Race Preview: RunWestfield 5k


Westfield, MA

May 17th 2019

USA Track & Field New England

Fast Times Expected at Run Westfield 5k

Here we are, the Friday before the next USATF New England Road Grand Prix Race. SImilar to previeous GP races, USATF New England will like to preview what to expect at Westfield on Saturday. The Run Westfield 5k is the third installment of the USATFNE Grand Prix, and boasts as the fastest 5k in America. Regardless of the truth of that comment, USATF New England can guarantee that the fastest runners in New England will be racing on Saturday. With that in mind, lets dig into the preview.

Women’s Open Standings

Champion Watch: New England Distance ace, Katrina Spratford, will be in attendance. So will former Boston College 3k Steeplechase All American (And Olympic Trials competitor) Danielle Winslow. Don't forget about the B.A.A’s Rachel Coogan and Hackett sisters. We got ourselves a rubber match in Westfield!  

Team Standings and Registered Runners:

Boston Athletic Association 28

Key Runners: Allie Hackett, Michaela Hackett, Rachel Coogan, Heidi Goedecke, Karolyn Bowley

Notes: With a three point lead, the B.A.A is in a comfortable position to stay in the top place after this weekend’s race. With racing team members Hackett 2x, and Rachel Coogan, the BAA would be a tough team to beat. Not to mention returning member Heidi Goedecke, and national master's phenom Karolyn Bowley (fresh off a top 3 finish at the National Masters 10k Championship.) It may take a New England all star team in order to defeat this year’s lady unicorns.

Whirlaway Racing Team 25

Key Runners: Jaclyn Solimine, Dana Calumby, Amy Bernard, Christin Doneski, Lauren Tilton

Notes: Whirlaway will be bringing their A-Team to Westfield this Saturday to try and hold and do damage. With the exact same scoring 5 from the Frank Nealon Upton 15K making the trek out to Westfield, expect a fast team time from the red team from New Hampshire. The next question to consider: the ongoing rubber match between Whirlaway and GBTC for second place.  

Greater Boston TC 24

Key Runners: Shelby Cuttleback, Victoria Barnaby, Aly Ursiny, Jenna Castro

Notes: According to sources, as of right now, GBTC women will be bringing only 5 ladies to Westfield. The good side of this news: Each GBTC racer is an experienced roadrunner, which puts them in a fine position to steal second place from Whirlaway.

Cambridge Running Club 18

Key Runners:

Notes: Six points back out of third place is a tough look. However, CRC should focus on the current 3 way tie for fourth. Good racing will make them the outright leader, while less than optimal racing could make them fall down to 6th or 7th.

BEN Running Club 18

Key Runners: Chunhua Liu, Ailing Wang, Jasmine Li, Yimei Huang

Notes: BEN is in the same position as CRC. This is a critical race for our women’s 4th-7th place teams. What is impressive about the BEN team, is that the whole team also scores in the master’s division. The team’s ability to score down is impressive  

Central Mass Striders 18

Key Runners: Kaitlin McGahie

W. Mass Distance Project 17

Key Runner: Danielle Winslow

Notes: Danielle WInslow is a former All American in the 3k Steeplechase out of Boston College. Can she lead her team over CMS, BEN, and CRC?

Men’s Open

Champion Watch: With a race filled with former Olympians, sub 4 milers, and Olympic Trial contenders, expect this race to be over in close to 14 minutes. Considering it is marketed as the “fastest 5k” in America, is it possible we see a sub 14 performance?

Former Olympian Ruben Sanca is back from his injury and looking to roll to victory. But can he hold off the young Saucony Freedom (and former Team USA: Edinburgh XC) athlete Jonathan Green? What about Dan Vassallo of CMS? February 2019 USATF NE Athlete of the Month, Ben Groleau? Oh boy, we are excited just thinking about the talent at this race!

Team Standings and Registered Runners:

Boston Athletic Association (42)

Key Runners: Connor Reck, Eric Ashe

Notes: The BAA is holding onto a 5 point lead, and will probably stay in first even if they have a sub-optimal team performance. However, road veterans Connor Reck and Eric Ashe won't let that happen.

Central Mass Striders (37)

Key Runners: Dan Vassallo, Scott Mindel, Scott Leslie

Notes: The CMS “big three” are ready to rock this Saturday, and frankly have a good shot of placing first overall in this race. Leslie worked through an injury this past winter, and is looking to put that past him. Mindel ran an impressive 2:27:39 in the Pittsburgh Marathon earlier this month, which could mean anything.

Greater Boston TC (36)

Key Runners: Anyone who shows up

Notes: Currently, GBTC will not field a team at Westfield. Only 4 redshirts are registered. GBTC can expect to fall off the pace of remaining in the top 3, and may fall out of the top 5.  

Whirlaway Racing Team (36)

Key Runners: Ruben Sanca, Neil Darmody, Tim Poitras

Notes: Whirlaway can expect to break the tie with GBTC and enter 3rd place overall. However, they are expecting a challenge from Western Mass, who sit only 1 point behind WWRC in the overall standings.

W. Mass Distance Project (35)

Key Runners: Tim Gill, Ben Groleau, Dennis Roche, Dan Smith

Notes: Western Mass is locked and ready to go! Expect them to drop fast times and climb in the rankings.  

Masters Notes:

Karolyn Bowley (49-BAA) has been on absolute fire recently, and looks to dominate the roads in Westfield. Coming off a top 3 finish at the James Joyce Ramble, Bowley is a force to be reckoned with!

Jan Holmquist (74-Whirlaway) has put up ridiculous age grading percentages in recent races. Jan has age graded over 95% at the Lone Gull 10k and James Joyce Ramble. With a fast curse ahead, will  

BEN Running Club- The women of Ben have been crazy fast in recent races. A relatively new club on the Grand Prix circuit, this club has made its presence known. Oh, and their women’s masters team doubles as their open team, who are currently tied for 4th in the open field.

TJ Unger ( 40-HFC) and Dan Smith (40 WMDP) look to continue their dominance.

Full standings at: https://newengland.usatf.org/Sports/Road-Running.aspx

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