyer 3rd in 4:33. 

Mark Guyer finishing up his Men's Bronze Medal Overall Mile Run at the  2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo Credit: Mark Guyer-FB Post 

Madsen passed 4 runners in the final 500 meters, to take 4th overall in 4:38 with Bielsa-Brown 5th at 4:41. Angell was sixth in 4:41.1, with Burns at 4:41.3, and Dan Cleary South Boston MA Heartbreakers at 4:41.8

Bryan Lindsay 4:25     Jaret Herter 4:30     Mark Guyer 4:33

WOMEN Top contenders in this race included: 

Fiona Bayly New York, NY Unattached Second in the 2019 Masters Mile Championships, Bayly has continued at a high pace since then. She is now the American 55-59 Record holder at 8 Km 30:05 and 15 Km 58:55. She won the 55-59 division at the Fifth Avenue Mile last September in 5:19! She was on the Overall podium at the USATF Masters 10 Km championships with a 38:10. She would be firing on all cylinders in an effort to get under the 5:27 American 55-59 Record of Marisa Sutera Strange, set in 2019.

Hidi Gaff Ft. Wayne IN Three Rivers Racing Sixth overall at the USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in 18:39 chip, Gaff has also run some Indoor 1500M's. After running some longer, 10 Km to 25Km, races Gaff dropped back down to the Brian Diemer 5K, with a USATF certified course, and ripped a 17:58. The Diemer 5K has been one of the faster 5K courses in the Midwest. Still, taken all in all, it suggests Gaff could well run down around 5:20 or better and be in solid contention.

Angela Giuliani Irving TX Unattached finished 4th in the 35-39 division at the Fifth Avenue Mile last year in 5:16, three seconds faster than Bayly. This will be her first national championship race as a Masters athlete.

Jennifer Harvey New York NY Central Park TC Last July, Harvey ran a 5:29 mile at the Liberty (Road) Mile in Pittsburgh. She ran a 5:23 Indoor Mile in early March at the NY Road Runners 'Night at the Races.' She prepped further for this road mile by racing at the Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines IA. She had an off day, clocking 5:32. If she could run closer to her March Indoor time, she would be a threat! Like Bayly, she was gunning for Strange's 5:27 American 55-59 Record.

Katie Sherron Tallahassee FL Gulf Winds TC won the Masters Women's race overall at the 2021 USATF Club Cross Country Championships. Speedy cross country runners are not necessarily speedy runners on the roads. But Sherron showed she has that covered with a 17:34 at the Palace Saloon 5K, a certified course in Tallahassee. That is the fastest 5K time among these rivals for the Mile crown.

Perry Shoemaker Vienna VA Unattached Not known as a Miler, Shoemaker has plenty of credentials from longer races. Those include three consecutive wins at the USATF Masters 12 Km Championships in Alexandria VA from 2013-15 and three Masters Wins at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in Washington DC in 2016, 2018 and 2019. More recently she finished 2nd in the 3000M event at the USATF Master1s Indoor Championships in 10:08 and ran a swift 18:08 5K. Both suggest a 5:20 or better Mile should be within Shoemaker's reach. McCoubrie's 5:18 American 50-54 Record from 2013 might be at risk.

Note: Abby Dean might have contended but made the age division podium at Grandma's Marathon in 3:05:56 7 days before. Adrenalin carried her through the first 600 meters, despite the marathon in her legs, but then reality kicked in.

Sherron left nothing to chance, getting out fast and hitting the halfway point in 2:34. Her closest rivals were 30 meters back. The others crossed the half mile mat in a bunch with just over a second separating 2nd through 6th. It was Shoemaker 2:40.5, Giuliani 2:40.9, Gaff 2:41.1, Bayly 2:41.4, Harvey 2:41.9. Sherron accelerated from there, more than doubling her lead, to take the win in a nifty 5:06! 

Katie Sherron Wins the Overall Women's Championship in the Masters (Road) Mile at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo Credit: Terry Fletcher, courtesy of Beyond Monumental 

Shoemaker kept the pressure on and gradually created some space back to the others. Gaff was trying desperately to hold on but felt herself slipping almost imperceptibly back from Shoemaker. The other three were a meter back and then 2 meters back from Gaff but were giving no quarter to the other two! Shoemaker outlasted Gaff to take second in 5:20. Gaff crossed the finish line, less than ten meters ahead of the other three who were in a mad dash to the finish line! Harvey had the edge, getting the 4th place overall in 5:25.00, with Bayly 5th in 5:25.3, and Giuliani 6th in 5:25.4!

Katie Sherron 5:06    Perry Shoemaker 5:20    Hidi Gaff 5:23


WOMEN 40-44 Sherron, Gaff, and Giuliani are all 40-44 athletes. See Overall recap above.

Katie Sherron 5:06     Hidi Gaff 5:23     Angela Giuliani 5:26

Course/Event Records 40-44 Sherron, Gaff and Giuliani bettered the previous course and event record of 5:31, which are based on gun time. Sherron will now be listed as the Event and Course Record holder at 5:06.

45-49 Euleen Josiah-Tanner Atlanta GA T.H.E. Track Team and Julie Mercado Springboro OH Dayton TC seemed the two most likely to be in for the division win. Mercado's performances in the 2022 Dash for Cash Mile 5:33, a 5:13 in the 1500M at the 2022 MTF Outdoor championships, and a 19:28 5K this spring. It appeared she was competitive if the winning time would be in the 5:30's. Josiah-Tanner tends to run longer than Mercado, favoring the 3000 M indoors and the 5000 and 10,000 Outdoors. For the last two years she has also participated frequently in Masters LDR Road and Cross Country Championships. She took 3rd in 45-49 at Atlanta with a 19:20 5K on a rather hilly course. That equates, via age grading, to a 5:33 Mile. Her 4th place 3000M effort, 11:19, at the World Indoor Championships in Poland at the end of March, converts to a 5:35. That probably should have made Josiah-Tanner a slight favorite, although I picked Mercado to win in my preview. I expected Yasamin Dahlstrom Indianapolis IN Unattached and Hiroko Guarneri Villa Rica GA Atlanta TC to have a tight contest for 3rd. Dahlstrom ran 6:23 on this very course last year. Dahlstrom backed that up with a 26:35 for a 6K race, roughly equivalent to a 6:20. Guarneri probably had the edge on 5K prowess. She finished 10th in Atlanta with a 22:40 that equates to a 6:33. Because the Atlanta course is challenging it might be equivalent to a 6:30 on a flatter course. I felt the times were roughly equivalent, but that Dahlstrom had the edge with the0 faster recent mile and knowledge of the course, plus racing in her hometown. Theresa Hector, with a 5K time of 24:22 last year and a 1:24:14 15K this year, seemed likely to be a bit slower than the rest.

From the differences between chip and gun time, it appears that Mercado started in the first row and Josiah-Tanner the 2nd. Nonetheless, Josiah-Tanner was able to move to the front of the 45-49 field by the halfway mat. She crossed it in 2:46, with a 25-meter lead on Mercado. Josiah-Tanner continued to pull away over the last half mile, adding another 4 seconds to her margin. She crossed the finish line with the 45-49 win in 5:34, ten seconds ahead of Mercado. In this case, strength won over speed. Dahlstrom, it turned out, was able to get out fast and put some distance on Guarneri. Dahlstrom crossed the half mile in 3:05 with a 25-meter lead on Guarneri. At that point, Guarneri was struggling to get past Hector, who was a second ahead. Dahlstrom tired a bit but not as much as her two chasers. A 3:15 last half mile gave her a fasters time than last year and the bronze medal in a national championship! Guarneri righted her ship, caught Hector and created a gap of three seconds over the last half mile, finishing 4th in 6:42. Josiah-Tanner proved that she can run a fast road mile!

Euleen Josiah-Tanner 5:34     Julie Mercado 5:44     Yasamin Dahlstrom 6:21

Hidi Gaff Left and Julie Mercado Right Relaxing and Enjoying Friendly Rival post-race
Camaraderie at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo courtesy of Beyond Monumental

Course/Event Records 45-49 Josiah-Tanner and Mercado both bettered the course record of 6:08. Josiah-Tanner lowered and Mercado matched the previous event record of 5:55. Josiah-Tanner will now be listed as the Course and Event record holder at 5:34

50-54 Shoemaker nailed 2nd overall so she took this division title as well. I initially thought that Abby Dean might press her in the overall competition. Dean finished 6th last year in the Mile Championships at Rochester in 5:33. As that course was more technical and had a few ups and downs, I thought Dean might break 5:30 on a flatter course with fewer turns. She validated that view with a 4:24 effort in May at the Main Street Mile in Pennsylvania. I was not aware until the event transpired that Dean had competed at Granma's Marathon on the 17th of June. Cassandra Crane Chittenango NY GVH, it seemed, could focus on doing well for her team. She would be likely to break 7 minutes but not 6. So she would likely claim the bronze medal. When the gun sounded, the fastest 40's led them out at a very fast pace. Shoemaker and Dean were a few yards behind them. It appears that Shoemaker was able to keep her cadence going but Dean started to slip back by the time they hit the first turn at about 500 meters. By the time they hit the halfway mat, Shoemaker was 5 seconds ahead and the gap was growing. Dean went as far as she could on adrenaline. Shoemaker took the win in 5:20, with Dean 2nd. Crane ran a solid race for her team and also captured the individual bronze medal.

Perry Shoemaker 5:20     Abby Dean 5:49     Cassandra Crane 6:49

Women's 50-54 Podium- From Left Cassandra Crane, Perry Shoemaker, Abby Dean at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by A Dean 

Course/Event Records 50-54 Shoemaker lowered both the course record of 5:51 and the event record of 5:42. Dean, despite the marathon in her legs, bettered the course record. Shoemaker is now the course and event record holder at 5:20.

55-59 As noted in the overall recap above, two of the competitors from this division, Bayly and Harvey, featured in the Overall competition. It was an epic race between these two former teammates. Bayly and Harvey are still friends, but when the gun goes off, the gloves come off; they are both fierce competitors. They were both chasing the Overall podium, the 5:27 American Record, and the division championship. Bayly went through the first quarter mile a few strides behind the leaders; Harvey was laying off the pace. At the half mile, Bayly was still ahead but could feel the presence of Harvey. Bayly clocked 2:41.4 to Harvey's 2:41.8. Harvey crept ahead of Bayly by 203 yards but could not make a decisive break. As they approached the finish line, Bayly felt she was gaining ever so slightly on Harvey, but, all of a sudden, lost some of her control and almost stumbled. Bayly kept herself upright and crossed the line a fraction of a second behind Harvey. Harvey had the division win and the American Record in 5:25. See coverage in first paragraph of this article. Bayly's time was rounded up to 5:26. Lisa Veneziano Fenton MI Pursuit of Excellence TC is usually a big part of the story in this division, often vying for the win. Among other accomplishments, Veneziano is the American 55-59 Record holder in the 12 Km at 46:13. She has earned Silver medals at the 2019 Masters Mile Championships in Flint and at last year's championship in Rochester. In this case, she did not get to mix it up for the division win, but she had no trouble landing on the podium in 3rd. She finished 22 seconds ahead of the 4th place finisher, Roxanne Springer.

Jennifer Harvey 5:25     Fiona Bayly 5:26     Lisa Veneziano 5:36

Course/Event Records 55-59 : Harvey, Bayly, Veneziano, Melissa Chiti Durham NC Pursuit of Excellence TC, and Brenda Osovski Candor NY GVH all ran faster than the existing Course record 8:46 and the Event record 7:33. Gail Geiger Davison MI GVH also broke the course record. Harvey is now the holder of the 55-59 Course and Event Record at 5:25

60-64 Suzanne La Burt Gr8eenwoood Lake NY Shore AC finished 3rd in Rochester last year in 5:57. Six weeks later at the Big Bang Mile, she ran 5:55. But in September at the Fifth Avenue Mile, she really got cranking, lowering her mile time to 5:41. The Fifth Avenue Mile is fast, but much of that 14-second improvement must be due to La Burt. Doreen McCoubrie West Chester PA Greater Philadelphia TC took 2nd in 60-64 at Rochester last year, clocking 5:50, seven seconds faster than La Burt. McCoubrie was cooking this spring at the Memorial Main Street Mile in Pennsylvania, running 5:38 in late May. She also had a 5:53 at the RUNway Mile. Deb Torneden Manhattan KS Unattached ran 6:01 at the Ad Astra Running Irish Mile in March. Her 60-64 win at 5:36 in the 1500M at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships this Marach is consistent with a 6-minute mile. McCoubrie and La Burt both got out fast. McCoubrie had the edge and through the first half mile it looked like things would go as they did last year in Rochester. La Burt was going faster than she did last year, carrying 5:40 pace through the first half mile. McCoubrie was 2 seconds faster, crossing the half mile mat in 2:48. Once they got inside a quarter mile to go though, something happened with McCoubrie, who faltered. La Burt had never been dropped and took advantage, passing McCoubrie and claiming the win in 5:46, with McCoubrie 2nd in 5:53. Torneden must have been behind the division leaders at the half, but has no split. Perhaps she swung wide around the 2nd turn. Crossing the mat was only handy, and not required, if you took that turn tight and were running on the lefthand side rather than down the middle of Meridian Street. Running down the center, you could still see your own split on the clock. Torneden took 3rd in 6:02, with Suzanne Cordes Alamo CA Impala Racing, who was not at full fitness, in 4th with a 7:10.

Suzanne La Burt 5:46     Doreen McCoubrie 5:53     Deb Torneden 6:02

Course/Event Records 60-64 : La Burt, McCoubrie, Torneden and Cordes bettered both the 7:16 Event Record and the 7:54 course record. Debbie Brathwaite Garfield NJ Shore AC bettered the course record with her 7:31. La Burt will now hold both the Course and Event 60-64 records at 5:46.

65-69 Carol Poenisch Northville MI Unattached is a strong long-distance runner who occasionally runs shorter distances. She has run three half marathons this year in times ranging from 1:54:44 to 1:56:08. Her chief rival, 2022 Grand Prix champion for 65-69, Susan Stirrat has run two half marathons, both at times a little over 2 hours. But this is a mile not a half marathon. Poenisch ran 7:20 to take the 60-64 Bronze Medal at the 1 Mile Masters Championships at Flint in 2018. She ran a 25:26 5K in March and a 24:21 in May. Stirrat finished 3rd in this division at the 2023 Masters 5 Km Championships at Atlanta in February with a 25:48 and ran a 26:05 this June. Poenisch appeared to have the edge. The third entrant, Cullison, has mostly run longer races also. She ran a 2:17 Half Marathon last October. This April she ran a 1:01:42 10K. In 2021, she ran a 25:27 5K but has no recent efforts at that distance or shorter. Poenisch lacks a split time also, but she was presumably in the lead. Certainly, she was in the lead at the finish line. She crossed in 7:13 to take the win by more than a half minute. It was closer between Stirrat and Cullison. But Stirrat had no problem building a ten second lead in the first half mile, going out in 3:48. Cullison was able to take 2 seconds out of Stirrat's lead in the last half mile but that was it. Stirrat took the silver medal in 7:48 with 25 meters to spare. Cullison was 8 seconds back in 3rd. 

Women's 65-69 Podium - From Left Linda Cullison, Carol Poenisch, Susan Stirrat at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by C Poenisch 

That gives Poenisch a Silver and a Gold medal in two tries at the Masters 1 Mile Championships-not a bad record for a long-distance runner! 

Carol Poenisch 7:13     Susan Stirrat 7:48     Linda Cullison 7:56

Course/Event Records 65-69: Poenisch, Stirrat and Cullison all came in under both the Course 11:35 and Event 7:59 Records. Poenisch will now be listed as the Course and Event 65-69 Record Holder at 7:13.

70-74 Since Suzanne Ray Jacksonville OR Team Red Lizard turned 70, Team Red Lizard has been tough to beat. She and her teammate, Jeanette Groesz Redmond OR Team Red Lizard almost always make the 70-74 podium, with Ray usually excelling at longer distance road races and Groesz excelling on the turf and at shorter road races. When one of them is out due to injury or other obligations, it is tough for them to field a complete team. That is why, at this race, having missed the 5 Km due to an elbow injury, Ray was running for the team despite a different injury. In between, Ray took 1st in 70-74 at the Masters National Half Marathon Championships in 1:51:48. Ray would take it easy, not aggravate her injury and finish the race so Red Lizard had a complete team finishing the race. Sabra Harvey Houston TX Team Red Lizard  ran in this race as Red Lizard's Outside Association athlete. Harvey, the 2017 Masters Athlete of the Year, is not training as intensively now as she did 6 years ago. In that year, Harvey set the 65-69 American Mile Record at 6:06. A recent 5K result suggested her current fitness would enable her to break 7 minutes but not necessarily by a lot. Groesz's performance in Atlanta, competing as an individual, suggested she too could break 7 minutes. Ordinarily Ray would be close to them in time, but not today. The strongest runner, otherwise, Hannah Phillips Alexandria VA Potomac Valley TC has no recent results to go by. I found a 26:05 5K in 2016 and a 28:08 5K in 2017. In short, there was nothing that suggested Phillips would break 8 minutes. The suspense in this division rested on whether Groesz or Harvey would win the division title and whether Ray's easy mile would be fast enough to come in ahead of Phillips. Neither Harvey nor Groesz had a halfway split. Like others they must have swung wide and been content to view their split on the clock as they raced past. It was close overall, but Harvey had a thirty-meter lead when she crossed the finish line in 6:52. Groesz took 2nd in 6:59. Ray was able to stay a good half minute ahead of Phillips, claiming third place in 7:57. 

Women's 70-74 Podium and Winning 70+ Team-From Left-Sabra Harvey, Suzanne Ray, Jeanette Groesz at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by J Groesz


Phillips finished 4th at 8:27.

Sabra Harvey 6:52     Jeanette Groesz 6:59     Suzanne Ray 7:57                                      

Course/Event Records 70-74; Harvey, Groesz and Ray all came home under the Course and Event Record of 8:06. Harvey will now be listed as the Course and Event Record holder at 6:52.

75-79 Jeannie Rice, the 2019 Masters Athlete of the Year, ran a 3:33:15 Boston Marathon this year, averaging 8:08 per mile. As noted above, she had no problem demolishing the American Record. in the (Road) Mile. See coverage in first paragraph of this article.  It probably would have been a World Record, but WMA does not recognize the 1 Mile on the roads (Non Stadia) for record purposes. Rice crossed the halfway mat in 3:21 and went on to win the division in 6:44. She was well over 500 meters ahead of her closest pursuer. Andrea McCarter Duluth GA Atlanta TC and Carol Patterson Mount Ida AR Atlanta TC were primarily focused on finishing so their 70+ team could gain the Silver medals and earn 90 Grand Prix points. It appeared that McCarter and Patterson would likely finish close to each other. I gave McCarter the edge on the basis of her silver medal effort at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta last February.  McCarter went past the half mile marker with a big half-minute lead. It looked like Patterson had the Silver medal in a waltz. But Patterson kept chipping away at that lead over the last half mile. By the finish it was McCarter 2nd in 10:43, with Patterson just 18 seconds back in third.

Jeannie Rice 6:44     Andrea McCarter 10:43     Carol Patterson 11:01

Course/Event Records 75-79; There is no course record for this division; no one 75 or over ran on this course last year. The Event record was set in 2019 on the straight-shot course at 9:52. Rice establishes the Course Record and takes over the Event Record at 6:44, records that are likely to stand for a very long time.

80-84 Vacant-No Entries

85-89 Joyce Hodges-Hite Millen GA Atlanta TC ran unopposed. She claimed her third division victory this year in 15:28. As noted above, that becomes the new American 1 Mile (road) record for 85-89. See coverage in first paragraph of this article. It also establishes a new Event and Course record for the Monumental Mile.

Joyce Hodges-Hite 15:28 

MEN 40-44 Lindsay, Herter and Guyer are all 40-44 athletes. See Overall recap above.

Bryan Lindsay 4:25     Jaret Herter 4:30     Mark Guyer 4:32

Course/Event Records 40-44 Lindsay, Herter, and Guyer bettered the previous course and event record of 4:35, which are based on gun time. Lindsay will now be listed as the Event and Course Record holder at 5:06.

45-49 The top contenders were David Angell Blue Ridge VA Unattached, Jonathan Bishard, Kansas City MO KC Smoke  Christopher Hernandez Charleston SC GVH, and Jasen Ritter Indianapolis IN Indiana Elite AC.Angell had a self-imposed break from racing last year to rehab some long-standing issues with ankle, foot, etc. After a nice outing in Richmond at the USATF XC as followed by a PRP shot and more recovery time. Ran a very nice 33:15 to take the Silver 45-49 medal at the National Masters 10 Km Championships in Dedham at the end of April. He followed that with a 15:48 5K at the end of May. He appeared prepped for upper 4:30's to lower 4:40's for a mile. Bishard ran a 4:36.95 Mile on the track at the Music City Distance Carnival last summer and a 4:26.4 indoor Mile at the Masters TF Championships in Louisville this past March. Three seconds slower than Hernandez in that race, Bishard did not have the kind of fitness he exhibited at MCDS in June 2022. But with three months prep time, those times should come down closer to 4:40. Hernandez, as just noted, finished 2nd in 45-49 at Louisville ahead of Bishard. He finished 3rd in the 45-49 division at the Masters 1 Mile Championships in Rochester last year in 4:48. Ritter ran 4:44 at the 2021 Monumental Mile and skipped it last year. In 2022, Ritter ran 16:02 to take 5th 45-49 at the Masters 5 Km Championships and in August, clocked 15:58 in a 5K. Mid- to upper 4:40's seemed very attainable for Ritter. When the gun sounded, Angell peeled out with only M40's ahead of him. It stayed that way through the first half-mile. Angell's clock read 2:18.4. Ritter was about 15 meters behind Angell, with Hernandez another 15 meters back from Ritter. Bishard was probably in the mix halfway but did not get a split time recorded. Angell slowed slightly in the last half mile but took the win, crossing the line in 4:41.07, rounded up, by rule to 4:42. Ritter slowed also, allowing Hernandez an opening. he took advantage of it with a strong negative split, his 2:25 half followed by 2:22 2nd half, for 4:47 and second place. Bishard was also able to edge Ritter by a fraction of a second at the line for third place. Trent Bryson Long Beach CA Cal Coast TC, running his first 'legit race' in 25 years, hung tight for the first half, solidly in the mix, between Ritter and Hernandez, caught by the clock at 2:23.7. Somewhere between there and the finish, things fell apart, and the hoped for 4:48 became a 4:58 and 5th place. To Bryson's credit, he let very few athletes pass him in that last half mile.

David Angell 4:42     Christopher Hernandez 4:47     Jonathan Bishard 4:49

Course/Event Records 45-49: A tale of two records. The Event Record of 4:21, set on the old course in 2015 will likely stand for many years to come. It certainly gives fast 45-49 year old milers a heck of a time to shoot for. The Course record, however, was set last year at 6:05, the first time the Mile was contested on the new record-eligible course. Not only did Angell, Hernandez, Bishard, Ritter, and Bryson better the record, but Chris White Granger IN Unattached, Rob Awe Carmel IN Indiana Elite AC and Matthew Di Pretore Newtown Square PA Greater Philadelphia TC did as well. Angell will be the 45-49 Course Record holder going forward at 4:42.

50-54 Mike Madsen lowered the American Record, pending ratification; he won this division as well with his 4:38. 2See coverage in first paragraph of this article. In my preview, I touted Jason Newport Avon IN Indiana Elite AC as one of the strongest contenders for 2nd behind Madsen. That was based on his 5:10 performance on this course last year. In late August last year he clocked 18:56 in a 5K. I should, perhaps, have given more weight to his 13th place finish in 45-49 at the 5 Km Masters Championships this past February. That might have been a sign that something acted up during the race or that he had lost some training time to rehab. Andrew Hector Indianapolis IN Indiana Elite AC ran an 18:26 5K last November but more recent efforts had been in the 19:14 to 19:30 range. Matthew Cutrona Wilmington DE Greater Philadelphia TC was ten seconds behind Newport in Atlanta but ran a fast 18:48 5K in March, followed by a 19:30 in mid-May and a 5:13.65 at the Memorial Main Streeet Mile in Yardley PA. A little uneven but Cutrona certainly had a reasonable shot at the podium. Fifteen seconds after Madsen scorched through the first half mile, Cutrona led a quartet of 45–49-year-olds through the half. Cutrona was at 2:37.2, followed a second later by Alonso Gonzalez Indianapolis IN Indiana Elite AC, with Christopher Rinaldi Berkeley Heights NJ Shore AC another second back and Hector, biding his time another two seconds back. Hector held some speed in reserve, the only one in this group, apart from Madsen to negative split the race. He passed Rinaldi and then started to close on Cutrona. Cutrona held tough, though, outlasting Hector. Cutrona had 2nd place in 5:21.4, rounded to 5:22. Hector took the Bronze medal in 5:22.3, rounded to 5:23, just under a full second behind. Rinaldi took 4th in 5:25. It was a tight race for 2nd through 4th! Newport, apparently on an off day, finished 6th.

Mike Madsen 4:38     Matthew Cutrona 5:22     Andrew Hector 5:23

Course/Event Records 50-54: Madsen beat the 50-54 Event Record of 5:07 and the Course Record of 5:11. Others were close but did not quite get there. Madsen will be listed as the new Event and Course Record holder at 4:38.

55-59 As noted above, like Madsen, Christian Cushing-Murray Orange CA Cal Coast TC lowered the American 55-59 Road Mile Record, breaking it by 2 seconds with a 4:46.4, rounded up to 4:47. See coverage in first paragraph of this article. That also got him the division win. Although not quite in record-breaking form at present, Todd Straka Broomfield CO Boulder Road Runners was viewed as a strong contender, likely to break 5:00. He finished 12 seconds behind Cushing-Murray at Portland in what must be viewed as an off day. In 2019 he took 2nd at the Masters (road) Mile Championships on a slower course in Flint Mi in 4:56. And Road miles tend to be slower than track miles. That year Jeff Conston Hopewell Jct. NY Shore AC finished 2 seconds behind Straka, with John Borthwick Dillon CO Boulder RR another 2 seconds back. Straka did not compete last year in Rochester, but Conston finished, again 2 seconds faster than Borthwick, that time in 5:05.  Nier is running better than a year ago at Rochester. Later in the summer, he finished 6 seconds behind Straka in the 1500M at Outdoor Nationals. He should be in the mix for the podium. Cushing-Murray led the field out, crossing the halfway mat in 2:22.3. Straka did not get a split time at the half mile, probably because he swung wide on the turn onto Meridian and was focused on running down Cushing-Murray if possible. Nier was next at 2:28.6 with Conston just 1.3 seconds behind. Borthwick, who went out more cautiously, was three seconds behind Conston. Straka stayed much closer to Cushing-Murray in Indy than he had in Portland. He zipped across the finish line in 4:51.4, claiming 2nd just 5 seconds back and with a comfortable lead over the third-place finisher, Conston, who closed rapidly, surging past Nier to claim 3rd in 4:59.4, breaking the 5:00 barrier as well! 

Jeff Conston sprinting for the finish and a bronze 55-59 medal at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by J Conston

Nier took 4th in 5:03.4, 7 seconds ahead of Borthwick in 5th.

Christian Cushing-Murray 4:47     Todd Straka 4:52     Jeff Conston 5:00

Course/Event Records 55-59: The existing 55-59 event record belonged to Tim Mylin (now in 60-64-see below) at 5:19, with the Course Record at 5:25. Cushing-Murray, Straka, Conston, Nier and Borthwick all came in under both the course and event records. Cushing-Murray will now be listed as Event and Course Record holder at 4:47.

60-64 This division this year has fireworks every time. Different contenders show up at different races. This time Nat Larson, Steve Schmidt, and John Van Danacker had other things that prevented them from competing in Indy. But Dan King Boulder CO Athletics Boulder, Rick Lee Bayville NJ Shore AC, and Joe Mora Rochester NY GVH were on hand. King has had an up and down last few months, but the holder of the American 60-64 Mile Record on the track, at 4:51.45, is always a threat. King had a good set of training coming into this race. As long as his hamstring did not act up, he felt confident of a competitive race at the front. The most recent edition of the Road Mile Championships, in Rochester last year, featured Lee and Mora. Lee was still learning how to race over short distances and Mora had the edge, as he did in Atlanta in 2022, when he could kick away from Lee to take the win. Last year it was Mora taking Lee in the mile by a fraction of a second in 5:04. Lee had the edge over King by 2 seconds in 4:57 at the Fifth Avenue Mile in September. King was looking forward to the rematch, as was Lee! They love competing against each other. Dave Bussard Elkhart IN CHT EliteTim Mylin Carmel IN Indiana Elite AC, and Mark Zamek Minneapolis MN Shore AC gained a mention as well. Bussard was a regular on national podiums when running for Playmakers Elite in the late teens. After taking time off for rehab, his times have come down significantly in the last year. Running mid-18's in 5K's last year, he turned in a 17:42 at the Brian Diemer 5K this spring. Mylin, one of the top runners int he Indianapolis area for decades, was running his 5K's well under 18 minutes up through his 50's. Two years ago he ran 5:21 in the Monumental Mile. Zamek, 55-59 winner at the 2019 Masters National Championships in 4:55, has been rehabbing off and on for the last year. He finished 3rd at Dedham in the 10 K Championships in 36:12 but suffered a setback in his rehab a week later. He was coming to Indy with the idea of running a 'tempo 5:20' to help his team.

Lee, with King right on his shoulder, led out the field. Bussard and Mora were hanging in right behind, crossing the half mile mat in 2:35.9 and 2:36.1! Then it was Chuck Bridgman Dayton OH Unattached, who came in under my radar to be right there at 2:38.8, a couple of strides ahead of Mylin at 2:39.6. Lee and King were speeding down Meridian Street stride for stride. Approaching the finish line, King was about to make a final push for the win, when his hamstring sent a message, 'Don't do it!'. Lee enjoyed a little more breathing space in the last few meters, gaining his second straight win over King, 5:05.73, rounded to 5:06, to 5:08.4 for King, rounded to 5:09. Mora made a good move over the last half mile but fell 5 seconds short of the two leaders as he claimed the Bronze medal. It was a good thing Mora was moving as fast as he was because Mylin, finishing off a negative split, was bearing down on him.

Men's 60-64-Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalists celebrater post race-From Left- Rick Lee, Dan King, Joe Mora  at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by R Lee

Mylin's 2:40/2:36 brought him within two seconds of Mora, 4th in 5:15.12, rounded to 5:16. Bussard was sixth in 5:16.28, rounded to 5:17. With just 12 seconds between 1st and 6th, it was another 'barn burner' of a show for the 60-64 crew!

Rick Lee 5:06     Dan King 5:09     Joe Mora 5:14

Course/Event Records 60-64: Mylin's 5:21 from 2021 is the event record; the course record is 6:51. Lee, King, Mora, Mylin, and Bussard came in under the event record, and Zamek tied it with his tempo. Those six and twelve other competitors came in under the course record.

65-69 It initially looked like this would be a battle between David Westenberg and Jacob Nur, with the winner coming home under the 5:18 record. First, I heard that Westenberg scratched due to an eye issue that came up and prevented him from running. Then when I saw Nur at Packet Pickup, he mentioned an adductor injury that kept him from training for the past week. He would be running and was optimistic the adductor would not act up during the race. There were plenty of other fast competitors who would push Nur or supplant him if it was not his day after all. Roger Sayre Golden CO Boulder RR. Second at the 5 Km Championships, he came back with wins from the 10 Mile and Half Marathon Championships this year. No stranger to the Mile, Sayre won the 60-64 title at the 2018 Masters Mile in Flint MI in 5:15. Last summer he ran a 5:43 mile in Greater Denver; the NCAA altitude adjustment puts that at 5:35 at sea level. That was his first race that short that I can find in the last several years. It may have been a test run; his second Mile might be faster. Fred Torneden's running history includes a 2:11:34 marathon in the 1984 Twin Cities Marathon. Inactive in Masters National Championships until recently, he ran a 5:07 1500M at the Indoor Masters Championships in Louisville this past March. He finished 7 seconds behind Westenberg in that race. A week later he ran 5:30 at the Ad Astra Running Irish Mile. Michael Lebold was able to defeat Westenberg in the 800 Meters at Louisville but the Mile is toward the outer edge of his high comfort zone. Dan Spale is a terrific runner who was a big factor in national podiums from 2017 through 2019. In 2017, Spale took 2nd in 60-64 at the 8 Km and 10 Km National Championships, and 4th in the Masters Mile. He ran 5:28 in 2017; normal aging would make that a 5:46, consistent with the 5:51 he ran last year in the Carnation Mile. Even though that converts to a 5:43 at sea level, I thought Spale would not be in the mix for the podium this time. Tim Conheady finished just 7 seconds behind Westenberg at the 1500M in Louisville. With Westenberg a scratch and Nur perhaps not at full fitness, Conheady and Spale might be vying for the podium.

I did not get a full report but, at some point during the race, Nur's adductor issue asserted itself and Nur, wisely pulled up. That left the field clear for the others. Torneden pulled away from the field, crossing the half mile mat in 2:39.7. Sayre was just two seconds back at that point, still in the hunt for the win. Lebold was just off Sayre's shoulder at that point, in 2:42.6. Conheady was another 2 seconds back at 2:44.8 in 4th place. Spale was laying off the pace at 2:47.1. Sayre had plenty left for the last half mile; he ran a negative split, 2:41.6/2:39.4 to push Torneden. But try as Sayre might, Torneden had enough left to hold him at bay. Torneden came home with a 2:39.5 half, giving up only 0.1 seconds of his lead to Sayre. Torneden got the win in 5:19.3, rounded up to 5:20. Sayre claimed 2nd in 5:21. Sayre's push to catch Torneden left everyone else behind. Spale had kept plenty in reserve. He roared past Lebold and then Conheady. By the finish, Spale had created a six second gap, taking 3rd in 5:27, a second faster than his 4th place Mile finish in 2017! 

Men's 65-69 Podium From left Dan Spale, Fred Torneden, Roger Sayre at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by R Sayre

Conheady pulled well away from Lebold, claiming 4th in 5:33. Lebold finished 5th in 5:45.

Fred Torneden 5:20     Roger Sayre 5:21     Dan Spale 5:27

Course/Event Records 65-69: Event Record 6:07, Course Record 6:41 Torneden, Sayre, Spale, Conheady, and Lebold all broke both records, as did Kevin Dollard Hopewell JCT. NY Shore AC and Gary Passamonte Mount Morris NY GVH. In addition, Scott Linnell Colts Neck NJ Shore AC. and Reno Stirrat Rockaway NJ Shore AC also bettered the Course Record. Going forward, Torneden will be listed as the Course and Event Record holder at 5:20.

70-74 Robert Qualls, the 1500M Bronze Medalist in the 2022 World Outdoor Championships in 5:12.18, entered as the favorite and left as the new American 70-74 Record holder in the (Road) Mile. See coverage in first paragraph of this article. Three of the other competitors, Doug Bell, Doug Chesnut, and James Linn appeared to be closely matched. Bell finished 3rd last year in Rochester with a 6:06. His third-place finish in the 5K in Atlanta with a 20:51 confirms that he was in shape then to run a 6:05 or so Mile. Last year, Bell ran in the 10 Mile Championship in Sacramento, for the team, and then competed next at the 1 Mile. That was his practice this year as well. The lack of recent races did not seem to be a sign of any problem, just his approach to running a (road) Mile championship in the spring. Although I found no recent Mile efforts from Chesnut, he has been a step or two ahead of Bell a the 5 Km and 10 Mile road championships. Bell had the edge over 8 Km of turf at Richmond. Will that road edge for Chesnut carry over to a short race like a mile or does Bell have the edge there? Linn ran a 6:11 mile on Memorial Day an hour after running a 43:49 10K. A couple of weeks later Linn ran 6:02 at the RUNway Mile. In 2018, Kirk Larson was a Silver Medalist in the 65-69 Mile Championship. But, more recently, finished a half minute behind Chesnut and Bell in Atlanta. 

Qualls took off at the gun with the fast 60-year-olds; he crossed the half mile mat in 2:45, way faster than needed to take down a 5:45 record. Linn was six seconds back at 2:51, with Bell 11 seconds back at 3:01.81. It was close behind Bell. Larson was at 3:02.99, with Chesnut a couple of strides back at 3:04.3. Qualls held his lead and got the American Record, claiming the 70-74 win in 5:35. The torrid pace of the first half mile took its toll on James Linn as well. He came home in 3:01 over the last half mile, taking the Silver Medal in 5:52. Bell's 2nd half was 3:09. He did not close on J. Linn but had no trouble maintaining his position relative to the rest of the field. He finished 3rd in 6:11. Chesnut was able to move past Larson and move ahead ever so gradually. Chesnut maintained that slim lead all the way to the finish line, crossing it in 6:12.01 to Larson's 6:12.88. That fraction of a second gave Chesnut 4th to Larson's 5th. Perry Linn did not cross the halfway timing mat, so I am not sure where he was at the half, but he was not far behind those two at the end. P. Linn crossed the finish line in 6:14.2 in 6th place.

Robert Qualls 5:35    James Linn 5:52     Doug Bell 6:11

Course/Event Records 70-74: Event & Record 6:46 Qualls, J. Linn, Bell, Chesnut, Larson and P. Linn all crossed the finish line under the Course & Event record. Qualls will, henceforth, be listed as the Event and Course record holder at 5:35.

75-79 My own division can be tricky to preview but the only thing I thought would be tricky was the exact order of the top three. Dave Glass Glenville NY Atlanta TC, Jim May Williamson NY GVH, and Keith Yeates Fairport NY GVH have been running consistently ahead of everyone else who was entered; there seemed little chance that anyone else would wind up on the podium. But little chance is not 'no' chance and that is why we run races. Last year in Rochester, May almost pulled an upset, but Glass held on for 2nd behind Gary Patton in 6:37 (gun) to Jim May's 6:38 (gun). [Apologies to Glass; I misreported in my preview, relying on the order (by chip time as posted in Athlinks)] Yeates was a good few steps back at 7:04 with me, Paul Carlin Three Oaks MI, Ann Arbor TC, another set of steps back in 7:18 (gun times), Liam Finnigan Farmington NY GVH who edged me by three seconds a month earlier at the 10K championships, was further back. He was nursing an injury and running for the team score.  We did not compete head-to-head this year at Dedham or any other race, but his 5 Km times have been roughly comparable to the 24:48 I clocked in taking the Bronze Medal at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta.  I gave us an equal chance for 4th place. Jan Frisby, who was a Miler before he was a long-distance runner, would have been a podium threat but he had to scratch for an inner ear problem that cropped up. As May had a faster chip time than Glass last year, I opted for him to come first with Glass and Yeates following. The tricky thing about that is that Yeates came in ahead of May at Cross Country Nationals in Richmond. Would Yeates be able to do that in the Mile? I guessed not.

By the time we passed the quarter mile where a volunteer was calling out times, I heard 1:42...1:43 so I knew I was going at a very good pace. But I could also see that May and Yeates were starting to pull away. At that point I could not see Glass nor Finnigan, but assumed Glass was out ahead, out of sight, and that Finnigan was behind me. It is not unusual for Glass to get out fast and disappear from my view at the start of races. As we made the 1st turn at the 500-meter mark, I could sense someone inside me on my left and it turned out to be Finnigan. Finnigan had the inside curve and gained a few steps as we made the 2nd and last turn onto Meridian. It was somewhere around the half mile mat that I passed Finnigan and did not see him again. He did not have a half mile split. Mine was 3:34.45. Neither May nor Yeates had splits either, but I can report that they were too far ahead of me for me to have much hope of catching them. I had not spotted Glass either but that did not surprise me. If he were ahead of May and Yeates he would be difficult to see from my vantage point. When I crossed the finish line, I figured I had 4th. Finnigan was behind me. I saw May and Yeats ahead of me beyond the finish line and assumed Glass had cleared the area already. Imagine my surprise when, a dozen seconds or so later, I turned and caught a glimpse of Glass crossing the finish line. It slowly sank in that I had landed on the podium. How did May and Yeates sort out? As the preview suggested, May can run a fast mile! This year he took the top prize with a 6:38.2, rounded to 6:39. Yeates finished much closer than in 2022! He has improved a lot this year. Yeates clocked 6:42.2, almost 20 seconds faster than last year, to land in second place. I was a distant third in 7:11.4 but was not closely pressed. Six seconds faster than last year cannot be a bad thing, even if it does pale in comparison to Yeates's improvement! Glass finished fourth at 7:28, with Finnigan 5th at 7:35. 

*Footnote: Glass confirmed that he is not injured and felt that he would be able to compete at his usual level. It just did not happen. He has some thoughts about why that might be but does not have an explanation at this point. He and I hope to see him back to his usual 'running' self very soon.

Jim May 6:39     Keith Yeates 6:43     Paul Carlin 7:12

Course/Event Records 75-79: Event Record 7:51 Course Record 7:57 May, Yeates, Carlin, Glass, and Finnigan broke both the Course and Event Records. Jim May will be listed going forward as the Event and Course record holder at 6:39.

80-84 Masters Hall of Famer, Doug Goodhue, Ed Bligh, and Charlie Patterson were expected to finish in that order and they did. Goodhue's motivation too come back from knee surgery was to win his 60th national age division championship. He accomplished that at the 5 Km Masters Championships in Atlanta. He won there, despite a hamstring issue. He took 8 weeks off after that to let it heal before resuming training. Nonetheless, he was a clear favorite. Bligh is the reigning 80-84 champion from Cross Country nationals but has rarely, if ever, been able to win when Goodhue is in the race. Goodhue went out fast, as he always does; his time at the halfway mat was 3:32; Bligh was at 4:09, and Patterson at 4:42. Goodhue's relative lack of conditioning showed over the second half, but he still won by a minute! Goodhue's winning time was 7:28; the 'Silver Bullet' was atop the division podium yet again!. Bligh claimed the Silver medal in 8:29, with Patterson, over a minute back, gaining the Bronze. That was #61 for Goodhue, not that he is counting, but I am.

Doug Goodhue 7:28     Ed Bligh 8:29     Charlie Patterson 9:46

Course/Event Records 80-84: Event Record 11:00 Course Record 15:13 Goodhue, Bligh and Patterson all broke both the Event and Course Records. Goodhue will now be listed as the Course and Event record holder at 7:28.

85-89 Adrian Craven, the reigning Masters National 85-89 Grand Prix Champion, was the sole entrant. Craven took the win in style, hitting the half mile mat in 5:42 and claiming the title at 11:31. That also establishes a new 85-89 Event and Course record for the Monumental Mile.

Adrian Craven 11:31  


Age Grading measures how well a given athlete's time stacks up to the estimated World's Best curve for an athlete of that age. The higher the percentage the better. Masters LDR has used the standard of referring to 90% and up as World Class, 80% and up as National Class. Some use the term Regional Class for 70% and above but that is informal. The Elite Performance Medals, awarded only at Masters National Road Racing Championships, recognize 85% - 89.99% as upper National Class which earns a Silver as opposed to a Bronze medal (for 80% -84.99%).

The winners of Championship Age Grading Medals are the fastest for their age across all age divisions. It can help settle discussions about which age division champion is most awesome among all! It can also provide recognition for an outstanding athlete in the last year or two of an age division, who may not win the age division but can out age grade younger athletes in the division who beat him/her to the finish line.

MEN The top age grading contenders were identified in my preview as: Christian Cushing-Murray, Dan King, Jacob Nur and David Westenberg. Westenberg was a scratch due to an eye issue that cropped up unexpectedly, and Nur showed up with an adductor issue that flared up during the race, causing him to exit the race. Cushing-Murray got his division win and the American 55-59 Record. Both eluded King, but the 64-year-old nipped Cushing-Murray, 55, for the top age grading prize, 93.6% to 93.4%. King's 5:09 rated slightly higher than Cushing-Murray's 4:47. With Nat Larson setting the 60-64 bar at 4:49 last year at USATF-NJ's Big Bang Mile, it is very tough for any 60-64 athlete to get the record. That said, it gave King some bragging points over Lee who won the division but finished 4th in age grading. Robert Qualls 71, Rick Lee 62, and Mike Madsen 50, rounded out the top 5. Qualls's 5:33, Lee's 5:06, and Madsen's 4:38 earned scores of 93.2, 92.9, and 92.7. Qualls has regularly won his division but this is his first age grading podium this year. Lee, not only had #4 in age grading, but got the 60-64 division win, never an easy task in that highly competitive division. Madsen got the American record as well as landing atop-5 age grade.

Dan King 64 5:09 93.6%     Christian Cushing-Murray 55 4:47 93.4     Robert Qualls 71 5:33 93.2

*Footnote: 8 others turned in World Class times: Todd Straka, Fred Torneden, Bryan Lindsay, Dan Spale, Tim Mylin, Roger Sayre, Mike Nier, Dave Bussard

WOMEN I wrote in the preview that it would be amazing if anyone other than Jeannie Rice would earn the top age grading score. The report above showed that her 6:44 (chip) broke the 75-79 record by about two minutes. Perhaps the only surprising thing about the outcome is that her score was only 96.21%. Rice thinks that she should run fast enough every time at every distance to earn a 100%! I listed Fiona Bayly, Sabra Harvey, Doreen McCoubrie,  Perry Shoemaker, Lisa Veneziano as the strongest additional candidates for the age grade podium. They all ran World Class times, but so did a couple of others. Sabra Harvey claimed Silver; her 6:52 at age 74. earned a score of 92.96. Like King in Men's 60-64, Veneziano could not quite keep pace, at age 58, with her two illustrious 55-year old competitors. But she nipped them in age grading and stood on the age grading podium at the end of the day. Her 5:36 at age 58 graded at 92.29. Harvey 55 5:25 scored a 92.12 for 4th place, with Bayly 55 5:26 at 91.84% for 5th place.

Jeannie Rice 75 6:44 96.2     Sabra Harvey 74 6:52 92.96     Lisa Veneziano 58 5:36 92.29

Footnote:Four others turned in World Class times: Suzanne la Burt, Doreen McCoubrie, Perry Shoemaker, and Jeanette Groesz.

Women's Age Grading Podium-From Left-Lisa Veneziano, Jeannie Rice & Sabra Harvey at  the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by L Veneziano 

TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS In road racing, team championships are determined by adding up the times of the first three finishers on each team, low score wins. Teams may declare up to 5 athletes.


40+ No entries

50+ The Pursuit of Excellence Track Club won the 50+ division prize in 17:46, an average of 5:55.3 per scoring team member. All three athletes, Lisa Veneziano, Roxanne Springer, and Melissa Chiti scored before any runners on the 2nd place team finished. The 2nd place team was the Genesee Valley Harriers GVH with a team total of 21:08 from brenda Osovski, Cassandra Crane, and Gail Geiger, for an average of 7:02.7.

Pursuit of Excellence L Veneziano, R Springer, M Chiti 17:46

GVH B Osovski, C Crane, G Geiger 21:08

*Note: Following the event, a protest was filed that at least two of the athletes on the winning team were not eligible to compete. With no athletes on the Grandfather nor Moved lists, they are subject to rule 341.8 which allows only 1 runner from outside the association. That protest had not been ruled on, that I know of, at the time this article was posted.

60+ The Shore Athletic Club was the sole entry. They won with a cumulative team total of 21:05, from Suzanne La Burt, Debbie Brathwaite, and Susan Stirrat, for an average of 7:01.7. That gave Shore their 1st win this season after a 4th place finish at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta.

Shore AC S La Burt, D Brathwaite, S Stirrat 21:05

70+ Team Red Lizard had no trouble taking the 70+ win, despite Suzanne Ray having to run a conservative race. All 3 of their scoring team finished before any of the Atlanta Track Club, their rivals, scored. Their team score was 21:48, from Sabra Harvey, Jeanette Groesz, and Ray, for an average of 7:16 per runner. Atlanta claimed the silver medals in 37:12, from Andrea McCarter, Carol Patterson, and Joyce Hodges-Hite, or an average of 12:24 per runner. That was the third win of the season in as many tries for Red Lizard.

Team Red Lizard S Harvey, J Groesz, S Ray 21:48

Atlanta A McCarter, C Patterson, J Hodges-Hite 37:12


40+ The Indiana Elite AC, the home team, seemed likely to dominate the division. They had 4 athletes entered, all of whom should break 5 minutes. GVH had a runner who could compete up front but did not have three runners likely to break 5 minutes. And the same was true for the Greater Philadelphia TC GPTC.  A bigger question was whether Indiana's 'B' squad could come in ahead of GVH and GPTC. As expected, Bryan Lindsay gave Indiana the early lead, with a 4:25, but Jaret Herter kept GVH close with a 4:30. But Indiana's #2 and #3 runners, Mark Guyer and Tom Burns, came in at 4:33 and 4:42, ahead of GVH's #2 runner and all of GPTC's runners. Just like that, Indiana 'A' had the win at 13:40, averaging 4:33.3. What about Indiana 'B'? The next runner across the line was Christopher Hernandez in 4:47, giving GVH 9:17 with 2 runners in. But then the 'B' squad was doing the scoring. Mike Olson zipped across the line in 4:53, with Brandon Daugherty just 6 seconds back. That brought them into contention at 9:52 with two runners in. The next two runners on the course were Indiana's Robb Awe and GPTC's Matthew Di Pretore, running stride for stride. In the end, it was Awe by a second in 5:04! That gave Indiana B a complete team score at 14:56. GVH needed their third runner to finish in the next 35 seconds to beat the B's. GVH would have to rely on one of their 60+ runners who dropped down to 40+. GVH made a strategic choice in the run up to the race. Once it was clear they would not have a complete 60's team they decided to put their low 5's 60+ guy onto 50+ where they had a shot at the win, and their upper 5-minute 60+ guy to the 40+ team where it was a question of 2nd or 3rd most likely. Gary Passamonte said, 'Put me where I can do the most good!' GVH knew that Passamonte could not run a 5:39, but hoped he could run fast enough to get them in ahead of GPTC. Di Pretore gave GPTC a 5:05, and when Matthew Cutrona turned in a 5:22 as GPTC's #2, that gave GPTC 10:27 on two runners in. Tim Conheady, also dropping down from the 60+ division, gave GPTC a 5:33 to bring their final total to 16:00. Passamonte only had to beat 6:43 to give GVH the bronze medals. He was more than up to the task, crossing the line in 5:56 to give GVH 15:26 and third place. GPTC would have liked to make the podium but was happy that they scored 70 Grand Prix points. After all, Di Pretore and Cutrona dropped down from the 50+ division and Conheady, as noted, from the 60+ division. That gave the 40+ team 170 points on two championships and moved them into 4th place in the Grand Prix, with two events to go. There is a good chance they can score good points at the 12 Km in New Jersey. They won it in 2021 and finished 3rd last year. Good points there mean they could wrap up a very good Grand Prix season at Boca Raton!! GVH is one of the teams ahead of them, though, and will try to keep it that way!

Indiana AC B Lindsay, M Guyer, T Burns (J Ritter) 13:40

Indiana AC 'B' M Olson, B Daugherty, R Awe 14:56

GVH J Herter, C Hernandez, G Passamonte 15:13

50+ This division would be highly contested, second only to the 60+ division. In the preview I had Boulder-GVH-Indiana Elite-Shore AC in that order. But that was based on the teams declared at close of online registration. At packet pickup, GVH moved Joe Mora down from the 60+ division. That move should have been worth about a half minute, enough to move GVH ahead of Boulder on paper. It is also true that I predicted a close race, with no more than a half minute, perhaps, between the top 4 teams. That means anything could happen! Boulder's Todd Straka drew first blood at 4:52, followed 8 seconds later by Shore's Jeff Conston and GVH's Mike Nier at 5:04. Seven seconds later, John Borthwick gave Boulder their 2nd score at 5:11, followed closely by GVH's Joe Mora. dropping down from 60+, at 5:14. Boulder was at 10:03 on 2 runners, GVH at 10:18 on two runners. Indiana was heard from next when Tim Mylin, like Mora, dropping down from 60+, clocked 5:16.  GVH's #3, Dale Flanders and Indiana's #2, Andrew Hector were on the course, neither giving an inch! With Flanders ahead by a stride in 5:22 and Hector at 5:23, GVH was closing in on the win! They had a complete team score at 15:40! That was an average of 5:13.3. Boulder's 3rd runner needed to crack 5:37 for them to get the win!  In the meantime, Hector's 5:23 gave Indiana 10:39 on two athletes. Chris Rinaldi was two strides back at 5:25, giving Shore 2 athletes in and 10:25, so 14 seconds ahead of Indiana. To take the victory away from GVH, Boulder needed their 3rd runner to finish under 5:37; Indiana and Shore could not catch GVH. Alonso Gonzalez closed off Indiana's scoring at 5:31; their total was at 16:10, an average of 5:23.3. The clock was ticking for Boulder and ShoreBoulder's 3rd runner had 35 seconds before it was too late to thwart Indiana but Shore had just 13! Thirteen seconds came and went with no one crossing the line from this division. Indiana would at least earn team bronzes! 

Indiana Elite's 50+ Team Bronze medalists From Left Alonso Gonzalez, Andrew Hector, Tim Mylin at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Beyond Monumentqal FB page

As it turned out the #3 runners from both Shore. and Boulder crossed the line in sync at 5:52. Michael Di Leva gave it everything he had but Shore was seven seconds short. Their 16:17 was an average of 5:25.7. They would enjoy the 70 Grand Prix points nonetheless. Had Di Leva not stepped up, they would have gotten zero! They would move up from 7th into a tie for 5th in that GP race. Adam Feerst, still sore from a crash landing off of a road bike just days before the race, ensured that Boulder got the silver medals and the 90 Grand Prix points that go with it. Their 15:55 was an average of 5:18.3. They were now tied with Shore for fifth in the Grand Prix, moving up from 13th. GVH, by the way, got the full 100 GP points, moving from 2nd into first!

GVH M Nier, j Mora, D Flanders (M Mertens) 15:40

Boulder RR T Straka, J Borthwick, A Feerst 15:55

Indiana Elite AC T Mylin, A Hector, A Gonzalez 16:10

60+ As has often been the case this year, the 60+ division was the most hotly contested. Shore has been dreaming of a race day when their top three of Rick Lee, Henry Notaro and Mark Zamek would all step to the same line, healthy and hearty. It is still a dream. Notaro may still be injured I can find no races for him since Cross Nationals in Virginia. Zamek is also still working through issues. Zamek hoped his bronze medal effort at Dedham in the 10 Km would be a sign he could go all out today. But hsi issues reasserted themselves once he tried to enter a more intensive training block. He determined he would race for the team but hold himself back to what he referred to as tempo pace, around 5:20. They would still be a tough team to beat. Lee would be vying for the individual victory and Gary Wiesinger provided a very solid number 3. Uncertainties included whether Zamek's tendon would be up to the tempo effort and whether Lee might have some heaviness in his legs from his 55K trek in the Comrades marathon in South Africa. The CHT Elite team, which used to compete as Playmakers Elite, would bring a more tightly packed set of runners. Dave Bussard just ran a sub-18 5K but he still would not quite match up with Lee. If Tim Lambrecht and Eric Stuber could deliver times in the 5:20- 5:40 range, they would be dangerous. Boulder would have a solid 1-2 in Roger Sayre and Dan Spale. They are both now in the 65-69 division so not as dangerous in a 60+ team race as they were 5 years earlier. Their #3, Bob Cottrell, was new to me. Though he resides in Dillon CO, the most relevant performances I found were a 5K in Virginia, a 23:01, and a 65 second 400-M effort at the MTF Outdoor Championships last year. He finished almost 4 minutes behind Spale at the 5 Km XC in Boulder. All that suggested to me that there might be a pretty large gap, easily as much as a minute, between their top two and their #3. The fact that he attempted a 400M at the Outdoor MTF meet might be a sign that he is much faster at a mile than a 5K.

If Lee had any miles in his legs, he did not show it. Lee sped across the finish line in 5:06 to take the division victory and arrive first in the team competition. Bussard came next at 5:17, followed by Sayre and Zamek, true to his word, coming across the line at 5:21. Zamek's score gave Shore 'A' 10:27. Now they would wait to see when Weisinger would finish. Six seconds later, Spale was in and Boulder had 10:48 from 2 athletes. Five more seconds and Lambrecht was in and CHT was at 10:49. Eight seconds later, CHT was done. Stuber added 5:40 to bring CHTs total to 16:29. That represents an average of 5:29.7. Shore needed Weisinger under 6:02! Cottrell for Boulder had to be just a second back to move ahead of CHT but that was not to be. Cottrell ran faster than I had expected, clocking 5:47, but that still left Boulder at 16:35, six seconds behind CHT. Their 16:35 was an average of  5:31.7. And what about Weisinger? He still had 14 seconds of opportunity. It was enough; Weisinger crossed the line at 6:01, giving Shore the win by a single second over CHT! Their 16:28 was an average of 5:29.3. 

Shore AC Men's 60+ Team Gold Medalists From Left Mark Zamek, Gary Weisinger, Rick Lee at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by G Weisinger 

That was close, just seven seconds between Team first and Team 3rd. 

CHT Elite-Silver Medalists Men's 60+ Team From Left: Tim Lambrecht, Dave Bussard, Eric Stuber, Kerry Barnett, Jaime Hartges at the 2023 USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships Photo posted on Strava by J Hartges

The Shore AC B team finished 4th in 18:29, with Kevin Dollard, Scott Linell, and Reno Stirrat.

Shore AC R Lee, M Zamek, G Weisinger 16:28

CHT Elite D Bussard, T Lambrecht, E Stuber (J Hartges, K Barnett) 16:29

Boulder RR R Sayre, D Spale, B Cottrell 16:35

70+ Boulder was the consensus pick, among the teams entered, for the win. With their top two, Doug Bell and Doug Chesnut contending for the team win, and Rick Katz providing solid support at #3, they would be tough to beat. Atlanta had Kirk Larson contending for the team win, and Dave Glass, likely not far back. But Jerry Learned, who has still been a steady #3 this year, although struggling a bit with health issues, was missing. When the Mile was scheduled for Rochester, he committed to an extended family gathering the weekend of the 24th.  By the time the Mile was firmly rescheduled to June 24th, it was impossible to change the date for the family event. They would not have the depth to contend for the win, but Morris Williams stepped up to ensure that they would have a complete team and would finish either 3rd or 4th and get the GP points along with it. GVH brought a very solid team but their top runners, now in the 75-79 division, are no longer threats at the front of the team 70+ division. The same thing could be said of the Ann Arbor TC although it is also true that the team, as a whole, is not as competition oriented as they were a couple of years back when they took the 70+ GP title in 2018 and 2019.

As expected, it was Bell, Larson and Chesnut, barreling down Meridian Street competing for the 70+ Team win. Bell got the win in 6:11 and, although Chesnut edged Larson at the line, their times were both rounded up to 6:13. Boulder had two in and a running total of 12:24. GVH was heard from next as May and Yeates sped across the line in 6:39 and 6:43; GVH had 13:22 from their first two. Glass, of Atlanta should have been mixing it up with those two but had the rare off day. Ann Arbor came next as Terry McCluskey clocked 6:56. Seven seconds later, Katz scored, giving Boulder a team total of 19:27 and the win! No one could catch them!  Another nine seconds passed and Paul Carlin That's me! finished at 7:12. Ann Arbor was at 14:08 with two athletes in. Glass and Ann Arbor's Doug Goodhue came next, with matching 7:28 finishing times. That gave Ann Arbor 21:36 for their complete total, and Atlanta had 13:41 with two in.  GVH's Liam Finnigan had to finish in under 8:14 for them to nail 2nd place. That was no problem for Finnigan! At 7:35, he was across the line, and GVH was in for the silver medals at 20:57. Williams needed a 7:55 or better for Atlanta to edge Ann Arbor for bronze medals. That did not happen, but Willams was across the line in 8:31. Atlanta was at 22:12; they had 70 GP points and that could be important as the GP is winding up this fall.

The turnout was a little smaller than last year, understandable with their late start on marketing. But they drew very competitive fields in almost every division, from the far corners of the nation. When you have six American records set at a Mile event, you know you have been able to attract some pretty speedy Masters runners! Athletes were enthused, saying it was a great event and they would love to return! A great airport to fly into, a quick ride to downtown and super-convenient layout made it easy. The hotel was a block from Monument Circle, the staging area for the race, with packet pickup, gear drop, uniform check in, and post-race beverage and food, hang out time, along with timing results, and awards. What could be better?! It would be interesting to see what kind of field they would draw if they had a longer marketing period in front of the race. Word of mouth would be a strong positive!

A few more shots of post-race celebration and camaraderie:

Posted on Beyond Monumental's Facebook site:

Carol Poenisch & Linda Cullison L to R 

Indiana Elite 40+ and 50+

Shore AC Men's 60's -L to R: Scott Linnell, Rick Lee, Kevin Dollard, Matt Di Leva + 1 AATC 70's ME

Posted on Strava:

Boulder Road Runners-50's through 70's

Day After the Race at the IU Track-Light Workout & Friendship L to R Jeanette Groesz, Suzanne Ray, Jeannie Rice, Sabra Harvey

'Selfie' with Monument Circle in Background-L to R Jacob Nur, Roger Sayre, Adam Feerst

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