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Record Numbers For Masters 5 km XC Championships Sunday

10/18/2013
 
Indianapolis — The USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships will be held this Sunday at Deer Path Park in Flemington, NJ.  A record 472 athletes are entered in the championships with another 115 entered in the accompanying Garden State Cross Country Classic for open and youth athletes.  The previous record participation for this championship was 282 athletes.

The event is being hosted by USATF New Jersey for the fifth time.  The association  previously organized the event in 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2003. Four championship races will be run; women (all ages), men (40-49), men (50-59), and men (60+).  $5000 in prize money will be awarded and the top age-graded performers (men & women) will win Tissot watches valued at over $500.

Leading the women will be Kathy Martin, 62, of Northport, N.Y. who last week ran 19:06 at the USA Masters 5 km Championships in Syracuse.  Her time was a mere 2 seconds off her W60 world record time and scored 103.14% on the age grading performance charts.   Competing against Martin in the W60-64 division will be home state favorite Erika Campbell, 64, of Ridgewood, N.J. who had the fifth best age-graded performance (94.75%) in Syracuse.

In the women's 50-54 division Marissa Suetra Strange and Mary Swan will face each other for the national title.   Suetra Strange, 50, of Pleasant Valley, N.Y. ran 18:10 in Syracuse to claim the national title by 33 seconds.  Swan, 51, of Penn Valley, Penn. finished 3rd  at the 1 Mile Road Championships earlier this year in Pittsburgh running 5:41.

In the men's 40-44 division the foursome of Ray Pugsley, Eric Stabb, Chad Newton and Nicholas Berra look to be evenly matched which should result in a hard fought battle for the title.   At last fall's Masters 10 km Cross Country Championships in Lexington, Ky. Pugsley (Potomac Falls, Va.), Stabb (Athens, Ga.), and Newton (Pisgah Forest, N.C.) finished 3rd, 5th, and 7th respectively in the M40 division.  Berra (Enola, Penn.) is a track specialist with world class times in the 800m and 1500m.

Kristian Blaich, 47, of Decatur, Ga. looks to be strong favorite in the men's 45-49 division.  In Syracuse, Blaich ran 15:29 to win the M45 title and his 93.01% age-graded performance was the third best men's performance. Mark Hixson (Simsbury, Conn.) Mike Nier (Rochester, N.Y.) and Brian Crowley (Hillsborough, N.J.), and Gerry O'Hara (East Rockaway, N.Y.) are strong candidates for spots on the podium.  Hixson was just 2 seconds behind Blaich at last year's 10 km Cross Country Championships where he finished fifth. O'Hara ran 4:10.55 for 1500m earlier this year.

Peter Magill, 52, of South Pasadena, Calf will travel across the country to compete for the men's 50-54 title.  Magill, considered one the all-time best masters runners, is a heavy favorite to win the title. Alan Evans (Beaver Dams, N.Y.), Gary Droze (Tallahassee, Fl.)  and William Zink (Wyckoff, N.J.) will contend for the remaining podium positions.

Ken Youngers (Tucker, Ga.) enters as the favorite in the men's 55-59 division.   Youngers ran 17:02 two weeks ago in Syracuse to finish second.  His age-graded performance was an impressive 91.79%; the fifth best of all men.  Mark Rybinski (Manlius, N.Y.), Michael Mooney (Jackson, N.J.), and Gary Radford (Cicero, N.Y.) all finished within 16 seconds of each other in Syracuse and will be in contention to medal on Sunday. 

In the men's 60-64 race Ronville Gravesande  (Union, N.J.) and Kirk Larson (Atlanta, Ga.) will rekindle their recent rivalry.  In Syracuse Gravesande ran 18:47 to finish 4th with Larson just nine seconds back in 5th place.  Tim McMullen (Churchville, N.Y.), who ran 18:58 in Syracuse should also be right in the thick of the action in this division as well.

Jerry Learned (Gainesville, Fla.) will lead the field in the men's 65-69 competition.  Learned finished 4th in Syracuse running 19:31.  Garden staters JL Seymore (Somerset, N.J.) and Harold Nolan (Navesink) along with Jim May (Williamson, N.Y.) look to contend for the silver and bronze medals.  Seymore, Nolan and May finished 5th, 7th, and 8th respectively in Syracuse. 

Edward Smith (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) in the men's 70-74 and Thom Weddle (Minneapolis, Minn.) in the men's 75-79  are the favorites for titles in their divisions.

Clubs who have entered teams are:

Men 40+ - Atlanta Track Club, Baltimore Washington Athletic Club, Central Park Track Club (CPTC) New Balance, Do Run Running Club, Garmin Runners, Genesee Valley Harriers Greater Philadelphia TC, Sneaker Factory Running Club, Team Pearl Izumi - Mid Atlantic, TNT International Racing Club

Women 40+ - Athena Track Club, Central Park Track Club (CPTC) New Balance, Garmin Runners, Genesee Valley Harriers, Greater Philadelphia TC, Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders Race Team, North Jersey Masters Track & Field Club, Philadelphia Masters, Raritan Valley Road Runners, Rose City Runners Club, Runner's High Racing Club, Shore Athletic Club, South Jersey Athletic Club, TNT International Racing Club

Men 50+  - Atlanta Track Club, Do Run Running Club, Garmin Runners, Genesee Valley Harriers, Greater Philadelphia TC, Nittany Valley Running Club, North Jersey Masters Track & Field Club, Pike Creek Valley Running Club, Raritan Valley Road Runners, Shore Athletic Club, South Jersey Athletic Club

Women 50+ - Athena Track Club, Clifton RoadRunners Club, Do Run Running Club, Genesee Valley Harriers, Morris County Striders, North Jersey Masters Track & Field Club, Philadelphia Masters, Raritan Valley Road Runners,  Shore Athletic Club, Sneaker Factory Running Club, Westchester Track Club

Men 60+  - Central Park Track Club (CPTC) New Balance,  Clifton RoadRunners Club, Genesee Valley Harriers, Greater Philadelphia TC, Raritan Valley Road Runners, Shore Athletic Club, South Jersey Athletic Club

Women 60+ - Central Park Track Club (CPTC) New Balance,  Clifton RoadRunners Club,  Genesee Valley Harriers, Morris County Striders, Rose City Runners Club

Men 70+ - Atlanta Track Club, Clifton Road Runners Club, North Jersey Masters Track & Field Club,  Philadelphia Masters, Shore Athletic Club

Women 70+ - Morris Country Striders

Men 80+ - Central Jersey Road Runners

Women 80+ - Morris Country Striders

For complete coverage visit  www.usatf.org.

Susan Hazzard
Director of Public Relations
USA Track & Field
317.713.4664
e-mail

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