Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Happy New Year, July style

Sorry for the long gap in posts. There are several posts in the hopper that we'll get going with soon. Still digging out from the mound of emails in my inbox. Even with a smartphone, where I can check the emails, they still pile up while on vacation. That's because I tend not to reply or send emails from my phone. Change comes slowly to this old guy. I've said it before, but this time of year has the feel of New Year's in the three-season world of our program. The outdoor track season concluded with the championships, culminating in USATF Juniors. Now, our full focus is on the fall XC season and the beginning of preseason training for XC (in August) and track (in mid-September). Both are still a fair amount of time in the future, but it will be here before we all know it.

Also! "Summer" in my world tends to be split in two parts: The first phase after our athletes leave campus for home (but my own kids are still in school); the second phase (now), where our athletes are still away but my own kids are out of school. This second phase has an odd busyness to it, with no rhyme or reason to each day and each week. So if there are some gaps in posts, that is why; I literally don't know whether I'm coming or going at times.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

USATF Juniors: Farewell to Tracktown USA

The last time we were in the San Francisco Airport -- on Wednesday en route to Eugene -- we were being delayed by a canceled flight. This time, right now as I post this, it is a normal layover as we await our final flight home to Newark. It was a great several days in Oregon. Deet enjoyed every minute of the trip -- savored every second, actually. A certified track geek, he soaked it all in. Most importantly, he ran tough and repped the program well. We saw some great racing out here -- the men's 1,500 final yesterday was riveting stuff. And oh, did I mention how hot it was out here? Well. It was REALLY HOT. OK! Farewell to Tracktown USA. We hope to be back again in the future.

Programming note: I will be away on Lake George vacation next week. Not sure about Internet access, so this may be the last post for a bit. OK!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

USATF Juniors: 10th place for Dietrich Mosel

First things first: Kudos to USATF and meet management for moving this race to 10 a.m. Conditions were still far from ideal – 80 degrees and extremely humid – but there was cloud cover and it was not nearly as dangerous as it will be at 6 p.m., when forecast highs are close to 100 degrees. Put it this way: Friday at 6 p.m., we were sitting at Hayward Field watching the meet, and it was 98 degrees in the shade. Yikes.

Dietrich ran well. He wanted to do better. But he ran well. Start with the finish: Superb! His last lap was in an eye-popping 67.87 seconds, vaulting him into 10th place out of 14 entrants. The early pace was very slow, then very fast. Deet got gapped by most of the field, and settled into an 82-83/lap pace. He had some slow laps toward 8km, but then rallied for a strong finish.

This meet is about representing the program well on a national level. Dietrich did that. And for that, we are proud of him. Nicely done.

USATF Junior Championships
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Hayward Field, University of Oregon
10,000-meter run
10. Dietrich Mosel 33:39.87
83, 2:48 (85), 4:04 (76), 5:19 (75)
6:36 (77), 7:52 (76), 9:07 (75), 10:26 (79)
11:44 (78), 13:04 (80), 14:25 (81), 15:47 (82)
17:09 (82), 18:32 (83), 19:55 (83), 21:18 (83)
22:41 (83), 24:05 (84), 25:27 (82), 26:54 (87)
28:20 (86), 29:44 (84), 31:08 (84), 32:32 (84)
33:39.87 (67.87)
5km: 16:28; second 5km: 17:11.87
1600m splits: 5:19, 5:07, 5:21, 5:31, 5:36, 5:38

Here are the official results:

Cerake Geberkidane
Oklahoma St.
1 (1)
Chase Weaverling
1 (2)
Connor Hendrickson
1 (3)
Kyle Gronostaj
1 (4)
Benjamin Kendell
1 (5)
Jose Macias
Portland St.
1 (6)
Daniel Lathrop
1 (7)
Austin Post
1 (8)
Cody Drisko
Azusa Pacific
1 (9)
Dietrich Mosel
1 (10)
Faris Sakallah
William & Mary
1 (11)
Dray Carson
Wichita St.
1 (12)
Duncan Reid
Caleb Webb

Thursday, June 25, 2015

USATF Juniors: Some 10km history

Dietrich Mosel is the 15th Marist men’s distance runner to have qualified for this meet in this event. Here is a list of previous qualifiers by year and where the meets were in those years.

Past USATF Junior qualifiers, 10,000 meters
1998: Greg Salamone, at Richmond
2000: Jamal Padgett, at Denton, Texas
2003: Justin Harris at Stanford
2004: Mark Fernandez at Texas A&M
2005: Mike Rolek at Carson, CA
2008: Tim Keegan at Ohio State
2009: Matt Flint at Oregon
2010: Arquimedes DelaCruz and Mike Nicoletti at Des Moines
2011: Isaiah Miller and Nick Hughes at Oregon
2013: Johnny Lee and Ryan Colabella at Des Moines
2014: Spencer Johnson at Oregon

USATF Juniors: How he got here

Rising sophomore Dietrich Mosel’s path to USATF Juniors was hard-earned. He ran three 10,000-meter races during his freshman outdoor track season. Here is his progression.

Monmouth Season Opener, March 28: 32:37.48
Bucknell Bison Invitational, April 11: 32:19.46
MAAC Championships, May 2: 31:38.07

What is most interesting about this progression – other than the fact that he got faster each race, which is awesome – is that each race represented past or current USATF qualifying marks. I’ll explain. For many, many years, the USATF Junior standard in the 10km was 32:45.00. Deet’s time in the first meet at Monmouth exceeded that; unfortunately, that is not the 2015 standard. In 2014, the standard was lowered to 32:20.00 – you may remember that Spencer Johnson qualified by less than a second to get here in Oregon last summer. Deet’s second 10km, at Bucknell, exceeded that time, barely, but he did it; unfortunately, that is not the 2015 standard. The 2015 standard is 32:05.00. Fortunately for Deet, he crushed that with his excellent race at the MAAC Championships. And so! We are here. Pretty neat.

Reminder! His race is now on Saturday at 10 a.m. (local time) instead of 6 p.m. 

USATF Juniors: Lights are still on

In the "deja vu all over again" category ... we arrived at the Motel 6 in Springfield, OR, at about 1 a.m. Thursday ... after a long and nightmarish day of travel. Yes. Motel 6 still left the light of for us. Just like last year: This is eerily reminiscent of our trip out here last July, when we arrived at the same hotel at the same time of day/night/morning. One programming note: Because of the forecasted extreme heat, the Junior 10,000 race was moved to 10 a.m. on Saturday, up from the scheduled 6 p.m. start. Smart move by USATF. It will still be warm at 10 a.m., but not nearly as blazing as the afternoon. OK! Time to turn the lights off now ...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

USATF Juniors: Greetings from Gate 85

Other than hearing the hole-by-hole account of someone’s golf game, is there anything more tiresome than listening to travel woes from weary, flight-delayed friends? Probably not. But! Consider yourself warned, as our trip out to Oregon has taken some dips and dives. Hint: We’re not there yet. We are currently in San Francisco (Luke Shane would be proud). Unfortunately, we are here a lot longer than we were supposed to be. Our connecting flight to Eugene was canceled, due to mechanical issues or whatever. United was nice enough to book us on another flight – three hours later, and to Portland instead of Eugene. We land in Portland at 9:25 p.m. (our bodies will register that as 12:25 a.m. tomorrow, and our day started many, many hours ago). We will then be rewarded with a two-plus hour drive (for those keeping score at home, and I know you are, it will be 121 miles) from Portland to Eugene. By the time we get there, it will definitely feel like tomorrow … because it WILL be tomorrow. Lovely!

Other travel highlights so far:

--For some reason, our flight from Newark boarded an hour early. We were rewarded for our punctuality by sitting on the runway an extra hour. Nicely done!
--We hit multiple bouts of “weather” (airline pilot vernacular for turbulent, bumpy travel). We were WARNED of this “weather” with jarring pronouncements in our headphones. In particular, this annoyed Dietrich, who was sitting in the aisle seat across from me trying to watch movies. OK! WE GET IT!
--In a fun way to pass the time, I played a computer in backgammon on the screen in front of me on the plane. I went 36-1 against the feckless computer. Take that. Ha!
--Deet and I had dinner at a Chipotle-style airport restaurant called “Andale” (which, I believe, loosely translates to “let’s go! in Spanish”). Funny, that. The cash register malfunctioned and it took the staff about a half hour to fix it. No really. That long. It’s amazing how much patience you have for burritos when you have NOTHING ELSE TO DO FOR THREE HOURS. So, we just stood there waiting. When they finally figured it out, one person said it was “on the house” because we waited so long. How nice. The other person said we owed $33.21 … and waited for payment. So, I paid for dinner. I guess it was “on my house,” huh?
--Thanks to Hild for sending me the link to Alberto Salazar’s War and Peace length rebuttal of all the allegations made against him and the Nike Oregon Project. Again. When you have THREE HOURS TO KILL, this makes for great reading. Only, it’s mostly “war” and very little “peace.” Wow! Coach Alberto went into attack mode, big time. Lots of he said/she said/he said going on here … I’ll let the smarter, more informed folks in the blogosphere sort it all out.

In the meantime, we’re still here at Gate 85. We’re plenty early. They are calling for boarding to Kona, Hawaii, now at the gate. Perhaps we should go there? Might be cooler than Eugene later in the week. OK! Looks like a beautiful night outside in San Francisco …   

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

USATF Juniors: Oregon bound soon

We leave on Wednesday afternoon for TrackTown USA for the USATF Junior Championships, where Dietrich Mosel will compete in the 10,000-meter run on Saturday. With USATF (Senior) National Championships there, Deet is very much looking forward to watching the pros race for a few days at Hayward Field, before he takes to the track himself for 25 scorching laps. I say “scorching” because record heat is forecast for Eugene for later in the week – approaching 100 degrees. This is far from ideal weather for 25 laps on the track, much less anything else. If the forecast holds up, it will be the third consecutive year that our athletes will have to deal with hot conditions – 2013 in Des Moines, 2014 in Eugene and this year back at Hayward.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Walkway Marathon: A marathoner is born

As stated previously, I was NOT in favor of rising senior Ricky Willi running the full marathon on Saturday. With a "long" run of 12 miles, and the fact that he is early in his XC training buildup, in fact this made zero sense. However! Ricky got through it, running the first half (too fast, I might add) with Mr. Bucket, before fading over the second half but still having an enjoyable experience. He said already he is looking forward to the marathon next year, when he will be a newly minted graduate. Running marathons in college, when you are trying to be a competitive collegiate runner, is not a smart thing -- if your goal is to be a competitive collegiate runner. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about. But! I think Ricky is no worse for the wear, and hopefully he will springboard this into a positive and memorable senior year. Thanks to Ricky's mom for sharing these photos of Ricky running and of his celebrating his 26.2-mile accomplishment. Nicely done. No. Really!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Walkway Marathon: Photo and future

For those non-Facebook types who did not see this: A nice photo of Coach Chuck and several recent alums (and future alum Annie) from Saturday's race. As he said in his FB update, we are hopeful to make this a go-to event for alumni next year and in the future, looking to get a HUGE turnout of past and current runners. Maybe we'll even do our team BBQ in the afternoon, with the alumni and current team getting a chance to cross paths. With the exception of a few inaccurate mile markers (oh so common in road races; and, with most runners having GPS watches, mile markers are becoming almost irrelevant these days?), I have heard nothing but positive feedback about the Walkway Marathon event. OK!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Walkway Marathon: Official results, more notes

Well, yeah. We did forget some folks in the previous post. Shame on me! First off, my good pal and Coach Emeritus Phil Kelly had a great run in the half marathon, finishing in 2:16:14. I haven’t seen age-group results, but I’m guessing that got Phil some hardware in the 70-plus division. And also! Rising sophomore Will Duggan ran the half marathon in 1:27:53. Great job to both.

Here are official times and places of those mentioned in the previous post, as well as some others who weren’t mentioned but are worthy of note here.

Mr. Bucket: Put a shirt on, will ya?
2nd place: Mr. Bucket (“David Swift”), 3:00:40; I was wrong in the previous post, I thought he was third. If the race were a little longer, he might have gotten third because …
3. Adam DiCaprio (son of Marist VP of student affairs Deb DiCaprio), 3:00:57 … was chasing the shirtless Bucket down, but ran out of real estate
7. Ricky Willi, 3:10:36. Post-race text: “Went out in 1:29:45 and died but I can’t complain at all. Fantastic experience and I hope we can get more guys next year.”
51. John McKee (Middle Aged Machine friend and Bucket training partner) 3:49:13
68. David Walker (Junk Yard Dogs pal and serial marathoner, it’s his seventh already this year) 3:56:02
77. Colin McComb (Phil Kelly’s son-in-law and ultra runner) 3:59:54  
89. Krys Wasielewski (Junk Yard Dogs stalwart and loyal blog follower) 4:07:41
105. Cammie Jones (formerly of the Center for Student-Athlete Enhancement at Marist) 4:13:25 in her first marathon
149. Tim Murphy (one of James’ Little League coaches; he showed up at the playoff game around the fifth inning, staggering around and muttering the word “pain” repeatedly; it was his first marathon and he did great with it) 4:32:44
173. Steve Sansola (Marist administrator and good friend of the program) 4:42:20
Half marathon
1st place: Will Griffin, 1:11:40
2nd place: Jamie Stroffolino, 1:14:07. Will ran with him for much of the race; afterwards, Jamie, one of the best local runners around, went and got married. Nicely done!
4. Billy Posch, 1:15:42, a nice spiffy PR for Bill
5. Ken Walshak, 1:17:58
7. Omar Perez 1:18:17
8. Keith Strudler (Marist professor, friend of the program and elite triathlete/masters runner) 1:18:53
9. Luke Shane, 1:19:18
10. Chris “Chomps” McCloskey, 1:21:23. Chomps continues to impress in endurance events, having won the Pawling Triathlon last week; he is doing Lake Placid Ironman next month
16. Will Duggan, 1:27:53
21. Deirdre Dwyer, 1:32:32 (Spackenkill grad, coached by Bucket, now in the midst of successful collegiate career)
30. Anthony “Fast Tony” Ferreri, 1:35:24
38. Annie Gould, 1:37:22
43. Billy Hild, 1:38:07 (solid effort after horrific long drive from suburban DC on Friday night; would have been fun to see him have to hold off a kicking Mr. Dwyer, but it was close nonetheless …)
46. Terrence Dwyer, 1:38:26 (dad of Deirdre and Siobhan, strong age-group runner in his own right)
52. Cheryl Fil (Marist Running Alum), 1:39:05
62. Kelley Gould, 1:41:32
77. Dayna McLaughlin, 1:42:51
84. Siobhan Dwyer (Spackenkill and Iona grad, coached by Bucket), 1:43:29
111. Lizzy Peper 1:46:10
Bucket and Lurch
141. Lurch (“Todd Coulson”) 1:48:16
168. Chris Gould 1:50:21
265. Tom Sanford, 1:57:15 (Marist crew coach, trading his oars for running sneakers for a day)
305. Erin Duggan (Duggans’ sister), 1:58:59
384. Aarti (Kapoor) Comstock, 2:02:50 (Marist Running Alum from the early days of our regime)
524. Elna Sanford (friend of ours, wife of Tom, new PR, nicely done) 2:09:27
526. John Peper (Lizzy’s dad) 2:09:35
657. Lindsay Moreau 2:15:12
671. Phil Kelly, 2:16:14
793. Colleen Ryan, 2:22:48
1st place: Steven Rizzo, 15:41; said some nice things in Pok Journal video, which initially had him as a “Marist graduate” … let’s not rush things!
17. Catherine Ferreri 22:08 (third in women’s race)
Marist Track Alum (and school record holder) Peter Van Aken commandeered the traffic control in the Fairview section of town, a very important job.
Our good friend Artie (Eric Gross) was the lead cyclist for the half marathon. When I told him the day before that Will would be running and he better be ready to pedal fast, he got real nervous. But alas, he did beat Will, and most importantly performed a vital race task, as did Peter.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Walkway Marathon: Preliminary thoughts

The official results have yet to be posted, but here are some preliminary thoughts on this morning’s inaugural Walkway Marathon – marathon, half marathon and 5K. The marathon and half marathon started and finished at the Marist riverfront – a la the Red Fox Trot. The Treetops to Rooftops 5K started on the Highland side of the Walkway Over the Hudson and finished at the riverfront. The race had a Red Fox Trot feel to it – in some ways smaller and in most ways larger. Smaller: Marist Running (former, current, etc.) was well represented here, but not in the voluminous numbers we get for the Fox Trot. Larger: Well. Geez! This was the largest road race in Dutchess County history, with close to 2,500 runners in the three races; that's about 10 times the size of the biggest Fox Trot.

The general consensus for this first-time event was a rousing thumb’s up. The logistics of this race are complicated, but the Walkway staff and their army of volunteers (I saw a pre-race memo from the race director that detailed volunteer assignments … the document was close to 30 pages!) worked with professional precision. I did not race (obviously) and I did not stay for the whole event (Little League, etc.), but from my narrow perspective it was well run. Any first-time race glitches will probably be ferreted out in the coming days and weeks, and I am certain they will be improved upon by the Walkway folks; they are extremely professional, as I said. Right now, my early thought is to promote this event heavily among our alumni base and make this the new go-to (or come-back-to) road race on the calendar for Marist Running. There is another reason for that, which I will detail at a later date. Suffice it to say: The Walkway race is here to stay, and I think we in the Marist Running world should embrace it with all of our collective feet.

As I said already: Our small band of Marist Running repped us tremendously this morning. Marist Running Royalty Will Griffin came home to win the half marathon in 1:11:40; it was so great to see Will and see him running strong as usual. Current rising sophomore Steven Rizzo won the 5K in 15:38ish. Mr. Bucket (“David Swift”) was third in the marathon, running audaciously without a shirt, in 3:00:41.

It was a great day for the First Family of Marist Running, the Goulds; Chris Gould celebrated his 54th birthday with a half marathon. Dude’s my hero; he just keeps on keepin’ on and does not visibly age despite the numbers increasing on his calendar. His daughters Annie and Kelley ran great – Annie, an XC captain this fall, is in the early stages of her XC season prep; Kell ran surprisingly strong considering how busy her life is. Kathy (mom) ran her own 5K in the morning (not on the Walkway) and was the rock solid support system for us all, as usual.  

Former and current men tore it up in the half marathon: Billy Posch was third in 1:15 and change (sorry, I will update with official times at some point). Recent grad Ken Walshak was fifth, current senior/team captain Omar Perez punched in with a strong 1:18ish. Luke Shane will forever wear Marist Alumni Racing Team singlets from now on (right, Luke?); he did great, as did Hild, Chomps and Lurch – great to have them all back on campus and running and racing strong.

Marist Running Alum Dayna McLaughlin was among the top women in the half marathon, and current team member/captain Lizzy Peper had a strong long run (her dad came and ran as well). Colleen Ryan (she’s getting married, at Marist, in four weeks!) and Lindsay Moreau came back home to run the half marathon. Rising senior Catherine Ferreri had a strong run in the 5K; her dad, Fast Tony, ran a strong half marathon as well.

And lest we leave out rising senior Ricky Willi, who decided (against this old man’s wishes!) to run the marathon. He finished in 3:10:40ish, said he had a great experience, and hopes to round up alums for next year. Good idea, Ricky; let’s hope you recover sufficiently from this!

I sincerely hope I did not forget anyone; it’s entirely possible that I did. If so! I will make up for it coming posts, along with official results. Once more, as I said: I want this to be the de facto Alumni Weekend for Marist Running in the future. It’s a great time of year, a great event and there are several choices of distances. More later ...

Friday, June 12, 2015

For the 'record' ... boards are updated

The record boards in the McCann Center have been updated. There are a lot of 2015 marks on there, especially in the women's side for indoor and outdoor track. Thanks to Omar Perez for updating it and to Steven Rizzo for taking these photos. Here's hoping we have many more updates in 2016. OK!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Walkway Marathon races

Forgot to mention in the recently completed post ... Saturday is the Walkway Marathon races -- marathon, half marathon, 5K. There will be A LOT of Marist Running there -- alumni, friends, current athletes. A friendly reminder to all those racing: There is no race-day packet pickup. You have to get your bib numbers at the pre-race expo on Friday in Poughkeepsie. The race field capped at 2,500 entrants. Should be a great first-time event.


Sorry for the lag in posts. This may happen from time to time as we are now in full-blown summer mode -- stuffing recruiting envelopes, keeping tabs on our athletes' training, and doing the myriad other low-level tasks that get us through the month of June until we head out to Oregon for USATF Juniors. A few random updates ...

--Last Thursday, we attended the wedding ceremony of Marist Running Alum Adam Vess and his new wife Becky. The best man was Conor Shelley. Or, should we say: The Vess Man? Anyway! A good time was had by all, and we were happy to see Vess and catch up with him as he continues to pursue his elite level running career -- now with a little more jewelry. Nicely done.
--A day later, it was off to Yankee Stadium for our first live game of the year with Coach Emeritus Phil Kelly. We watched the Yankees storm off to a comfortable 8-1 lead after 8 innings. Sufficiently satisfied and tired, we headed toward the exit, only to miss the Angels stage a huge 9th inning rally that almost caught the Yankees. Thanks to Duggan for getting us there!
--On Sunday, Marist Running Alum Matt Walsh celebrated his 30th birthday by returning to Poughkeepsie to run Tower with his old pals and teammates Schab and Maynes. As an added bonus, they literally ran into current team members Omar and Rizzo, who joined them for the Tower run on a warm early summer day. Happy 30th, Walsh.
--On Monday, we saw Maynes in action as a coach at the Connecticut State Open Meet. Maynes coaches at Coventry, and he's got some quality athletes at the small school. We also saw Joe T there, back to see some of his old CT friends. If you've never been to the CT State Open, the meet announcer (don't know his name) has some creative ways to describe the races -- "you can fit the chase pack inside an onion ring" or "she's got the lead by the length of a Q-tip" or "he's as close to first as wallpaper" ... stuff like that. Made for an entertaining afternoon.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In search of the truth in a burgeoning scandal

Let me say this, up front, right now: I do not have a strong opinion either way on the allegations of wrongdoing (doping) with the Nike Oregon Project, which was first brought to my attention in this short New York Times article. The news of this came as a bit of a surprise to me, but maybe I’m a bit na├»ve in that regard. When it becomes he said/she said, my head starts spinning. I had the utmost respect for Alberto Salazar when he was an elite-level athlete – one of the highest compliments I ever received was from a thrower on my high school team in 1982 when he called me “Salazar” because I was always running around our school's grass fields – and I have the utmost respect for what he has done with the Oregon Project. I will say this: I sure wish he would bring a little more to the table in the humility department. But, as an old baseball player (Dizzy Dean) once said: “It ain’t braggin’ if you done it.”

Of course! Given the allegations out there now, that quote can be taken a few different ways.

One reason I was never a big Lance Armstrong fan – despite all the philanthropic good he did for cancer research – was his utter lack of humility, his arrogance and his downright meanness at times. He was taken down, and good, by some quality journalism and by a really effective lawyer/drug cop named Travis Tygart. I’m not saying that Alberto Salazar is Lance Armstrong; the comparison is a bit of a stretch, because Armstrong was a drug lord/ringleader at the same time as he was a world-class athlete. Also, I’m not saying the same fate awaits Salazar and his minions, because reading between the lines so far it appears they have been able to stay just north of the fair-play line – the term “no smoking gun” appears quite a bit in what I have read. 

But you cannot ignore the quality of the journalism done here by David Epstein, who has established himself in the field of sports journalism. Read this article. It cannot be ignored, especially the stuff toward the end about the Gouchers, who sound very much like Frankie and Betsy Andreu from the Armstrong case. For the sake of the sport, and for the sake of USA Track and Field, let’s hope this doesn’t escalate into another sport drug scandal. There is a lot of information out there; we would do well to read and be slow to judge, but we cannot ignore it and hope it goes away. Let’s see where this goes …

Monday, June 1, 2015

What's next: USATF Juniors

Our outdoor track season is effectively over. We have one more athlete with one more race on the track -- rising sophomore Dietrich Mosel, who qualified for USATF Juniors at 10,000 meters. Deet will be racing the 10km at Oregon on Saturday, June 27. He is the next in a long line of USATF Junior qualifiers, although his path was tougher in that the qualifying standard was lowered to 32:05.00 this year. Deet was up to the challenge, running 31:38.07 at the MAAC Championships on May 2 at Monmouth.

Pat Petersen: A New York running legend

Heard the stunning news of the way-too-soon passing of Long Island running legend Pat Petersen at age 55. Petersen was among the best marathoners in the United States during the Dark Ages of the mid to late 1980s and early 1990s, when American distance running lay dormant after the Shorter/Rodgers heyday of the late 1970s/early 1980s. Petersen briefly held the American record and was a top NYC Marathon finisher several times. He was one of the guys I idolized during my early/competitive marathon days, in part because he was among the best around and in part because he was known for his ungainly upper-body form.

He was also a great runner at Manhattan College, back when their cross country teams were legendary in their greatness. According to this article, Petersen ran sub-25:00 at Van Cortlandt Park a total of 10 times during his two years at Manhattan. It's remarkable enough that he raced at Vanny that frequently in two years, but to run that fast -- on a Vanny course that was not nearly as well groomed as it is now -- is truly noteworthy.  According to the article, Petersen had a very brief battle with cancer. Truly a bummer.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

NCAA Regional: Michelle's splits and other thoughts

Having the lens of a few hours post-race – as well as these awesome splits provided by Kathy Gaye (Michelle’s mom) – enables us to have some better analysis of tonight’s career finale. Obviously, I witnessed the race first-hand (sorry for the terribly blurry photo taken by me above). But the splits really tell a story that even I couldn’t see unfolding as it was happening.  Here are a few more observations.

--For the past month-plus, since it was apparent that Michelle would be racing at the Regional meet, we have been stressing out over the fact that she would be running 25 grueling laps in Jacksonville, Florida, at the end of May. Hot. Humid. Bad. Well, the weather was about as favorable as you are going to get for Jacksonville on May 28. Race-time temperature was about 78, but it was not oppressive at all. The humidity kind of snuck up a little, but again for Florida it was very manageable. I even saw a lot of coaches and athletes wearing light jackets out there under the lights. Having said all that … 78 degrees and a little humidity is still really difficult conditions for a 10km.
--The early stages of the race were tough with 48 women on the line. There was a lot of jostling for position. Like most runners in the field, Michelle had to run a bit choppy before settling into a good spot.
--Once she settled into that good spot … the race started rolling. Wow! Look at Michelle’s second 1,600-meter split. Smokin’ fast. We talked about the idea of “committing” at certain points in the race. She committed to this pace and established her spot in the field.
--Once her breathing became a factor, it became a personal battle. These things are not easy. It is so, so hard. As coaches, we can say “relax” and “settle” and all that other stuff. But when you are in the heat of the race, it is not easy to process those words and even more difficult to act upon them. To Michelle’s credit, she was able to ride out every bad patch. Her place in the field did not alter much. She was passed, she passed. She battled, right to the very end. She made us proud that she has worn the Marist red-and-white for the past four years.

NCAA East Regional
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Hodges Stadium
Thursday, May 28, 2015
10,000-meter run
25. Michelle Gaye 35:13.64
82.7, 2:48.0 (85.3), 4:12.5 (84.6) 5:34.1 (81.6)
6:54.4 (80.3), 8:14.5 (80.1), 9:35.7 (81.2), 10:56.4 (80.7)
12:18.2 (81.8), 13:40.8 (82.6), 15:04.8 (84.0), 16:28.7 (83.9)
17:55.0 (86.3), 19:21.0 (86.0), 20:48.2 (87.2), 22:15.6 (87.4)
23:42.1 (86.5), 25:09.3 (87.2), 26:35.6 (86.3), 28:02.2 (86.6)
29:30.0 (87.8), 30:57.3 (87.3), 32:24.1 (86.8), 33:51.5 (87.4)
35:13.64 (82.14)
1600m splits: 5:34.1, 5:22.3, 5:31.3, 5:46.9, 5:46.6, 5:49.3

NCAA East Regional: Michelle places a gutty 25th

Just getting back to the hotel from the meet, where Michelle Gaye closed out her brilliant career with a gutty effort in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA East Regional. She placed 25th out of 48 in 35:13.64, the second fastest time in school history. For the past week or so, Michelle has been battling a head cold. She would never, ever use that as an excuse. However! About halfway through the race, she was literally gasping for air. Breathing was labored. She was scared, almost to the point of panic. To her credit, she regained her composure, kept battling and represented herself and our program as she has for the past four years -- with grace, grit, toughness, pride. Here are the final, official results. Will update in a bit with splits and more thoughts, but I'll leave you with this: There will never be another runner like Michelle in school history, and we will miss her in ways that simple words cannot describe or fathom.
1Molly Seidel JRNotre Dame33:38.48 Q
1 (1)
2Chelsea Blaase SOTennessee33:47.20 Q
1 (2)
3Emily Stites JRWilliam and Mary33:47.27 Q
1 (3)
4Margo Malone JRSyracuse33:49.45 Q
1 (4)
5Katie Gillespie SRWest Virginia33:56.69 Q
1 (5)
6Mara Olson SRButler34:02.53 Q
1 (6)
7Sinead Haughey SRFurman34:05.80 Q
1 (7)
8Laura Nagel SRProvidence34:11.65 Q
1 (8)
9Megan Curham SOPrinceton34:14.85 Q
1 (9)
10Joanna Thompson SRNorth Carolina St.34:19.72 Q
1 (10)
11Erin Osment SRDavidson34:27.86 Q
1 (11)
12Amanda Behnke SOIndiana34:31.86 Q
1 (12)
13Brooke Tullis JRToledo34:36.85

1 (13)
14Alexis Wiersma SOMichigan State34:40.09

1 (14)
15Caroline Kellner JRCornell34:41.75

1 (15)
16Gina Sereno SOMichigan34:47.40

1 (16)
17Melanie Brender SRMichigan State34:54.06

1 (17)
18Bethany Sachtleben SRGeorge Mason34:55.64

1 (18)
19Emily Durgin SOConnecticut34:59.25

1 (19)
20Sarah Rapp SRVirginia Tech35:03.86

1 (20)
21Minori Minagawa JROhio State35:05.30

1 (21)
22Jessie Petersen SRSyracuse35:11.21

1 (22)
23Jessie Rubin SRDuke35:12.42

1 (23)
24Abbey Kelto SRCentral Michigan35:12.70

1 (24)
25Michelle Gaye JRMarist35:13.64

1 (25)
26Sarah Fakler SOVirginia35:18.23

1 (26)
27Kathleen Darling JRWake Forest35:20.78

1 (27)
28Cassandra Vince SOToledo35:23.41

1 (28)
29Claudia Pham SRDartmouth35:26.01

1 (29)
30Dylan Hassett SRWilliam and Mary35:30.53

1 (30)
31Eden Meyer FRNorth Florida35:30.61

1 (31)
32Ednah Kurgat FRLiberty35:45.87

1 (32)
33Nicole Lucas SRIndiana State35:49.66

1 (33)
34Mary Alex England SOMississippi35:50.63

1 (34)
35Courtney Smith FRHarvard35:52.28

1 (35)
36Whitney Thornburg SRHarvard35:59.51

1 (36)
37Tristin Van Ord SOAppalachian State36:03.34

1 (37)
38Sakiko Minagawa JROhio State36:14.57

1 (38)
39Shaylyn Tuite JRSyracuse36:32.01

1 (39)
40Melissa Fairey SOGeorgia Tech36:37.03

1 (40)
41Letitia Saayman SRCoastal Carolina36:45.92

1 (41)
42Maura Linde JRSyracuse36:51.39

1 (42)
43Katie Townsend SRGeorgia Tech36:54.05

1 (43)
44Kelly Meyer JRGeorgia Tech37:09.22

1 (44)
45Lauren Brasure FRFlorida37:49.91

1 (45)
46Elizabeth Hutchins SRSacred Heart38:09.99

1 (46)

Madeline Perez FRGeorgetownDNF


Olivia Pratt SOButlerDNS


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NCAA East Regional: Blue track, blue skies

Random notes from Jacksonville Beach:

--Kudos to Sacred Heart track coach and good friend Christian Morrison for recommending that we stay at this Courtyard Marriott in Jacksonville Beach. It’s right on the water, which is beautiful. It’s extremely convenient to everything we need. And it’s only about 10 miles from the track.
--Speaking of the track: It’s blue. Like, Drake University in Des Moines blue. Hodges Stadium seems to be a great venue for such a big meet, and it has hosted this Regional Championship the past two years (it’s our first time here, though). They have plenty of parking (more on that next), plenty of on-campus amenities within a short walk, and a three-lane “practice track” for an athlete warm-up area.
--Oh yeah. Parking. At our coaches meeting this afternoon, it was noted that the University of North Florida would be hosting five (5? 5!) graduation ceremonies this weekend. Maybe I heard that wrong. The coaches’ meeting was very crowded and standing room only. But I think I heard something to that effect. So while it seems like there is ample parking for the meet, there may not be ample parking for the meet.
--Jacksonville in the end of May. You’re thinking, really hot and humid, right? Well, it’s hot. But it’s not all that humid. In fact! It’s not a whole lot different than the weather we left behind in New York. So, that’s a good thing.
--As we were driving to the track earlier today, we saw a big sign (and store) that said PET SUPERMARKET. Wow. Really? For those keeping score at home, we opted for Publix, a human supermarket, across the street.

NCAA East Regional: Preview video on GoredFoxes.com

Check out this link to an excellent preview video of Michelle Gaye's participation in the NCAA East Regional here at Jacksonville. Thanks to Mike Ferraro and his staff for the excellent promotion of our team and all of Marist Athletics.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NCAA East Regionals: Reach the beach

Here are a few views from our hotel in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. The little speck near the water is Michelle Gaye going out for a shakeout run after our flight here from JFK. We have reached the beach.

Nicely done! Academic honors for Michelle, Vuono and Tino

Check out this link to the GoredFoxes.com press release about major academic honors for Michelle Gaye, Mark Vuono and Mark Valentino. They have represented our program so well for so long -- in the classroom and on the track. Nicely done.

What's next: NCAA Regionals

We leave today for Jacksonville for the NCAA East Regional meet at the University of North Florida. Michelle Gaye will be racing in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday at 9 p.m. This race is the national semifinal, with the top 12 from the East Regional and the top 12 from the West Regional advancing to the national final at the NCAA Championships in two weeks in Oregon. FYI, Michelle is listed as a junior because she did not race (redshirt) two springs ago due to injury. Although we wish we could have her back for one more year, this is her final season of competition at Marist. Look for more posts and updates from the beach for the rest of the week. Here is the declared entry list in order of seed time from the 2015 outdoor season.

1  Chelsea Blaase                SO Tennessee          32:28.39
  2  Margo Malone                  JR Syracuse           32:29.89
  3  Joanna Thompson               SR NC State           33:07.27
  4  Caroline Kellner              JR Cornell            33:32.07
  5  Bethany Sachtleben            SR George Mason       33:32.53
  6  Molly Seidel                  JR Notre Dame         33:39.70
  7  Katie Gillespie               SR West Virginia      33:45.56
  8  Sinead Haughey                SR Furman             33:53.34
  9  Melanie Brender               SR Michigan State     33:53.49
 10  Amanda Behnke                 SO Indiana            33:59.60
 11  Alexis Wiersma                SO Michigan State     34:00.23
 12  Emily Stites                  JR William and Mary   34:03.43
 13  Abbey Kelto                   SR Cen Michigan       34:06.81
 14  Megan Curham                  SO Princeton          34:07.08
 15  Maura Linde                   JR Syracuse           34:12.00
 16  Jessie Petersen               SR Syracuse           34:18.63
 17  Michelle Gaye                 JR Marist             34:20.07
 18  Brooke Tullis                 JR Toledo             34:21.19
 19  Tristin Van Ord               SO Appalachian St     34:23.08
 20  Dylan Hassett                 SR William and Mary   34:26.95
 21  Mara Olson                    SR Butler             34:27.01
 22  Sakiko Minagawa               JR Ohio State         34:27.31
 23  Emily Durgin                  SO Connecticut        34:30.49
 24  Laura Nagel                   SR Providence         34:33.15
 25  Letitia Saayman               SR Coastal Carolina   34:33.85
 26  Gina Sereno                   SO Michigan           34:34.75
 27  Minori Minagawa               JR Ohio State         34:34.82
 28  Erin Osment                   SR Davidson           34:36.74
 29  Ednah Kurgat                  FR Liberty            34:38.75
 30  Madeline Perez                FR Georgetown         34:39.71
 31  Claudia Pham                  SR Dartmouth          34:40.55
 32  Kathleen Darling              JR Wake Forest        34:42.32
 33  Katie Townsend                SR Georgia Tech       34:43.47
 34  Jessie Rubin                  SR Duke               34:44.09
 35  Shaylyn Tuite                 JR Syracuse           34:44.12
 36  Eden Meyer                    FR North Florida      34:47.11
 37  Melissa Fairey                SO Georgia Tech       34:48.56
 38  Sarah Rapp                    SR Virginia Tech      34:48.96
 39  Elizabeth Hutchins            SR Sacred Heart       34:51.29
 40  Courtney Smith                FR Harvard            34:53.67
 41  Lauren Brasure                FR Florida            34:55.05
 42  Mary Alex England             SO Mississippi        34:56.46
 43  Sarah Fakler                  SO Virginia           34:58.09
 44  Kelly Meyer                   JR Georgia Tech       34:58.38
 45  Nicole Lucas                  SR Indiana State      35:00.00
 46  Cassandra Vince               SO Toledo             35:00.00
 47  Olivia Pratt                  SO Butler             35:02.59
 48  Whitney Thornburg             SR Harvard            35:04.25