The USATF-New England cross country grand prix got into high gear this month, featured by a pair of long-time classics, the Wayland Cross Country Festival (10/09) and the Mayor’s Cup (10/23). Both meets feature a full slate of youth races in addition to Open and age-group competition and both have a single gender- and age-combined 5K to grand prix scoring. In addition, Mayor’s Cup is also highlighted by a women’s (5K) and men’s (8K) championship races featuring top regional- and national-class competition.
Wayland has an interesting course, with first and last miles are mainly open grass around the high school grounds, with a middle mile going up and down steep, rugged,twisty, rocky and often narrow trail, with a 300-meter track finish. Add a steady all-day rain to the mix and you have some fine cross country slop. Kara Haas (19:37) led the way for Greater Lowell with her second-place finish for women, tops among masters. (The only woman ahead of her is less than half Kara’s age — oops, sorry Kara, but it’s in the public domain!) She was joined by Maureen Pellegrini (23:14, 2nd Senior) and Libby Often (24:23) in placing 2nd among Masters teams in a squeaker (Liberty 14, GLRR 15, Western Mass DP 16).
On the men’s side Mark Reeder (18:35) led the way (again) with John Barbour (18:51, 1st Veteran) in hot (or at least tepid) pursuit. Next came Peter LaGoy (21:11) and Matt Story (21:39) followed by Ken Goodin (21:42, 2nd Veteran), Mark Gallagher (23:03) and David Pecchia (23:30). They were followed by John Goodwin (23:45) and the irrepressible Papa Haas, aka Dick Molloy (32:29, 1st Super-Vet). These old men placed 6th in Open team competition, 2nd in both Masters and Seniors and (huzzah!) 1st for Veterans. By mid-week, more than half these people were reported to have dried out almost completely.
A fortnight later it was back to Boston’s Franklin Park — Bear Cage Hill, the Wilderness, etc. — for Mayor’s Cup and hoo-ee, was it fun, I mean, windy — that’s it, windy. Really, really windy. Especially on the 200-yard finish straight, which runners traversed three times, in your face. Again in was Reeder (18:18, 3rd Senior) and Barbour (18:29, 1st Veteran) with Chris Hancock (18:50), Kevin Carnabucci (19:16) and E.J. Hrynowski (19:20) packing tightly. Comebacking Mike Girouard (20:01) and Doug Cook (20:17) came next, then Peter LaGoy (20:41), Matt Story (20:56) and Adam Sherer (21:27) in Adam’s Franklin Park debut. Ken Goodin (21:33, 3rd Veteran) and Mark Gallagher (22:47) followed with evergreen Denny LeBlanc (26:42) hitting cleanup. This group placed 6th among 16 Open teams, 4th for Masters, 2nd Seniors and (yesss!) 1st Veterans.
Among women Kara Haas (19:02) again proved unbeatable among Masters. She was ably supported by Katherine Kulig (22:17), Maureen Pellegrini (22:31, 4th Senior), Libby Often (23:46), and Liane Pancoast (23:49). This group placed a superb 3rd out of 14 Open teams and a very close (again) 3rd out of 6 Masters (WMPD 25, Liberty 26, GLRR 28),
Fine showings all around for the Green — now that you’ve seen Franklin Park, get ready for a return visit on November 6th for the New England Championships. Our motto: “It can’t possibly be as windy”.