FLRC Kicks Off the 2020 Indoor Track Season

Despite unseasonably warm weather in the 60s, FLRC opened the 2020 track season with a fun, relaxing meet in Cornell’s Barton Hall. Along with some fast times and exciting races, we had numerous heats of kids, with Jude Heffron taking the prize for youngest runner at 23 months old. Full results are now available, and we’ve also published an album of photos.

Jude’s father Rich Heffron showed off for his son by outrunning James Felice in the 3000m to win in 9:17 over Felice’s 9:20. On the women’s side, Jenny Berkowitz ran a controlled race to win in 10:47, with Liz Hartman in second in 12:11.

Moving on to the 60m, we had 10 heats, culminating with 17-year-old Silas Wagaman’s 7.14 that just edged out 18-year-old Lance Jensen from the Candor CSD Club Runners by 0.02 seconds. Two other Candor high school runners were fourth and fifth, but third place was claimed by 38-year-old David Birk.

In our marquee event of the mile, 76 runners toed the line across six heats, but in the end, it was a repeat of the 3000m, with Rich Heffron running a 4:39 to outpace James Felice’s 4:42. The women’s race was won by 54-year-old former Olympian Michelle Rohl in 5:38 — look for her to place well at the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile in a few weeks. Despite her win, Rohl wasn’t far ahead of 14-year-old Alia Spaker, whose 5:43 placed her second.

Candor’s Lance Jensen turned the tables on Silas Wagaman in the 200m, clocking at 23.59 to Wagaman’s 24.71. David Birk might have been more than twice their age, but he still turned in an impressive 25.97 to take third. And in the High Noon grudge match, Brian Lazzaro outleaned Josh Brockner by 0.02 seconds, 28.00 to 28.02. The top woman was 13-year-old Makenna Keough of the SOAR Running Club, who ran a 31.66 to beat the 33.32 laid down by Olivia Herrick of the Elmira Express.

The 4x200m relay provided lots of excitement and when the dust settled, Lance Jensen had anchored the Candor team to the win in 1:51, but barely edging out a hard-charging Auburn Pulsars team that finished in 1:53 and the University of Buffalo XC and Track Club in 1:54.

As always, the meet couldn’t have happened without FLRC’s highly capable and amiable volunteer team. Ved Gund returned to Ithaca from a several-year stint in Oregon to serve as head timer, with Tom Rishel swapping between a whistle (for little kids) and starting pistol to get each race off the line. Jullien Flynn hobbled in from foot surgery three days ago to manage the seeding and results. Tonya Engst and Jesse Koennecke handled registration and bib pickup with aplomb, after which Jesse assisted Bill Watson in calling and lining up heats. Adam Pacheck drove in from Philadelphia from an abortive flight to record finisher bibs and manage the finish line. Aaron Proujansky did backup timing and lap counting. Dave Kania filled in for Jullien at times on the computer, helped with setup, timed sprints, and assisted wherever he could be helpful. Carl Franck also provided essential setup and timing help, and lots of people helped break down the meet.