Those who participated in the Greater Boston Track Club’s Cross Country Festival this past Sunday were in for a real treat: A fresh XC race at Elm Bank Park, Mike Mahon’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, some fanfare from Tom Derderian’s harmonica, and a post-race BBQ. Not to mention the winning individuals and teams received freshly baked pies and engraved forks and pie servers to consume the goodness with. The meet also served as the 2nd installment of this year’s USATF-NE XC Grand Prix Series, thus drawing a good handful of familiar competition.
On the men’s side, Ruben Sanca repped the Brooks brand and the Whirlaway Racing Team with a close victory over some of New England’s top guys in 15 minutes, 30 seconds over the 5k off-road layout. NCAA Indoor Mile record holder (4:00.41) Coby Horowitz ran the runner up race just 4 seconds behind Sanca with GBTC 5k/10k stud Adam Pacheck hot on his heels for third. The Greater Boston Track Club would win the team title on their home turf. In the master’s competition (a separate race for the men), the Central Mass Sweepers snagged the top three spots as Josh Perks, Joe Shaires, and Jim Pawlicki came blazing across the line in 17’07, 17’21, and 17’29 respectively. Those three would lead their team to the Master’s Title.
The women also had quite the showing. Representing the USATF-NE by way of GBTC and representing NIRCA by way of Harvard University Running Club, Kate Carter made a late break for the victory in 18 minutes, 26 seconds. Teammate Aly Millet would follow her in with a time of 18’30. The third position would be filled by GLRR Master’s sensation Kara Haas in 18’51, who was also fresh off of a victory at the St. Charles Children’s Home 5k on Labor Day. The GBTC women would join their male counterparts as team champions on the open side. As for the master’s women, the Western Mass Distance Project made their fresh new uniforms shine brightly as they won over the Greater Derry Hot Flashes, who were a close second. Scoring for the WMDP Wolves were Dana Parrot (21:44), Nancy Cook (22:16), and Kate Queeney (22:30).
There was also a community 5k that was won by Andy Waterman of London, England in 19’01 and a youth 2k that was won by Ryan Basile of Haverhill Elite in 7’52. The top female finishers in each race were Josephine Ross in 26’05 and Pauline Stines in 8’20.
Check out the official results courtesy of AB-MAC Finish Systems.
Check out a playlist of videos, including Tom’s harmonica piece and Mahon’s National Anthem, courtesy of Mike Giberti: