Frank Nealon 15K Write Up


On a beautiful early Spring Day, nearly 500 USATF New Members drove over to Upton, MA to race in the annual Frank Nealon Boston Tune-Up 15K, which also served as one of the at large races in the USATF New England 2019 Road Grand Prix. Just two weeks removed from the New Bedford Half Marathon, where the stage for the 2019 Grand Prix was set, the Frank Nealon Course offers rolling hills through the quiet streets of Upton.

It was 55 degrees at 10am as our athletes took the line and the National Anthem was sung. Shortly after, the starter raised his gun, and the race began.

Off to an early lead in the men's race were Jonas Hampton and Eric Ashe of the BAA, Ben Groleau of Western Mass Distance Project, and John Busque of the Hartbeat Track CLub (Hartford, CT) pushed the pace close to 4:55 for the first mile. Keeping this pace through 3 miles, Ashe, Busque and Hampton dropped Groleau. The trio would work together all the way to the finish line. With under 500m to go, John Busque put on a move that dropped the two B.A.A runners, allowing him to cross the finish line in first with a 47:09. Hampton second, and Ashe third.

On the Men’s Team side, the B.A.A would win, with the Central Mass Striders coming in second lead by Dan Vassallo and Scott Mindel. Western Mass in third, Whirlaway for fourth, and the Greater Boston Track Club taking 5th.

In the women’s race, a fight between Rachel Coogan of the B.A.A, and defending USATFNE GP Champion Jaclyn Solimine of Whirlaway. About halfway through the race, Coogan makes a move, putting some distance between her and Solomine. Coogan would hold on to break the tape in an impressive 55:08. Solomine took second with a 56:00. Placing fourth for women’s overall would be B.A.A Masters ace, Karolyn Bowley (49) of the BAA, running an ridiculous 57:03. No need to age grade to tell how fast Bowley ran!

For women’s teams, the B.A.A took first overall, followed by the Greater Boston Track Club in second.

Full Results for the 2019 USATF NE Grand Prix can be found on our website at under the “Road Running” Sport tab.

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