FLRC’s first indoor track meet of 2018 is in the books, and there were some stunning performances! With 188 runners, attendance was down a bit from previous years, even though the previous day’s high school meet was canceled due to bad weather — the roads were still a bit treacherous and the SAS ATOMS team from Syracuse wasn’t able to come. We still had 300 race entries across five events. Full results here.
Running for High Noon, Rich Heffron started the day off with a commanding win in the 5000m, running 16:40 to Jim Derick’s 17:13. Not content with a single 5K for the day, Rich then ran down to FLRC’s Winter Chill 5K, where he again took first in 19:05, albeit in extremely cold conditions. Claire Mason of Corning-Painted Post West took the women’s race in 20:50, besting several of her teammates by almost a minute. Also note that Erin Taylor-Talcott clocked a 24:54 while race walking — that’s about 5 minutes off the women’s world record.
In the 60m, Alex Spicer of Corning-Painted Post West ran a 7.25 for the win, just .3 seconds faster than Jesse Richard’s 7.55 — two other men ran under 8 seconds. For the women, Charlie Slusser of Southern Tier SOAR won in 8.70, beating Lillian Jensen of the Candor CSD Club Runners by .29 seconds.
Without Leon Atkins of the Auburn Pulsars to continue his historical dominance in the 400m, Alex Spicer picked up his second win, running 53.14 to Keegan Cochran’s 54.00 and Lance Jensen’s 54.85. Jillian Perrault of the B Team took the women’s crown with a 1:05.21, handily finishing ahead of Leah O’Connell of the Candor CSD Club Runners, who came through in 1:08.64.
The 1 mile race was the most exciting of the day, given entries from some of the top high school runners in the area. In the final and ninth heat of the day, Dan Gahagan of Corning-Painted Post West led for most of the race, and fended off numerous challenges from brothers Gabe and Aaron Planty of Watkins Glen. Gahagan ran a 4:31, with Gabe Planty second in 4:32, Groton’s Richard Moore a strong third in 4:35, Aaron Planty fourth in 4:40, and Jason Matthewson of Elmira fifth 4:42. But it didn’t end there, with the next five runners also under 4:45! Alyssa Walker of the Crusaders won the women’s race in 5:25, with Olivia Lovejoy of Elmira second in 5:30.
In the middle of the mile, we were pleased to announce the news that Elmira native Molly Huddle set a new American record in the half marathon with a 1:07:25 at the Houston Half Marathon. She broke Deena Kastor’s 2006 record of 1:07:34 by 9 seconds, and in the process also set unofficial records for the 10 miles and 20K. Speaking as someone who was once outkicked by a then 17-year-old Molly Huddle in the mile in Barton Hall, it’s always great to see her running successes.
With six heats of the sprint medley (400-200-200-800) relay, there were a number of good races as well, with the final heat pitting Keegan Cochrane against Corning-Painted Post West’s Bryce Derick in the ultimate 800m. They traded leads several times in the four laps, and all eyes were on their furious sprint to the finish, with Cochrane outleaning Derick for the win by just a few hundredths of a second.
As always, coordinating a meet with so many runners and so many heats was possible only thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers. Jullien Flynn managed the essential computer tasks of race day entries, heat changes, and untangling of results with aplomb, with help from Zsofia Franck, who also helped line up young starters in the sprints. Tonya Engst, Becca Lovenheim, and Carl Franck wrangled all the heats, a task made trickier by needing to rearrange heats around the missing SAS ATOMS. Scott Wehrwein was head timer for most of the meet, ably backed by Josh Brockner, who took over running the Time Machine at the end. Aaron Proujansky did backup timing, Bob Swizdor and Hal Coghill recorded finishers, and Brenda Marchewka did a great job managing the lap counter for longer races. Lesley Middleton helped with registration, Lorrie Tily and Ximing Yin helped timed the 60m, Bert Bland and Bob Talda showed up early to help with setup. Thanks to you all!