Track & Field
Track & Field, including Masters Track & Field
By: John Oleski, Vice President, USATF-NE
The USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships came to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston last weekend. Full results can be found here. We were able to catch up with several athletes, many of them local, post-race. See below for the photos and recaps we caught live at the event.
Christian Blondin, age 41 from Ipswich, MA, finished 5th in the Masters Invitational Men’s 1500 Meter Run with a time of
4:06.34. Chris competes for the Greater Boston Track Club. After the race, he said he did his best to stay with the leaders. With 200 meters left, he was still with the chase pack in 4th place, but said the last 200 was “really rough.” Nonetheless, he was enthused by his experience, saying that it was a great meet and an awesome race.
Former University of Virginia star, Taylor Gilland, now living and working in the Boston area, ran an unusual race in the Men’s Two Mile Run. Through the first few laps, Taylor paced in 11th place of 13 as the leaders went through the half mile in 2:07.6 and the mile in 4:17.4. Taylor worked his way up to 9th place as the field neared the 1.5 mile mark. The pack was slowing and beginning to compress as Taylor made a bold move, surging all the way to the lead. It was not a place or pace he
could hold, and ultimately the pack came back on him as he slowly slipped back to 10th place and an 8:45.43 finish. After the race, he indicated that he just decided to take a shot at it – not knowing whether he would be able to hold on.
2012 Olympic finals. The race itself was tactical, with none of the runners approaching their PR. Dan finished 12th in 4:06.69 and Steve was 13th in 4:07.05. Dan expressed disappointment in his result, but noted that he had placed 6th in the Men’s 2 Mile the day before. Afterwards, both runners were interviewed by a Boston 2024 video team, and expressed enthusiasm about the prospect of an Olympic Games in Boston.
in 2:48.16. Emily, one of the top middle distance and cross country runners in the history of Villanova, was also interviewed after her race by the Boston 2024 group.
John Trautmann, age 46 from New York City won the Masters Invitational Men’s 1500 in 3:59.47. On Feb. 14 at the B.U. Valentine Invitational, John broke the indoor M45-49 world record in the mile
with a 4:12.33 and, in the masters invitational race, was taking aim at the M45-49 1500m world record of 3:57.91. Trautmann led from the start and ran hard. In the last 400 meters, he broke away from the chase pack. Although he fell short by just over 1.5 seconds in his record attempt, he said that breaking 4 minutes was also a goal. He further stated that it was an honor to run against so many outstanding masters milers and that he hoped “everyone in the race got PRs.” Trautmann ran in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics after winning the U.S. Olympic Trials 5000m in 13:40.30.
Anselm LeBourne, age 55 of Maplewood, NJ, competed in the Master’s Invitational Men’s 1500 and
though he was 7th overall, his time of 4:13.77 destroyed the M55-59 indoor world record of 4:19.80 that he set this January. After the race, he said he had gone out so hard he thought he was done with three laps (600m) to go. He somehow managed to force himself through it and came away with an extraordinary new age group mark. He states that he wants to be the first man over age 55 to go under 2 minutes in the 800 meters.
By: John Oleski, Vice President, USATF-NE
Morgan Uceny of Boston, running for adidas, raced from the front in the Women’s 1 Mile Run at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. Running slightly to the outside, she shared the lead through the first 6 laps as she clocked 1:12.2 at the quarter mile and 2:26.1 at the half. Over the last 300 meters, Uceny progressively slipped and ultimately dropped to 7th place, finishing in 4:38.13.
Afterwards, she was unhappy with her race. She said she hadn’t necessarily planned to run from the front but she felt the pace was slow. She questioned whether she should have responded more aggressively to Shannon Rowbury’s move to the lead, saying “once you get behind, it’s harder to make it up.” She stated that she is coming out of an injured phase, is finally healthy and is optimistic about the outdoor season.
By: John Oleski, Vice President, USATF-NE
Carly Muscaro, a 19 year-old sophomore at Merrimack College, ran in the first heat of the Women’s 300 Meter Dash at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center earlier today.
Going against professional runners, Natasha Hastings of Under Armour / NYAC and Jernail Hayes of Brooks, Carly ran well. She was out fast, showed good drive throughout the race and finished 3rd in an impressive 39.12. Overall she was 8th as the top 6 made finals.
Carly ran at Ashland H.S. and in the year and a half since high school her improvement has been amazing. At Ashland she barely ran 60 seconds to the 400m, yet last year as a freshman set Merrimack’s 400m outdoor record with a blazing 53.43. She also qualified for both the NCAA Division II indoor and outdoor championships – the first Merrimack athlete ever to qualify for nationals.
She says that every race is nerve-wracking and it is a fight to stay focused and confident, especially as a self-described “baby” on the big stage of a USA national championship.
Nonetheless, she displays strong desire and ambition as she declares that she is going after a win in two weeks at the NCAA DII championships at University of Alabama at Huntsville.
In 2014, USATF-NE launched a new sort of series, the All Terrain Runner (ATR) series. And it’s pretty much what it sounds like; it challenges runners to compete on a variety of terrain – the roads, mountains, trails, cross country courses and the outdoor track.
The series was the brainchild of Eric Narcisi, the 2014 USATF-NE secretary, Whirlaway Racing Team member and web producer over at Level Renner. Following the culmination of this new series, Narcisi feels it was a “huge success,” stating that “I had so many people tell me that they were experiencing different disciplines for the first time.” For instance, the series winner on the women’s side, Christin Doneski, told him that she had never run a track or cross country race before. “Yet because of this series, there she was, in unfamiliar territory but in a familiar position (in front of the pack),” he added. The men’s series champion, Nate Jenkins, is known for his road dominance, said Narcisi, “but there he was back in May trudging the Vermont mud at Sleepy Hollow.” And at the Loon Mountain Race in July, Jenkins went head to head with some of the finest mountain runners not just in the region, but in the nation.
Ultimately, Narcisi said that the series is all about getting people out of their comfort zones and experiencing more of what the association has to offer. “We anticipate many more people stepping out of their comfort zones and putting themselves to the ultimate test in 2015,” he added. “I, for one, can’t wait to line up with the rest of the All Terrain hopefuls this winter on the indoor track to kick off the new series.”
As many runners prepare for the second edition of the ATR series, which will include an indoor track and a snowshoe race, we caught up with the 2014 series champions.
Jenkins of Central Mass Striders, who made it a goal to win the first annual series and plans to compete again in 2015, said the series was fun and unique, adding that “it is a great way to try and draw together the very varied and often very separate areas of USATF-NE.” While he’s not all that excited about the snowshoe race in the second series, Jenkins admits “that is kind of the point of the series, isn’t it?” Who knows? Maybe he will excel at snowshoeing just like he did at mountain running in 2014, something he doesn’t consider himself the biggest fan of.
Doneski of Whirlaway Racing Team reported that the series pushed her to try new things all while enjoying the company of the series participants, which she described as “a really supportive, genuine group of runners who wanted to race hard but also laugh and have some fun.” While she wasn’t expecting to win this year and doesn’t expect to win next year either, Doneski shared that she’s in an interesting point in her running career. “My road race PRs are most likely behind me, but I feel I can still get better, stronger and faster in the endurance and adversity-based races: mountains, trails and ultras.” Her ultimate goal is to grow old still running races and pushing herself to try new things and to keep setting new goals.
Both runners had a tough time picking their favorite series race; though the men’s winner enjoyed the mountain and track racing the most. The women’s winner said her initial favorite that comes to mind was Sleepy Hollow. “It’s so hard in so many ways; the course is super challenging (which I love) and the conditions are so unpredictable (2013 was dry and fast and 2014 was very wet and muddy and really tough), and it’s right after Boston,” she said. “However, I also loved Loon. Again, it’s a challenging course, but I spent a full year from 2013 to 2014 regretting that I did not run all the way up Upper Walking Boss. I was looking forward to racing this year and redeeming myself.” Doneski happily reported that she did not walk a single step this year.
So, where can we expect to see these two competing in 2015? Jenkins shared with us that he has fortunately made some progress in fixing his long-standing coordination issues in his right leg, so his top goal for next year is to continue that progress all the way to a return to the marathon – something he hasn’t done since the World Championships in 2009. His second goal is to run an Olympic Trials Qualifier, with a third goal of achieving a personal record at any distance. “I haven’t set one since back surgery in early 2011,” he added. Jenkins’ final two main goals will be to win the ATR series and the USATF- NE Grand Prix.
Doneski currently has her 2015 calendar clear, but knows she’ll be looking to run the USATF-NE Grand Prix as well for Whirlaway, noting those dates will go on the calendar first. Then she will look to the Mountain Series and the ATR and see how those dates match up with her other races and her family plans. “And of course there is still that desire to run an ultra, but that might need to wait for my children to need me less and I am in no hurry for that,” she said.
Lastly, Jenkins shared that the ATR series represents something he’d like to see more of from USATF-NE – trying new things. “Will everything be a hit or a win?” he asked. “Heck no, but anything is better than nothing.”
Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting on Sunday. In case you missed it, here is a brief recap of those elected to the USATF-NE Board of Governors, which includes a mix of incumbents and new individuals.
- President: Tom Derderian
- Secretary: Steve Viegas
- Treasurer: Stephen Peckiconis
- Vice Presidents: Jim Garcia, John Oleski, Chris Pasko
- Men’s Long Distance Running (LDR) Chair: John Barbour
- Women’s LDR Chair: Lisa Doucett
- Masters LDR Chair: Jan Holmquist
- Youth Chair: Alex Ivanov
- Track & Field Chair: Zach Emerson
- Masters Track & Field Chair: Mike Travers
- Cross Country Chair: Chris Canning
- Mountain, Ultra, Trail (MUT) Chair: Paul Kirsch
- Race Walking Chair: Justin Kuo
- Athlete’s Representatives: Eric Ashe, Jim Burgoyne, Jennifer Mortimer
In the coming week, you’ll be able to find information on the new board members, the various reports that were presented and distributed at the meeting, as well as the full meeting minutes on the Board page.
it was started by Nich Haber in 2012. Nich is the club’s President of the Board (on a Board that includes American Record Holder Molly Huddle!), but also serves as an acting Executive Director, managing business issues, fundraising, grant writing and maintaining relationships with partners. On top of this, Nich manages travel and race entries for the athletes, helps them obtain part-time work with their after-school partners in Woonsocket and coordinates their youth program with the Woonsocket public school system.
As you can tell, Nich wears several hats and has been working hard since 2012 to get NE Distance off the ground and growing to compete at a highly competitive level. It appears that his work has paid off by looking at the club’s current roster, which includes:
- David Goodman— The 2012 NCAA DII National Champion in the Steeplechase and a three-time USATF-NE Champion
- Henry Sterling — NE Distance’s newest athlete, he’s a Dartmouth grad who sees his potential best in the Steeplechase, but is interested in staying a well-rounded runner by competing in the mile and 5k as well
- Katrina Spratford — The 8-time All American from Shippensburg, is a 10k runner that is focusing on Cross Country in the fall and may do some road races
- Lara Crofford — A Nebraska Cornhusker, has been a strong 10k runner but is looking to move up in distance and take to the roads
We caught up with Nich on how the club has grown, what they’ve been up to. To sum it up, Nich told us that “Every year has been better than the one before it, and I know that next year will be better than this one!” His optimism and excitement is great to hear. Check out our interview with Nich below to get up to speed on the community-based distance running project.
USATF-NE: How has NE Distance grown since its founding in 2012?
NH: We started with one athlete in 2012, added another at the beginning of 2013, two more in September of 2013 and we’re looking to have eight this fall. We’ve doubled every year! At this rate, in a few years everyone on earth will be an NE Distance athlete!
Seriously, it’s been a challenge to start a group like this from the ground up and the athletes that have joined us truly believe in our mission of blending athlete development with community building. We expanded this year to include athletes that are not full athlete-in-resident fellows. They are committed to train at a high level, but do not need housing from us. We are excited as the more athletes we have in our group, the more of a critical mass we hit and the better the program is for everyone involved – the other athletes, the community and our fans who are looking for more athletes to root for.
USATF-NE: Are you actively recruiting?
NH: We have three slots open for our non-resident members. We are looking for folks who want to live in the Woonsocket/Providence area who want to compete at a high level.
USATF-NE: We saw that your team recently signed up 145 kids for a new middle school program. This is great! Any specific plans for this new program or anything in particular you’d like to share about it?
NH: This is probably our proudest achievement and is truly a culmination of what we are trying to do with the NE Distance program. Woonsocket middle school sports were all but eliminated in 2009 due to budget cuts. Our athletes moved into town and started to get everyone’s notice. We were lucky to find Performance Physical Therapy of RI who was interested in sponsoring us to restart the middle school cross country team. As soon as we announced it, a reporter from the local paper called me up and we were literally front page news.
For the public school system, they were absolutely thrilled. They were getting high level athletes who had already spent at least a year working with Woonsocket youth to come in and coach the kids at the middle school. The NEDi athletes went into the schools to sign up kids and were overwhelmed; 145 kids signed up. Lara has already started weekly runs with the kids in town and everyone will be back in Woonsocket in August gearing up to kick off the team at the end of the summer.
We are seeking a sponsor to help us continue this program for the kids into the indoor and outdoor seasons, so if anyone is interested in helping our team help these young people, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
USATF-NE: Are any USATF-NE hosted races a part of NE Distance’s upcoming race schedule – and if so, which ones, and why?
NH: Our goal is to have our athletes compete on Team USA, so the USATF-NE races are great vehicles to get us to that level. We will definitely be at the Cross Country races this fall, especially the Boston Mayor Cup and the USATF-NE Championship. The CVS Downtown 5k is in our backyard, so we’ll be there. USATF-NE hosts some of the best indoor meets in the country, so look for us at the BU Terrier & Valentine meets as well as the USATF-NE Championships. Outdoors, we’re big fans of the NBB Twilight Meets.
And be sure to look for our middle school kids to open up their season at the Ocean State XC meet in Goddard Park in Rhode Island on Friday Sept 26.
Regis College, Weston, MA – 6/29/2014
- 1. Gr.Boston TC 81
- 2. Sprinticity 35
- 3. Dare2Dream 16
- 4. Twilight Throwers 9;
- 5. CMS, Mass Velocity, and CSU, 7
- 8. Patriot PV and NEWalkers 6;
- 10. HFC Striders and WMDP, 5
- 12. Waltham TC 4
- 13. NewBalance Boston and BAA 3
- 15. MIT PV and Nitehawks 2
- 17. SISU Project and Somerville RR 1.
- 1. Gr.Boston TC 42
- 2. Mass Velocity 22
- 3. New Balance Boston and Waltham TC 10
- 5. Dare2Dream and Twilight Throwers, 8
- 7. SiSU Project 6
- 8. Wellesley Youth TF, Golden Spikes, MIT PV, Patriot PV, Seekonk Warriors and Providence Cobras 5
- 14. Endurance Unlimited 3
- 15. Whirlaway 2
USATF-NEW ENGLAND OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD OPEN and MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sunday, June 29, 2014
REGIS COLLEGE, WESTON MA
PRIZE MONEY AWARDS BASED ON PERFORMANCE
- The top placing eligible* performers in four divisions – male and female placer in both track and field events, based on IAAF scoring table points – will receive $100.
- Any division winning performance that tops 1000 points earns an additional $100.
- The overall top point winner by an eligible athlete from among all four divisions will receive an additional $100.
- If the top performer has met the standard, but is not eligible to receive prize money, the next top eligible finisher in the event who has met the standard and is eligible will receive the prize.
- All Prize Money will be mailed to winners within ten days of the meet after verifying eligibility
- Eligible means being a current USATF member in the New England association, not being a current NCAA athlete, and having no future NCAA eligibility
For more information, visit: http://usatfne.org/track/entry/2014-outdoorchamps.pdf
The 5000 meter race is a popular event for distance track and field athletes. However, for runners who keep to the roads and trails, many haven’t tested their strength on the flat oval. Now is their chance.
With the USATF-NE All Terrain Runner (ATR) series, distance runners test themselves on varying surfaces and distances, including the track. In fact, many athletes competing in the new series tried the distance at the recent New Balance Boston Twilight meet at Bentley University. New Balance Boston’s Marguerite Cramer took the women’s title in an impressive time of 17:49.01. But it was the men’s 5000 meter field that saw some serious depth. Twenty-eight competitors came through in under 18 minutes, with the winner Austin Gilbert crossing the finish line in 14:57.61.
If you’ve already completed your 5000 meter track race and are looking to score it in the ATR series, be sure to submit your time through our web form.
As a reminder, USATF-NE members may submit their own 5000 meter result from any USATF sanctioned track meet between May 5 and July 20. A competitor may complete several outdoor 5000 meter races. However, only the fastest time will count in the final scoring.
Today, USA Track & Field New England has announced All Terrain Runner (ATR), a new official series comprising races of varying distances, seasons and surfaces. The series kicks off just next month on May 4 with a 10k trail race, before competitors race on the track, mountains and roads, closing with a cross country event in the fall.
USATF-NE President Tom Derderian described the idea behind the series, explaining that “Some runners race best on the track, some on the roads, some up mountains and over trails, and others on broad cross country courses. You know how you rank in the discipline you race in, but how do you rank if you combine all of these? This is the running version of the decathlon.”
The complete 2014 ATR series includes:
- May 4 – Trail: Sleepy Hollow 10k
- May 5-July 20 – Outdoor Track: 5000 meters *(USATF-NE members can submit their own result from any 5000 meter race run in a USATF sanctioned meet through our web form during this time frame. A competitor may complete several outdoor 5000 meter races; however only the fastest time will count in the final scoring.)
- July 6 – Mountain: Loon Mountain
- September 14 – Road: Lone Gull 10k
- November 9 – Cross Country: USATF-NE New England Championships
With the Sleepy Hollow 10k just a couple of weeks away, those interested in participating in the ATR series can register for the first race here. Competitors can register on race-day; however the entry fee increases from $15 to $25 after May 2, and registration will close when the maximum capacity of 250 racers is reached.
With no team scoring component, the series offers scoring and prizes for individuals only. There will be a total of $5,000 available in awards. The prize structure, awarding monetary rewards to the top five male and female finishers, is as follows:
- First – $1,000
- Second – $500
- Third – $250
- Fourth – $100
- Fifth – $50
Cash prizes will also be awarded to age group winners in the following age divisions: 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69. To be considered for a place in the final standings, competitors must complete four out of the five races, and participants who complete all five events will receive a special series t-shirt.
More details on the ATR series, including a formal landing page, are coming soon.