USATF-NE XC Championships Run the Show at Franklin Park

by Mike Giberti Comments (0) Articles, Racing

We promised that our coverage of the USATF-NE Cross Country Championships was not limited to the videos posted Monday evening and we haven’t broken that promise! Four new individual New England champions were crowned between the three races that took place. The Master’s 8k was the first event on the day and it featured a battle of the fittest straight till the end. A large pack consisting of the Boston Athletic Association trio of Chris Magill, Peter Hammer, and Harry Stants, Central Mass duo Greg Putnam and Tim Van Orden, Greater Boston middle distance stalwart Chris Blondin, amongst others lasted through the early staged of the race. Runners slowly dropped off over the third and fourth miles and it came down to Hammer, Magill, and Putnam coming down Bear Cage into the final turn. Magill would unleash the strongest kick of the three to take the individual title in 26’47 over the 4.95 mile layout. Hammer would place second just two second back with Putnam third in 26’52. Magill and Hammer along with 4th place finisher Harry Stants (27 flat) would lead the BAA to a third straight master’s team title. James Callahan and Kevin O’Neal would round out the scorers for the blue and yellow. Video coverage below:

The second race of the day was the Open/Master’s Women’s 6k. BC student Liv Westphal would jump out front early and run the entire race solo, coming through the mile in 5’09, two mile in 10’43, and eventually take the title with her fantastic time of 20 minutes, 18 seconds. And this is just a taste of what Westphal is capable of as an athlete. She ran a 15’31 indoor 5k here in Boston last December with a few of the best NCAA athletes in the country! Aside from Liv stealing the show, two other very impressive runners in NE Distance’s Katrina Spratford and GBTC OTQ Marathoner Laura Paulsen would duke it out for the runner-up spot some 40 or so seconds back. Spratford would hold a 50 meter gap on Paulsen through the two mile mark, but Paulsen would shorten the string gradually and eventually catch up to her at the top of Bear Cage Hill the second time. The duo would take it down to a kick, when Spratford would unleash the greater force and take the silver in 20’57, leaving Paulsen with the 3rd place finish in 20’59 over the 6k layout. The open Women’s team title went to New Balance Boston as they provided the 2nd through 6th scoring team finishers behind Paulsen. Scoring for NBB were Keely Maguire, Melissa Nash, Kallie Nixon, Jess Minty, and Taylor Bickford. The GBTC women would place second with the BAA in third.

Just because all the women were crammed into one race doesn’t mean we can leave out the top master’s women. CMS would provide the top female in the 40+ division as Regina Loiacano would crush the course in 22 minutes, 49 seconds. Diana Bowser (running unattached) would be the second master to cross the line (23’16) while Whirlaway standout Maria Servin would be the third master (and top senior’s female) to finish, just 17 seconds behind Bowser. On the 40+ side of things, the Western Mass Distance Project took the title with Greater Lowell and the Hot Flashes of Greater Derry following up. Scoring members of the winning WMDP team include Dana Parrot, Ruthie Ireland, and Vanessa Diana. The top senior’s teams on the day were Greater Lowell Road Runners, Liberty Athletic Club, and Greater Derry Track Club, with Trish Bourne, Jill Trotter, and Maureen Pellegrini leading the way for the Angry Chickens.

Last but not least was the Men’s Open race, which featured a star-studded field. Over the first two miles a slew of BAA and NE Distance athletes would set an honest clip, going through the mile in 4’49 and two miles in 9’49. But by 5k it would dwindle down to the BAA’s Eric Ashe, Brian Harvey, and Matt Fischer along with NE Distance’s Henry Sterling. Those four would remain in contention all the way until about a mile to go. Henry Sterling would emerged out of the Wilderness with a solid 50-60 meter gap over the three BAA runners and would be the eventual victor in 30 minutes, 16 seconds over the 9850 meter course. Over the three unicorn athletes, Fischer, Ashe, and Harvey would claim the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th spots respectively in 30’22, ’26, ’33. With those three being the top three to finish on scoring teams, the BAA would snitch out another open team title with 27 points. The New Balance Boston green dragons would stick a nice pack of runners not far behind the BAA studs, but fell just short and picked the 2nd place position with 38 points. GBTC men would be the distant 3rd place with a score of 100, nipping Dirigo RC off the podium by just one point. The GBTC men who didn’t race would also form the best cheering squad on the day, with three Tom Derderians present at the meet:

And here’s the race video for the Open Men:

Overall results courtesy of USATF-NE. Open Men Open/Masters Women Masters Men

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