Halftime in New England
No, not THAT kind of halftime–this weekend marks the halfway point in the USATF-NE Cross Country Grand Prix Series, with the upcoming Wayland XC Festival. Register here by Friday, October 7; raceday registration is also available onsite.
The second race of the series took place on Sunday, Sept. 18 on the cross country course of Smith College, hosted by the women of the Western Mass Distance Project. A number of teams made the trek west, lured by the promise of Atkins cider donuts and the clean air out beyond the Boston suburbs. Rain held off for the race, making for humid but otherwise decent conditions, and volunteers from the Smith College cross country team provided enthusiastic directions and encouragemen
t around the 5K course.
The men’s race went off first, and GBTC scored a decisive victory with 21 points to HFC’s 51, with men in red Michael Carlone and Braden Becker going 1-2. Mike Galoob of BAA led all masters men with a 7th place overall finish. The 40+ and 50+ teams from HFC Striders won the team race in both categories. Special props to outgoing XC Chair George Braun, who still showed up to race despite having technically moved to CO. George was so entranced by the surroundings on his warmup that he missed the start of the men’s race but jumped in anyway; he reports that the last mile of his warmup was his fastest split on the day. Charles Kaufman of Dirigo in Maine gets a special shoutout for winning the 60+ individual title in his first ever cross country race.
In the women’s race hometown girl Apryl Sabadosa of WMDP crossed first. Hot on her heels were teammate Kelsey Allen and GLRR’s Kara Haas, who was the first masters runner. WMDP rode the home course advantage to sweep the women’s team titles in open, 40+ and 50+, with Sisu taking 2nd in the open team competition and Greater Derry finishing 2nd in both 40+ and 50+. Many teams retired post-race to the Northampton Brewery to sample some of the 413’s finest refreshments before the long (or short, if you’re on WMDP) ride home.
With two of the five series races complete, it’s time to start looking at series standings. On the women’s side, the open, 40+ and 50+ individual races are led by Amy Rusiecki (WMDP), Kara Haas (GLRR) and Virginia Nichols, respectively. In the team competition WMDP has a slim lead over HFC in the open division and maintains a similarly tenuous gap over GDTC in 40+ and 50+.
For the men the individual leaders are currently Mike Carlone (GBTC, open), Mike Galoob (BAA, 40+) and Alejandro Heuck (GSH, 50+). The aforementioned currently-unattached George Braun sits atop the 60+ standings, which raises the question of whether or not 2 time zones will prevent him from holding that lead over Richard Molloy and John Barbour of GLRR. GBTC leads the open team standings, with HFC currently sitting atop the series in both 40+ and 50+. If you’d like to plot your upcoming strategy for cross country dominance, full standings can be found here.