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Masters Athletes Vie for 2019 Road Mile Championships

8/22/2019
 

Flint, Michigan -- Fleet Masters athletes will be burning up the roads this coming Friday evening, August 23rd. The USATF Masters 1 Mile National Championships are hosted for the 6th consecutive year by the Michigan Mile at the HAP Crim Festival of Races Weekend. It looks to be another perfect evening for racing this year. The race time forecast is for 71 degrees under mostly sunny skies with low humidity, 47%, and winds at 8-9 mph. The Men’s race goes off at 6:45 pm with the Women at 7 pm.

 

Overall Championship

Chuck Schneekloth, is the top returning Men’s athlete from last year’s Overall Championships. He claimed 3rd in 4:49, and won Silver Medals at the 2019 NCCWMA Championships in the 800- and 1500-Meter events. His 4:20:22 in the 1500 Meters is considered roughly equivalent to a 4:41 Mile, so Schneekloth may be even more formidable this year. His chief rival will be Mark Andrews, the 2016 10K Masters National Champion, who just took the Bronze medal Overall at the 5K Masters Championships in Atlanta in 15:57. Others in contention include Philip Potvin, Ben Van Male, and Mark Walchinsky. On the women’s side, the favorite is Sonja Friend-Uhl, who took the 800 and Mile crowns at the Indoor National Championships and won the Silver Medal at the 5K Masters Championships this past weekend in 17:34. Her mile time indoors was 5:21.8. Her strongest challenges will come from Fiona Bayly, who ran a 5:20 at the Fifth Avenue mile last year and finished 4th in the 5K in Atlanta last Saturday. Doreen McCoubrie, who finished 3rd here last year and Marisa Sutera Strange, who was 5th in the Mile last year and 5th last week in Atlanta, can never be counted out. Jill Braley, who took 2nd at the 5K Masters Cross Country Championships and ran a 5:26.8 at the Music City Distance carnival this spring, could also factor into the podium race. Melissa Gacek who took 2nd Overall last year had to scratch due to family responsibilities. Jennifer St. Jean, who finished 3rd Overall at the 10K Masters Championships in April, suffered an injury shortly thereafter; this is her first race since then.

 

Age Grading Championship

Symbolic of the best performance, relative to age, across all age divisions, age-grading scores range from 0 up to 100 with 90 considered ‘World Class’. The favorite on the Women’s side is Jeannie Rice, 71, who won here last year with a 100.73%. Strange, 56, who took the title last weekend at the 5K Championships with a 94.86%, is a good bet for 2nd. Not far back from Strange in the 5K were Friend-Uhl, 48, and Bayly, 52. McCoubrie, 56 last year, outpointed Strange, 55, with a 96.90. On the Men’s side, the favorite is Nat Larson, who took the age-grading title at the 5K Championships last weekend with a 92.20%; he took 2nd in the 2017 Mile Championships with 91.75%. Mark Andrews and Doug Goodhue, who finished 3rd and 5th in Age Grading last weekend with 91.10% and 90.82 respectively, will be in the thick of the age-grading race again this week. Dave Bussard returns to the Grand Prix circuit; he earned an 89.60 at these Championships in 2017, finishing 3rd. Todd Straka, who took 5th in Age-Grading here in 2017, will also be in contention.

 

Age Division Championships

The tightest races are likely to be found in: M40 where Schneekloth will try to outkick Potvin, Van Male, and Walchinsky; W40, where Braley is the favorite, but will need to watch out for St. Jean; M50, where Straka will have Mike Nier and Todd Ursum nipping at his heels; W55 where McCoubrie’s teammate, Strange, could well come in ahead this year; M60 where Michael Young looks to upset Ken Youngers; and M65 where Joseph Reda and Reno Stirrat renew their rivalry, decided by less than a second in Atlanta last week. Other favorites include:

Other Age Division favorites not already mentioned include: M60 Ken Youngers W60 Patrice Combs W65 Jill Miller-Robinett M70 Terry McCluskey W75 Catherine Radle W80 Tami Graf M85 Jon Desenberg M90 Nathaniel Finestone.

 

Teams

M40+ The Atlantic Track Club is favored to edge the Garden State Track Club. M50+ The Greater Springfield Harriers are slight favorites, with Atlanta, the Genesee Valley Harriers (GVH), and the Playmakers Elite New Balance in a podium ‘dogfight’ right behind them. M60+ Atlanta is the favorite, with the Ann Arbor Track Club and the Shore Athletic Club tightly matched for 2nd and 3rd. M70+ The Ann Arbor Track Club looks to take its second Championship in a row, with Atlanta and GVH close behind, attempting to supplant them.

W40+ The Atlanta Track Club should win with no trouble. W50+ The Athena Track Club is favored with Atlanta next in line. W60+ The Impala Racing Team is favored by a small margin over the Atlanta Track Club; it should come down to the wire.

 

Submitted by

Paul Carlin

Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

Running Professor, LLC/runningprof.com

 


 



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