March 23-25, 2001
Reggie Lewis Center
Story by Chris Simpson, results by Jon Berit.
This weekend at the USA Track & Field Masters Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center had plenty of GBTC guys kicking ass!!!
On Friday evening, while most of us were working, the Putnam Brothers came into Roxbury and tried to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and take the gold in the 30-34 and 35-39 divisions, but there were a few jack rabbits out there who took away the home track advantage right from the gun. Our boys in red-and-black did manage to run some respectable times: Stephen held on to a bronze medal finish in a time of 9:14.89 (35-39), and Greg’s almost identical time of 9:14.21 gave him a fifth place finish (30-34).
Saturday morning there was plenty of action to see as GBTC had a large turnout for the days events. Steve Keyes had the busiest of days between running trials in the dash, finals in the dash, long jump, and then run the 400m dash in the 40-44 division. Yikes, but humanly possible if you are in the shape Steve is in.
Steve cruised thru the trials in the 60m dash with a time of 7.30. He was feeling good going into the finals. In the finals, the starter held them a bit long in the blocks, and just as Steve felt a bit relaxed, the gun went off. That millisecond gave Steve a slower start than he wanted, but he jetted out of the blocks to snag a third place in a time of 7.28.
Then he went over to the long jump pit where he just annihilated the competition with a winning jump of 22’02.6. Winning the long jump by three and half feet. It was satisfying to taste gold.
Going into the 400m Steve knew he had some fast competitors to run against. It was going to be another barn burner. Steve was up for the task. Tired legs or not, Steve got out hard and stayed in contention for the gold right up to the final straight away where only one guy pulled ahead slightly and left Steve with the silver medal. Steve ran an unbelievable time of 50.09.
Brian Moore entered the meet knowing he had a legitimate shot at medaling in the 400m (30+ division). He got out hard with the big boys, smoking through his 200m meter split, and finished strong in a time of 54.6. He definitely is getting stronger by the week.
Meanwhile, Art Henson was back to defend his National Championship in the 30-34 division high jump. He pretty much had the title rapped up after his first attempt. However, Art is a competitor and wanted to jump as high as the gods were willing. Needing only 6’0″ to win the event, Art attacked the bar and eventually finished the day by winning in a height of 6’8″.
Going on over in the pole vault pit, Paul Smith had his hands full with a load of 45-49 vaulters who all had jumps better than 10’6″. This didn’t intimidate our warrior as he stepped it up and vaulted to 10’10″, good enough for seventh place, congratulations man. (The winning vault in this age group was 15’08″.) Vic Radzevich vaulted 10 inches higher than his earlier season’s best, although below his 11 foot goal, he is on his way. This summer and spring we will attempt to work on his speed down the run way and soon he’ll be skyward over 11 feet.
The mile saw our big three entered. Manny Chinchella, Greg Putnam in the 30+ division, and Stephen in the 35+ division. The 30+ division was a workout for one and a race for the rest. Sandu Rabiniuc took the pace out with a 31 second 200m split. He held on for a time of 4:10. Nice workout Sandu. However the rest of the field let him do his own thing and ran the race accordingly. Greg was in striking distance for a medal for most of the race, until the pack started to spread out over the last 800m. Greg finished well enough in 4:39 to give him a seventh place finish. Only twelve seconds off of the second place time. What a great double. Manny ran somewhat consistent splits through out the race. And ran under five minutes. Can you say 4:59.18? Way to go Manny. Wait until outdoors.
Stephen was in a race as well that had some fast dudes in it. The top guns took it out right from the beginning and pushed the pace. Stephen ran strong and hung in there, finishing strong in a time of 4:39.08. Good enough for sixth place.
I was not there to witness Bob Cedrone’s monster throws, but heaving that weight 45’4.25 absolutely deserve some applause. Great job.
Saturday’s last event on the oval was the 4x800m. Our original relay team consisted of Jon Ellis, James Bateman, Brian Moore, Chris Simpson. But the way the meet was set up, that didn’t give Brian much time to recoup from his great 400m run. Brian was scheduled to run the 200m trials and finals plus the 4x400m on Sunday. So instead of running Brian, tired in the third leg, we convinced Ironman Stephen Putnam to run his third race of the meet. He was willing to do his best for the team, which was all we could have asked from him. What a triple: 3000m, mile, and 800m.
Jon Ellis led off the relay with a brisk opening 200m. He led through the first 300m until Syracuse Chargers, Westchester Puma, and Running CO passed Jon continuing the quick pace. John hung in there and came off the turn with a fire in his eyes, knowing that the leaders were in striking distance. Jon handed off to Stephen who immediately was in quick pursuit of the leaders. Running CO was starting to fall back from the pace and Stephen maintained his 32 second/200m pace. In his last lap, Stephen put everything he had and closed the gap on the leaders. As he handed the baton off to James, James took off like a bat out of hell. I don’t think he was conscious. He not only made up ground on Westchester Puma, but by the final turn he dug deep and passed Running CO and handed the baton off to Chris with a lead. All Chris had to do was to run a smart and safe anchor. Not knowing the potential of the other anchor legs, Chris took it out hard. Running under two minutes for the 800m, it left left no doubt to who the winners would be: 1. GBTC 8:26; 2. Running Co 8:35; 3. Westchester Puma ?:??.
Bob Cedrone got Greater Boston on the scoreboard immediately on Sunday with a toss of 45’4.25 in the super weight. Another bronze medal for the (45+) young lad.
Next it was Gary Snyder’s turn to set the track ablaze with his 28.46 200m in the trials. Unbelievable how fast these guys are running in their fifties. Gary did not make it to the very competitive finals but overall was 11th. Our jaws dropped to the ground when we saw the times in this distance.
The open 800m was up next. Jon Berit was our first member to get the ball rolling for the middle distance crew. His race had some studs in it, but Jon knew better than to try and go at the sub-60 second/400m pace. He sat back and ran the way a veteran should. The rust is certainly wearing off for Jon. He had a goal of running 2:28 and ended up running 2:30.09. He is on the brink of having a great outdoor season.
Jon Ellis, feeling a little tired from the 800m from the night before, ran another good 800m. Although battling with some of his arch nemeses from other clubs, Jon managed to hang on and run 2:10, good enough for 12th place. (I think he was saving a little energy for the 4x400m.) Great back-to-back 800′s.
Manny Chinchella ran in the second heat. Running within himself, Manny left the pack in his dust. He stayed close behind the guy from Eastern Athletics until the final lap. Manny maintained his speed as the pack started to close but Manny finished strong and wound up running 2:08.79 and sneaking into 11th place.
Chris Simpson knew he was the number-three seed in the 30+ division. He didn’t know that the number-one seeded guy seeded at 1:52 was going to run 2:20. However, he knew that the defending champ (1:53) was in there and looking hungry. The first 200 was slow and Nash from Iowa took off by the entire bunch. Simpson was caught off guard by the explosion and tried to chase him down. His third 200 was the fastest of the four laps. By the gun lap Chris started to close on Nash, but the finish line interrupted the upset bid. Too bad it wasn’t the 1000m. Just maybe… He settled for second place in a time of 1:57.2
Fortunately, Brian Moore did not have to run trials in the 200m. Unfortunately, he had lane one in the finals. It starts right on the turn and is a little tight out of the blocks. Brian was running with the big boys once again. He got out as hard as he could and cruised around the final turn, and finished with a 25.76, good enough to get him a fifth place.
The picturesque way to finish off the meet and sail into the sunset would be to have our 4x400m relay win the final event of the Masters Championship. Well, with the team of Bateman, Ellis, Moore and Simpson, that was the only thing on our minds. To be honest, there was not a guy on the team who would have settled for a silver.
Bateman led off for the red and black, he blazed out to a 24 second 200m, trailing only Eastern Athletics. With his teeth grinding, he came off the turn and brought it home to Ellis, who in turn found some leg speed in those long legs of his. Running probably negative 200 splits, Ellis found a kick and handed off to Moore who immediately chased down his prey. Brian reeled in the guy from Eastern Athletics, passing him coming off the final turn. Once again, as anchor, Simpson just had to stay focussed and maintain the lead. He grabbed the baton from Moore and took off. Eastern Athletics picked up some ground on Simpson, and just when it looked like they might have a shot at the boys from Boston, Simpson put a burst on and pulled away from the field and crossed the line with a time of 3:40.27. That is the way the meet ended. Just like in the movies. And instead of sailing into the sunset, we all sailed to Doyle’s to celebrate. What a yummy Guinness.
- Steve Keyes (40-44), trials 1st ht, 3rd, 7.30; finals, 3rd, 7.22
- Gary Snyder (55-59), trials, 4th, 8.52
- Brian Moore (30-34), finals, 5th, 25.76
- Gary Snyder (55-59), trials 3rd section, 2nd, 28.46
- Paul Smith (45-49), trials 3rd section, 3rd, 27.49
- Steve Keyes (40-44), 2nd, 50.09
- Brian Moore (30-34), 3rd, 54.60
- Chris Simpson (30-34), 2nd, 1:57.23
- Manuel Chinchilla (35-39), 4th section, 2nd, 2:08.79
- Jon Ellis (35-39), 8th section, 1st, 2:10.32
- Jon Berit (40-44), 5th 2:30.09
- Greg Putnam (30-34), 7th, 4:39.75
- Steve Putnam (35-39), 6th, 4:39.08
- Manuel Chinchilla (35-39), 9th, 4:59.18
- Greg Putnam (30-34), 5th, 9:14.21
- Steve Putnam (35-39), 3rd, 9:14.89
- Long jump
- Steve Keyes (40-44), 1st, 22′ 2.25″
- Pole vault
- Paul Smith (45-49), 7th, 10′ 10″
- Vic Radzevich (55-59), 1st, 9’4.25”
- High jump
- Art Henson (30-34), 1st, 6′ 8″
- Bob Cedrone (45-49), 3rd, 45′ 4.25″
- Super weight
- Bob Cedrone (45-49), 3rd, 30′ 7.75″
- James Bateman, Jon Ellis, Brian Moore, Chris Simpson (30-39), 1st, 3:40.27
- Jon Ellis, James Bateman, Stephen Putnam, Chris Simpson (30-39), 1st, 8:26