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Masters smash three American records at USATF Masters 5K Championships


Syracuse, NEW YORK – A record crowd, over 280 Masters athletes, competed in the tenth annual USATF Masters 5K Championships hosted by Syracuse Festival of Races. Under race director Dave Oja’s leadership, who announced this would be his final event, runners at the highest level battled on a perfect day for a fast road race.


Kevin Castille, 45, lowered the Men’s 45-49 American Record by 16 seconds. His blazing 14:29 also bettered the World Best mark of 14:31 set by Kenya’s Wilson Waigwa, in 1994. Roy Englert, 95, crushed the Men’s 95-99 American record by 8 minutes with a time of 40:40. The existing 48:55 mark had stood for 22 years. Englert may also have set a World’s Best but they only maintain records up to the 90-94 year old category. Anny Stockman, 85, took down the Women’s 85-89 American record by over 3 minutes as she ran 39:41. Nat Larson, 55, raced a 16:06 which is 1 second under the listed American record, but does not match the 15:54 he ran a couple of weeks ago.


Age-Grading contests identify the top relative performances across all age groups. Kevin Castille’s record breaking performance topped the Men with score of 98.12%. The other record-smasher, Roy Englert, finished 3rd with 95.12, just behind Nat Larson’s 95.25. The Women’s podium had 2014 Masters LDR Runner of the Year, Sabra Harvey, 68, on top with a 98.07% for her 20:44 performance. Jan Holmquist, 73, scored 98.13 for her 22:27, and Edie Stevenson, 68 collected 3rd place for her 95.24 on a 21:34 time.


The Overall Masters Women’s race was as close as it gets with local star, Sascha Scott bringing it home in 17:50, one second ahead of Christy Peterson, who ran a whopping 34 seconds faster than last year, moving from 9th to 2nd. Cassandra Henkiel made the trip from Texas worth it by taking the bronze medal in 18:09, with Renee Tolan just off the podium in 18:18. Castille ran away with the Men’s race, winning by over a minute. Jonathan Frieder hung onto David Angell’s pace through the first half of the race , but Angell gradually pulled away to claim 2nd in 15:37 with Frieder 12 seconds back in 3rd and Carl Combs 3 seconds further back in 4th.


Age Division National Champions were crowned as well. Men’s 5K National Champions include: Angell, Castille, Combs, Larson, and Englert, mentioned above, along with Charlie Andrews 60-64, 17:37; Tom Bernhard 65-69, 17:57; Dave Glass 70-74, 20:56; Doug Goodhue 75-79, 22:45; Jim Askew 80-84, 28:08; and David Rider 85-89, 36:44. The Women’s Champions are: Scott,  Henkiel, Harvey, Holmquist, and Stockman noted above, and Marisa Sutera Strange 50-54, 18:25; Carmen Ayala-Troncoso 55-59, 19:47; Nora Cary 60-64, 20:33;  Madeline Bost 75-79, 34:57; and Tami Graf 80-84, 37:09. There was fierce competition; several races had 1st to 3rd separation of less than 20 seconds. In addition to the tight race between Scott and Peterson referenced above, Nora Cary beat Patrice Combs by a mere 6 seconds in the 60-64 division and Carl Combs (no relation) beat Kent Lemme by only 4 seconds in the 50-54 category.  


Northeast Clubs took most team prizes. But the Boulder Road Runners came down from altitude to take the Men’s 60+ crown and the Impala Racing Team flew in from California to take 1st prize in the Women’s 60 and up competition. Otherwise it was all northeast as Pennsylvania’s Athena Track Club took team honors in both 40+ and 50+, with New York’s Checkers AC taking Women’s 70+ honors. On the Men’s side, the Bay State did well with the Central Mass Striders taking the 40+ title and the Greater Springfield Harriers wearing the 50+ crown. New York’s Genesee Valley Harriers took the 70+ title and the Clifton Roadrunners took home the 80+ prize. The closest team  race of the day was in the Women’s 50+ division where only 6 seconds per runner separated the top 3 teams and a tie breaker was needed to award 2nd place to New Balance Tampa Masters Racing over the Willow Street AC both with average times of 19:57.


The next race on the Masters Grand Prix circuit is the Masters 5K Cross Country Championship at Franklin Park in Boston MA on Sunday, October 15th, followed by the Masters 15K (road) Championship at the Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run on Saturday, October 28.


Submitted by Paul Carlin, USATF Masters LDR Media Chair

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