Masters from 40 to 93 win USATF Masters 5K Championships

08/30/2018 - 12:09

ATLANTA – Running City USA gave a warm welcome to the athletes in the USATF 5K Masters Championships, hosted by the Atlanta Track Club at Atlanta’s Finest 5K. As nearly 200 Athletes set off from the starting line off in search of Championship titles, rousing cheers rang out for “the fastest Masters runners in the country!”

David Angell, winner of the 2018 8K and 10K Masters Championships, was battling his nemesis, John Gardiner. In 3 previous encounters on the roads over the last two years, Gardiner came home with the victory. But 4th time was the charm for Angell as he put the race out of reach with a surge up the last hill before the finish, winning in 15:45. Gardiner’s 15:51 was more than enough to claim 2nd. Nat Larson and Tim Meigs pulled away from a large Chase Pack at Mile 2. Larson and Meigs surged up the last hill together and once they hit the flat, Larson found a higher gear and was able to pull away to claim 3rd in 16:26, just four seconds ahead of Meigs.

Laurie Knowles, who runs for the Atlanta Track Club, took the Masters title at the AJC Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July and returned today to contest for a National Championship with an even deeper field. As Knowles said after the race, “There was some really strong competition and I knew it would take a good performance to come out on top. I was going for the win today, not focused on time.” She pulled away from a strong chase pack, established a gap and was able to hold it, taking the win in 17:29, with over half a minute margin of victory. The Chase Pack of Fiona Bayly, Jennifer Bayliss, Sonja Friend-Uhl, and Molly Watcke held together for much of the race. But in the end, Watcke was able to break out finishing 2nd in 18:07, with Bayliss four seconds back in 3rd, followed five seconds later by Friend-Uhl and another five to Bayly.

Age-Grade scoring is the best way to compare performance by age across all Masters competitors. Everyone is graded against 100% which is the score for matching the predicted best time for an athlete of that age and gender. By that standard, Fiona Bayly, 51, who finished 5th overall in 18:20, scored 91.11% and was the National 5K Age Grading Women’s Champion. She was followed closely by Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 59, with a 20:10 for a 90.81% in 2nd place. Third place went to Doreen McCoubrie, 56, who scored 89.80% from a time of 19:41. That was her fourth age grade podium this year at a National Championship. Katherine Wolski and Molly Watcke finished 4th and 5th. Nat Larson, 56, took the top spot; his 16:24 translates to a 94.26. Phenomenally consistent, this is Larson’s 3rd Age Grade National Championship this year, and his fourth time on the podium. Tom McCormack, 64, ran 17:53 for a 92.33%, just ahead of his rival, and friend, Rick Becker, 63, whose 17:50 graded at 91.81%. Roger Sayre and Joe Sheeran rounded out the top five.

National Age Division 5K Champions included: David Angell 15:45 [VA] 41, John Gardiner 15:50 [CA] 45, Tim Meigs 16:28 [NC] 51, Nat Larson 16:26 [MA] 56, Roger Sayre 17:29 [CO] 60, Kirk Larson 20:10 [GA] 67, Gene Dykes 19:24 [PA] 70, Doug Goodhue 22:30 [MI] 76, Sid Davis 41:42 [GA] 83, Richard Soller 44:41 [OH] 91; Laurie Knowles 17:29 [NC] 40, Molly Watcke 18:07 [OH] 47, Fiona Bayly 18:20 [NY] 50, Doreen McCoubrie 19:41 [PA] 56, Patrice Combs 21:48 [GA] 61, Victoria Crisp 23:36 [TN] 66, Susan Aderhold 30:57 [GA] 71, Catherine Radle 35:35 [GA] 75, Tami Graf 38:37 [MD] 82, Betty Lindberg 51:56 [GA] 93. Lindberg and Soller, our two nonagenarian Champions, received long, standing ovations at the Awards Ceremony.

Women’s National Team Champions included the Atlanta Track Club 40+, the Athena Track Club 50+, Atlanta Track Club 60+, and Atlanta Track Club 70+. For the Men it was the Atlanta Track Club 40+, the Greater Springfield Harriers 50+, the Atlanta Track Club 60+, and the Ann Arbor Track Club 70+.

Knowles, who also ran on the Atlanta Track Club’s victorious 40+ team noted, “I was so happy to be a part of the top ladies’ team. Winning the team title was Goal #1 for me. Today’s race made me super excited for the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2020. ATC will do a phenomenal job with it as they do for all of their events!”

Watcke summed up the feelings of many, saying, “The competition was superb today—congratulations to all the competitors and many of my friends in the Masters division! A huge shout out to the Atlanta Track Club for another outstanding event!”

Submitted by
Paul Carlin
USATF Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

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