Brilliant Day for USATF-NE XC Championships

It was a gorgeous day at Franklin Park for the New England Open and Masters XC Championships (and the D2 Regionals to follow).

The Masters 8K got underway with sparkling sunshine and firm footing with Greater Springfield Harrier teammates Kent Lemme and Francis Burdett trading leads through two laps.  On the third loop, Lemme put the hammer down rather decisively, pulling away to a 26:10 to 26:25 victory.

Mark Hixson of the Hartford TC prevented a GSH sweep in 26:32 as GSHer Mike Nahom followed 5-seconds later. With GSH a dominant team titlist, Northern-tier states went 2-3 as Dirigo (ME) captured 2nd and Gr. Mtn. AA (VT) 3rd. Dirigo also get s points for showing up en masse at Doyle’s afterward (as does Karen Boen’s Stonehill squad).

NER Training Talk columnist John Barbour overtook NER All Star Relay teammate Mark Reeder right before the backstop leading to the 200m finish to clinch the graybeard (50+) division by 5 seconds in 27:15.

The Women’s 6K was next up with New Balance Boston’s Jenn Donovan (fast becoming the Where’s Waldo? in NER) running away with the title in 20:49. Former Providence College harrier Katie DiCamillo was next in 21:11 with ING Hartford Marathon women’s champion Jeannette Seckinger of the BAA 3rd in 21:18 and leading the BAA to the women’s title over NBB. Aileen Conlon of the Central Park TC finished 4th in 21:18.

Dirigo’s Christine Reaser was the top Master in 24:23 with Cambridge Sports Union Road/Mtn/Trail ace Lisa Doucett the top Senior in 26:59.

The final race of the day – the Men’s Championship 10K – was a mano-a-mano duel between the BAA’s Lucas Meyer and UMass-Lowell’s Ruben Sanca (who has track eligibility left but not XC). After a 4:43 opener this was a two-person duel with Justin Lutz (un) squarely in third.

“It was a very ambitious early pace,” noted Meyer, “and it caught up to both of us.”

“I knew he was good and he kept looking like he wanted to go, he was pushing, ” revealed Sanca. “After 8K he was breathing hard so I made a move.”

When Sanca’s gambit didn’t work, he fell off the pace in the final loop and Meyer sped to victory in 30:05 with Sanca 2nd in 30:18 and Lutz 3rd in 30:48. The BAAs Brendan Callahan clinched 4th as the Unicorn squad also took the Men’s team title with Greater Boston 2nd.                        Full Results
‰ÛÓR. Fitz

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