Outstanding High Performance Fields Announced for the 2016 Adrian Martinez Classic

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Press Release

“A Track Meet like No Other”

Concord, MA, USA

For the third year in a row, the very elite of American distance runners are descending on
Concord, Massachusetts for the Adrian Martinez Classic, sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE. High
Performance races in the 800m, 5000m and Mile are part of a unique track event that also offers
community mile races for all ages, as well as two races featuring local unified track athletes. The
eighth edition of the Martinez Classic, scheduled for Thursday June 2nd at Emerson Field in
Concord, will truly live up to its billing as a meet with races for all ages and abilities and, as the
Boston Globe headlined in its 2015 report, “A track meet like no other.”

The setting is certainly unusual for high performance athletes. The track at Emerson Field is
nestled between a playground, a tree-lined drive, and little league fields. Spectators ring the track,
crowding 3-deep along the fence. After winning last year’s 5000m, Abbey D’Agostino commented,
“I love the energy, the community - to have everyone from 3-year-olds to my grandmother, who is
84. It’s real exciting to see that track can generate that kind of audience.” Jan Holmquist, who
broke the world record for the mile in the 70+ age group at last year’s Martinez Classic, also
noted then the different feel to the event. “It’s a community thing. It’s perfect here.”

In this, an Olympic Year, the High Performance races offer an important opportunity for athletes
seeking to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in July as well as those seeking the Olympic A
standard. With elite athletes still entering, the fields currently show 13 women under 2:02 in the
800m, as well as 7 men under 1:47. The 5000m has 9 women with a sub-15:30 mark to their
credit and 9 men under 13:50. The feature events, the Adro Miles, include 14 men who have
broken 4 minutes and 7 women who have run under 4:32. Promising the opportunity to race
against such deeply competitive fields, many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls will toe the line in
Concord on June 2nd.

When asked about this year’s meet, Lee Cox, the Director of Global Marketing for HOKA ONE
ONE stated, “HOKA recognizes that high performance competition is not always easy to find for
our elite and emerging elite athletes. That is why we have invited the nation’s top-ranked men
and women at 800m and 5000m as well as the Mile to participate in this community-focused
setting. Usually, these elite athletes compete in vast purpose-built arenas with seating for 1000’s.
Here in Emerson Field, Concord there is an intimacy and a relaxed environment surrounding the
site. Spectators can almost reach out and touch the athletes during competition and can mingle
with them pre- and post-race. The Adrian Martinez Classic creates an incredible, unique and
inclusive atmosphere and fast times.”

In the men’s 800m, the field will be led by David Torrence, the American Record-holder at 1000m
and Brandon Johnson, whose 1:43.84 best leads all entrants. Johnson represented the United
States at the 2013 World Championships and was part of the world record-setting U.S. Distance
Medley Relay team in 2015. On the women’s side, McKayla Fricker and Dana Mecke,
respectively the 2015 and 2014 winners, return but will be tested by Phoebe Wright who has a
best of 1:58.22 and a host of others. High school phenom Sammy Watson, the 2015 Junior
National Champion and IAAF World Youth Gold medalist, adds a bit of intrigue to this 800m field
as she steps up to face a seasoned professional field.

Local hero Tim Ritchie returns to the Martinez Classic in the 5000m. The Boston College
assistant coach and Adro Mile champion in 2010, raced the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials this
Winter and posted a very strong 1:01 half marathon last fall. Perhaps his main competition will be
Jamaican national record holder with a 13:20.39, Kemoy Campbell, who will seek to represent his
country this summer in Rio. The women’s 5000m is incredibly stacked, featuring New Zealand
Olympian Kim Smith, defending champion Abbey D’Agostino, Boston Athletic Association’s Katie
Matthews, and three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines.

The Adro Miles, so named to honor former Concord runner Adrian “Adro” Martinez’s love of the
mile, are the showcase event of the evening and carry an additional prize money bonus of $1500
for a meet record. There are currently two men in the field with personal bests faster than Robby
Andrews’ 3:57.15 record, Tony Jordanek and Canadian Jeremy Rae, who leads the field with a
1500m best that converts to a 3:54.2 mile.

On the women’s side, a host of athletes with championship pedigree will chase Violah Lagat’s
meet record of 4:29.43. Villanova grad Emily Lipari has an NCAA Mile title to her credit, while
Angela Bizzarri won 5 NCAA titles during her time at Illinois. Erin Donohue, who represented the
United States at the 2008 Olympics, is back in form and will provide a stiff challenge. Hannah
Fields, runner-up in last year’s Adro Mile and winner of 19 NAIA National titles, is back and
looking to move up to the top of the podium in 2016.

The Adrian Martinez Classic began as a way to remember former Concord-Carlisle High School
standout Adrian Martinez, who died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2006. Founder and Meet Director
Steve Lane said, “We wanted to do something fun and different to honor Adrian and we are very
proud that we are able to bring together so many different strands of the running community –
elites, youth, seniors, beginners, and now unified athletes. HOKA has been very supportive in
helping create a meet that is unique and Concord is proud to welcome so many great athletes to
Emerson Field.”

In each of its previous seven years, the quality and depth of the fields at the Martinez Classic
have grown immensely. In this, the third year with HOKA ONE ONE as the presenting sponsor,
the event appears poised to achieve a new standard of excellence. And in an Olympic year, the
Adrian Martinez Classic will be an important step for athletes on the road to Rio.

For more information about the Adrian Martinez Classic High Performance Events,
contact:

Jonathan Marcus, High Performance Coordinator for the Adrian Martinez Classic
E-mail: [email protected] Phone: +1 971 344 4469 (USA - Pacific Coast Standard time)

For more information about the Adrian Martinez Classic, contact:

Stephen Lane, Meet Director, Adrian Martinez Classic
Email: [email protected] Phone: 617-306-4650 (USA – Eastern Time)

About the Adrian Martinez Classic

The Adrian Martinez Classic began in 2009 as a tribute to a great runner and wonderful young
man, Adrian Martinez. Adrian was a champion miler at Concord-Carlisle High School, Class of
2002. His humility, gentle and caring nature, and love of learning inspired the lives of all he met.
He selflessly gave of himself to all who sought his help, whether academically as a gifted math
student, or athletically as an accomplished distance runner.

The summer after he graduated from Williams College, Adrian Martinez suffered a fatal ‘sudden
cardiac arrest’ while playing soccer with friends. He cherished his friends and family and was
loved universally. He led quietly and by example, both at CCHS and at Williams College, where
he graduated with the Class of 2006. The Adrian Martinez Classic is a way to honor his life by
doing something he truly loved: running with friends.

The Adrian Martinez Classic serves as a fundraiser for the Adrian Martinez Memorial Scholarship
Fund at Concord-Carlisle High School (which is administered by the CCHS Scholarship Fund),
and for the Friends of CCHS Track & Field, which supports the Track & Field teams at CCHS.
Adrian’s parents, Angel and Frankie, his brothers Lucas and Julian, and his sister, Olivia, have
established the Adrian A. Martinez

The 2016 Adrian Martinez Classic will be held onThursday 2 June, 2016 – Emerson Field, Concord, MA

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