It was a New Balance kind of day in Franklin Park yesterday for the Mayor’s Cup XC races. The weather wasn’t exactly spectator friendly, but the rain held out and it was just cool enough for pretty much an ideal day of racing.
Liz Costello, a New Balance runner, won the much anticipated women’s 5k race in 16:35, beating local star Liv Westphal (Boston College) and national sensation Mary Cain (Nike Oregon Project). Westphal, who is out XC eligibility at BC, came in 2nd in 16:40. Cain, back on the east coast after a stint on the west coast, was third in 16:46.
— Level Renner (@levelrenner) October 25, 2015
But the surprises of the day were probably in who came across next: Katrina Spratford and Keely Maguire. Katrina, the lone woman on the NE Distance team, was fourth in 17:27 and held her own in a field with some big names. Maguire, a New Balance Boston runner, also put a strong showing and led her NB Boston squad to the team title. Keely ran a 17:29, which gave her the same time as New Balance pro and national team competitor Cory McGee. But Keely was just fast enough to get ahead of McGee and finished 5th.
Rebecca Hammond finished in 18:09 and she led a wave of NB Boston women who took places 9-15, finishing ahead of another New Balance pro (Megan Krumpoch in 16th, 18:20).
The New Balance Boston ladies scored an intimidatingly low 15 points and crushed the team competition. In a distant second was the Greater Boston Track Club, led by Katherine Carter, with 60 points followed by the BAA, led by Emily D’Addario, in 3rd with 87 points.
In the men’s champions 8k race, Trevor Dunbar won in 23:17 but Jim Spisak of NE Distance was right there in second in 23:20. Spisak missed out on the overall win but he led the rapidly growing NE Distance team to victory, which is a big story in and of itself. Former Dartmouth runner Will Geoghegan was in 4th in 23:39 followed by the BAA’s dynamic duo of Brian Harvey and Eric Ashe in 6th and 7th, respectively. Harvey just recently cruised to a victory at the Mount Desert Island Half Marathon in 1:07:45 just last weekend. The effort clearly didn’t impact the freshness of his legs that much as he still had enough to drop a 23:57 for 8k and stay a step or two ahead of training partner Ashe (23:59).
On a day that was seemingly dominated by New Balance, the upstart NE Distance crew stole the show in the men’s race by taking 4 of the top 9 spots. They had all 7 guys cross in the top 21 and had a score of 35. It was perhaps the strongest showing from a Woonsocket, RI based cross country team since the heyday of Bobby Doyle’s high school teams (state champs in ’96).
Speaking of New Balance, Speed River New Balance TFC (that’s a mouthful) was in second with 64 followed by New Balance Boston, led by 2015 JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge champ Matt Hillard, in third with 91 points.
In the open race, Coby Horowitz ran away with it, running a 15:10 5k and was so far ahead that it was easy to forget about him once the big pack of masters runners came by. CMS and BAA runners were in the mix and it was hotly contested. Chris Magill ended up taking it with a late surge, but he had to work hard for every step he had on that pack. Check out how close it was:
3 1/45 M4049 16:38 5:20 Chris Magill 42 M 32 B.A.A.
4 2/45 M4049 16:39 5:21 Gregory Putnam 46 M 91 CMS
5 3/45 M4049 16:39 5:21 Harry Stants 42 M 41 B.A.A.
6 4/45 M4049 16:39 5:21 Peter Hammer 49 M 26 B.A.A.
7 5/45 M4049 16:45 5:23 Tim Van Orden 47 M 92 CMS
I mean, Peter Hammer was 4th out of that group and he ran the same time as 3 of them. That’s a sick group right there!
— Level Renner (@levelrenner) October 25, 2015
So the BAA ended up taking the masters team title over CMS by a score of 24-42. That battle was arguably the most exciting of the day.
Nearly as exciting as that was the competition for the women’s masters title. The Western Mass Distance Project women took the title over the Greater Lowell ladies by a score of 23 to 25. Too bad they didn’t have their own heat, as it would’ve been more exciting to see that finish on its own stage instead of mixed in with the rest.
The Greater Lowell ladies had a leg up because of Trish Bourne and Jill Trotter, who ran 21:19 and 21:27, respectively and scored 3 and 4 points for the team. WMDP women were led by Dana Parrot and Ruthie Ireland, who scored 5 and 6 points, respectively, which was great, but clearly behind Greater Lowell. WMDP was able to pack it in nicely after that and that ended up being the difference. Karin George and Kate Queeney both came in ahead of Greater Lowell’s 3rd (Mary Casey), giving the title to the Wolves.
1. WESTERN MASS DISTANCE PROJECT
5 6 12 (13) = 23
Dana Parrot, Ruthie Ireland, Karin George, Kate Queeney
2. GREATER LOWELL ROAD RUNNERS
3 4 18 (19) = 25
Trish Bourne, Jill Trotter, Mary Casey, Madeline Febo
It was an exciting day of racing all around and, as always, served as a great appetizer for the main course that is the New England Championships (to be held on 11/8 at Franklin Park). Those who were there yesterday are no doubt hungry for more, and those who are only reading about it surely are chomping at the bit now.