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Drenched Masters Runners Persevere at USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships


NEWPORT BEACH, California -- Low temps and soggy conditions made for tough times at the USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships Saturday at the OC Marathon, but athletes prevailed through to win overall and age-graded national titles.

In the race for the overall title, David Angell was trying to add a third win to the two under his belt this year, posting victories previously at the Masters 8K in March and the 10K last week. John Gardiner was trying to extend his dominance over Angell, having finished ahead of Angell at the 2016 5K and 15K Masters Championships. Jose Merino, a newly minted Masters Athlete, was a dark horse to take the title after posting a solid half marathon time earlier this year. At the 5K mark, Gardiner and Merino were setting the pace with Angell just a stride back, but Gardiner opened up a gap as the course continued and took the title with a gun time of 1:10:48. Angell and Merino were neck-and-neck after that, with Merino pulling away over the final 5K to take second in 1:11:44 to Angell’s 1:12:20.

In the women’s race, Amy Halseth of Prado Racing set the early pace and by the 10K mark, had built a 50 second lead over the small chase pack of Ingrid Walters of the Jane’s Elite Racing and Donna Mills-Honarvar of A Snail’s Pace RC. Halseth stayed strong through to the end, finishing in 1:23:05 for the win. Mills-Honarvar had a strong last 10K to finish second in 1:24:32, and Walters took the bronze medal in 1:24:57.

In the age-grading race, Mike McManus, 51, of the Hoka NJ/NY TC, ran a net time of 1:14:03 for an 88.75, second place Kevin Broady, 55, of A Snail’s Pace Running Club, with a 1:17:19 for 88.12, and in third place, John Gardiner, 44, of the Cal Coast TC, with a 1:10:46 for 87.54. The top spot among the women went to Jeanette Groesz, 67, of Team Red Lizard, with a 1:45:03 for 88.58; in second place was Doreen McCoubrie, 55, of the Athena TC with a 1:29:33 for 88.07; and in third, California’s Honor Fetherston, 62, with a 1:38:59 for an 87.45 score. For McCoubrie, it is her second straight age-grading podium, adding to her third-place finish in the 8K at Virginia Beach.


Age division champions included Groesz, McCoubrie, Fetherston, Halseth and Mills-Honarvar mentioned above. Tania Fischer was the W50 Champion in 1:27:25 and Irene Terronez won the W70 division in 2:20. Among the men, McManus, Broady, and Gardiner were age division champions; they were joined by Steven Frisone, whose 1:15:32 topped M45, John Holcomb’s 1:24:56 in M60, Peter Mullin emerged victorious in the M65 in 1:31:18, Paul Carlin won the M70 title in 1:41:47, the M75 title went to Andrew Sherwood in 2:17:26, and the oldest champion of the day  was Richard Williams, 81, of Coronado, California and the Florida TC-West, in 2:18:51.


West Coast teams dominated the team contest; Cal Coast TC took all three titles on the men’s side, M40+, M50+, and M60+. Southern California’s Jane’s Elite Racing claimed the top spot in Women’s 40+ and 50+. Oregon’s Team Red Lizard won the Women‘s 60+ title.


The Masters Grand Prix takes the summer off until the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships on Friday, August 25th.


Submitted by Paul Carlin, USATF Masters LDR Media Chair

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