Exciting races played out at the 24th Mayor’s Cup, presented by the B.A.A. and adidas, at Franklin Park on Sunday, with athletes competing in races at the youth, open, and masters levels. The Boston Athletic Association claimed Men’s and Women’s Championship team titles, while also taking home top honors in the Franklin Park 5K.
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In the women’s 5K Championship race, Canada’s Rachel Hannah made a decisive move in the second mile, breaking the race open. Injecting a hard surge on Bearcage Hill, Hannah separated from a group that included the B.A.A.’s Juliet Bottorff, Jen Rhines, Sarah Pagano, and Elaina Balouris, as well as last year’s NCAA Cross Country Champion Abbey D’Agostino.
Passing two miles in 10:40, Hannah extended her lead through the wilderness loop before prevailing with a kilometer to go. From there, the Toronto TC member cruised on to the win, stopping the clock at 16:37.
“It’s huge! It’s a huge honor and I’m really, really happy,” said Hannah, who was racing in Franklin Park for the first time and used the event as a tune-up for the Ontario Cross Country Championships. “It’s quite an honor to win here…I’ve heard about this race and have been running for a long time, and wanted to come find a competitive race to start off my cross country season.”
Taking second place in 16:47 was Bottorff, leading the Boston Athletic Association to the team title with a score of 15 points. In addition to Bottorff, five B.A.A. finishers placed in the top ten. Rhines was third in 16:48; Pagano fifth in 16:53; Balouris seventh in 16:59; Katie Matthews eighth in 17:02; and Emily Lipari tenth in 17:39.
“As a team we surpassed our goal and we all stayed together for a good portion of the race, which was an awesome feeling because we kept hearing people cheer for the B.A.A.,” said Matthews.
“It was definitely a hometown advantage,” added Pagano.
D’Agostino, making her professional racing debut, was fourth in a time of 16:48.
In 2013, Great Britain’s Mitch Goose placed third at the Mayor’s Cup Men’s Championship 8K. This year he was determined to come back and claim the top spot, which he did in 23:46. Racing for The Manhattan Project, Goose left the field behind after speeding up at the five kilometer mark.
“It was lovely and it was good to come out here as a team,” said Goose, who graduated from Iona College and lives in New York. “There were some really fast guys in that race.”
Robert Mack was second in 23:50, followed by the B.A.A.’s Ethan Shaw, third in 24:00.
Led by Shaw, the B.A.A. won the men’s team title with 30 points. Joining Shaw as scorers were Dan Lowry (7th/24:21), Steve Mangan (13th/24:54), Sam Alexander (18th/25:00), and Bo Waggoner (19th/25:02).
“I think we put it together very good,” said Shaw, the top American at this month’s B.A.A. Half Marathon.
The Franklin Park 5K was won by Bryan Marsh in 15:44, while Ravenna Neville was the top women’s finisher in 19:25. The Boston Athletic Association won the men’s team title, scoring 9 points.
Youth races were held for children ages 10 and under, 11 to 12, and 13 to 14. Sam Toolin of Sentinel Striders and Michaela Jones of the Waltham Track Club had the fastest boys and girls times of the day for the 1.1-mile course, 5:34 and 6:16, respectively.
The Mayor’s Cup began in 1990 and the B.A.A., in partnership with adidas, has supported the event since 1997. Over that time, the event has grown to include multiple races for athletes of all ability levels, has become one of the premier cross country meets on the East Coast, and has been regarded as an important tune-up for the USA Fall National Club Cross Country Championship.
The Mayor’s Cup is directed by USA Track & Field New England, and is staged with the cooperation of Boston Parks & Recreation and Boston Centers for Youth & Families.