By Jim Dandeneau
Abbey D’Agostino pulls away after 4K at the NCAA Division I National Cross-Country Championship in Terra Haute, Indiana to win going away. With 5 NCAA titles including Indoor/Outdoor she becomes the most decorated Ivy League runner ever. The Providence College women’s team wins their second NCAA team title with Emily Sisson finishing 7th individually. Former Peabody standout Catarina Rocha, only a freshman, is P.C. ‘s 4th runner. On the men’s side, Harvard’s Maksim Korolev caps a fantastic season in finishing 3rd overall in windy/muddy conditions in which the start was moved up 115 meters due to standing water. Freshman phenom Edward Cheserek, 19, surprises winning the individual title over heavy race favorite and defending champion Kennedy Kithuka.
At the NCAA Division III national championship, Connecticut College’s Mike Leduc roared home to victory capping off an extremely impressive season. Colby Horowitz, Bowdoin finished 12th, Greg Krathwohl, Middlebury was 16th. On the women’s side, Kaleigh Kenny, Williams. 3rd, Abby Barker, Tufts was 16th, and Ameila Lundkvist, Brandeis, 21st. Middlebury women were 3rd.
At the NCAA Division II national championship, Bentley’s Tara Dooley finished 4th with Mike Biwott, AIC, also 4th.
At the USATFNE Cross Country Championship at Franklin Park, New Balance Boston’s Jillian King pulled away to win the 6K in 20:48 over Katrina Spratford of New England Distance and Joanna Murphy and Sydney Fitzpatrick both of New Balance Boston leading her team to an easy victory. Eric Ashe of the BAA rebounded from a serious heel injury earlier in the year to pull away to victory in 30:49. leading his team to a 1-2-3-4 finish (Sam Alexander 2nd, Dan Harper 3rd, Brian Harvey 4th) In the men’s masters division, Sandu Rebenciuc, 44, of the Springfield Harriers a former Augustana College All-American (and Division III national cross country champion) easily won the men’s race in 26:44 with the BAA’s Peter Hammer (2nd) and Chris Magill (3rd) leading their Master’s team to a dominating victory. In the women’s race, Diana Bowser, 40, defeated former Olympic Trials marathon qualifier Mimi Fallon, 48, of Walpole, MA.
At the 79th New England High School Championship in Manchester, NH Trevor Hopper, a senior from Ridgefield, CT displayed an incredible kick winning in 15:08, leading 5 (wow!) runners under Ben True’s course record. LaSalle Academy (Providence, RI) won the boys championship by 3 points over Ridgefield. In the girls race, Hannah Debalsi, Westport, CT showed why she is one of the best female distance runners in the country, winning by 24 seconds. Coe-Brown Academy in New Hampshire won the girls race.
Down in Alexandria,Virgina, at the USA road racing finale (The .US 12K), Molly Huddle showed that the longer distance suits her just fine, pulling away from Shalane Flanagan in the last mile to set a WORLD best for 12k (37:50) with Flanagan 8 ticks back. Katie Matthews finished 10th in 40:22. In the men’s race, Aaron Braun, won his first national championship (34:28) by 7 seconds over Shadrack Biwott. Tim Ritchie, just 6 weeks removed from a 2:14:49 marathon at Twin Cities, runs down a few athletes over the last half mile finishing 6th in 34:46 solidifying his place among the nation’s elite.
At the New York City Marathon, Kim Smith finished 6th in 2:28:49 in very windy conditions.
On Thanksgiving, at the Manchester, CT 4.748 mile Road Race, former NCAA Division I National Cross-Country champion, Sam Chelanga, who recently relocated to Hanover, NH, passed defending champion Aaron Braun (after Braun had run the first mile in 4:13…. yikes!) going up the Highland Street hill to win in 21:31. Braun gamely hung on for second 21:40 with Tyler Pennell (Zap Fitness) 3rd in 22:03, Donn Cabral (Glastonbury, CT) 4th 22:07.
That very same day, Pat Fullerton cruises along into the wind to a solo 15:10. That was 30 seconds faster than the old course record of 15:40, which was set by Harry Norton back in 2007. Alanna McDonough, fresh off an appearance at the NCAA DIII cross country national championships, wins her first Feaster Five race. In the five mile race, Ruben Sança breaks the tape in 24:19 with Nate Jenkins right behind him in 24:23. Kirsten Kasper, 22, was the top woman in the five miler, running a 27:48 and beating out Cat Beck of the Central Park Track Club (who ran a 28:18).
At the USA Club National Cross-Country Championships in Bend, Oregon, Sam Alexander (Waterford, CT) runs a sensational breakthrough race to finish in 9th place on the treacherous 10K course. Former Division III national cross-country champion at Trinity College, Ryan Bak, living in Oregon finishes 7th. Joe Gray, the USA mountain running champion runs 31:05 to claim the championship. Jillian King (20th) and Sydney Fitzpatrick (22nd) led the New England contingent in the women’s 6K even to lead New Balance Boston to a 5th place finish. The BAA men’s master’s squad finishes on the podium with a 3rd plae finish led by former Penn State star Harry Stants in 20th. North Kingstown, RI Keven O’Neil finishes 22nd. New Hampshire’s Sandu Rebenciuc finishes 6th.
At the Nike Cross National High School Championship in Portland, Oregon Chaplain Valley Union (VT) Autumn Eastman finishes 16th while Cumberland, RI and Bishop Feehan’s Abbey McNulty finishes 25th. Two time Rhode Island high school cross country champion Emma McMillan, Barrington, RI, only a sophomore, finishes 45th.
At the Foot Locker National Cross-Country Championship, Hannah DeBalsi finishes 2nd (17:26) and Kirsten Sandreuter, from Greely High School in Maine finishes 20th (18:08). In the boy’s race, Josef Holt-Andrews, Telstar Regional High School in Bethel, ME finishes an impressive 10th (15:30) with Dan Curts, Ellsworth High, (ME) in 19th (15:44) on the challenging Balboa Park course.
At the Boston University Season Opener, P.C. stars Emily Sisson (15:40.62), Sarah Collins (15:41.00) and Laura Nagel (15:42.62) posts automatic qualifying times for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 5000 meters.
At the Boston University “mini-meet” Amherst College’s track & field/cross-country coach Erik Nedeau 42,, a former bronze medalist at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 1500 meters, showed he still has wheels, running 8:49. Way back in January he had teamed with Scott Weeks, Chris Simpson and former teammate at Northeastern University Mark Gomes to become the first men’s master’s quartet to ever run under 8:00 completing 8 circuits of the indoor oval in 7:58.12.
Thanks again to Jim for putting this all together for us. As you can see from all this, 2013 was quite an exciting year. Whether you’re an age-grouper just giving it your all at a local road race or a post-collegiate runner trying to break through on the national stage, we love to see the hard work put in (and pay off). We’ll be there to support and report in 2014!