Sunday, April 28, 2013

All Star Masters Teams at Our House Five Mile

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 28, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

How often does a team captain get to put together an all star team?  USATF rules do not allow them, except as exhibition teams at some track meets.  Even when allowed, they must be created within an age division; M40, M50, for instance.  But look what is happening at the Our House Five Miler next Sunday in Summit.

The race was not awarded a championship in 2013 and race director Mark Zenobia was looking for a draw outside of championship status.  His organizing committee said it had the money, if he had a plan to draw in teams that might otherwise skip the race.

“I asked myself how often do masters teams have a chance to fill their running club coffers with a pretty big size money.” Said Zenobia, whose company On Your Mark Productions still puts on several races in New Jersey despite Zenobias attempts to phase out and enjoy retirement. “Six hundred for first, three hundred for second and two hundred for third,” he said.

Add it up and it is a sizeable stash of cash; eleven hundred for both men and women’s teams for a total of twenty two hundred dollars.   

But Zenobia says that the team entries have only trickled in and that is surprising.  It may be that the team captains do not realize that they must have all of their team members pre-registered and their team declarations in ahead of time.  Captains usually have until the night before a race and they may have missed the information that this team competition is different than in a USATF New Jersey championship.

And is it ever different.  Has there ever been an opportunity to put together an all star masters team?  Not an M40, M50 or a M60 team, but a team made up with the fastest and best masters runners in their club.

The Ashenfelter 8K was the masters men and women’s championship in 2012.  What would the teams have looked like if this opportunity had been presented at that race?  The three strongest masters men clubs are Raritan Valley, Shore Athletic Club and the Sneaker Factory.  Shore has some amazingly fast runners in the M50 and M60 divisions. Gravesande, Price (Larry), Brody, Cawley and Gensib.  Add those five runners’ age grade percentages and it totals 415.28%.

Raritan Valley would have had Lehman, Price (Roger), Van Langen, Jorrison and Carr; a mix of all ages from Van Langen at 46 to Carr at 66.  Between the five they totaled 395.49%.

 Although the Shore team had two men above 85%PLP, they didn’t come out on top.  The Sneaker Factory had Gary Leaman of Hardwick with their highest scoring man at just under 85%.  It was the rest of the line-up that put them in first.  Rich Burke of Morristown was next with 84.80%, John Hogan of Washington Township at 83.54%, Doug Clark of Mendham at 82.97% and John Sabatino of Morris Plains at 82.9% for a total of 418.27% making the Sneaker Factory the winning team by three percentage points.  Take home $600.00 men.

Of course they aren’t taking home any prize money from the Ashenfelter but this is my fantasy so now let’s look at the women.  Masters women’s teams always score only three runners so this Our House purse obligates a team to find more fast women.  On the other hand they have a wider age range to choose from – 40 through 80+. 

So how would it have gone if the women’s team scored the highest five age graded?  Well Raritan Valley would have been in fifth place.  Everyone’s sweetheart Imme Dyson, 75, of Princeton finished in 46:37 and would have been their top person with a score of 84.55%.  But their fifth place woman scored only 40.84% and that took them down to fifth at 343.37%. 

The Garmin women who have been taking the top spots in the W40 division would not have done as well with age grading.  Debby Hall of Westfield would have been their top scorer with 77.14%  and all of the top five women scored in the 70 to 77  percentile range but it would have given them only 366.45% for fourth.

So who would have been third?  The Morris County Striders Wendy Locke of Boonton scored 80.98% and Linda Mirabella of Rockaway was next with 80.34%.  Rene Rovtar of Basking Ridge was next with 71.60%, Eva Fisher of Boonton next at 68.71% and last was Joyce Morgan of Boonton with a 68.99%.  The two women with above 80% helped to give the team 370.62%.

The Fleet Feet Essex Running club team would have been led off with by Catherine Smith of Wayne with her 85.54%, Amanda King of Montclair scored 82.63, Karen Merz of Montclair scored 74.83%,   Nora Candelera of North Bergen scored 74.11% and Andi Robik of North Bergen scored 64.67% for a team total of 381.78

Amy Rappaport of Califon lead off the Sneaker Factory fantasy team with 83.41%, Carolyn Blackmeister of Upper Montclair was next in 77.85%, Angie Dello of Whippany was third with her 77.70%, Susan Olesky of Mendham in 77.19% and Sharon Briden of Glen Ridge was fifth with 71.24%.  So while only one of the Sneaker Factory women scored above 80%, their fifth woman was above 71% so hand them their check for scoring 387.39%.

Oh, that’s right.  This is my fantasy.  The team captains need to make it their reality next Sunday, but they have to act fast.  Race Director Zenobia has given the teams a new deadline.  They have until noon on Tuesday, April 30th to get their team declarations in.

All of the team members must be preregistered by Tuesday a.m. to be on the team roster.  All registrations must be done on-line and there is no service fee to do so.  Team captains need to contact Zenobia at or call 908-902-8587 for instructions. 

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Contact Madeline Bost at

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