Sheeran leads Club Northwest to team title in Kentucky


results & photos

The 2017 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships were held last Saturday (9-Dec) at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, Kentucky.  Fifty-two (52) local athletes from the Pacific Northwest association were among the 1171 competitors from around the country that compete in the five races:
Open Women (6 km)
Open Men (10 km)
Masters Women (6 km)
Masters Men 40-59 yrs (10 km) 
Masters Men 60+ yrs. (8 km)
There was a chill in the air, a bite to the wind and frost on the ground as runners contended with temperatures that never rose above freezing.
Sheeran, Longmuir and CNW 60+ team win national titles
The storyline of the day for the locals was the 1-2 finish by Joe Sheeran (Ellensburg, Wash.) and Rick Becker (Selah, Wash.) in the 60-64 race that was the catalyst for the Club Northwest (CNW) M60+ men to dominate the M60+ team competition.  Sheeran ran 29:29 over the 8 km course to win by 1:03 over Becker.  Rounding out the team scoring for the orange-clad men was Greg Beyerlein (Mukilteo, Wash.) who finished sixth in the 60-64 division.  The team scored an impressive 9 points to defeat the Atlanta Track Club (20 pts.) and Shore AC (34 points).  A total of 14 clubs scored in the M60+ team competition.
Sheeran and Becker not only were the fastest of the 110 competitors in their race, but also turned in the top two age-graded performances. Sheeran, 60, scored 88.39% while Becker, 63, scored 87.69%.  Beyerlein scored 82.13% for the sixth best score.
The age grading tables provide a means to convert each athlete’s performance in a manner to allow for comparing performances of all competitors regardless of the age or gender of the athlete. Scores of 80%-89% are considered to be national class while scores above 90% are classified as world class performances.  
In the M70+ team competition the Eastside Runners finished second (out of 6 teams).  They scored 18 points to only trail the Tamalpa Runners from California with 11 points.  The scores for the club were David Longmuir (Seattle), Craig Andersen (Olympia, Wash.) and Frazer Mann (Clinton, Wash.).  Longmuir led the effort as he won the 70-74 division running 34:56 and had the seventh best age graded performance (82.00%) in the M60+ 8 km race.
In the M40+ (40-59 year olds) 10 km race, Carl Combs, 52, of Cheney, Wash. finished second in the 50-54 division and turned in the third best age graded performance out of the 272 competitors.  His time of 34:15 only trailed the 33:37 turned in by Peter Hammer of Massachusetts in the 50-54 division.  Nat Larson, 55, (91.65%) and Hammer, 51, were the only two athletes to score better than Combs in the age-grading standings in the race.  In the team competition Combs’ Club Northwest 50+ team finished fifth in the 50+ division while their 40+ counterparts finished fourth (in the 40+ division).
Colley leads CNW Open men to 15th place finish
In the open men’s (10 km) race Club Northwest finished 15th and the Seattle Running Club was 44th; in a field of 49 teams. A total of 424 athletes finished the race. The CNW top 5 spread was only 54 seconds as Drew Polley (Seattle) finished 62nd running 31:10 with Turner Wiley (101st), Robert Baraldi (117th), Robert Scanlon (120th) and Forest Tarbath (122nd) completing the scoring.
The race was won by Ian La Mere of Michigan in 29:10 as the Tinman Elite from Colorado won the team competition over American Distance Project, also from Colorado, 41 to 54 pts.  Hansons-Brooks Distanct Project (Michigan) was third with 92 points.
Club Northwest open women eighth
In the open women’s (6 km) race the Club Northwest women placed eighth in a field of 30 teams. They were led by Ruby Roberts (Seattle) and Lana Lacey (Seattle) who finished 53rd and 69th, respectively. Roberts ran 21:01 with Lacey 18 seconds back.  Elizabeth Harmon (78th, 21:32), Ashley Nichols (86th, 21:39) and Olivia Hill (110th, 22:06) completed the scoring for the team.
Emma Kertesz (Boulder, Colo. / unattached) was the first Pacific Northwest member across the line; finishing 44th in 20:55.

The Hansons-Brooks Distance Project (Michigan) won by 5 points over the Boston Athletic Club with the Cal Coast TC from California third with 125 points.  Sarah Pagano (Boston AC) won the race in 19:40 followed by three Hansons-Brooks runners (Chelsea Blaase, Olivia Pratt and Anne-Marie Blaney) who crossed the line within two seconds of each other.

Club Northwest 50+ team podiums
In the masters race, contested over the same 6 km course run by the open women, Janet McDevitt, 44, of Bainbridge Island, Wash. ran a very fast 22:42 to place fourth in the 40-44 division.  On the age-grading tables the performance scored 83.08% (20th best out of 118 masters women competitors).  She led the Club Northwest 40+ team to a fifth place finish (out of 11 teams).  
But it was the CNW 50+ team that headlined the day in the masters women's race as they earned the only invitation to the post-race awards ceremoney as they finished third with 28 points.  The team scorers were Kristen Mossman (Redmond, Wash.),  Gail Hall (Bothell, Wash.) and Kelly Kruell (Portland, Oregon).  The Janes Elite Racing from California won with 10 points and were followed by  the Athena TC (Pennsylvania) with 13 points.
To see a complete list of all the Pacific Northwest finishers click here.
The 2018 Championships will be held December 8 in Spokane, Wash.