A grim, wet day greeted the 11 rough and ready Canyoneros who descended upon the vaunted San Francisco State University’s track facility like a giant blue tsunami. For the most part, it was a very, very good day for us indeed, despite the steady, bone-chilling precipitation.
Matt Bogdanowicz lined up in the masters Mile against the formidable Rene Sepulveda of the ASICs Aggies as his main competition. A trio of runners ran the first lap in mid-74 and then Matt threw in a 34-second 200-meter surge and never looked back. Bogdanowicz powered his way through the rest of the mile relatively unchallenged in 4:53.06, winning by roughly 30 meters and thereby keeping Jeff Mann’s Johnny Mathis Masters Mile title within its rightful place in the Strawberry Canyon family.
We entered one open woman in the 1500-meter event, Mariel Gray, who had a tough day at the office. She succumbed to an untimely asthma attack and had to live to fight another day after two laps, jogging the rest of the way and finishing in 6:19.59.
Later in the morning, there were several open men’s 1500 heats. Ethan Mark ran his first 1500 of the season and threw down a decent time in the rain (4:06.76), and will improve upon that as the season wears on. Gene Burinsky sliced another second off of his fresh PR set recently at UC-Davis and came home with an impressive 4:10.44. Kai Proschan missed his PR by two seconds in his first 1500 of the year and rode home in 4:20.96.
After a hiatus for the Strawberries (much) later in the day was the open men’s 5000-meter event. The rain did not let up even a tiny bit and in fact it intensified. Most runners conceded that it would be a tough day to set a personal-best on such a wet and sloppy track. NOT SO said the almighty Strawberries!!
Six hardy Canyoneros lined up in the 40-person 5000-meter heat, combined due to the miserable weather as volunteer officials were literally leaving the track before the end of the meet. But neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor hypothermia would daunt the mighty Berries. Joseph Binder showed a little of the Barry Smith gene, blasting a solid tempo on Thursday with Tom haxton and coming back 46 hours later to race in the 5000. King Joe delivered a fantastic race and powered through lap after lap, moving and threading steadily up the field. Using his He-Man ultra-marathon strength he ended up clocking a VERY impressive time of 15:20.50, a four-second PR and took an amazing fifth place here! Next up in the PR department was the first of four PR’ing freshmen Rory Runser, the lanky one who raced yet again in training shoes aka “clunkers.” He too, went out like a seasoned veteran, threaded his way up through the field and smoked a fantastic 12-second PR in 15:44.34. Next across the line was a tiring Digger Lauter in 15:47.75. He felt “off” the whole race, and despite missing his PR by four seconds, he had expected to significantly eclipse that mark in this race.
And the Berries were not done PR’ing in the driving rain, not by a long shot, as Cameron Bronstein rumbled home in 16:08.72, which represented a nifty 11-second PR for the freshman. Mr. Consistency Jack Wallace came across next, and delivered a modest 2-second PR although he is just rounding back into fighting shape. Still, in this game, we have all learned to take any PRs, whether large or small, with utmost gratitude. Coming across next was an elated frosh in Irtaza Haider, who had all but given up on the season after a tough race at UC-Davis two weeks ago. But he stuck with it and dropped 32 seconds off of his Davis time and walloped his PR by 18 seconds, and sailed home with a very respectable mark of 16:25.65.
So in all there were five out of six PRs in the 5000, and another strong PR in the 1500. Great job everyone, for running in conditions rivaling the 2011 PA-USATF cross country championships. frankly I think we can’t wait to see what everyone does on a dry day.
.Here is a link to the 2011 SF State Johnny Mathis results: http://www.sfstategators.com/documents/2012/3/24/Mathis_Results_032412.htm?path=wtrack