Tag: USATF-NE XC Grand Prix

XC Linkfest 2013

USATF-NE XC Championships were at Franklin Park last weekend, wrapping up the cross country grand prix series for the year. Like the Mayor’s Cup, this was a big draw and got teams from a  little further away to come and toe the line (Dirigo RC from Maine, CPTC from NYC, to name a couple). The races themselves were already recapped by Jim Dandeneau earlier this week, but we wanted to share a few more things with you on the event:

As many of you know already, Krissy Kozlosky was out there getting some great shots of the action:

WMDP kozlosky NE 2
There’s also some great video, courtesy of the Adelphi University Panthers XC/Track:

To squeeze a little more cross country in, there was also a video on Ben True from World XC that FloTrack put up:

Watch more video of Saucony Strongest Moments on flotrack.org

Mayor’s Cup Wrap Up

After much delay we can finally present the rest of our coverage of the Mayor’s Cup races. First up is the Franklin Park 5k, which was held in addition to the men’s and women’s championship races. It was won by Jake Shoemaker and Cailin Kowalewski in 15:38 and 18:44, respectively.

Next up we have interviews with Brennan Bonner (GBTC), Brian Harvey (BAA) and Nich Haber (NE Distance). The hot topic on the day was the wrong turn taken by the leaders. Brennan went the wrong way, Brian didn’t and Nich was there to see it happen.

Of the incident, Tom Derderian (USATF-NE President) issued the following:

“After the recent Mayor’s Cup cross-country meet, several elected athletes representatives came to the monthly USATF-NE board meeting with observations and suggestions about what happened as the lead pack in the men’s championship race ran loops in a different order. The athletes reps had gathered information from participants about what had happened and their complaints and compliments.  The rule book states that runners can be disqualified if they run short of the official course but nothing about mixing up the order of loops. For the future a decision process will be used that will include some of the provisions in the rule book such as a designated meet director, referee, course marshall, and games committee to adjudicate any unforeseen occurrences.”

Finally, we have something that is going to ultimately fall victim to poor timing. The night before this race was the infamous obstruction call in the World Series. Since we’re in the heart of Red Sox Nation, we know we weren’t the only ones that were left feeling disgusted by it. Ultimately it was the right call, but it was still very disappointing. We wanted to get the reactions of runners to the call. We also wanted to post it that day so it was still relevant, but the onset of pneumonia and crazy software issues prevented that from happening…until now. So here’s the video that should’ve been released back in October.

If you didn’t like it, blame it on the pneumonia. Also, don’t forget about Scott Mason’s photos from the day.

Mayors Cup Mason

Didn’t think this stuff would see the light of day. Gonna play up the pneumonia card as long as possible. So please, forgive the lateness. After all, I had pneumonia.

CPTC Women Take The Cup

Yeah, still rolling out the Mayor’s Cup coverage. Here we have the top women from the Central Park Track Club, fresh off their team victory at the Mayor’s Cup. Featured here are birthday girl Rolanda Bell (5th, 17:36), Catherine Beck (6th, 17:39), Jane Vongvorachoti (8th, 17:43), and the Secret Weapon: Erin Koch (10th, 17:51).

Catherine and Jane went on to run quite well at the Dash to the Finish 5k in NYC. They ran 16:56 (22th) and 17:10 (24th), respectively.

Beginning to think I should’ve edited out the ‘mom and pop’ line at the end. Why not embrace the weird? It’s what separates us from the pack.

King is Queen, Ashe is Back

By Jim Dandeneau

On a spectacular November day fit for cross-country, Eric Ashe and Jillian King both won their first USATF New England Cross-Country title at historic Franklin Park in Boston. After a one year hiatus due to course renovations, with last year’s championships held at Stanley Park Westfield, MA, the racing returned in the 100th year since cross-country began in 1914 (at Franklin field).

King, 23, a 2013 Boston College graduate, dominated the USATF-NE 6K championship winning in a time of 20:48.84, leading her New Balance Boston team to victory. King, who took a lengthy break from racing following the outdoor track season, broke away from a tight pack going up famed Bear Cage Hill, prior to 1.5 miles, coasting to victory by 15 seconds over Katrina Spratford, 23, of NE Distance, with Joanna Murphy, 29, and Sydney Fitzpatrick, 24, both of New Balance Boston in 3rd and 4th respectively. “The first mile (completed in 5:24) felt like a hard tempo. I decided to make a move going up Bear Cage hill…I love hills. I do alot of hill work on Heartbreak. This is only my 2nd post-collegiate cross country race,” said the Scotia, NY native who is back to running “in the 50′s” for mileage with workouts split between her alma mater’s cross country team (where she is a volunteer coach), and her New Balance Boston team. King, who is presently applying to medical and grad schools, stated she is planning on running the the USATF National Club Country Championships at River’s Edge Golf Course in Bend, OR scheduled for December 14th prior to hitting the indoor track circuit. The New Balance Boston women’s team scored a nearly perfect 17 points with the Boston Athletic Association (62 points) finishing second and Greater Boston Track Club (70 points) finishing 3rd.

Ashe, a 2011 Boston University graduate, broke away from a pack of 8 runners just after 4 miles running to a somewhat surprising victory in 30:49.99, for the 10K distance. Ashe, a Boston Athletic Association member who is only in his 8th week of running following a serious heel injury likely caused by high arches, won by a comfortable 7 second margin over teammate Sam Alexander. In fact, the B.A.A. showed its incredible depth by also taking spots 3-4 with Dan Harper and Brian Harvey just over 1 and 4 seconds behind Alexander, 23, who was running at the front of the pack prior to Ashe making his move, with Colman Hatton rounding out the BAA scoring in 10th, leading to a dominating victory of just 18 points. New Balance Boston (with 56 points) was runner up while Western Mass Distance project, aided by the 7th place finisher Kevin Johnson, finished 3rd in the team standings with 72 points.

Ashe, 25, a Hanson, MA native, who has tremendous range (PR’s include a 4:03 mile and 2:26 marathon on the challenging Cape Cod course), decided to put the foot on the accelerator following relatively slow splits of 4:55 (mile), 10:02 (2 miles) and 15:48 (5K). When Ashe surged no one could go with him “I could sense the guys around me getting a bit tired. I pressed it a bit up Bear Cage and continued to keep a gap,” stated Ashe, the UMass Boston assistant track and field coach. “I was able to cross-train in the summer riding a bike for 1 hour a day as hard as a could and 1 hour and 30 minutes on the weekends. When I got back running I started on a treadmill however I had to place it on an incline to get a good effort in. I also did alot of workouts for my core.” Ashe also plans on competing at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships and possibly the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in January 2014.

In the men’s master’s division Sandu Rebenciuc, 44, of the Greater Springfield Harriers cruised to victory in 26:44 for the 8K distance. In 2000, he had also won the New England Open men’s title, becoming just the second male athlete to win the USATF NE Open and Master’s division (Mark Coogan 1991 and 1997). Rebenciuc, a Romania native, and Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) graduate where he was the 1991 National Division III cross-country champion, made a break in the second wilderness loop from a pack that included Amherst College men’s track and country country coach Erik Nedeau, Peter Hammer (47, of Needham, MA), Chris Magill (40, Cumberland, RI), Greg Putnam (44, Stoneham, MA), Harry Stants (40, Needham, MA), and Binney Mitchell (44 Burlington, VT).

Rebenciuc, the owner of a 23:29 8k best at Franklin Park stated, “I’m just coming back to racing again. When Erik Nedeau started to press I went with him and I pressed it a little. I’m only running about 50 miles a week…I’ve had some stomach problems lately…I might be a bit anemic…I’m not sure about club nationals yet…it depends on the team. I’d like to take a shot at the over 45 American record in the steeple (9:17) next year.” In the men’s team race, the Boston Athletic Association, with Hammer and Magill finishing 2-3, Stants 5th and O’Neil 10th, easily claimed the New England title.

In the women’s master’s race (combined with he open race) Diana Bowser, (40, Needham, MA and spouse of Peter Hammer), racing back into shape after the birth of her second child, won the New England Master’s title in 22:57 over Mimi Fallon, 48, Walpole, MA by 29 seconds.

Get Ready for NE’s!

The end is near for the 2013 USATF-NE XC Grand Prix. The series culminates in the New England Championships this Sunday. After a one year hiatus due to construction the action returns to Franklin Park in Boston. Here is the schedule of the day’s action:

SCHEDULE
10:00 a.m. Men’s Masters 8K
10:50 a.m. Women’s Open and Masters 6K
11:30 p.m. Men’s Open 10K

During the hiatus, the event was held at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA. The BAA men, led by Brian Harvey’s second place finish, captured that title. In the women’s race it was the ladies of the Central Park Track Club that took home the honors. They bested the women of the New Balance Boston club by a slim margin of 39 to 50. For series scoring purposes, the NBB squad were champs so it wasn’t all for naught.

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Rumor has it that the CPTC harriers will be back for their second race at Franklin Park in a two week span. What about last year’s individual champs (Mary Kate Champagne and Ruben Sanca)? Ruben Sança won it wearing GBTC red in 2012 but he’s now sporting Whirlaway red. Will he compete? Is the different shade of red as lucky for him?

Also on the line are the titles and bragging rights that accompany winning the whole series. Here’s a quick look at where things stand:

The WMDP and GBTC women are tied atop the open leaderboard with 45 points apiece. It all comes down to this last race, one for all the marbles. Millennium has made an impressive late surge (beating both top teams in the last two contests) but missing the first two races completely put them into a hole that is pretty much impossible to climb out of. As far as individuals go, it’s ridiculously close between Aly Millet (GBTC, 212 pts), Caroline Bjune (BAA, 198 pts) and Sydney Fitzpatrick (NBB, 195 pts).

The GBTC men have a pretty commanding lead in the open standings, as does Sean Duncan of WMDP. Ryan Irwin (GBTC) has a chance, but it might take a no-show from Duncan to leap frog him in the standings.

Besides bragging rights, there is also some cold hard cash on the line. From the USATF-NE website:

Individual Open Prize Money
OPEN: 1st – $100 2nd – $75 3rd – $50

Champions (US citizen) are eligible for a travel award to USA Nationals
Top eligible Open NE runners may be eligible for a trip to Ireland’s Ras na hEireann

AGE 40+: $100 /$ 50 50+: $75 60+: $25 70+: $25

TEAM PRIZE MONEY (NE Clubs)
Open Team: 1st place $300 2nd place- $200; 3rd place – $150; 4th place – $100
40-and-over Team: 1st – $ 200 2nd – $150 3rd – $100
50-and-over Team: 1st – $ 150 2nd – $75
60-and-over Team, 70-and-over Team: 1st – $ 25

You can get the full details here.

So come out to a classic New England course to compete, cheer on your friends, or to just find out who wins firsthand. You might also get to see what this year’s question might be…

Mayor’s Cup: Women’s 5k

Stilled mired in some technical difficulties, but we were able to get one video done before the mayhem ensued. Jennifer Bergman of Mizuno DC won the competition in 17:10. This was a talented field that drew from much beyond the borders of Boston. Just behind Bergman was Sarah Groff of NYAC in 17:13. Jillian King (17:18) and Sydney Fitzpatrick (17:23) of New Balance Boston were first of the locals to represent and they finished 3-4. In 5th and 6th were a couple of members from their ‘sister club’, Central Park Track Club: birthday girl Rolanda Bell (17:36) and Cat Beck (17:39).

Mayors Cup start Mason

From the start, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Although Katrina Spratford isn’t exactly a local, she is newly representing the region (and Legion?) as one of the newest members of NE Distance. The Shippensburg alumn finished 7th in 17:43.

As you can see, lots of visitors in the race. A cross country race that bring out the best in your area and from outside the region…why would’t you want to compete there? Anyway, here’s some raw footage from the women’s race:

Welcome Back, Mayor’s Cup

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 10.58.20 AMSunday, October 27 at 10 a.m.

Cost: $25.

Cross country is back at Franklin Park, baby! The world was a dark and scary place without the Mayor’s Cup last year, but we can rest easy knowing that it has returned for 2013. The 2013 USATF-NE XC Grand Prix is almost done, but you still have two chances to line up with your teammates and battle it out on some softer surfaces. Details on this Sunday’s race are below:

RACE TIMES

6 to 10-year-old and under boys and girls race:   10:00 a.m.
11 to 12-year-old boys and girls race:   10:15 a.m.
13 to 14-year-old boys and girls race:   10:30 a.m.
Women’s 5K Championship Race:   10:50 a.m.
Men’s 8K Championship Race:   11:15 a.m.
Franklin Park 5K*:   12:00 p.m.

*Entrants should be capable of running 5K under 45 minutes. Minimum age for participation in the Franklin Park 5K Open Cross Country Race is 15-years old

ENTRY FEE

Youth Races  –  $10.00 (day of event)
Adult Races  –  $25.00 (day of event)

You can find all the info you need right here on the BAA website.

2013 USATFNE XC Grand Prix Schedule, Scoring, and Rules

Schedule

Date

Event

Location

24-Aug

Thomas Chamberas 6k

Carlisle MA

8-Sep

WMDP XC Festival 5k/8k

Stanley Park, Westfield MA

13-Oct

Wayland XC Festival 5k

Wayland MA High School

27-Oct

Mayor’s Cup 5k/8k

Franklin Park

10-Nov

USATF-NE XC Champs 6k/10k

Franklin Park

Prizes

The series offers cash prizes for top athletes in both the open and masters categories in addition to team cash prizes.

Rules

The 2013 USATF-NE Grand Prix consists of 5 events, cumulative scoring.

  • Must have 2013 USATF membership.

  • Must run at least 3 races to score in series.

  • Must run USATFNE XC Championship race to score in series.

  • Higher place at NE Champs is the tiebreaker

  • Mayor’s Cup Championship for open runners

  • Mayor’s Cup 5K for aged 40+ runners

  • Traditional team cross country scoring system

See usatfne.org xc GP Series page for complete rules and results.

http://www.usatfne.org/cross/nexcgrandprix/2013-xcgp.pdf

 

If you would like to promote your race or race series with us, contact kevbalance[at]levelrenner[dot]com.

Duncan, Fitzpatrick Win in Wayland

GBTC Wayland

GBTC team shot from Wayland. Courtesy of Tom Derderian.

Sean Duncan and Sidney Fitzpatrick were the big winners at the Wayland XC Festival, which was held back on October 13th. That was the latest in the USATF-NE XC series.

Sean ran a 15:45 and Sidney ran 18:00 for their wins (full results here). The GBTC men topped the host HFC Striders squad by a score of 21-56. One of the victorious GBTC’ers, Caleb Evanter, contributed a solid write up about the event:

It was a fun race. It was very much a cross country race, in that the distance was relative and there were hills and turns and uneven footing. There was no pavement and no cars visible from the course. The first mile goes around some baseball and soccer fields and is flat after a hill at the very start. The second mile features a short steep uphill and a stretch on an undulating trail that seems better suited for mountain biking. The third mile is basically the first mile backwards. The finish is 300 meters on a track.

Sean Duncan took the lead from the start and had a gap on the field from the beginning. From my spot behind them in the race it looked like Justin Lutz and the rest of the chase pack let Duncan take it out and tried to make up the ground at the end of the race. Lutz probably gained some ground during the final mile, but not enough to make it a race. He was comfortably in second. My splits were about 5:13, 5:35 and 5:49 for the final 1.1. I moved up on a bunch of people in the final two miles so that shows that probably most people ran significantly slower over the more challenging second mile.

Ryan Irwin was considerate enough to not give me a go of it with a sprint to the finish. Men and women, open and masters all raced together. There were 10 and under and 11-14 races too. Before the race Sydney Fitzpatrick asked us about whether or not to wear spikes on the course. Given that she won, I assume she made the right decision. Finally the Wayland XC Festival was notable for having four Caleb’s run in it, two in the 11-14 race, one who came in 3rd in the 10 and under race and myself.

Although New Balance Boston didn’t field a team for the race, Sydney Fitzpatrick did her best to make sure the green & white was noticed. For her efforts, we got this from Sydney:

The goals Coach Green gave me was to just go out, compete, and remind my body about the feel of cross country racing again. I feel like I ran a very smart race, and knowing who Steph Reilly is, my goal was to conserve energy early on, work my way up to her, and put myself in a position to win. I felt really strong during the race, and was able to execute today. I am very optimistic about what myself, and my team can accomplish this fall at the upcoming invitationals (Mayors Cup, New England’s, Club Nats). Training has been great thus far this fall. NBB has some great depth this year, and I feel more than lucky to have so many teammates to workout with on a regular basis. We are all very motivated and looking forward to the rest of our fall season.

We weren’t lucky enough to get something so detailed from Sean Duncan, but he did take a break from one of his epic workouts to tell us: “The victory was quite satisfying. All I do is win. My ultimate goal is to win a race in every town in America, and now I can finally cross Wayland, MA off the list.”

Okay, maybe Sean didn’t say that. We just needed to squeeze one more quote in, real or imaginary. As far as the team scoring went for the ladies, the Millenium Running team led by Jennifer Mortimer took the title, followed by the WMDP and GBTC squads, respectively.

Next up on the circuit is the Mayor’s Cup, which will be this coming Sunday at Franklin Park. More to come on that one.

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