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Sunshine and steep competition set for 2018 USATF Masters 10K Championships

4/25/2018
 

DEDHAM, Massachusetts — Spring may finally have arrived in the northeast, a mere 13 days after one of the most difficult weather scenarios for the Boston Marathon. The forecast for Dedham, a picturesque suburb of Boston, calls for mostly sunny skies and 55 degrees at 11 am when top USATF Masters athletes from around the country will contest the 10K Championship at the James Joyce Ramble.

 

Anny Stockman, 85, will make the trip from Rensselaer NY, aiming to establish the 85-89 American 10K Record and add it to the 5K record she took down last October in Syracuse NY. The only mark on the books right now is a pending mark from 2016 by Mary Grosse. The best bet on the Men’s side is in the 70-74 division where Bill Dixon and Gene Dykes both have legitimate shots at Jan Frisby’s 2015 American record of 40:15. Dixon ran 6 seconds under Frisby’s record on this course last year a few weeks before his 70th birthday. If he can match that, he will break the record. But he still might not win the race! Dykes is fresh off an effort at the Rotterdam Marathon where, a few days after his 70th birthday, he smashed the 3-hour barrier and set an American Record. Not only that, he ran the Boston Marathon nine days later in near gale conditions, and still ran 3:16. He is on another level right now, but will all those recent miles finally slow him down? Time will tell. Nat Larson broke the Men’s 55-59 American 5K and 8K records this past fall. He will take aim at Jim O’Neill’s 32:27 from 1993.

 

Age Grading scores provide a way of comparing relative times across all age divisions, with 100 representing the equivalent of a World’s Best performance. In addition to Dixon, Dykes, and Larson from above, Age-Grading contenders include Tom Bernhard, 66, Kristian Blaich, 51, Kent Lemme, 51, Derrick Staley, 59, and Ken Youngers, 61. Larson is the favorite but there is plenty of competition! At the 8K Championships last month, Larson scored 92.9 but Dykes, Youngers, Bernhard and Lemme all scored between 90.3 and 91.7. Jan Holmquist, 73, is the Age-Grading favorite among the Women; she regularly scores above 95%. Marisa Sutera Strange, 54, who topped the list at the 8K Championships in Virginia Beach, should be her stiffest competition. Other top Age-Graders entered include Jeanette Groesz, 68, and Suzanne Ray, 65, Team Red Lizard teammates out of Portland OR who both scored over 90% in Virginia Beach, and Utah’s Michelle Simonaitis, 51, who was right behind.

 

And who will be the first Masters Athletes across the finish line? David Angell is the defending Overall Champion and won the 8K Championship last month. Derrick Jones challenged Angell repeatedly during last year’s race and may again. Ryan McCalmon and Blaich, who passed Jones in the final stages to finish 2nd and 3rd last year, will also hope to find a winning strategy. David Bedoya who finished only 12 seconds behind Angell at the Club Cross Country Championships in Lexington KY last December, will be in the mix too. Marisa Sutera Strange, who won here in 2016, and took the 8K Championship last month, would enter as the favorite were it not for the late entry of last year’s Champion, Ginger Reiner. Jennifer Bayliss, who claimed the Masters crown at the USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee in February, finishing a minute ahead of Sutera Strange, will aim for another win here. Mimi Fallon, Jennifer St. Jean, and Heather Webster, who have run well here in the past, and Simonaitis, who finished 2nd to Strange in the 8K last month, could also contend for the podium.

 

The Boston Athletic Association is well placed to defend their Men’s 40+ title from last year. The addition of Bedoya makes them more formidable. Atlanta who finished 2nd last year, has their work cut out for them. The Greater Springfield Harriers, with their terrific trio of Larson, Lemme, and Mark Hixson, should dominate Men’s 50+ again. The Atlanta Track Club, who took the Men’s 60+ title at the 8K, are slight favorites to repel the Boulder Road Runners and the Shore AC. The Genesee Valley Harriers (GVH) will look to continue their winning ways in Men’s 70+; they are the defending champs here and won the Masters 70+ Club Grand Prix last year. The Ann Arbor Track Club and the Boulder Road Runners are the best bets to try to derail them. The New England 65 Plus RC is also fielding, for the first time, a Men’s 80+ squad, led by the legend, Bill Riley. The GVH are the defending champions for the Women’s 40+ team competition; with Heather Webster leading the way, they should repeat. The Athena Track Club, winners of the 2017 Club Grand Prix and defending Women’s 50+ champions, should win handily. Last year the Atlanta Track Club held off the GVH squad to take the Women’s 60+ title; this year they have Oregon’s Team Red Lizard to contend with, who took the title at the 8K and are favored here.

 

The favorites for the 10K Age Division championships are: Jennifer Bayliss 45-49 Patrice Combs 60-64 Jan Holmquist 70-74 Lorraine Jasper 55-59 Suzanne Ray 65-69 Kathleen Scotti 75-79 Anny Stockman 85-89 Marisa Sutera Strange 50-54 Heather Webster 40-44/ David Angell 40-44 Tom Bernhard 65-69 Bill Dixon 70-74 Robert Hendrick 75-79  Nat Larson 55-59 Kent Lemme 50-54 William Riley 80-84 Philippe Rolly 45-49 Ken Youngers 60-64. Holmquist, Scotti, Stockman, and Hendrick are strong favorites to take their titles; the rest will be pressed mightily by their rivals.

 

Submitted by

Paul Carlin

Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

 




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