Thursday, November 21, 2013

Grand Prix becomes tighter

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 17, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


The plot thickens.  Chris Croft of Summit came and conquered at the Giralda Farms 10K in Madison last Sunday.  Croft finished in 31:25, nearly a full minute ahead of second place Stephen Mennitt of Edison who finished in 32:15.

Croft prevented Mennitt from capturing 700 points in the New Balance Grand Prix and he now trails series leader Ken Goglas who was featured here last week.  Goglas has 5,693 points to Mennitt’s 5,690; a mere three point difference.

When they raced each other at the Miles for Music 20K in the spring Goglas beat Mennitt, but at the Super Hero half marathon Mennitt was the top man as he was when they raced the Newport 10K in May. Nothing is for certain when it is this close.  The Ashenfelter 8K on Thanksgiving morning will be the deciding race if they both race as is expected.  If Mennitt has a great day and wins the race, and also finds and wins a non championship 5K he could bring his score up by four points and beat Goglas by one point.  Mennitt must win the 8K though as anything less won’t do it. The grand prix has never been this close in my memory. 

While the open men’s competition is getting attention, the spotlight was rightly on the masters women in the 10K as it was their division championship.  The race was won by Maria Dana, 34, of Kenvil, in 37:42.  Elena Rozhko, 40, of Morristown was second in 38:18.  The next three women were also masters age.

In fact being 48 this year seems to be a good year as places four through seven saw all four women of that age, including Susan Bessin of Madison who finished in 42:26.

Prize money was won by the top seven women in the age grading and that group was lead by Nora Cary, 58, of Morristown whose 44:28 achieved an 85.74%.  Next was Jane Parks, 60, also of Morristown, whose 46:16 age graded at 84.73%.

The Garmin Running team with Rozhko leading the way won the W40 Division, with the Raritan Valley women second and North Jersey masters third.  Not to be overlooked, Rozhko is solidly in the lead in the women’s division of the New Balance Grand Prix. 

In the W50 division the North Jersey Masters were first and the Do Run Runners were second thanks to Cary’s fast time.  The Sneaker Factory was third.  In the W60 the Rose City Runners were first, Central Jersey Road Runners second and the Morris County Striders were third.  The Strider women were the sole entry in the W70 division.

On Thanksgiving morning the Ashenfelter 8K will draw runners from all divisions for the USATF New Jersey championship for all divisions.  In 2012 the race was the championship for masters only as the Our House 5 miler fulfilled that role for the open runners.  What will make this interesting is that the race has added a competitive mile race in honor of native son Tom Fleming who won the 1973 and 1975 New York City Marathons.  According to the race website Fleming was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America distance Hall of Fame earlier this year.

After his own racing career was over Fleming was a sought after coach for elite runners including Olympian Anne Marie Letko Lauck.  Others who he coached included Andy Ball, now of Sparta, Brian Harshman of Robbinsville and Paul Friedman of Upper Montclair.

The mile which will be chip timed as is the 8K, will start at 8:15 a.m. with the 8K going off at 9:00 a.m. 
Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

No comments:

Post a Comment