2013: A Look Back

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by Jim Dandeneau

Outstanding Performances

a partial list

2013 was quite a year, especially here in New England. We saw outstanding performances on the track, road, cross-country, mountains and trails….. One of the most memorable moments for myself occurred January 26 at the Terrier Classic. It had been announced that 2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp would be running the mile and shooting for the American Record. After perfect pacing by his Nike Oregon Project training partner Dorian Ulrey, Rupp sailed home in 3:50.92…Not an American record but an amazing feat…..I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it so loud in there….

On same day, Abbey D’Agostino, running at the University of Washington Invitational showing of what was to come ran an outstanding 8:55.41 for 3000 meters….

Cain at the 2013 NB Indoor Games

In February, at the New Balance Indoor Games we saw 16 year old Mary Cain break the American Indoor 2 mile record in 9:38:68 and Henry Wynne of Staples, CT win the boys junior mile in 4:11.73 en route to an undefeated Indoor campaign.

March saw UMASS Amherst graduate Kevin Johnson run to a dominating victory at the New Bedford Half Marathon (1:06:04) following up his February win at the D.H. Jones 10 mile race. Bryant University cross-country and track & field coach won the women’s race as Steph Reilly pulled away in the last mile from Maine’s Erica Jesseman to win in 1:15:52. The Run Westfield downhill 5K proved a lightning fast course as the fastest ever 5K in New England was run by Kenya’s Simon Ndirangu in 13:16 with New Zealand’s Kim Smith running a blazing 14:48. Olympians Alistair Cragg (29:20) and Amy Hastings (33:31) won the 38th St. Patrick Road Race in Holyoke….And over at the World Cross-Country Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland Hanover, New Hampshire’s Ben True ran one of the greatest races ever by a New England athlete finishing an incredible 6th in the snow/icy conditions to lead team USA to a silver medal.

We also marveled at Dartmouth College’s Abbey D’Agostino’s distance double (3K and 5K) winning the NCAA Indoor Championships and Northeastern’s Eric Jenkins sensational apparent runner up finish in the 3000 meters only to be controversially disqualified. Jenkins ran a blazing 26.69 last 200 meters. April was a month no one will ever forget here in New England with the Boston bombings. As we continue to heal and move on from that horrific event, it’s important to not lose sight of the tremendous accomplishments from that weekend. In the BAA 5K Kim Smith ran a victorious 15:16 to begin her second straight distance medley (and 100K payday) while Ethiopian Dejen Grebremeskel held off a game Aaron Braun to win in 13:37 while in the mile New Zealand’s Nick Willis (4:03) and the United State’s Brenda Martinez (4:52) cruised to victory…..In the main event, Ethiopian Rita Jeptoo was tactically unmatched running 2:26:25 for her second BAA title and countryman Lelisa Desista too strong winning in 2:10:22 for his 5 second victory.

April 2103 closed out with Boston University’s Katie Matthews running the 5000 meters in 15:44 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Ca finishing just ahead of Amy Hastings while Ben True ran a lifetime best 13:14:44 in winning the men’s 5k from American steeplechase record holder Evan Jager. Eric Jenkins ran a 20 year old American best 13:18:57. In the 10k, Braintree, MA native Sean Quigley ran an outstanding 27:50.78 with Newton’s Chris Barnicle finishing in 28:56.28.

May saw the 3 (arguably) best female distance runners in New England competing in the 1st New Balance Twlight meet with Abbey D’Agostino winning the 800 meters, Molly Huddle winning the 3000 meters, and Kim Smith, the 5000 meters. Chris Zablocki’s 50 lb rock training comes in handy as he not only wins the Cox Marathon in Providence (2:28:32) but the Vermont City Marathon in 2:18:23 beating 4 time winner Matt Pelletier after a spectacular sub 5:00 minute last mile. Katie Moulton wins her debut in Providence (2:53:46) with Heidi Westover winning Vermont in 2:42:02 despite running 7 minute slower than her course record. Former Stanford star Louis Luchini won the Portland Sea Dog Mother’s Day race from Robert Gomez with Erica Jesseman taking the women’s title.

Outstanding Individual Performances

Sam Alexander running a little XC

Breakthrough Women’s Performance of the Year... Erica Jesseman Hartford Marathon 2:38:13

Men’s Breakthrough Performance of the Year… Pat Fullerton 3:58.8 High Street mile. This was another one of the most shocking moments of the year to me…I knew the guy had talent but did not realize he had THAT kind of ability…

I had considered many performances including Sam Alexander’s 9th place finish at National Club Cross Country and Tim Ritchie’s 4th place USATF National Half Marathon Championship 1:02:28. Speaking of Sam, that truly was a tremendous race.

Ben True ran 3000m in 7:36.59 in Rieti (ITA)on 08.09.2013 and 5000m in 13:11.59 in Heusden-Zolder (BEL) on 13.07.2013. Not to mention that he almost won Falmouth too.  His World Cross race was unreal……(.I love the way he races)….Peyton Jordan 5K was also awesome when he outkicked Evan Jager…

The most shocking to me was Northeastern (now Oregon) Eric Jenkins indoor NCAA 3K runner up finish…..(he was DQ’d…certainly controversially) but what guts he showed! Also, his outdoor 5000 at Peyton Jordan (13:18) was sick…

Master women Christen Doneski What a year she had! Road Hill…She does it all…

Men’s Master…Chris Magill…He ran a sollid mile…won New Bedford 1/2 Master Division, good cross-country season….

Coach of the year: Eric Blake Central Connecticut. His cross-country squad defeated 40 other teams to win its first ever New England Collegiate Cross Country Championship *I believe this more surprising than Providence College Women’s cross-country team winning the NCAA Division I Championship

More on the year that was to come. Too much to contain in one post. Feel free to pass along anything on runners or races that we might’ve missed.

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