The Strawberry Canyon Track Club kicked some major…tail at its annual 3200-meter and 5000-meter timetrial last Thursday. Highlights included a terrific battle between Christopher Gerber and Sean McFarland for Alpha Berry status. In the home stretch, timer Joshua Seeherman called out the elapsed time “14:57…58…59…” In fact Gerber cracked the 15:00-minute barrier in a 29-second PR of 14:59! McFarland rolled in at 15:08, narrowling missing his PR and remarking later that he fully intends to ramp up his current mileage of 50 miles per week.
Also netting a fantastic PR was Sam Mealy, a 19-year-old exchange student from Ireland, who clocked 15:31. Galen Reeves (16:14) and Jack Wallace cranked out PR too in 16:14 and 16:16, respectively. Niko Connor slammed his 3200-meter PR by nearly 30 seconds with a stellar time of 9:50. Several others competed in the timetrial as well, see the results page for complete results. In addition to the Strawberries timetrial, Rob Elia (35:39, 2nd 10K) and Dan Stefanisko (17:37, 3rd 5K) competed well in Sunday’s Lafayette Reservoir 5K and 10K race.
Tamalpa Challenge XC
Not to be outdone, ten rough and ready Strawberries made the pilgrimage to the Marin Headlands to run in the beautiful but mucky John Lawson Tamalpa XC Challenge, a hilly 4.25-mile race. In the women’s race Anne Ruminski hammered home in 13th-place overall, a stellar showing for her, in a very impressive run of 27:32. Next across for the Berries was Rebecca Murphy, who continues to race herself back into shape with a time of 35:24. There was only one Berry in the men’s masters race, Tim Keenan. Tim was extraordinarily (and rightfully so) pleased with his race as he beat 3-4 runners he had not beaten in a few years. His time of 24:32 was outstanding and bode very well for the upcoming PA-USATF Cross Country Championships, showing a fitness level he has not demonstrated in two years.
In the men’s open race, six Berries toed the line but all of the competitive teams brought all of their best runners and we settled for fourth-place among the teams despite not running a few of our normal scoring runners. Sean McFarland ran well on roughly 36 hours rest from his 5000-meter timetrial and placed 8th overall in 21:51. Nathan Leefer ran the race of his life and blew out a lot of runners he’d never been on par with and took second for the Berries and nabbed an impressive 13th overall in 22:32, his first top 15 PA cross country finish ever. Tom Haxton shadowed three nervous West Valley TC runners across the finish line as he continues his return to top fitness in 22:41 (17th place). Next to finish was the irrepressible David Yu, still in the process of blowing out the Chicago marathon induced cobwebs, in 23:00 (19th). Dan Chebot rounded out the team’s scoring with a time of 23:10 (23rd). Of note, sixth for the Berries was Keith Gilmore, who turned in an extremely impressive effort of 25:33. This is notable because he is a 400-meter specialist by trade, and his performance was good for a solid 47th place overall in the deep field.
Great job Berries, one and all!