Another week, another close finish for Andrea Sorgato. Andrea ran a blistering 14:48 to edge John Schilkowsky at the Ras na hEireann U.S.A., “The Race of Ireland & United States of America”, on March 13th. It was the second fast race/close finish for Sorgato in as many weeks in Somerville, MA.
The week prior saw Sorgato also run a 14:48 at the An Ras Mor 5k (which served as the USATF-NE Championship) and place 3rd in that stacked field. In that race Andrea was just barely beaten out at the line by Aliaksandr Leuchanka (14:47).
This time 14:48 was enough, as Schilkowsky came through in 14:49. Although in both races, the gap was closer than 1 second so don’t let the results fool you. Sorgato is no stranger to success at this one, as he’s won it 3 times (finished 2nd once), but although the name is the same the course isn’t necessarily. “The course was completely different that I though this year, as it was reverse from the last time I ran this race 2 years ago. I think the course has changed at least 3 times from the first time I ran it!”
Although the changing course wasn’t enough to stop Andrea, the deep field was certainly a challenge. Olympic Trials competitor Brian Harvey led the pack through the first mile of the rolling course in 4:48. Nobody seemed to be in a rush to make the first break, and the pack of contenders was six strong with about a mile to go.
Brian started to pick up the pace a little, but it was with 800m left that Andrea struck. It was just a small move, to get a few meters in front of the field. “I thought Brian was right behind me in the last 200 meters, and didn’t realize that it was my teammate John Schilkowsky coming back quickly, but I was able to hold him off.”
Schilkowsky & Sorgato are teammates so there was obviously familiarity there. Having run with Sorgato recently, Schilkowsky knew that Andrea was in good shape. “With me being more of a miler type I thought that I would be able to close it down pretty well at the end, but Andrea got a bit of a gap on me with a hard charge a little over a half mile to go. Everyone up front had been sitting for so long because of the wind that it took me a second to wake up and charge after him. I couldn’t quite reel him in but I couldn’t be much more happy with the race. It was real fun to go one-two with a teammate.”
Brian Harvey ended up third in 14:55, a real fast time for a guy a month removed from an unpleasantly hot LA marathon. David Melly, on a bit of a hot streak himself, was 4th in 15:02. David also ran An Ras the prior weekend where he was also fourth (14:49).
Said David of his recent accomplishments: “I still have a lot of work to do, but it’s been nice to spin the wheels a bit against some decent competition. I haven’t really felt 100 percent on the roads yet, which isn’t a bad thing if I think of the past few races as a starting point.”
His teammate Lou Serafini (also an Olympic Trials marathon competitor) was excited to see him lay down another fast time. “Real pumped about David’s race and last few races in general. He’s strung together a good stretch of races. I think once he puts in a good stretch of training he could pop some big times in the spring/summer.”
Speaking of the looming spring/summer temps, David gave us a glimpse into his future plans: “Next I’m hopefully going to take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather to get a solid training block in before the summer track and road races really heat up. Since graduating I’ve been playing it pretty much by ear on a week to week basis, so I’m amped to see what I can do when my training plan is a bit more organized.”
On the women’s side, Rosa Moriello ran a 16:33 and was 12 seconds up on the next woman (Holly Rees, 16:45). Now, most days around here that’d be enough to secure the win for Rosa. This was not most days. On the line with Rosa and Holly was Olympian Jennifer Rhines.
Although this was the same weekend as the Gate River Run (the 15k national championship, where she won the masters title in 2015), Jennifer stuck closer to home to race. Jennifer ran a 16:15 and placed 14th overall, winning with relative ease.
On her decision to stick closer to home: “I’m training for the 5k/10k this spring and I felt like I needed a break from the longer races. The 5k in Sommerville was a perfect fit as a first race of the season and I was pleased with the result.”
For Rosa, it was a bit of a surprise to see an Olympian standing there on the line. “I wasn’t sure who was going to be at this race. I knew some of my friends would be there but didn’t expect anyone else. I saw Jen at the starting line and immediately though “well….2nd place doesn’t sound too bad when it’s to a former Olympian”. Although winning would have been nice, I really just wanted to go out there and run a good time. I had 16:30 in my mind so crossing at 16:33 and only 17 seconds behind Jen seemed pretty great to me. She’s such a talented runner and has had such an amazing career that you really can’t be upset if you lose to her.”
Rosa herself improved on a fairly recent 5k PR (from the CVS 5k back in September) by 5 seconds. That Providence course is lightening fast too, so to better that time in March weather is a sign of good things to come. “I knew going in to the race that 16:30 was do-able. Training has been going pretty well so I didn’t think that would be too far out of reach physically. Mentally was more my concern. I had a small set back in January after a really great 4mi race that definitely took a hit at my confidence so I wasn’t sure how my mind was going to react during the race. I told myself before that I was tired of not racing where my training is telling me I should be and that I really need to just go for it. So this was a good step in the right direction.”
Maybe she’ll be ready to take it down even further when she lines up for the BAA 5k in April.