2003 End-of-the-year Track Report

Josh Seeherman

This year, instead of writing a club nationals report, which would be voluminous in its own right — I’ve decided to post a REALLY LONG end-of-the-year track report which will cover everything. So here goes, and as usual, I apologize for the double reporting for those people who will be receiving two emails (like me).

However, before I start, I will point out two performances, our two 4×400 relays at club nationals.

Women’s 4×400
Shaina Damm 57.8
Joan Bohlke 61.5
Catherine Regan 57.8
Jana Bromell 55.6
3:52.69 — new club record by 5 seconds

Men’s 4×400
Andie Colon 49.5
Sekou Dilday 47.8
Francis Shen 48.7
Kobie Fuller 46.7
3:12.81 — new club record by 4 seconds

For those with even just a casual knowledge of track, these excellent relay performances pretty much stand for themselves. Now that I have your attention, here we go. I admit this is a bit dry but we’re trying to pack everything in here. If you want, you can skip to the bottom and read the conclusion.

SPRINTS

The sprints rivaled 2001 as one of the best years in recent club history. For men and women, the 100, 200, and 400 meter records were broken, as well as obviously both 4×400 relays I previously mentioned. Stan Egbor continued his assault on record book, lowering his own 200 record to a whopping 20.66 and breaking Johann Jack’s old record in the 100 with a 10.31. Kobie Fuller also ran 21.5 to take #3 all time in the 200; additionally Wayne Burwell ran 11.06 to take #9 all time in the 100. The 400 found Kobie with a new club record of 47.87, breaking the long time record held by Kevin Russell from 1997. Sekou Dilday moved into the #3 slot with 48.83. On the women’s side, the dramatic improvements were generally the work of three great (and very pretty) 200-400 runners, Catherine Regan, Jana Bromell, and Shaina Damm. In the 400, the top 3 are in order Jana, Catherine, and Shaina with 56.32, 57.57, and 57.58, and in 200 Jana and Shaina are tied for the record with 25.34, Catherine right behind in 25.88. Jana also moved down to the 100 at the regional meet and broke the record there too, with a 12.37. Sarah Lawson also continued her improvement with a 27.3 clocking at the world masters meet in the 200.

Unfortunately, it seemed to never be in the cards to run a fast 4×100, as both the men and women failed to break the old records. The men did manage to win their heat at Penn Relays and run a #2 clocking at USATF New England with a time of 41.70 (team consisting of Jon Manosh, Kobie Fuller, Jeff Soderquist, and Stan Egbor). However, there was amazing improvement in the 4×400, where the record fell 6 seconds for the men, and a frightening FIFTEEN seconds for the women. The record times are already mentioned above.

MID-DISTANCE

The middle distance crew continued their ongoing development and improvement, which is a testament to the coaching of Brian Moore and the leadership of Chris Simpson. 3 men broke 2:00 in the 800 with 5 more under 2:05. Trevor Bayliss, who travels from his home in Williamstown, had the leading mark with a 1:57.73. In the 1500, Marzuki Stevens broke the 4:00 barrier with a quality 3:57, the first GBTC athlete to do so in many years (Mark Tompkins in 2000). Jay Slowik was right behind him with a 4:01 performance at the Boston High Performance series.

On the women’s side, Joan Bohlke continued her assault on the 800 record, moving it down from 2:12 to 2:10 which she ran at the St. Valentine’s meet at B.U. Keely Subin improved her PR to 2:16, and Ulrike Gradhand ran a 2:17. Combine this with a 2:20 from sprinter Catherine Regan, and you have undoubtedly the best women’s 800 group this club has ever seen. In the 1500, Joan Bohlke led the attack on one of the famous Julie Spolidoro records with a 4:37, only 2 seconds off Julie’s mark. Both Sloan Siegrist (4:47.1) and Melissa Leier (4:47.9) also broke 5 minutes, which may also be an all-time best in terms of 3 athletes under 5:00, although the team did have a studly squad back in the late 1980’s.

LONG-DISTANCE (TRACKSIDE)

The long distance group, when not kicking butt in marathons and road races, threw together a few good track performances too. Marzuki Stevens led the group with the first sub 15:00 clocking (14:57) in the 5000 since Glen Mays ran 14:22 in 2000. He also led a nice pack of sub 35 athletes in the 10000 at the Husky Spring Open, Stevens being followed by Fin Kirwan and Jim Pawlicki. The women had excellent performances from Melissa Leier and Margaret Bradley, who broke both 19:00 in the 5000 and 38:00 in the 10000. Three other athletes, Alison Guzman, Katie Wasilenko, and Sloan Siegrist also broke 20:00 in the 5000. Kristen Brennand also contributed in the steeplechase, the first club athlete to seriously compete at that distance.

HURDLES

The hurdles saw records in both the highs (100m) and intermediates (400m) for the women and just the highs (110m) for men. For the women, up until this year, the only high hurdler we had was Michelle Carrancho, and this year we had 3 ladies who broke Michelle’s old record. Shaina Damm, sporting her heptathlete skills, ran the top time with a 14.1 hand clocking, and was followed by both Erin Newman and Kourtney Trainor. Kourtney Trainor also tied her record in the intermediates running another 64.33. Catherine Regan and Ulrike Gradhand both broke 70 seconds as well, although Catherine herself has had experience much faster than our club record while running in college. The men’s high hurdle record was broken by Hassan Wajd, who ran with us during the indoor and some of the outdoor season before moving (unfortunately) to Florida. His 14.50 time breaks the venerable record held by Bruce Stearns from 1981. We almost saw another old record, Fred Hintlian’s 1980 record in the 400 intermediate hurdles, disappear too. Unfortunately though our new intermediate hurdler, Francis Shen, took a header over dreaded hurdle number 8 (there is a lovely picture of Francis in mid-flop on Joe Grand’s club nationals photo album) in the middle of what looked like a record setting race. He still recovered to run a 57 second clocking, which was equaled by Dave Cahill in the next heat.

THROWS

The throws performances are always a little more hit or miss than their running counterparts. This of course doesn’t discount the fact that we had some fantastic performances. In the “in the circle” throws (shot, disc, hammer) the majority of our performances were by veteran Chris Ferrara and newcomer James Lemieux, formerly of UMass-Lowell. Both are well represented on the Top 10 lists for multiple throws, the best being a booming 54 foot PR by Chris about a month ago. However, probably the best male performance was in the javelin, where we were lucky to obtain the services of Bryan Black, a former DIII All-American in the jav who launched a 213 foot throw, which finally took out an old record by Scott Haverty from 1980.

The women performed virtually as well as their male counterparts. Faced with the enormous hole left by Princess Imoukhuede, the first real female thrower the club has ever had, many different athletes stepped into the gap. Shaina Damm, again using her heptathlete skills, was able to launch excellent shot and jav marks (42′ and 135′) which are recognized as club records. Jana Bromell, strangely enough, actually doubles as a hammer thrower and was able to contribute there as well (130’+) with very little practice, as well as support in the shotput. Lastly, Paige MacTavish, a friend of Chris Simpson’s, threw very well for us in the latter portion of the season in the shot and disc; time will tell if she sticks with the club or drifts away.

JUMPS + VAULT

Our jumps remained as good as they have been in years passed. Jeff Soderquist, who deserves much praise for his consistency every year, continued to pop 22 footers despite what he described as less training than usual. At indoor New Englands and Club Nationals, he was ably assisted by Trey Gadbois, a high schooler from Maine who launched a 43-foot triple jump at Club Nationals last Saturday, good for #7 all-time. Andie Colon would be angry if I didn’t mention his triple jumping, which he did three times, twice for points (New Englands, Eastern Regionals), and at the Bay State Games. The high jump was once again handled ably by Sean Earle, who cleared 6-8. Hopefully next year the two Marks, Lefebrve and Reynolds, will be back in full form. Additionally, Sean Kelley formerly of Bentley jumped very well indoors (6-6), only to vanish outside. The vault probably possesses the most potential for the upcoming season. Both of our pole vaulters, Eric Abel and Chris Westfield, have experience above 16 feet (and for Chris, 17 feet) — they both cleared 14 this year in their first years back. Chris accompanied us to Indiana where he placed 3rd. Our best performance in the vault, a 15-footer, was by Brad Bowery, who vaulted for us after his graduation from Brown. If he stays in the area, we might have 3 15-foot vaulters on the team for the first time ever.

The women saw records fall in the long jump and the pole vault too. In the former, Shaina Damm launched a 19 footer (5.92 meters) during her spectacular heptathlon down at Princeton. Ulrike Gradhand also reminded us that she was once also a heptathlete with a 17 footer herself, good for #2 all-time. The pole vault saw a record because, honestly, GBTC finally found a women’s pole vaulter. Cat Tweedie of MIT, in a desire to continue to vault during the summer, hitched a ride with us and vaulted for the club at New Englands and Bay State Games. Her best was 11 feet, which is a decent mark and our new “inaugural” record for the vault. Our lone triple jump competitor was Erin Newman, the hurdler, who slid into the #3 spot on our all-time list. Erin, Shaina, and newcomer Sarah Dorrel all high jumped decently too; depth in the high jump is a new and very cool commodity.

IN CONCLUSION . . . .

One can clearly say that the momentum building trackside over the years continued in 2003. For certain, the women’s team, looking at the performances, had their best all-around track season in club history. They broke a slew of club records and had unprecedented depth at all distances. The men also had many improvements and look to build on this season to even higher heights in the indoor season of 2003-2004. However, unfortunately, in the club world one problem is that people leave, and we have many that will be sorely missed. Keely Subin and Joe Grand are shipping out to San Diego, seeking fame and fortune, and group-mate Ulrike Gradhand is returning to her native Germany too. Alison Guzman has already departed for PhD work in Spain (I think) and there are a few others in the distance crew (Margaret & Melissa ?) that I believe will be leaving us as well. The best athlete a majority of the club did not see in person, Shaina Damm, is moving from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania. Her national class performances (including a #13 US ranking in the heptathlon as you read this) will be severely missed, as her continued affiliation with the club is unclear. Blair Schaefer has transferred to University of Illinois, and we also will miss Richie Voliva and Jason Grillo who are starting graduate work far away from the dirty water of Boston. There are many, many others who I have forgotten — they will all be missed too.

Nonetheless, we will persevere through these changing times, and as the season rolls around to September, hope springs eternal — the only direction this club moves is up. We have no choice but to defend our New England and East Regional titles. New faces will always help swell the ranks, and I look forward to seeing many of this year’s top athletes improve further next year. This club never ceases to amaze me in its diversity of simply very cool people who just love to run, jump, or throw.

(and of course Brett and Dino, who like to swim and bike too)

May your upcoming season be filled with PR’s, mighty and numerous,

Josh Seeherman

NEW RECORDS SET IN 2003

Event                   Athlete                         Mark / Time
MEN
100                     Stanley Egbor                   10.31
200                     Stanley Egbor                   20.66
400                     Kobie Fuller                    47.87
High Hurdles            Hassan Wajd                     14.50
4x400                   Colon, Dilday, Shen, Fuller     3:12.81
Javelin                 Bryan Black                     213-3

WOMEN
100                     Jana Bromell                    12.37
200                     Jana Bromell                    25.34
                        Shaina Damm                     25.1h (equivalent time)
400                     Jana Bromell                    56.32
800                     Joan Bohlke                     2:10.74
High Hurdles            Shaina Damm                     14.1h
Intermediate Hurdles    Kourtney Trainor                64.33 (ties her old record)
Steeplechase            Kristen Brennand                11:27.30
4x400                   Damm, Bohlke, Regan, Bromell    3:52.29
Distance Med Relay      Subin, Regan, Gradhand, Bohlke  12:09.35
Shotput                 Shaina Damm                     42-5.25
Javelin                 Shaina Damm                     135-5
Long Jump               Shaina Damm                     19-5
Pole Vault              Cat Tweedie                     11-0