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Costello, Dunbar Win Mayor’s Cup XC

COSTELLO, DUNBAR WIN MEMORABLE BOSTON MAYOR’S CUP CROSS COUNTRY
By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom

(c) 2015 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(Used with permission)
 

BOSTON,
MA (25-Oct) — Using strong surges in the final mile, Oregon’s Trevor
Dunbar and Boston’s own Liz Costello claimed titles here at the 25th
annual Boston Mayor’s Cup Cross Country meet, held at iconic Franklin
Park. The meet, organized by the Boston Athletic Association and USATF
New England with support from adidas, took place on a chilly, damp, and
windy morning — making for a true cross country event.

In
the Women’s Championship 5K, Costello –who lives and trains in the
city under Olympian Mark Coogan– quickly found her place up front
alongside Mary Cain and former Boston College Eagle Liv Westphal, a
Frenchwoman. The dynamic trio split one mile in 5:13.

Aware
of Cain’s ability to succeed at all distances and Westphal’s experience
on the Franklin Park course, Costello wanted to make the race a true
grind-it-out affair. She’d frequently inject surges hoping to break her
competitors.

“I ended up taking the lead but I wasn’t sure if
that was going to be a good game plan because I knew the other girls
are very talented and it was still pretty early in the race,” said
Costello, part of the leading trio at two miles in 10:37. “Because I
still felt somewhat within myself, I thought ‘all right, let’s go for
another mile and see how things go.'”

Ultimately, Costello’s
persistence would pay off. The 27-year-old continued to push through
the Wilderness Loop, and re-emerged on The Playstead in front. Down the
stretch, Costello powered home to finish first in 16:35, with Westphal
taking second in 16:40 and Cain third in 16:46.

“It was a fight
until the end. Everyone was really close and it was a really good
race,” said Costello. “It’s definitely nice to have a confidence
booster [here]… I think having some familiarity [with the course] was
helpful today.”

Traveling to Boston from her home in
Bronxville, N.Y., Cain said she was pleased with the race. Since moving
from Portland, Ore., back to Bronxville, the 19-year-old said she’s hit
the “reset” button. Speaking with enthusiasm, she noted that training
has been going phenomenally well, and her time today was an indicator
of great things to come.

“It was pretty authentic cross country
which was nice! I was really proud of myself because I went into it
really wanting to work the first two miles,” she said. “The last mile I
probably didn’t quite have the strength, but for October 25, I know I’m
in pretty good shape. I’ve never been in this kind of shape this early,
so I’m pretty excited about that!

“I’m just excited to see my progress,” Cain continued. “I think a lot of it has been going back to basics.”

Winning
the Women’s team competition was New Balance Boston, scoring the
minimum 15 points. Greater Boston Track Club and the B.A.A. took second
and third with 60 and 87 points, respectively.

The Men’s
Championship 8K held extra special meaning today. This year’s Boston
Mayor’s Cup Cross Country meet was dedicated to Cameron Bean, the 2013
champion who was tragically killed last month after being struck by a
vehicle in Tennessee while running.

Along the course, every
mile marker had a black circle with “CB — Cameron Bean, 2013 Boston
Mayor’s Cup Champion” transcription to honor Bean. In addition, Bean’s
ZAP Fitness teammate Sarah Crouch started the men’s race and held the
ceremonial breaktape at the finish.

First to reach that breaktape would be Trevor Dunbar, racing for the first time at Franklin Park. (Photo: Coming down Bear Cage (L-R): Trevor Dunbar, Will Geoghegan and Jim Spisak)

With
a brisk but gusty wind blowing, Dunbar, New England Distance Project’s
Jimmy Spisak, former NCAA Division II national champion Tabor Stevens,
and Dartmouth graduate Will Geoghegan established a strong front pack.
Spisak, Dunbar, and Stevens took turns leading, keeping the tempo
upbeat.

Of the group, Dunbar ran with a heavy heart and extra
motivation hoping to claim the win. Recently, his grandmother Sylvelin
Keller passed away at the age of 89. Immediately following the race,
he’d board a plane to join his family in Minnesota.

Coming
down Bear Cage Hill with less than a kilometer remaining, Dunbar
accelerated with hopes of breaking Spisak. Entering the final straight
with 200 meters left, Dunbar dug even deeper, separating from the
taller Spisak.

Breaking the finish tape in 23:17 with arms in
the air, Dunbar took the title and its $600 prize by three seconds over
Spisak (23:20). Stevens rounded out the top three (23:17), followed by
Geoghegan (23:39) and Ireland’s Shane Quinn (23:55).

Speaking by phone from the airport, Dunbar reflected on the victory.

“She
ran through my mind a few times and it was nice to compete for her.
She’s been in my memory and my thoughts for a while, so I dedicated
that to her,” said Dunbar. “I’m really happy to get the win. Returning
to cross country was very fun.”

A native of Alaska, Dunbar
used today’s race as a tune-up for the .US National Road Racing
Championships in Virginia next month. Spisak and women’s winner
Costello plan to compete there.

“I’m excited, getting out there
and competing again. Jimmy Spisak and Tabor Stevens made it a very
honest, hard race, so I have to give them my respect and look forward
to battling again,” said Dunbar. “I was squeezing the trigger from a
mile out… Once I got to the straightaway I had more gears to go to.
It’s nice to come away with the win.”

New England Distance
earned the Men’s team title led by Spisak, scoring 35 points. Speed
River New Balance TFC was second with 64 points, followed by New
Balance Boston (91).

The Mayor’s Cup Cross Country races also
included multiple youth events for local school and town clubs.
Children raced a 1.1-mile course that included Bear Cage Hill.

Full results can be found on CoolRunning.com at the following link: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/15/ma/Oct25_Mayors_set1.shtml

For video coverage and photos from today’s event, visit the B.A.A.’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BostonAthleticAssociation.

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