Aaron Price wins the Individual Masters 5K Cross Country National Title
Photo Credit: Mike Scott
The USATF Masters 5K Cross Country Championships were held in Boston for the first time since the inaugural race in 2002. The event, hosted by USATF-New England, was on Sunday, October 15th at historic Franklin Park featuring three races starting with the Men’s 60+ 5K, followed by the combined Men’s 40+ and 50+ categories and concluded with the Women’s Masters 5K race. With a deep and talented team on the line for the B.A.A., the Men’s Masters owned their home course by taking the team title in the 40+ category with 31 points ahead of local rival Central Mass Striders in runner-up with 57 points and Maine’s Dirigo R.C. third with 126 points.
Aaron Price (pictured right) earned his first National X-C title besting the field of 158 runners finishing in 16:15, fourteen seconds ahead of runner-up and pre-race favorite David Angell from Roanoke Valley Elite of Virginia. Price, who was not considered a pre-race favorite to win, even in his own mind, held back early in the race before moving to the front and over taking the leaders to finish well ahead of the field. Price joined the Masters ranks last season, turning 40 before the 2016 USATF Club X-C National Championships in Tallahassee where he placed 20th overall supporting the B.A.A. Masters team in their best performance yet with a second place finish.
Joining Price for the quest for top of the podium in 2017 was Peter Hammer, who always performs at his best at championship events, with a 3rd place overall finish in 16:44 and first overall in the 50+ category finishing just three seconds ahead of Kent Lemme, 50, of Greater Springfield Harriers. Hammer and Lemme were only a few seconds ahead of B.A.A.’s Andy Gardiner, 52, finishing 5th overall in 16:51 for a dominating three finishers in the top five to set the stage for a winning day for the B.A.A. With Harry Stants finishing in 13th overall in 17:10, new 40+ teammate Chris Benestad in 22nd overall in 17:28 and Pat Callahan just one second back in 17:29 for 23rd overall, the B.A.A. Masters 40+ men ran away with the team title. The B.A.A. 40+ team was supported by good race efforts coming from Jim Callaghan (30th/17:40), Doug McLucas (43rd/17:57), Ryan Davenport (60th/18:18), Jason Porter (65th/18:22) and John Barrett (107th/19:23).
In the 50+ team competition, the B.A.A. was led by Wayne Levy to lead the Seniors to a 5th place team finish with 116 points. The 50+ team competition was won by Greater Springfield Harriers with 41 points. Levy placed 41st overall in 17:55 with teammates Paul Davies in 82nd in 18:51 and Chris Lawrence placing 96th in 19:07. Supporting the team for the B.A.A. were Bob Collins (100th/19:10), Craig MacFarlane (140th/21:18), Peter DeCambre (147th/22:19) and Dave Menard (22:38). The Men’s 60+ team race preceded the 40+ and 50+ team competition with B.A.A.’s Jamie Wilson placing 10th overall in 21:03 with B.A.A.’s John Vercollone in 22:35 good for 24th overall out of 73 finishers. A pair of B.A.A. women competed in the final race of the day with Mimi Fallon finishing 12th overall and 3rd in the 50-54 age-group. Fallon was competing on weary legs having raced the Hartford Half Marathon the previous day setting a new course record for her age category in 1:30:15. Also competing for the B.A.A. women was Eileen Troy placing 67th overall in 25:54.
Congrats to Aaron Price and the Men’s Masters 40+ team for winning National Cross Country titles and to all of the Masters competing in the Championship event!
For complete results from the event, click below:SEE RESULTS