Masters Compete at The USATF Masters 12k National Championships

Masters team member Scott Lucking wrote this summary.

This year, the USATF Masters 12km Road Championships were held at Gateway National Recreation State Park in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The weather forecast for race day, Sunday, September 18, was a high of 84, and a low of 69. Ironically it was Atlanta weather, just in the northeast.

Atlanta Track Club, fielded four men's teams, three of which made it to the podium. We did not have enough participants to form a women's team but we did have two women represent The Club individually. It was a great showing for The Club amongst the 300 hundred runners that day.

Individual competitor Shelly Allen, normally a track speedster, finished in 182nd place (59:53, 59:47, 8:01 average per mile, 12th place in the 55-59 age group). Joyce Hodges-Hite finished overall in 299th (2:03.21, 2:03.08, 16:32 average per mile). Her overall finish placed her 1st on the podium for her 85-89 age group.

On the men's side, the 50's group had a great showing by capturing 3rd place out of 11 teams with a team time of 2:15.15. Individually, Brent Fields led the way with a 19th place finish (42:54, 42:52, 5:45 average, 5th place age group), Mike Strickland was 41st (45:57, 45:55, 6:09 average, 5th place age group), Simon Angove placed 45th (46:24, 46:21, 6:13 average, 6th place age group), and Scott Siriano rounded out the group with a 48th place finish (46:31, 46:29, 6:14 average, 7th place age group).

It was a tough race for the men's 60+ team. After running an excellent start and with a little less than 2 miles from the finish, a hip issue forced Ken Youngers out of the race. This left it up to the remaining three runners to complete the team scoring. Scott Lucking was first across the line in 90th place (50:51, 50:49, 6:49 average, 2nd place age group), next was Casey Hannan in 102nd (51:24, 51:21, 6:53 average, 10th place age group), and Mike Anderson completed the top three in 208th place (1:03.06, 1:02.59, 23rd place age group). The team had a 5th place finish out of 11 teams even with this misfortune.

The men's 70's team kept up their consistent racing with another podium finish in 2nd place. They had a team time of 2:50.51. Dave Glass led the team with a 127th place finish (53:29, 53:27, 7:10 average, 1st place age group), followed by Jerry Learned in 152nd place (55:57, 55:54, 7:30 average, 5th place age group) then came Allen Joyce in 191st place (1:01.25, 1:01.20, 8:14 average, 8th place age group), and Sam Benedict completed the team with a 286th place finish (1:29.30, 1:29.27, 12:00 average, 9th place age group).

Completing the men's team was the always energetic 80s group. They raced their way to the podium with a 2nd place finish. Their team time was 4:44.33 which was an average of 1:34.51 per man. Gary Cochrane was the first man across the finish line with a 266th place finish (1:19.53, 1:19.46, 10:42 average, 2nd place age group), he was followed by Andrew Sherwood in 289th place (1:34.10, 1:34.03, 12:37 average, 8th place age group), and Adrian Craven finished things off with a 297th place finish (1:50.30, 1:50.22, 14:49 average, 1st place age group). It should be noted that the 80's team has already clinched 1st place for the 2021-22 Grand Prix race series. Congrats to them for an outstanding season. It will be great to see them on the podium in San Francisco.

Next up in the Grand Prix series is the final race of the 2022 season. It's the 5Km Cross Country Championships in Boulder, Colorado, on October 22nd. This will be an important race for some of the teams to hopefully move up into the top 3 for the final rankings.

After Boulder comes the start of the 2023 season with the Club Cross Country Championships in San Francisco on December 10th.