5000m proves insanely popular in FLRC’s February indoor track meet

Talk about unexpected! Normally, when we include a 5000m race in one of FLRC’s indoor track meets, it gets 15–20 brave souls who can count all 25 laps—we’ve never run more than one section. When I seeded the race on Saturday night, we had 86 entrants, forcing me to create three sections and figure out how we’d do a special box start to deal with the fact that one of the sections had 25 starters. Illness knocked the numbers down a bit, but we still ended up 71 finishers, well above all the other events. The numbers for the sprints were down a bit due to coinciding with the public school winter break, but still… Full results are now available.

So, about that 5000m. For the first two-thirds of the race, we had a tight four-man pack, with James Felice, Rich Heffron, Jack Gregorski, and Steve Esposito, trading the lead back and forth. Then Felice took control of the race and stretched out a several-second lead that he extended in the end for a masterful 15:58. Corning-Painted Post West’s Gregorski held off Esposito, 16:08 to 16:09, and Heffron wasn’t far behind in 16:11. The first woman was Cornell grad student Bella Burda, who tucked herself into the middle of the fastest section and laid down an impressive 16:50 for 11th overall. Second woman was another Cornell grad student, Jenny Berkowitz, who ran a smooth 18:40 in the second section. Also of note were the 29:29 and 29:57 racewalking times posted by Abby Perry and Angelea Collins, respectively, of Corning-Painted Post West.

Our next race was the 800m, and although James Felice tried to repeat, he wasn’t able to compete with Jason Matthewson, who won with a commanding 2:02, beating Steven Segal (2:03) and Ashton Bange (2:06) of Corning-Painted Post West, with Felice fourth in 2:09. Claire Mason of Corning-Painted Post West took the honors for the women with a 2:24, followed closely by Elizabeth Ostrander in 2:26.

The sprints were dominated by Nicholas Abdo, who bested Roosevelt Lee in the 60m, 6.84 seconds to Lee’s 6.96, with Silas Wagaman third in 7.02. For the women, Team SOAR’s Makenna Keough ran 8.41 seconds to beat the 8.85 posted by Lauren White of Chenango Forks.

Abdo had to work harder in the 400m, winning a judge’s decision over Kyle Zaidel of Corning-Painted Post West in 51.44 seconds to Zaidel’s 51.45. Zaidel’s teammate Otto Sutton finished third in 53.06. Equally impressive was the 58.91 run by Charlotte Nevins of Corning-Painted Post West, passing her teammate Jayla Skeete in the second lap—Skeete came through in 1:00.18.

Thanks to all the teams who came: the Auburn Pulsars, Chenango Forks, Corning Painted-Post West, Elmira, the Ithaca College crew team, the Ithaca College Running Club, SUNY Broome, the Syracuse University Running Club, Team SOAR, and Watkins Glen.

As always, the meet couldn’t have happened without FLRC’s highly capable and amiable volunteer team. Past FLRC president Lorrie Tily served as head timer, with and even further-back-in-history past president Tom Rishel swapping between a whistle (for little kids) and starting pistol to get each race off the line. Jullien Flynn worked her usual magic with the seeding and results with help from Bob Talda. Tonya Engst and Jesse Koennecke handled registration and bib pickup with aplomb. Bill Watson juggled over 150 runners while organizing and lining up each race. Adam Pacheck recorded finisher bibs and managed the finish line with help from Henry Deitcher, who also served as lap counter. Aaron Proujansky did backup timing and made sure everyone broke in after staggered starts. Mickie Sanders-Jauquet (another past president—these track meets are catnip!) managed clothing sales. Ved Gund joined Bob, Adam, Aaron, Jesse, Lorrie, and Tonya in timing the races run in lanes. And thanks to everyone for the help setting up and breaking down!

We have one more track meet coming up on March 29th, and if you want to run some workouts to tune up for it, join our MITHACAL MILERS workouts.