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Road Mile Champions Crowned as Records Fall at USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships


FLINT, MICHIGAN – On the Friday evening before their signature 10 Mile Road Race, the HAP Crim Fitness Foundation offers the Michigan Mile, which hosted the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships. Rain held off, so nearly perfect conditions prevailed for an outstanding evening of racing.

The top performances of the evening were turned in by Philadelphia’s Doreen McCoubrie, and Ohio’s Jeannie Rice. McCoubrie, a former Nittany Lions distance runner who, at age 56, finished 3rd overall in 5:34, lowered the pending 55-59 American Record for the Mile by 11 seconds!

McCoubrie noted after the race, ““I have always loved the Mile!” McCoubrie’s achievement seems incredible, but Rice, at age 70, improved on the best pending American mark by nearly two minutes! She sprinted away from the line and darted over the pavement, running 6:38!


The women toed the line at 6:30 pm to contest the Overall Championship and six fleet-footed athletes took off in a tight and fast pack, including Melissa Gacek, Doreen McCoubrie, Tammy Nowik, Marisa Sutera Strange, Lisa Veneziano, and Molly Watcke. Once they approached the first gentle turn at about 400 meters, Watcke threw in a surge that no one could match. She established separation and held it all the way to the finish line, winning in 5:25. Last weekend Watcke took 2nd in the Masters 5K Championship in Atlanta-quite a week for the former U. of Michigan runner. The rest of the pack held together until inside the last 400 meters when Gacek and McCoubrie, spying the finish line, took off in a wild sprint to the finish. Gacek had just a little more in the tank as she claimed 2nd in 5:33, a second ahead of McCoubrie. That gave Gacek another silver medal to go with the one she earned last year and the bronze the year before. She has quite a collection from Flint! McCoubrie had to set an American Record to make the podium! Nowik, Strange, and Veneziano followed in that order


The Men went off 15 minutes later. Alan Black surged away from the line, establishing early separation from a large chase pack. Leading the chase pack were: Christopher Hernandez, Charles Novak, Chip Owens, Philip Potvin, Tim Rieth, Chuck Schneekloth, and Sam Teigen. Black held his lead all the way to the tape, winning by 4 seconds in 4:43! With just 200 meters to go, and the finish line looming ahead, Novak made a desperate surge and it was just enough to carry him to the 2nd place finish in 4:47, two seconds ahead of Schneekloth in 3rd and Teigen in 4th. Rieth, Potvin, Hernandez, and Owens finished in that order. Black enjoyed his first National Masters Championship and perhaps his best outcome since the Masters Race at the 2014 Club Cross Country Championships when he took the Bronze Medal overall in a field of nearly 600 runners. This was a sweet return for Novak who had to go home with a 6th place finish in 2015. Schneekloth, in his first try at the title, nearly pulled it off.


Age-Grading is a calculation, based on World Standards, designed to measure how well each runner performs relative to the fastest possible race for a runner of that age, with scores typically topping out at about 100%. Jeannie Rice, 70, not only smashed the age division record by nearly two minutes, Rice took the top age-grading spot by a wide margin. Her 6:38 earned a 100.73%. The other record-breaking performance by Doreen McCoubrie, earned the 2nd spot at 96.90. Marisa Sutera Strange, 55, closed out the Women’s podium with a 5:39 for 94.17. The Men’s podium consisted of three tightly packed runners, Alan Wells, 55, who ran 4:58, for 88.98%; Charles Novak whose 4:47 scored at 88.67%; and Ken Youngers, 62, who covered the course in 5:20 for an 88.03.


Age Division National Championships were captured by Men: 40-44 Black 45-49 Vacant 50-54 Novak 55-59 Wells 60-64 Roger Sayre 65-69 Peter Mullin 70-74 Lloyd Hansen, 75-79 Doug Goodhue, and 80-84 Christopher Rush. Women’s National Championships went to 40-44 Gacek 45-49 Watcke 50-54 Lisa Veneziano, 55-59 McCoubrie 60-64 Mary Richards, 65-69 Cynthia Lucking, 70-74 Rice, 75-79 Catherine Radle 80-84 Tami Graf.


The Team Race for the Men’s 40+ division was tight. Garden State Track Club took the title in 14:43, defeating the Genesee Valley Harriers (GVH) by an average of 0.67 seconds per scoring runner. No other winning margin was within 5 seconds per runner. Other team titles went to the Atlanta Track Club, 50+ in 15:37; Boulder Road Runners, 60+ in 17:166; Ann Arbor Track Club, 70+ in 18:42. For the Women, the tightest race was in the 60+ division where the Atlanta Track Club’s 21:57 captured the title with just under a 3 second per runner margin. Other titles went to GVH in 40+ in 19:20; Checkers AC 50+ in 19:05, and the Atlanta Track Club 70+ in 35:04.


Submitted by

Paul Carlin

USATF Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

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