Joseph Gray and Addie Bracy were both successful in their bids to repeat as USATF national mountain running champions at Cranmore on Saturday. Gray and Bracy will lead Team USA in the world mountain running championships to be held in Italy at the end of July.
Though the competition was fierce with national team slots on the line, the top 4 spots were sealed just over 47 minutes. Gray broke the tape in 45:49, followed by Patrick Smyth (46:12), Brett Hale (46:57) and Andy Wacker (47:10).
After Bracy got the win on the women’s side (in 53:56), next across was Allie McLoughlin (54:23), Kasie Enman (56:05) and Caitlin Patterson (56:42).
Perhaps even more impressive than the repeat performance by Bracy was the comeback by McLoughlin. According to Paul Kirsch (co-RD), “Since 2014, she has had tremendous issues with injury including overcoming a major hip problem.” It looks like that hip is holding up just fine, especially if she can handle two laps of up/down.
The next two women are both New Englanders, which means it’ll be that much more exciting to cheer on Team USA in July. Enman is a former world mountain running champion herself and just won the Vermont City Marathon the weekend prior. Kasie clearly showed no signs of rust.
Right behind Enman was Patterson…the skier. Amazing.
“Eventually on the Thursday before the Saturday race, I decided I’d go for it and sign up. After all, if mountain running championships are in your backyard, just a few hours drive away, and you like running up hills, why not go?”
You really should read Caitlin’s full blog post.
CMS teammates Regina Loiacano and Leslie O’Dell finished 8th and 9th overall respectively and were the top two masters runners. Regina ended up with a 1:02:39 and Leslie came through in 1:03:46.
Getting back to the men’s race, and Brandon Newbould was the top New Englander. The Whirlaway runner came in 8th in a very fast 51:20. Not too far behind Brandon was Dan Button, who ran a 52:44 and finished 10th. It’s been fun to watch Dan progress, and with a top 10 finish in a stacked field he pretty much showed the region that he’s a contender for mountain series wins.
Just to show how far Dan has come, let’s take a look at the 2016 championship race (at Loon Mountain). Although Dan ran well, he still was the 46th guy (and 53rd overall). He got beat by seven women in 2016, and then was top ten in the men’s race the following year. That’s a pretty incredible turnaround, and at the peppy young age of 30, he’s got time on his side.
Right behind Dan were two gentlemen that have been at it for a little longer, but still tear up the slopes on a regular basis: Jim Johnson and Tim Van Orden. The CMS teammates both earned national age group titles, but the 40 year old Johnson beat out the 49 year old Van Orden by the slimmest of margins. JJ came through in 52:49 with TiVO hot on his heels in 52:55.