TJ Unger of HFC Striders at the USATF Club National Championships

TJ Unger of HFC Striders at the USATF Club National Championships

As previously reported, USATF-NE awarded HFC Striders with a grant for the cross country season to assist the team in sending members to compete in the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships in Bend, Oregon on December 14.

USATF-NE President Tom Derderian, who raced the masters 10k race at the championships, described the race course, noting that it “pushed the limits of cross-country racing right up to the edge of trail and mountain racing. Half the repeated 2km loop was up hill and half downhill with the downhill full of twists turns, rocks, reverse camber turns, snow, ice, and mud. It took strength and skill to race this course. It was vastly different from any road race or track race.”

Below, find a recap from HFC Striders Coach, Jimmy Fallon, where he details the process to physically and financially get the team to compete in the national championship.

“When we started thinking about our participation early in 2013, our vision was to field full teams in all divisions. However, since we started with two in 2010 and six in 2012, this was going to be a challenge. However, stocked with the grant awarded by USATF-NE, prize money won from the USATF-NE XC Grand Prix, and funding garnered from hosting the Wayland Grand Prix events, we felt confident on giving it a try.

As soon as we announced to our club members that we wanted to field teams in Bend, we received several strong commitments to compete, some were hesitant due to the expense (recent college grads), and others who would have made it if the event was closer to home. Charged with the positive response, the club focused our weekly sessions around XC and held specific XC training on several Saturdays.

After a successful XC season in New England, we fielded a Men’s open team in the National Club Championships for the first time ever. HFC also fielded a masters team for the first time ever. One of our masters drove nine hours each way from San Jose, CA where he currently works, demonstrating the commitment of our team.

You have probably all seen the results and noticed we did not win, but we were finally on the score board as a TEAM from New England. Despite the tough course and being beat up afterwards, the prominent theme in emails and club blogs in the days after focused on how members are looking forward to the event in 2014. There were at least five other athletes that did not compete this year that are on board to compete in Lehigh.

So, while we did not achieve our stretch goal of 26 members, thanks to the support from USATF-NE we were able to help cover the airfares of several members of our team, place us on the scoreboard, and generate excitement for 2014 where we will strive to field men’s and women’s open teams, men’s and women’s masters, and a senior men’s team.”

In addition to HFC Striders, several other New England clubs brought teams to compete. These results highlights are noted below.

12.   374  Boston Athletic Association                        (  33:18  2:46:27)
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  1     24  Eric Ashe                         25 28   32:09
  2     36  Brian Harvey                      26 43   32:32
  3     69  Colman Hatton                     26 79   33:11
  4     99  Dan Harper                        23 113   33:49
  5    146  Ryan McCalmon                     38 172   34:46
27. 723 New Balance Boston ( 34:40 2:53:20)
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  1     95  Andrew Combs                      29 108   33:44
  2    123  Stephen Polito                    23 145   34:18
  3    126  Daniel Kramer                     24 148   34:20
  4    136  Andrew Pitts                      28 159   34:27
  5    243  Chris McCann                      27 288   36:31
  6   (252) Max Jack                          25 298   36:47
  7   (283) John Drago                        23 333   37:31
  8   (291) Daniel Lounsbury                  31 342   37:45
36. 1014 Greater Boston Track Club ( 35:44 2:58:39)
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  1    183  Ryan Irwin                        29 215   35:21
  2    189  Robert Espinosa                   29 222   35:28
  3    199  Anthony Gonsalves                 23 234   35:34
  4    218  Michael Carlone                   22 259   36:05
  5    225  Matthew Haringa                   30 267   36:11
  6   (310) Caleb Evanter                     26 368   38:27
  7   (316) Daniel Hall                       30 381   39:40
48.  1394  HFC Striders                                       (  37:55  3:09:35)
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  1    241  Tj Unger                          35 286   36:31
  2    249  Mark McDermott                    29 294   36:44
  3    285  Christopher Lotsbom               23 336   37:34
  4    299  Kenny Rayner                      23 356   38:14
  5    320  Chris Canning                     24 388   40:32

 5.   163  New Balance Boston                                 (  23:11  1:55:51)
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  1     16  Jillian King                      23 20   22:36
  2     17  Sydney Fitzpatrick                24 22   22:44
  3     40  Erin Dromgoole                    34 55   23:20
  4     42  Joanna Murphy                     29 59   23:31
  5     48  Karen Roa                         23 67   23:40
  6   ( 63) Katie Dicamillo                   27 86   23:56
  7   ( 67) Alexandra Varanka                 28 95   24:02
  8   ( 75) Jessica Minty                     29 104   24:12
19.   642  Greater Boston Track Club                          (  25:49  2:09:04)
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  1     58  Kerri Leonhardt                   24 81   23:52
  2     93  Alyson Millett                    25 126   24:42
  3    147  Elizabeth Ryan                    23 197   26:07
  4    150  Alyse Rocco                       24 201   26:13
  5    194  Alee Rowley                       25 251   28:10

 20.   646  New Balance Boston B                               (  25:38  2:08:08)
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  1     91  Diana Davis                       28 123   24:35
  2     94  Katherine Rosettie                22 127   24:43
  3    136  Karina Johnson                    30 181   25:40
  4    152  Fiona Moriarty                    25 205   26:16
  5    173  Erin Ballard                      29 228   26:54
  6   (183) Sarah Brassard                    26 239   27:26