2014 Year in Review, Part I

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By Jim Dandeneau

2014! What an incredible year? What was your own favorite moment? Here are a few of the highlights:

January

One week after breaking the American record at 5000 meters in a time of 13:01.26 at Boston University Multi Team Meet, Galen Rupp, the 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist in the 10000 meters returned to BU to compete in the Terrier Classic and ran 8 :07.41 to break Bernard Lagat’s American record in the indoor 2 mile after perfect pacing by Taylor Gilland, Patrick Casey and Bethwel Birgen. Following his historic race, Rupp, as is customary with Alberto Salazar coached athletes, completed a workout, (5xmile) with his last repeat in 4:01.

At the BU Multi team meet, high schooler Mary Cain ran 2:39.19 to break the World junior 1000 meter indoor record however missed the WJR at the Terrier invite by .01 in the mile running 4:24.11. Dartmouth College’s Will Geoghegan, a native of Maine, ran an Ivy League record 3:58.04 while classmate Abbey D’Agostino, the reigning NCAA cross-country champion, tuned up for a defense of her 5000 meter  NCAA indoor title by running 4:28.31.

Meanwhile, at the Sidehiller Snowshoe Race in Center Sandwich, NH, Whirlaway’s Brandon Newbould won by a comfortable 12 seconds as Laconia’s Abbey Wood, competing for CMS, held off Melissa Donais by 7 seconds for the victory.

Several locals traveled to the US Half Marathon Championships in Houston and produced outstanding times, led by Brighton’s Tim Ritchie (1:02:00) and Boston’s Eric Ashe (1:05:01) with former Providence College star Katie DiCamillo finishing in 1:14:16.

In Scotland, Sam Alexander (BAA) competed at the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country Race 8k event (won by American Chris Derrick) as another former Stanford University star Garret Heath pulled a monumental upset in defeating World 5K/10K record holder Kenenisa Bekele and 2008 Olympic 1500 champion Asbel Kiprop in the 4K event.

February

At the Boston Indoor Games, the men’s 4×800 meter relay world record was taken down by an All Star team of Richard Jones, David Torrence, Duane Solomon and Eric Sowinski in a time of 7:13.11. In the men’s 3000 meters, Ryan Hill, a 2013 North Carolina State graduate, ran a spectacular 7:34:87 to finish 3rd. Rhode Island was well represented as Maddy Berkson, middle distance star at Classical High School, won the girls junior mile while in the men’s masters mile Mike Galoob held off 1992 US Olympic 5000 meter trials champion John Trautmann to win in 4:23.48.

At the USA cross country championships in Boulder, CO former Newton North star Chris Barnicle finished 9th.

On the roads and closer to home, New York’s Megan Hogan ran a course record 55:28 at the DH Jones 10 mile race in Amherst, while the BAA’s Eric Ashe pulled away from 2012 Cape Verde Olympian Ruben Sança to win in 50:43.

Over at the Horse Hill 7K Snowshoe Race Nacho Hernando outlasted Brandon Newbould for the title as Melissa Donais claimed the women’s title.

Tim Ritchie got back on the indoor track for the first time in two years at the BU Valentine Invitational. In what turned out to be a thrilling three man race between Tim, Will Geoghegan (Dartmouth) and Maksim Korolev (Harvard), Ritchie ran a 7:56.16 and finished 3rd. But when both men run the third and fourth fastest times on the year to that point (and under the old Ivy League record), it doesn’t hurt as much to lose. Plus, Tim’s time was a PR and US Indoor Nationals qualifier.

March

3-time New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, who resides in Providence, showed up at the New Bedford Half Marathon, the second leg of the New England Grand Prix road race series, for a “tempo” effort. Kim ran 5:26 pace in claiming the women’s title, while Andrea Walkonen, 27, a Boston University graduate finished second in 1:13:12 while ever improving Hilary Dionne, 28,  a resident of Cambridge, ran a solid 1:14:52 in finishing 3rd.

Sança, returning to the whaling city for the first time in 3 years, pulled away from Whirlaway teammate Nick Karwoski, 25, and Dan Vassalo, 28, (CMS) in claiming his second title in 1:05:50.

On the same day in New York City, one of Smith’s training partners, Molly Huddle, the outdoor American record holder in the 5000 meters, ran her first half marathon finishing 3rd in 1:09:04.

At the Ras Na heireann  5K, Irish Olympian Alistair Cragg, 33, now residing in Providence (and betrothed to US Olympian Amy Hastings), easily won as Megan Nedlo dominated the women’s field.

Out at the 39th Holyoke St. Patrick Day Road Race,  Ethiopians Mengistu Nebsi, 35, running 29:42, and Askale Merachi, 27, 33:14 claimed the titles, the latter being a women’s course record.

Down in Florida at the Gate River Run, the USATF national 15K championship, New Hampshire’s Ben True ran a tremendous last mile in defeating Chris Derrick, winning in 43:04. Tim Ritchie, 26,  ran 43:24 in finishing 3rd while fellow former Massachusetts schoolboy stars, Barnicle, 26, (6th) with Sean Quigley, 29, (8th and continuing his comeback) ran well.

For the women, Katie DiCamillo, 27, finished second, as Heather Cappello (7th) and Katie Matthews (9th) joined her in the top ten.

At the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, D’Agostino dominated the 3K and 5K, pushing her NCAA titles to a remarkable seven. In the men’s mile, Rich Peters, a Boston University senior finished 4th as Geoghegan, and Seekonk native Johnny Gregorek (Columbia) finished 5th and 6th, respectively.

At the New England High School Indoor Track and Field Championships, Christian Alvarado (Fairfield) won the 2 mile in 9:00.29, just ahead of Darien’s Alex Ostberg. Hannah DeBalsi (Westport, CT), runner up at the Foot Locker national cross country championships, ran 10:12.95 in winning by almost 40 seconds.

At the New Balance National meet, Burlington, MA star Paul Hogan ran 8:59.82 for two miles in finishing 2nd.

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