Sunday, February 18, 2018

Track and Field Championship dual meet was a success

On Sunday, February 18, 2018


In the January 28th running column here, I suggested that road runners could run a 5K indoors.  While my suggestion was slightly tongue in cheek, 11 men, and two women did run the 5,000 meter race at the Ocean Breeze indoor track and field facility on Staten Island this past Sunday.

It was a dual meet between the New York association and New Jersey.  Others from outside the two associations were excluded, causing many other athletes such as ones from the Long Island association and MidAtlantic to be quite unhappy.  As this was the first time for the event to be run as a dual meet, there is talk of making it a “tri-meet in 2019 and scoring all the others as a single group.

New Jersey outscored the home association 264 to 184 on the women’s side and 404 to 183 on the men’s side.  The highest scoring women’s club was Bella N Motion with 120 points over second place Shore Athletic club with 82 points with the Raritan Valley Road Runners third with 80 points. 
The Shore Athletic Club far outscored all the men’s clubs with 485 points but the Morris area Garmin club pulled in 176 points for second place.  Local long distance runners represented a good many of the track athletes.

Reno and Susan Stirrat of Rockaway hung up their cross country spikes and changed into track spikes for the meet.  Susan Stirrat was the work horse in the family.  She started off with running the mile in 7:28.75, then the 800 meters in 3:39.79 and finished her day with the 3,000 meters in 15:15.4.  Hubby Reno focused all of his energies on the 3,000 and finished in 11:22.59.

Kevin Higgins of Randolph traded in his marathon shoes for track spikes to win the M55 division in the mile in 5:32.4.  The mile race that drew the most attention was the heat with Gary Rosenberg of Morristown, still sporting injuries from his fall at the Millrose Games relay, attempting to break five minutes in order to keep his sub five streak alive. 

Rosenberg had missed it in previous attempts this season.  He was ready to go and his Garmin teammates were there to spur him on.  With a 4:21 split with one more lap to go Rosenberg picked up the pace to hit 35.9 for the last lap and a finishing time of 4:57.254.

The Garmin team nearly took over the track for the 800 meter run.  Five Garmin men out of the six in the M50 finished:  Peter Kashulines of Mountain Lakes in 2:10.5 was first, then Tom Metz of Denville in 2:33.63 in second, John Hanlon of Riverdale in 2:37.50 for fourth, Angelo Harasts of Pine Brook in 2:38.7 and Richard Carlson of Boonton in 2:45.43.  Harasts also ran the mile, finishing in 5:43.51

Mark Williams of Columbia, still recovering from the exhibition Masters Mile at the New Balance Games the day before in Boston, won the 800 meters M45 division in 2:02.74.  Robert Skorupski  of Rockaway finished in third in the division in 2:13.07.  At the other end of the age spectrum, John Saarmann, M75, of Stanhope finished the 800 meters in   3:53.16 and the 400 meters in 1:39.27.

By far the biggest buzz of the meet was Nora Cary of Morristown, running in her first ever indoor track meet.  The 62 year old finished the mile in 6:27.75 that age graded at 91.16% and the 3,000 meters in 12:55.39 for an 89.5% PLP.

Lori McGill of Budd Lake did the same double and medaled in both events as well.
The Garmin club put together an M40 and M50 4 X 800 relay team to add a few more points to their tally, knowing that the Shore AC, with all their sprinters and field event men would outscore them.   

Although from outside the Morris area it is worth noting that an enthusiastic group of Raritan Valley Road Runners women ran in distances from the 60 meter dash up to the 3,000 meters and did both the 4 X 400 and 4 X 800 to gather points for their club.


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