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Masters Champions Crowned at USATF National Club Cross Country Championships in Sub-freezing Temperatures


SPOKANE, Washington – Sub-freezing temperatures and cloudy skies greeted the Masters runners at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships this past Saturday in Spokane, Washington. Some wore just singlets and shorts but most layered up to defeat the cold and their rivals.

The Women’s 6 km race went off at 10AM with a lead pack holding together for the first half of the race until Kate Landau, Masters winner and 8th overall at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, created a gap which built to over a half a minute as she took the win in 21:29, followed by Gretchen Hurlbutt, who finished 34th in the Open USATF Cross Country at Bend in 2017, followed 5 seconds later by Maggie Shearer, who finished 2nd this past February in the Masters Race at the USATF Cross Country  Championships in Tallahassee. The B.A.A.’s Kaela O’Neil took 4th. The Men’s 60 and up 8 km race started at 11 AM. Joe Sheeran was determined to defend his Championship on his favorite surface. His longtime rival, Roger Sayre had the edge over Sheeran at the 8 km and 5 km Championships on the road this year. Sheeran attacked the course with abandon and found himself eventually pulling away from Sayre to win in 28:55. Nine seconds later, Sheeran’s Club Northwest teammates, Rick Becker and Michael Smith,  took 3rd and 4th. The Men’s 40 and over 10 km race capped off the morning’s action, with Marathoners, Jorge Maravilla and Eric Loeffler, pulling away from the pack along with David Angell, the 2018 Men’s 40-44 Masters Grand Prix winner. That trio held tight until they snaked back along the curvy course toward the start of the final loop. From there, Maravill and loeffler pulled away from Angell. By the time the finish line was in sight, Maravilla, the Master winner of the San Francisco Marathon this year, and third place finisher at this race last year, had a comfortable 14 second lead over Loeffler. Seven seconds later Angell claimed third, with last year’s Champion, Neville Davey, 25 seconds back in 4th.


Age-Grading is used to identify the best performances among Masters Runners relative to age, allowing comparison of top runners from all age groups. Hall of Famer, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 59, running unattached out of Texas, took the title with 89.02% on her 25:00. Jennifer Teppo 60, ran 25:32 for 88.25, and Jeanette Groesz, 69, ran 29:00 for 87.56. Rick Becker, 64, added the gold age-grading medal to his total, running 29:37 for 91.23%. His teammate, Joe Sheeran, 61, had a 28:55 for 90.93, with Jacob Nur, 63, edging Roger Sayre for 3rd with 29:58 and 89.35. In the Men’s 40 and up it was Nat Larson, 55, of the Greater Springfield Harriers,  taking the title as usual; his 35:01 earned a 90.36. B.A.A. teammates, Peter Hammer, 52, and Andy Gardiner, 53, made it a New England sweep, with 34:09 for 89.49 and 34:43 for 88.77.


Team Championships are what Club Cross Country is all about. The Jane’s Elite Racing of Southern California took the 40+ and 50+ titles. Team Red Lizard took the 60+ title and the

Atlanta Track Club the 70+. The wealth was shared in the Men’s 60 and up with Club Northwest  taking the 60+ title, but the Ann Arbor Track Club taking 70+ and the San Diego Striders the 80+. The Greater Springfield Harriers continued their dominance of the 50+ division although the Bowerman Track Club came close in 2nd. The three teams who occupied the podium last year did so again, although the order was a bit different. The Bowerman Track Club moved up from 3rd to take the title. The B.A.A. found themselves in 2nd again despite their best efforts, with the West Valley Track Club  3rd.


Age-Division Championships went to: Women—40-44 Kate Landau 45-49 Grace Padilla 22:56 50-54 Kirsten Leetch 24:07 55-59 Patricia Bellan 24:27 60-64 Jennifer Teppo 25:32 65-69 Jeanette Groesz 29:00 70-74 Carolyn Mather 38:21 75-79 Catherine Radle 44:21. Men 10Km—40-44 Jorge Maravilla 32:53 45-49 John Howell 33:41 50-54 Peter Hammer 34:09 55-59 Nat Larson 35:01 Men 8Km—60-64 Joe Sheeran 28:55 65-69 Doug Winn 32:30 70-74 Terry McCluskey 34:47 75-79 Doug Goodhue 36:07 80-84 Richard Williams 53:11.


This race kicked off the (2018-) 2019 USATF Masters Grand Prix series. Next up is the USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida on February 2nd; the Road portion fo the series begins with the 8 Km Masters Championships on March 16th in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Submitted by

Paul Carlin

USATF Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

Running Professor LLC/

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