By: Chris Canning,  USATF-NE XC Committee Member

 

wmdpxcA late location change brought the second leg of the Cross Country Grand Prix series to the flat gravel paths around Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke, MA.  While this course may not have had the same cross country feel as Stanley Park, it provided harriers with an opportunity to run fast times around a very scenic location.

The open men’s race saw David Wilson and Sam Alexander (BAA) renew their battle for Grand Prix supremacy with Wilson reversing the result from last month’s GBTC Invitational to tie up the series at 29 points each.  HFC teammates and Milton neighbors Jason Cakouros and Justin Renz took the top two positions in the 40-49 men’s race, moving Renz (who ran 22 miles the day before the race) into the 40-49 men’s lead with 27 points.  Mark Reeder (GLRR) continued to stretch his 50-59 men’s lead with 30 points after another first place finish hours before his 55th birthday and Bruce Bond (GBTC) became the 60+ men’s leader with 28 points.

The open women’s race was won by Kerri Leonhardt (GBTC) while Apryl Sabadosa (WMDP) placed second.  A third place finish by Caroline Martin (GBTC) moved her into the open women’s lead with 27 points. Maura McDonald (WMDP) led six Lady Wolves finishers in the 40-49 women’s division, and teammate Dana Parrot continues to lead the series with 27 points.  Trish Bourne (GLRR) was once again victorious in the 50-59 women’s division and leads that division with 30 points.

The hosts from WMDP won the open men’s team race while GBTC’s second place finish ensured they would maintain their overall series lead.  GBTC’s 9 points lead both SISU and HFC who are tied for second with 6 points.  WMDP’s win moves them to fourth in the series with 5 points.  HFC’s first place finish in the 40+ men’s team division moved them into the series lead and GBTC’s 60+ men’s team gave that division its first score of the series.

The open women’s team race saw similar results as first Grand Prix series event with GBTC edging out WMDP.  GBTC leads the overall series with 10 points while WMDP is in second with 8 points.  SISU’s third place finish moves them into a tie with GLRR for 3rd in the series with 3 points each. WMDP won the women’s 40+ team competition to move into a tie with GLRR for second in that division.  Greater Derry Track Club, whose “Hot Flashes” team of 50+ women finished a strong 2nd in the 40+ race and won the 50+ team race uncontested, leads both the 40+ and 50+ women’s team competitions in the overall series.

 
Thanks go out from the WMDP to all who made the trip west, and from your non-WMDP blogger to the Wolves of Western Mass for putting on a terrific race. The Grand Prix series resumes on October 26th with the Mayor’s Cup at Franklin Park.

To view the updated XC Grand Prix standings, visit the USATF-NE website here.