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Masters Champions Crowned on Hilly Streets of Tulsa

10/29/2018
 

Masters Champions Crowned on Hilly Streets of Tulsa

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – The Tulsa Sports Commission dusted off a new course layout for its 41st edition and its 6th consecutive partnership with the USATF Masters 15K National Championship. Tulsa being Tulsa, there were still plenty of hills, but with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 50’s, the runners eagerly attacked the course.

The rivalries played out as anticipated but there was a surprise winner in the Men’s Overall Championship. A lead pack of David Angell and John Gardiner, the co-favorites, along with Philippe Rolly and Sean Wade, held together as they crossed the 5K mat in 16:34. Gardiner dropped back on the first long hill and Wade started to slip back just before the 10K. Angell and Rolly were together then until the return trip over the Arkansas River when Rolly gained a few steps. Then, on the final, long grind up to the finish line, Rolly pulled away for victory in 50:40, followed 13 seconds later by Angell, Gardiner, and Wade. Rolly reveled in his first victory ever over Angell and Gardiner in his 6 years of Masters running and ten tries. He credited it to his Marathon training which is leaving him with a stronger closing capability.

 

In the Women’s race, Melissa Gacek took it out hard for the first mile, along with Jennifer Malavolta and Shannon Mauser-Suing; they clocked 5:59 for that mile. Fiona Bayly, the defending champ, and co-favorite along with 2016 winner, Gacek, bided her time. By the third mile, her pacing carried her past Gacek, who had dropped the other two in the 2nd mile. From there Bayly steadily pulled away and Gacek kept the others at bay. Bayly clocked 58:09 to claim her 2nd consecutive win, followed by Gacek, and Malavolta. Bayly had been worried her half marathon two weeks previously might have left her tired, but instead it turned out to be the perfect prep as she ran faster this year than last. She also credited her good time to responding to the pressure of being defending champion. She said she will return for a ‘three-peat’ try next year. Bayly congratulated the organizers, saying “The people and the race management were top-notch, and the weather was outstanding. Saturday was a joy.”

Age-Grade scoring is the best way to compare performance by age across all Masters competitors. Everyone is graded against 100% which is the score for matching the predicted best time for an athlete of that age and gender. By that standard, the Overall Champion, Fiona Bayly, 51, doubled up as the National 15K Age Grading Women’s Champion, scoring 90.89%. Bayly was pressed mightily by 66-year old Suzanne Ray, who ran 1:11:06 for a 90.80%. Doreen McCoubrie, 56, with a 1:03:18 and 88.87; Jennifer Teppo, 60, at 1:08:01 for 87.19, and Andriette Wickstrom, 63, with a 1:11:12 and 86.66, all took home age-grading cash prizes. Nat Larson, 56, took his 4th Age-Grading title this year with a 52:33 and 91.94%. Sean Wade, 52, holder of the 50-54 American 5K Record, showed he has plenty of endurance too, with a 51:32 and 90.48. The remaining purse was split among Mark Hixson, 53, with a 52:26 and 89.72; Roger Sayre, 60 at 55:59 and 89.53; and in his first age-grading top 5 since returning from two years of off and on injury and rehab, Doug Goodhue, a ten time USATF Age Division Runner of the Year, at age 76, clocked 1:08:00 for 88.58.

National Age Division 15K Champions included: David Angell 50:53 [VA] 42, Philippe Rolly 50:40 [VA] 46, Sean Wade 51:32 [TX] 52, Nat Larson 52:33 [MA] 56, Roger Sayre 55:59 [CO] 60, Tom Bernhard 1:01:15 [CA] 67, Lloyd Hansen 1:05:30 [UT] 70, Doug Goodhue 1:08:00 [MI] 76; Melissa Gacek 59:33 [MN] 42, Jennifer Malavolta 59:59 [PA] 47, Fiona Bayly 58:09 [NY] 51, Doreen McCoubrie 1:03:18 [PA] 56, Jennifer Teppo 1:08:01 [CA] 60, Suzanne Ray 1:11:06 [OR] 66, Irene Terronez 1:39:54 [NM] 74, Judy Bomer 1:42:52 [OK] 75.

Women’s National Team Champions included 40+ LRC Racing Lincoln NE; 50+ the Impala Racing Team SF Bay Area; 60+ Team Red Lizard Portland OR. For the Men 40+ the Atlanta Track Club; 50+ the Greater Springfield Harriers; 60+, the Boulder Road Runners; 70+ the Ann Arbor Track Club.

This concludes the 2018 USATF Masters Grand Prix circuit. Awards will be presented at the kickoff event for the 2019 Masters Grand Prix Circuit, the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships in Spokane WA on December 8, 2018.

Submitted by
Paul Carlin
USATF Masters LDR/Media Coordinator
Running Professor LLC/runningprof.com

 



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