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A Dozen Records Fall at USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships


A Dozen Records Fall at USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships

FLINT, Michigan – On a perfect evening for a race, Masters runners blasted along the course, taking down 12 American Records in the 1 Mile Road Championships. Hosted by the HAP Crim Festival of Races at their Michigan Mile event, 6 Women’s and 6 Men’s American Records were set! Jeannie Rice, who holds records from the 1 Mile to the Marathon, broke her own American Record by 12 seconds as she paced out a 6:25 [net times]. Sonja Friend-Uhl did the same in 5:06, breaking her own 45-49 record by a second! Jon Desenberg and Nathan Finestone established records in age divisions that had none, Desenberg clocking 10:10 in the 85-89 division and Finestone 12:50 in the 90-94 division. In a mad dash to the finish line, Jan Frisby beat the current 75-79 record holder, Doug Goodhue, by a second and a half, and took his existing record by one second. Fiona Bayly took down Marisa Sutera Strange’s 50-54 record by 4 seconds in 5:23 but Strange then lowered the 55-59 record by 5 seconds with her 5:28 time. When she ran 5:54, Nancy Simmons beat the existing record by a whopping 41 seconds; and Madeline Bost beat the 80-84 record with her 10:56 by 33 seconds. Tim Van Orden’s 4:46 lowered the 50-54 record by 2 seconds; David Westenberg’s 5:13 beat the old 60-64 record by 6 seconds; and Bob Giambalvo’s 6:00 took 7 seconds off the 70-74 record. Altogether, 6 Women’s and 6 Men’s American Records were set!


MEN - Chuck Schneekloth got out fast and led for the first 400 meters. At that point Brian Sydow pushed the pace in the hopes of dropping those with big kicks. With 400 meters to go, Michael Madsen surged to the front, gapping the field by 25 meters. With  100 meters to go, Madsen slowed a tick. Schneekloth closed quickly and dipped his chest at the finish to take the win in 4:37. The timing sheet shows Schneekloth won by 0.04 seconds! Sydow stayed strong to the finish landing on his first Masters Road Racing Overall National Championship podium in 4:44. A second later Jeremy Hurley crossed the line, followed a second later by Philip Potvin and Tim Van Orden in 4:46. 

WOMEN- The Women’s race was, by contrast, a dominant display by Sonja Friend-Uhl as she went to the front, held her pace, and finished strong to win by 17 seconds in 5:06. Fiona Bayly was a solid 2nd for the first half mile, with Marisa Sutera Strange and Doreen McCoubrie trailing her about 10 meters back. After the halfway point, extended her gap to the other two. From 400 meters out, Strange surged and left McCoubrie. Bayly claimed 2nd in 5:23, followed 5 seconds later by Strange in 3rd. Another 4 seconds saw McCoubrie come across in 4th, with a hard-closing Lisa Veneziano 3 seconds later in 5th.

Age-grading indicates the top performance, relative to age, across all age divisions, on a score from 0 to 100, based on worldwide data; 90 and above is considered ‘world class. As usual, the ageless wonder, Jeannie Rice, 71, topped all comers at 97.23%. Marisa Sutera Strange, 57, who finished 2nd in age grading to Fiona Bayly last week in Atlanta at the 5K, was 2nd here at 94.39% and Doreen McCoubrie, 56, 3rd in 94.19%. Sonja Friend-Uhl, 48, took 4th with 92.43% and Nancy Simmons, 60, edged Bayly for 5th by 0.03% at 91.58%. Even though 56-year-old Mark Zamek was able to take the M55 Age Division crown from Nat Larson, 57, the extra year of age, combined with a nearly equal time, resulted in a narrow overall age-grading win for Larson at 92.19% to 91.68%. Three of the record-beakers, Tim Van Orden, 51, Michael Madsen, 46, and David Westenberg, 61, took 3rd through 5th with 91.01%, 90.57%, and 90.20%.

Age division National 1 mile champions were crowned (gun times): Women 40-44 Jill Braley 5:44 45-49 Friend-Uhl 5:06 50-54 Bayly 5:23 55-59 Strange 5:28 60-64 Simmons 5:54 65-69 Jill Miller-Robinett 6:43 70-74 Rice 6:25 75-79 Catherine Radle 10:15 80-84 Madeline Bost 10:56. Men 40-44 Schneekloth 4:37 45-49 Madsen 4:37 50-54 Van Orden 4:46 55-59 Zamek 4:55 60-64 Westenberg 5:13  65-69 Joseph Reda, III 5:33 70-74 Bob Giambalvo 6:01 75-79 Frisby 6:18 85-89 Jon Desenberg 10:12 90-94 Nathaniel Finestone 12:52.


TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS (scored as the cumulative time of first 3 finishers on each team) 

MEN - The Garden State Track Club-New Balance [Dave Ferugia, Schneekloth, Zamek], averaging 4:47 in 40+ over the Atlanta Track Club (Atlanta), averaging 4:55, and the Genesee Valley Harriers (GVH) who averaged 5:00; the Greater Springfield Harriers [Alejandro Heuck, Larson, Kent Lemme] in 50+, averaging 5:01 over Atlanta with a 5:07 average, GVH with 5:09 per runner; Atlanta (Michael Anderson, Jeffery Dundas, Ken Youngers] in 60+, averaging 5:34, over the Shore Athletic Club, with a 5:48 average, the Kansas City Smoke at 5:52; the Ann Arbor Track Club [Paul Carlin, Goodhue, Terry McCluskey], averaging 6:25, in 70+ over Atlanta with a 6:43 average, and GVH, at 6:52 per runner. 

WOMEN - Atlanta [Amy Bartholomew-Koepp, Jill Braley, Friend-Uhl,] in 40+, averaging 5:36 per runner, were unopposed; 50+ going to the Athena Track Club [McCoubrie, Strange, Mary Swan averaging 5:47, over Atlanta with a 6:19 average, and GVH at 6:59; 60+ to the Impala Racing Team [Ruby Ghadially, Jill Miller-Robinett, Nancy Simmons], averaging 6:21, over Atlanta at 6:50; and Atlanta [Catherine Radle, Carol Rhodes, Judy Melton], averaging 11:22, took the 70+ division unopposed.


The 2019 USATF Masters Grand Prix series heads next to Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA, for the USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships on October 12th. Renowned for its mild weather and many attractions, San Diego is one of the top destination cities in the country..


Submitted by

Paul Carlin

USATF Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

Running Professor LLC/


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