Masters stars head to Highlands, New Jersey for the 2023 USATF Masters 12K Championships

HIGHLIGHTS, NJ – Masters athletes kick off their fall road season with the USATF Masters 12K Championships hosted by By Hook Or By Crook Run. The tournament is scheduled to be held at Sandy Hook National Park next to the Jersey Shore. Competition is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. ET to beat the heat, and temperatures during the race are expected to remain in the 60s.

Roberta Gruner And Jenny Rice She is the headliner on the women’s side. Gruner, the top USATF woman in the marathon at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha with a sixth-place finish, was on a tear, setting American records in her new division 45-49 left and right. She has already broken age division records for the 10K, 10 Mile and half marathon – most recently with a time of 1:11:28. At this rate, it may only be a matter of time before Nancy Grayson’s 12K record from 1995 is taken down. Rice, new to the 75-79 division, ran 3:33:15 in the Boston Marathon earlier this year . Although it is faster than the world age division record, Boston is not a record-eligible course. Illustrating her range, Rice set age-group world records on the track in July at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000.

Groner is expected to get the win and the American record, but it won’t come without a fight. Christine Prendergast She returns to the 12K championship to defend her title, and was second at the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach in March. Additionally, Prendergast took top women’s honors at the Clinton Township Cross Country Run over 15K in April. Alexandra Nilesnew to the Masters division, won the Eversource Hartford Marathon last October. Jennifer Bessie, the 5km national champion, will also challenge over a longer distance. Her second-place finish in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run over 10 miles last May shows she’s ready to handle the distance. Perry Shoemaker, from the 50-54 division, placed third in the 2021 edition of the USATF Masters 12K and could not be counted out. She was also the first to receive a master’s degree at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler last April. Fiona BaileyTeam Rio, now in the 55-59 division, remains a clear podium threat, having finished fifth last year to take the overall bronze medal at the Masters 10K Championships last April.

Fabian Eduardo Daza And Dixon Mercer who finished fourth and sixth last year, just 15 seconds apart, will compete for the overall men’s title. Daza took home honors at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Half Marathon last spring. Mercer, who finished fifth in the Masters Half Marathon Championship, rehabilitated his hip problem over the summer and appears to be starting to regain his fitness. David Angell, who finished 20 seconds behind Mercer last year, will test them both. Angel, a two-time winner, finished second at the Masters National 10K Championship last April.

Top favorite overall age group awards, Which honors the fastest runners by age, including: Rice 75, Gruner 45, Shoemaker 52, Bailey 56 and Nora Carey 68. Curry set the American record 65-69 here two years ago and is doing well again after his injury. On the men’s side, only one runner missed the top seven places last year. Nat Larson 61Brian Crowley 58Jane Dykes 75Henry Notaro 61Roger Sayer 65 and Dave Glass 77, finishing in that ranking last year. Larsson is the favorite to win again. Dykes just captured four gold medals from the USATF Masters tournament in July. Rick Lee The 62 is the American record holder in the 60-64 category in the 50 km and 50 mile distances, and the 60-64 winner of the Boston Marathon. Steve Schmidt The 62-year-old, who beat Lee and Notaro in pouring rain at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships, will try to rekindle that magic on the road.

Submitted by
Paul Carlin

Image source: Jason Tymoshko

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