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5K Masters Champions Crowned in Syracuse

SYRACUSE – With perfect road racing conditions at the USATF 5 km Masters Marathon Championships, hosted the Syracuse Festival of Races, defending champion and overall winner Greg Mitchell of the famed Bowerman Track Club went out strong with Alan Black, and Chad Newton, both of the Atlanta Track Club, running close off his shoulder.  At the halfway point, Mitchell had pulled away for a 13 second lead and finished in 15:08 to claim the title by more than 30 seconds. Black stayed strong to capture second place in 15:41 with Newton seven seconds further back.
In the women’s race, it was an equally dominating performance. Marisa Sutera Strange, 52, of the Athena Track Club sprinted away from all but two of her 40-49 year old competitors.  Karen Simmonds-Brady, of the Genesee Valley Harriers, and Renee Tolan of the Kinetic Running Club kept right with her for the first mile. It was tight through the midpoint, but Strange pulled away to win by 22 seconds in 17:38. Simmonds-Brady kicked away from Tolan near the end for second place by only 3 seconds in 18:00.
Last year Jan Holmquist, of Whirlaway Racing Team in Massachusetts, smashed the American record for W70-74; this year she lowered her record by one second to 22:15.
The tightest race on the men’s side was in the 55-59 age group crown. Derrick Staley of  Willow Street AC went head-to-head with Dave Bussard of Players/Elite New Balance. Bussard went out at the same fast pace as Staley, finishing second to Bussard’s 16:59 in 16:55. The tightest race on the women’s side was the three-second victory of Simmonds-Brady over Tolan for second place overall and the win in the W40-44.
Team Winners
W40+ Genesee Valley Harriers
W50+ Athena Track Club,
W60+ Genesee Valley Harriers,
W70+ Checkers AC.
M40+ Atlanta Track Club
M50+ Playmakers Elite/New Balance
M60+ Boulder Road Runners
M70+ Ann Arbor Track Club.
Age-Graded Peformances
Hall of Famer, Kathy Martin,64, of Northport Running Club soared over 100% again, running 19:24 for a 100.46%. Jan Holmquist, 71, of Whirlaway Racing Team, ran 22:15 for 96.21%, followed by the overall winner, Marisa Sutera Strange, 52, whose 17:38 earned a 95.78% rating.
On the men’s side the top age-graded performance was Tom Bernhard, 64 of Excelsior Running Club in California. Bernhard ran 17:36 for a 93.82% performance, followed by Nat Larson (Amherst, Massachusetts), 53, who ran 16:10 for a 93.38% and Kristian Blaich, 49 of Atlanta Track Club, who ran 15:51 for 92.37%.  
Contributed by: Paul Carlin
National Media Coordinator
USA Track & Field-Masters Long Distance Running

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