Sunday, August 7, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, August 7, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

For masters track fans the summer of 2011 was their year.  First there was the nearly two week long World Masters Athletics (WMA) Championships held in Sacramento California the first part of July and then the USATF national masters championship held within driving distance in Berea Ohio.

Most road runners shy away from track racing, but there are a few New Jersey athletes who are bi-lingual, so to speak.  One is 62 year old Roger Price of Randolph who is equally at home at cross country, on the roads or on a track.  Price competed in the WMA cross country 8 kilometer race that opened the meet in Sacramento.  He placed seventh overall in his age division and was the second man on the Silver medal USA team. 

A sore Achilles tendon kept him from finishing the 5,000 meter race on the track and caused him to scratch the 10,000 that he had entered.  His 5:12 in the 1,500 preliminary was not quite fast enough to put him in the finals.

Two weeks later at the meet in Ohio, Price fared much better.  He placed second in the 5,000 meters with his 19:17 and second again in the 10,000 meters with his time of 40:54.

Randall (Randy) Miller of Montville not only runs roads, he race walks, and takes seriously the Steeplechase event.  Miller did not medal in the WMA meet but was happy to do a PR on the 3,000 meter steeple course of 12:16.  In Ohio Miller placed third in his M45 division and lowered his PR to 12:12.

Runners from Morris will recognize the name of Ben Reynolds who won the New Balance Grand Prix a handful of years back.  Reynolds lived in Chatham while on assignment from Great Britain.  Now back in his home country Reynolds traveled to Sacramento solely to run the 5,000 meters.  It paid off as he took third in a photo finish in 15:27.94 in the M45 division.  Second place was timed in 15:27.30.

Other New Jersey athletes had outstanding races at one or both of the meets.  Doug Brown of East Brunswick, in the M65 age division took second in the 2,000 meter steeplechase in 8:55 at the national meet in Ohio, just a shade off his WMA meet time of 8:47 that got him fifth place.

Track runners will recognize the name of Jim Manno of Oradell.   Manno is a long standing member of the North Jersey Masters who has had a long career in running the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes.  He is now 90 years old and still runs with the carriage and grace of a much younger man.  He won the WMA 200 meter dash in 42.65 and took second in the 100 meters with his 19:33.  At the national meet he placed second in both dashes but bettered his 100 meter time to 19:06 and was just a fraction slower in the 200 at 43.11. 

Jim Leitz, M70, of Bayonne took second in the national 10,000 meters with his 48:43.  William Zink of Wyckoff took second in the M50 division 1,500 meter run in 4:28.65.  Down the shore a bit, Tom Cawley of Hazlet won the M50 division 800 meter national race in 2:08.41.  Tony Plaster of Neptune in the M55 division took third in 2:17.32


The final race of the Morris County Striders cross country 5K series is Tuesday night at Johanson Field in Boonton Township.  Registration opens at 6:00 p.m. and the race starts at 7:00 p.m.  The no-frills race charges $8.00 for Strider members and kids 17 and under and ten dollars for adult non members on race day.  The races are part of the USATF New Jersey cross country series that was introduced in 2010. 

Two local races are on Saturday August 20 but a runner could run in both as the
Jefferson Township Fire Company #2, 5K Inferno starts at 9:00 a.m. from Fireman’s Field in Lake Hopatcong.  The race features ten year age divisions for awards but is not a NBGP event.

In Morris Township the Morris Township Fire Department 5K starts at 6:30 p.m.  A kid’s mile race will go off at 7:30 p.m.  All activity takes place at Ginty Field.  There are no age divisions mentioned on the race application but it is noted that the top three men and women overall will receive an award.  It is not a NBGP event.