(Picture: Tahoma Kalsa Finishes at St Patrick's Day Dash) - Joe Gray of Club Northwest (CNW) won the US National 50K championship March 4th at Long Island NY in his inaugural attempt at this distance. He was on pace to break the US record through 45K but struggled over the final 5K. His time was 2:56:43, which was a 6 minute win over defending champion Michael Wardian, who had recently completed a marathon. The conditions were not ideal for record setting as it was cool at the start with blustery winds throughout the race.
Gray, who is better known as a mountain runner, has won 4 National championships in the past 3 years. He is an 8-time National Team member, 3-time USATF Mountain Runner of the Year and has won the NACAC Mountain Championship each of the past three years.
At the Marathon Olympic Trials, CNW had 5 qualifiers, 3 competed. Mike Sayenko was in 9-11th place for the first 15 miles, finished in 2:16. Susan Empey ran a great race, but got a bit confused about how fast she was going and ended up dropping out. Ruth Perkins, coming off an injury, never planned to finish but managed 18 miles.
CNW had 28 runners compete in the Dempsey Indoor sessions and had 23 PRs! Even Mike Sayenko came back after his 3 week layoff to run 8:04 3K. And Jane Larson is back from injury and running/racing.
One more bit of news on iron Mike Sayenko. He ran the Gate River 15k March 10 in Jacksonville FL and finished 12th in a very competitive field, with official 5k (14:48), 10k (30:00) split results. He also won the Vancouver BC St. Patrick’s Day 5K. Mike is gunning for a 10K entry into the Olympic Track and Field trials this summer.
Lois Ricardi Keller competed at USATF Indoor Nationals on an injured Achilles and finished 8th place in the 3000M run. After cross training and not being able to work out for 3 weeks, Lois ventured north to Vancouver Canada to cheer on her brother John Ricardi and teammate Jane Larson while they raced the St. Patrick's Day 5k, but the morning of the race she decided to run and surprised herself and won!
Speaking of St. Patty’s, CNW had 4 men in the top 15 in the Seattle Dash: Phil Olson (4), Spencer Walsh (5), Tahoma Kalsa (10) and David McCulloch (12). For the women, CNW placed 7 in the top 15: Rose Wetzel (1), Claudia Copeland (3), Gwen Lapham (4), Megan Heuer (5), Lauren Matthews (6), Laura Mickelson (7) and Regina Joyce (13).
Megan Heuer (formerly Megan Johnson) also won the Green Lake Love ‘em or Leave ‘em Valentine’s Day 5K in a blazing 17:00.
And last but not least, CNW had 2 athletes compete at the USATF Master’s Indoor National Championships. Will Leslie M66 finished 6th in the 400M, and David Cannon M55 won the mile and was 2nd in the 800M.
Excerpts will be featured in NW Runner magazine, but you can always view CNW Team news here: http://www.clubnorthwest.org/index.php/team/news
Compiled by Jerry Zyskowski