August Track Meet: Cool, windy, rainy, and fast!

FLRC’s 2018 track season is in the books! On a dark and windy (and a little rainy) night, 117 runners from 1 to 71 heated up Lansing High School’s track. And no, we’re not making up any of that numerical nicety, although 1-year-old Willow Donovan did get a lift from her father for the middle section of the 100m, and 71-year-old David Keifer is a regular at our meets as both a runner and a volunteer. Full results are now available.

The 5000m proved surprisingly exciting. Not because of the times, with the Groton speedster Scott Weeks winning it in 16:09, but because Dave Cook started well back in fourth and worked his way up until they were neck-in-neck in the final lap. Weeks tapped his vaunted 800m speed in that final lap and managed to pull out the win by 1 second. Mary Bushallow was the only female entrant, taking the win in 23:16.

Weeks and Cook are both frequent entrants in our meets, but the sprints brought a newcomer, Ching Yu Chang, a veterinary student from Taiwan on a 2-month internship in Ithaca. He won the 100m in 11.39, nipping Kobe Oates in 11.50. On the women’s side, Anna Lowe of Team PREFO ran a strong 14.90 for the win, well ahead of Lansing Lightning’s Annoura Stewart in 16.48

Chang then came back in the 400 and won that too, running 54.03 to Devine Fenner’s 55.50. Lowe and Stewart recapped their 100m races too, with Lowe winning the women’s title in 1:15.6 and Stewart close behind in 1:18.5.

The mile was the marquee event of the night, with twice as many entrants as any other race. Unsurprising, perhaps since it was the final chance for runners to get their fourth mile in the MITHACAL MILE SERIES. In fact, the title in the 20-29 division was being contested in this race, since both Adam Pacheck and Mik Kern needed one more race, and Adam was leading by only a couple of seconds. Kern knew this was his only chance, but after the first lap or so, it was clear that Pacheck had the win in sight. The stiff breeze slowed the times, so Pacheck ran a bit slower than last month to break the tape in 4:36, with Kern gamely coming through in 4:45. The ever-versatile Dave Cook, despite not figuring in the race early on, came on hard to run 4:52. For the women, 16-year-old Catie Eisenhut of Lansing Lightning ran a strong 5:26 for the win, with Megan Luckner second in 5:31. Two other Lansing Lightning runners broke 6:00, so look for the Lansing girls to have a strong cross-country team this year.

We’d like to say more about the 4x200m relay but the rain clouds were so heavy that the ever-advancing darkness made the heats almost impossible to see—we were starting to worry about collisions during the handoffs. That said, our headlamp-equipped volunteers determined that the irrepressible Ching Yu Chang anchored an ad hoc winning team in 1:50.

Speaking of our volunteers, they once again did a fabulous job in challenging conditions that forced us to separate the registration and results table from the finish line. Josh Brockner is coming into his own as head timer now that Scott Wehrwein has moved on; Bruce Roebal continues to be a great starter; Jullien Flynn has become a wizard with entries, seeding, and results; Becca Lovenheim worked wonders with heat management as clerk-of-course with help from Carl Franck; Adam Pacheck did a good job in taking over recording finishers from recently departed Julie Quinn; Truck Rossiter handled backup timing with aplomb, Ally Salce provided lap counting and bell ringing services; Tonya Engst and David Keifer managed registration for individuals and teams; Tom Rishel floated quietly to wherever he was needed; and Anne Shakespeare and Ruth Sproul and Scott Dawson pitched on lane timing and other jobs as needed so other volunteers could race.

That’s it for 2018, and we’ll see you in January 2019 in Barton for the indoor season! As always, if you have any suggestions for how we can improve our meets, let me know. We’re constantly tweaking and adjusting as our meets attract more and younger runners while trying to make sure they’re as enjoyable as ever for long-time participants.