New Englanders take on largest fields ever at USATF Club Cross Country Championship

12/16/2019
 
December 14, 2019
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
 
New England clubs ran to several podium finishes at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Bethlehem PA on Saturday.  The meet was the largest Fall National cross country event in history with over 2200 entrants combined in the two open and three masters races.
 
Women's Open winner Aisling Cuffe, a North Grafton MA resident - but a USATF New York association member\ - won the women's open race at 20:07 producing a 4 second margin over runner-up Katelyn Tuohy, the New York high school phenom who won the Nike Cross National scholastic race a week earlier.  
 
Leading the locals in the 405 runner field were Boston Athletic Association teammates Erika Kemp in 7th and Elaina Tabb in 13th who helped the Unicorns to a 125 point score and third place team in a field of 47 squads. USATF-NE race champ Catarina Braz-Rocha (Ocean State AC/New Balance) was 16th.
 
In the Open Men's 10km race, only winner Morgan Pearson of team champion Tinman Elite bettered 30:00.  Top association finisher was Jordan Mann of Ocean State AC/New Balance, clocked a competitive 30:44 for seventh in a race where a whopping 617 men crossed the finish line.  Three local teams placed in the top 10 among 76 scoring clubs; B.A.A. in fourth (263), NE champion Tracksmith in sixth (334), and Battle Road TC in 10th (360). 
 
Masters men age 40-59 raced 10km, and NE Masters Champion Michael Gordon (Dirigo RC) recorded the best New England finish in the race at 4th of 444 finishers. Pete Hammer (B.A.A.) and Sandu Rebenciuc (Greater Springfield) finished 1-2 in the M50 division.The Boston Athletic Association and Central Mass Striders finished 5-6 in the M40 team standings, and, led by M55 age division winner Nat Larson, Greater Springfield Harriers repeated as the M50 team champions.  
 
Men 60+ raced covered 8km and placings by Mark Reeder (2nd, 2nd M60), John Barbour (10th, 1st M65) and Charlie Muse (11th) gave Greater Lowell Road Runners the M60 trophy.
 
Hammer (53, B.A.A.) and Larson (57, Gr.Springfield Harriers) were the top 2 male age graded scores in the 10K, at 89.07 and 88.88, with Barbour and Reeder 3-4 in the 60+ age grades with 88.78 and 88.14.
 
All masters women ran 6km with best overall place turned in by Holly Madden in 49th and the top team placings by Western Mass Distance Project (W40+, 11th/25),  HFC Striders (W50+, 6th/25), and Liberty AC (W60+, 7th/12).