Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World Series: Serious rooting interests

The World Series began last night, with the San Francisco Giants trying to lay claim as the latest “dynasty” in the baseball with their third World Series title in five years. Pretty impressive if they can pull it off, and they had a great start last night. In the Marist Running world, their most ardent supporter through the years has been our marathoning buddy Luke Shane. In discussing the Giants last night with Luke, his biggest concern was balancing his sleep needs (Luke is racing the NYC Marathon next week) with his loyalty to his team. The Giants did him a huge favor by running out to a quick early lead, which Madison Bumgarner easily managed to hold in a 7-1 victory. So hopefully Luke was able to get to bed early with the knowledge that there would be no magic comebacks this time.

Their opponent, the Kansas City Royals, appeals to anyone who loves an underdog story. They had not been to the postseason in 29 years, and for most of that time have been at best mediocre and at most irrelevant. And yet, through it all, our good friend, Marist Sports Information Director Mike Ferraro, has been loyal to the Royals. This is a man who plans his vacations and days off around Royals’ games. He has been justly rewarded as KC had the best second-half of the season and had been on an epic postseason run until last night. It’s a long series, Mikey.  

So, who am I rooting for? Luke and Mike are among my two favorite people, so this is difficult as I do not want to upset either of them. Ultimately, I’m an American League guy so I’ll probably be pulling for KC. But really, I’d just like to see a long series, if only to prolong the baseball season, which I will miss when it is done. One interesting caveat I learned of yesterday afternoon: Mikey has a friendly agreement with our new men’s basketball coach at Marist, Mike Maker, who apparently is a big Giants’ fan. If the Giants win, Mikey F will shave his face clean. He is currently sporting a hockey-esque “playoff beard” in support of the Royals. But! He has not been completely clean shaven (he usually sports a fashionably trimmed goatee) since the Clinton Administration. So this should be interesting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Above and beyond ...

Today was a gloomy, damp and chilly autumn day, a day in which both XC teams needed to get a good quality practice in, as we prepare for our upcoming championships. The men's practice at 11 a.m. was our usual Tuesday tempo workout at Vassar Farm. The women's practice at 2 p.m. called for hill repeats at Bowdoin Park.

A few women had to do the Bowdoin hills early, and the footing was suspect due to fallen leaves, branches and wet roots. Alerted to this by the early workout athletes, Coach Chuck came to the rescue. He went home, got his powerful leaf blower, and forged a wide and clear path for the women in their workout. A stroke of genius! The last thing we need is a late-season injury in practice, and the leaf-blowing saved the day.

Hard to believe, but it was 20 (!) years ago at this time that Coach Emeritus Phil Kelly and I were similarly manicuring the back trails at Bowdoin in preparation for the Northeast Conference XC Championships. And of course, no one on this planet has done more manicuring or work on the Bowdoin trails that Coach Horton. Today, a little leaf blowing went a long way.

We are always stressing to our athletes to do the "little things" -- getting good sleep, proper nutrition, etc. But sometimes, coaches can do the "little things" as well to help their athletes, and Chuck certainly did that today. Nicely done!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sarah Domermuth: Stellar marathon debut and BQ!

Congrats to Marist Running Alum Sarah Domermuth (pictured above in that snazzy MART singlet) for her stellar marathon debut Sunday at the Bay State Marathon in Lowell, Mass. Sarah finished in 3:22:09.7, a Boston Marathon qualifier. And she did it with a fancy negative-split effort -- first 13.1 in 1:43:48 and second 13.1 in 1:38:21.7. Nicely done!

Thanks to her good friend and teammate Lisa D'Aniello for sharing this photo and this result. And belated congrats to Lisa on lowering her 5k PR to 18:52 earlier this month in upstate Colonie. Lisa used a similar negative-split/positive-result formula with the following mile splits: 6:17, 6:09, 5:55. Great job!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Princeton Invitational: Women's results

UPDATED, Sunday ... with Coach Chuck's converted 6km times, because the course is believed to be long (coverted times follow official race times) ... Another fantastic day for our women's team. Despite missing one of our leaders in Kristen Traub (recovering nicely from a knee injury), we approached the top-10 in a very competitive field of teams and runners. Senior Michelle Gaye had another strong front-running effort. We are primed for championships ...

Princeton Invitational
Saturday, October 18, 2014
West Windsor Fields
Women’s Championship Race
Team standings
1-Villanova 58, 2-Virginia Tech 63, 3-Penn 122, 4-Stony Brook 156, 5-Bucknell 210, 6-Princeton 272, 7-Harvard 282, 8-Lehigh 309, 9-Sacred Heart 320, 10-Cornell 357, 11-UMBC 365, 12-Marist 371, 13-Buffalo 394, 14-Richmond 403, 15-George Mason 444, 16-Monmouth 481, 17-Rider 488, 18-Rhode Island 524, 19-Elizabethtown 562, 20-St. Francis PA 581, 21-Columbia 611, 22-Maryland 616, 23-Haverford 620, 24-George Washington 632, 25-Swarthmore 659, 26-St. Joseph’s 673, 27-St. John’s 701, 28-Hartford 735, 29-Johns Hopkins 744, 30-Mount St. Mary’s 782, 31-Loyola Maryland 797, 32-La Salle 915, 33-Iona 919, 34-Hofstra 1041, 35-NJIT 1137
Individual results, 6,000-meter course
21. Michelle Gaye 22:11 (21:24.4)
66. Mara Schiffhauer 22:55 (22:06.9)
70. Christine Coughlin 22:57 (22:08.9)
103. Nicki Nesi 23:15 (22:26.2)
129. Jenna Robinson 23:30 (22:43.5)
143. Janelle Solviletti 23:43 (22:53.2)
159. Kim Schwartz 23:55 (23:04.8)
206. Mariah Christian 24:38 (23:46.3)
213. Annie Gould 24:48 (23:55.9)
226. Brianna Freestone 25:01 (24:09.5)
278 finishers
Women’s Open Race
Team Standings
1-Cornell 69, 2-Penn 110, 3-Princeton 114, 4-Monmouth 149, 5-Rowan 171, 6-TCNJ 182, 7-Columbia 208, 8-Moravian 209, 9-Philadelphia 303, 10-LIU Post 304, 11-Ramapo 309, 12-Bridgewater 360, 13-Fordham 390, 14-Adelphi 400, 15-Marist 406, 16-Sacred Heart 425, 17-Lehigh 427, 18-Scranton 464, 19-St. Joseph’s 480, 20-Wilmington 481, 21-Georgian Court 488, 22-Haverford 523, 23-Elizabethtown 524, 24-U of Sciences 633, 25-UMBC 636, 26-Swarthmore 740, 27-St. Francis PA 778, 28-FDU 802, 29-Cabrini 874
Women’s Open Race
Individual results, 6,000-meter course
82. Marissa Porter 24:51 (23:58.9)
93. Brianne Vess 24:59 (24:06.5)
97. Bryn Gorberg 25:02 (24:09.5)
109 Olivia Lappas 25:14 (24:21.1)
129. Mariella Bilello 25:28 (24:34.5)
134. Jaime Durso 25:30 (24:36.4)
152. Bianca Luparello 25:51 (24:56.7)
153. Elsie Thompson 25:51 (24:56.9)
194. Jackie Bunce 26:34 (25:38.2)
200. Taylor Mueller (unattached) 26:47 (25:50.8)
205. Shannon Gildea 26:50 (25:53.8)
212. Allison Dellicarri 27:02 (26:05.2)
220. Lizzy Peper 27:11 (26:13.9)
254. Catherine Ferreri 28:07 (27:07.9)
259. Kerri-Anne Flynn 28:28 (27:28.2)
302 finishers

Princeton Invitational: Men's results

Solid day for the men, top to bottom. It was a more competitive race than last year, and for some reason the course seemed to run a bit slower despite the great conditions. It was cloudy, cool and dry, maybe a bit breezy. One thought is that the course was very CROWDED with a larger field, and thus runners may have had a more difficult time moving out there. Our top-5 spread in both races was excellent. Our top-5 Championship Division times were remarkably similar to 2013! In 2013 it was 25:15/25:33/25:35/25:49/25:53; in 2014 it was 25:14/25:27/25:37/25:47/25:51. However! Last year, we were 22nd of 31 and this year we were 19th of 38 in what appeared to be a more competitive race. The Open Division results were once again tremendous, with Omar Perez leading the way with his second straight stellar performance. On to the championship season ...

Princeton Invitational
Saturday, October 18, 2014
West Windsor Fields
Men’s Championship Race
Team standings
1-Villanova 45, 2-Virginia Tech 71, 3-Penn 139, 4-Bucknell 179, 5-UMBC 198, 6-American 224, 7-St. Joseph’s 231, 8-Cornell 256, 9-Columbia 267, 10-Haverford 315, 11-Binghamton 325, 12-Iona 346, 13-Princeton 362, 14-George Mason 370, 15-Monmouth and Buffalo 417, 17-Harvard 433, 18-Widener 443, 19-Marist 473, 20-Stony Brook 540, 21-Lehigh 577, 22-Rider 578, 23-Swarthmore 678, 24-St. Francis Pa. 728, 25-Rutgers 734, 26-George Washington 735, 27-Susquehanna 742, 28-Bridgewater (Va.) 777, 29-Rowan 827, 30-Hofstra 882, 31-Johns Hopkins 932, 32-La Salle 960, 33-Hartford 979, 34-Mt. St. Mary’s 994, 35-Sacred Heart 1044, 36-Loyola Maryland 1067, 37-NJIT 1080, 38-FDU, Inc.
Men’s Championship Race
Individual results, 8,000-meter course
60. Johnny Lee 25:14
81. Ken Walshak 25:27
99. Mark Valentino 25:37
121. Saad Baig 25:47
130. Ryan Colabella 25:51
140. Pat Rynkowski 25:57
155. Spencer Johnson 26:05
158. Steven Morrison 26:08
204. Steven Rizzo 26:36
221. Patrick Hickey 26:56
301 finishers
Men’s Open Race
Team standings
1-Penn 32, 2-Adelphi 101, 3-TCNJ 136, 4-Columbia 164, 5-Marist 166, 6-Ramapo 169, 7-Haverford 225, 8-Elizabethtown 258, 9-St. Joseph’s 273, 10-Fordham 284, 11-Moravian 313, 12-Wilmington 361, 13-Lehigh 370, 14-Philadelphia 377, 15-LIU Post 400, 16-Widener 404, 17-Rider 406, 18-Bridgewater 455, 19-Rowan 479, 20-Monmouth 502, 21-UMBC 505, 22-Scranton 680, 23-Georgian Court 694, 24-U of Sciences 784, 25-FDU 787, 26-Cabrini 849, 27-Brookdale CC 852
Men’s Open Race
Individual results, 8,000-meter course
46. Omar Perez 26:21
54. Bryan Buttigieg 26:26
56. Joseph Miller 26:29
57. Charlie Ropes 26:30
66. Jake Hensler 26:36
82. Pat Ginty 26:47
83. Mark Vuono 26:48
115. Stefan Morton 27:11
131. Eddie White 27:26
146. James Ball 27:36
171. Ian Dorset 27:51
196. Will Duggan 28:05
206. Zach Toner 28:11
337 finishers

Princeton Invitational: Post-race BBQ!

Many, many thanks to Judy and Joe Gorberg, parents of Bryn Gorberg, for hosting the team after the meet at their beautiful home in Princeton Junction. As you can see, they have a large driveway with a basketball hoop. Boys will be boys, and girls will be girls, and -- very much against the will of the Old Man Coach -- a game of Knockout ensued. A 3-on-3 game broke out before that, but that was broken up by yours truly. For those keeping score at home (and I know you are!), Ryan Colabella edged Coach Chuck to win the coveted Knockout title.

Thanks again to the Gorbergs. The food was great, and the company was even better. Nicely done!

Princeton Invitational: A visit from family

Two loyal Marist Running alums were in attendance on Saturday at Princeton. On the right, it's always great to see Walsh (Matt Walsh), who is back on the east coast now so hopefully we'll see even more of him. On the left, it was a super great surprise to see CT (Matt Szymaszek), who was accompanied by his very pregnant wife -- she was due two days ago. So, we anxiously await the news of Baby CT.

In addition, recent alums Quimes DelaCruz and Will Griffin were in attendance, racing in the Open Race representing the Garden State Track Club. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Greg Salamone: 1979-2014

The heart of a true champion, a warrior, never dies. It lives on in the memories of all the men and women it touched. This morning, a runner’s heart stopped beating, his soul sent to Our Lord well before it should have been. Greg Salamone -- a loyal Marist Running Alum, a school-record holder, a warrior on the cross country course, one of the greatest student-athletes I ever coached, and most importantly a dear friend – died this morning after a brief, intense battle with brain cancer. Greg was 35 years old.

Many readers of this blog did not know Greg or just knew of him as one of our former great runners. I wish you could have seen him run. He was all heart. He was rail thin, 5-9, 112 pounds, arms and legs like twigs, bespectacled in glasses, arms all bunched up, not the smoothest form in the world. Competitors and rival coaches would see him and often think, “who’s the eighth grader on the Marist team?” Then, our nerdy looking runner would go out and shit-stomp most of them. Among the toughest runners we’ve ever had.

He took that toughness to the final battle of his life, the melanoma that spread to his brain and stole him away from us so quickly and so soon. Greg stayed in touch frequently throughout his illness, as he had throughout his entire post-graduate years. Never a more loyal alum, Greg kept coming to our meets, long after his teammates and close friends had graduated. He never missed an XC meet at Vanny, near where he lived in Marble Hill. And he was at the Armory back in February to check in
Greg stopping by the Armory, just a few days after brain surgery
and watch the team at the MAAC meet, just a couple days after he had brain surgery. Let that sink in for a few seconds, and you’ll realize what he has meant to us. He still had staples in his head, and he was there to see us and watch the team.

Greg was a great runner and a great student, and he was the quintessential wiseass. Sarcasm was his primary realm. But as he (we) grew older, our friendship matured into a more, well, mature partnership. The sarcasm faded and the true feelings came out. A few lines I saved from emails over the past few months, as he dealt with the suddenness of this illness:

“Running gave me mental toughness that is getting me through this. So, I am grateful for you giving me that.”

“We always had a date for a cross country meet, or I have deadlines at work.  This is different, but the same.  For me, I am just trying to be positive and do what I need to do.  I want to be myself, and I'm sure I'll grow more from this.’’

There is so much more for me to say and write about Greg Salamone. I will pay homage to him through this blog, of which he was a huge fan. For those of you that never knew Greg, please allow me the catharsis of writing about my memories of him in the coming weeks. I have so many to share and to record. It would have been much better to do it over a beer (oh wait, Greg never drank) after the Fox Trot. But I know Greg would approve of my blog posts. He always did.

For those interested in the services and arrangements, here is the link. As he did in the red and white from 1997 through 2001, Greg reached the finish line this morning with honor and with toughness.

Princeton meet information

Race times ...
10:30 a.m.: Women's Open 6km
11:15 a.m.: Women's Championship 6km
12 noon: Men's Championship 8km
12:45 p.m.: Men's Open 8km
Team tailgate
Judy and Joe Gorberg, parents of sophomore Bryn Gorberg, have graciously offered to host a post-race barbecue at their home in Princeton, which is about 12 minutes from the course. All parents, friends and family that would like to contribute should contact them at or 609-751-2921.

Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women

Congrats to Marist Running Alum Katie Messina, now racing for New Balance Boston, for her tremendous finish in an international-caliber field at Monday's Tufts Health Plan 10K women's race in Boston. Katie placed 44th in 36:50, an average of 5:56 per mile, and she was the third across the line for her NBB team. To see how elite the field was, check out the results here ...

Hartford 5k

Congrats to Marist Running Alums Will Griffin (15:58) and Brittany Burns (17:56) for placing second in the Hartford 5K, which was held in conjunction with the half marathon and marathon. Britt placed 16th overall and was just one second behind the women's winner. Nicely done!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hartford Half Marathon

Great day for Marist Running Alums at Hartford Half Marathon:
--Joe Tarantello, 1:16:34 (5:51 pace)
--Ryan Fitzsimons, 1:16:59 (5:53 pace)
--Luke Shane, 1:17:28 (5:55 pace)
--Ryan Brown, 1:22:35 (6:18 pace)

These are results that I was made aware of, along with the awesome picture above of Luke, Browny and Fitz post-race. Good stuff.

Practice update #2: Perfect training venue

On Friday, both the men's and women's teams ventured to New Paltz for mile repeat workouts at the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail on a near-perfect autumn day. The workout was a great confidence builder for the team. It takes a bit of coordination to travel over there for the workout, but it was worth the effort.

Practice update #1: Saad on the sod

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. We have had an excellent week of practices. This first photo is of sophomore Saad Baig after our tempo run at Vassar Farm on Tuesday. He was doing his post-workout drills and strides on the newly seeded and planted grass, which led teammate Ryan Colabella to come up with a vintage, Coach Pete-esque pun: Saad on the sod. Nicely done!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paul Short Run: Women's results

Here are today's triumphant results from Paul Short. What a great day!

Paul Short Run
Lehigh University
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Women’s Brown Race, team scores
1-Bucknell 81, 2-Marist 136, 3-Holy Cross 236, 4-Amherst 249, 5-Canisius 252, 6-Tulane 268, 7-SUNY Cortland 318, 8-Haverford 359, 9-College of New Jersey 367, 10-Binghamton 376, 11-SUNY New Paltz 418, 12-Rider 420, 13-Allegheny 455, 14-Bates 488, 15-St. Joseph’s 500, 16-Swarthmore 505, 17-Rochester 511, 18-Siena 517, 19-Rowan 532, 20-Conn College 546, 21-Lock Haven 569, 22-Stevens Institute of Technology 625, 23-West Chester 626, 24-Susquehanna 633, 25-Loyola 644, 26-Bryn Mawr 666, 27-Moravian 670, 28-Mount St. Mary’s 690, 29-East Stroudsburg 692, 30-Kutztown 707, 31-Lafayette 724, 32-Assumption 761, 33-Trinity 785, 34-Gettysburg 816, 35-Colgate 822, 36-Millersville 830, 37-Adelphi 924, 38-Roger Williams 945, 39-Niagara 1129, 40-Hofstra 1210
Women’s individual results, 6,000-meter course
5-Michelle Gaye 21:43
23-Mara Schiffhauer 22:19
27-Christine Coughlin 22:26
32-Janelle Solviletti 22:31
53-Nicki Nesi 22:48
154-Jenna Robinson 23:41
164-Annie Gould 23:47
191-Brianna Freestone 24:04
213-Kim Schwartz 24:15
Women’s Open Race, 6,000-meter course
148-Mariah Christian 24:09
153-Bryn Gorberg 24:11
156-Roxy Novo 24:15
160-Marissa Porter 24:18
169-Brianne Vess 24:28
182-Jaime Durso 24:39
197-Bianca Luparello 24:51
217-Mariella Bilello 25:11
234-Christine Gambell 25:27
257-Elsie Thompson 25:48
258-Jackie Bunce 25:49
296-Lizzy Peper 26:30
335-Allison Dellicarri 27:48
357-Shannon Gildea 28:45