Brian Harvey, Sarah Pagano, and Harry Carter were all nominated for the USATF New England “Athlete of the Year” award.
The B.A.A. team had three athletes nominated for the USATF New England “Athlete of the Year” award for their performances during the 2016 season. For Brian Harvey, it was icing on the cake to win the “Male Athlete of the Year” award after a long racing year that started started and finished with his efforts in Cross Country and was punctuated by his performance at the USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon a year ago this month. In January of 2016, Harvey raced to a top ten finish at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country meet in Scotland placing 9th overall and 3rd for the USA team in 25:57 on a very muddy 8K course. One month later, Harvey joined several of his teammates for the Olympic Team Trials Marathon that came on a warm and humid sunny day on an exposed 10K loop course in the streets in L.A. Harvey is known to thrive on tough race conditions and this day was no different as battled the difficult conditions to finish 32nd overall in 2:23:17, a time that was over six minutes off his personal best marathon mark of 2:17:05. Brian also was named the 2016 New England Runner magazine Male Runner of the Year.
After some well-deserved time off in the spring to recover from a busy winter racing season, Harvey hit the roads of New England to gear up for a return to the marathon distance. In September, Harvey won the USATF-NE Season’s 20K Championship race on a dreadfully humid and stormy late summer morning. The Season’s 20K was a prep race for what turned out to be a perfect race day in October at the Hartford Marathon, a race that Harvey finished runner-up in 2015. In 2016, Harvey bested the regional talent to win the marathon in 2:17:55, nearly 2 minutes ahead of runner-up and former Hartford Marathon winner, Matt Pelletier. Fast forward to the fall cross country season, Harvey returned to the grass where his year started joining the B.A.A. Men’s Open team in their quest for a top finish at USATF Club Cross Country Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida on December 10th. Running on weary legs from a taxing year of racing, Harvey stayed true to his gritty racing aptitude placing 32nd overall in 30:16 and was the B.A.A.’s 3rd team scorer. The B.A.A. cross country squad ran into some tough competition at the meet placing 5th overall in the team scoring. For Harvey, it was truly a superb year of racing and he certainly earned and deserved the honor of being awarded the New England “Male Athlete of the Year”.
At age 79, B.A.A.’s Harry Carter was also nominated for the New England “Male Athlete of the Year” for his performances throughout the year in the 70-79 age group. Carter finished 2nd in the 2016 USATF Grand Prix Series in the 70+ category but was up against a spry 71 year old John Hackney of Green Mountain Athletic Association. Carter turned 80 years old this past October and looks forward to competing in a new category but hopes to be looking over his shoulder at the 70 year olds. Carter looks to return to the marathon distance with hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon this year at the Providence Marathon in May and he has an extra 15 minutes to work with in the 80 and over group!
On the same day of the New England Awards Banquet, Sarah Pagano was competing in Bend, Oregon at the USA Cross Country Championships. Pagano placed 5th overall in the the 10K race finishing in 35:44 qualifying her for the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda on March 26th. Pagano was nominated for New England “Female Athlete of the Year” for her top performances in 2016 including one of her best performances of the year at the USATF Club Cross Country Nationals in December where Pagano finished 2nd overall leading the women’s team a third consecutive title
The B.A.A. was also nominated for the Club of the Year. In 2016, the B.A.A. Men’s Open Team won the USATF-NE Grand Prix Series team competition, the B.A.A. Women repeated as team champions for the third consecutive year at the USATF Club Cross Country Nationals, and the B.A.A. Men’s Masters team placed 2nd overall moving up from 3rd place in 2015.
The New Bedford Half Marathon was awarded the “Race of the Year” and former B.A.A. runner, John Mortimer won the “Race Director of the Year” for his Millennium Running Events. The Awards Banquet welcomed Abbey D’Agostino as guest speaker to share her trials and tribulations in her quest to qualify and compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The awards banquet celebrated achievements from teams and individuals who competed in USATF-New England events including road races, track & field, cross country, the mountain & trail race series and the all-terrain runner series. Congrats to all of the B.A.A. athletes for their achievements in USATF New England races in 2016!