Proving they are nothing if not consistent, the Manchester Running Company men’s road racing teams completed the 2015 USATF-CT Road Racing Grand Prix with a pair of runner-up showings at the Old Wethersfield 10k and New Haven Road Race 20k. Taking their fourth and fifth second-place showings of the eight-race circuit, the men showed lots of depth and a great surprise from the master’s squad as well.
The Old Wethersfield 10k is a two-loop, flat fast course and the weather was fairly nice for the 15 men that toed the line in MRC colors. Unofficially led by John Busque’s second place finish in a blazing fast time of 32:08, the team was in good shape right off the bat (we don’t count John in our scoring due to his NCAA eligibility, but wanted to mention him anyway). Officially, Jake Gurzler and Chris McCormack led the way in 7th and 8th overall, with times of 34:02 and 35:10, respectively. Gurzler and McCormack held strong in their positions through most of the race. Nick Ferron started out very conservatively for the first two miles before tearing through the final four miles to finish in 37:40 and 14th overall. Shizhong Yang was just three seconds back of Ferron in 15th place (37:47) and Jesse Wanzer got into the scoring with a time of 39:29 (23rd). Backup for the five scorers came quickly in the form of Joe Hallisey (39:36), Patrick Byrne (40:04) and David Fusfeld (41:26).
The MRC Men’s Master’s team made a triumphant return with a third place team finish while the Grand Master’s squad was second, the first time in the money this season. Hallisey led the master’s with his 39:36, followed by Tom Soisson (43:23) and Mark McCarty in 45:09. Hallisey and Soisson also scored on the Grand Master’s team along with Tony Torisiello who finished in 46:26. Other MRC runners included Michael Westfall (44:38), Al McCall (59:10) and Larry Spencer (51:54).
The Men’s Open team was second in the team rankings with a cumulative time of 3:04:13; SoundRunner was the winner with a time of 2:48:14.
On Labor Day, the crew took to the streets of New Haven for the New Haven Road Race 20k, the National Championship at that distance; the race featured some of the top distance runners across the country and conditions were ideal with low humidity. MRC once again had an open and master’s team competing for the win. The open team was led by Adam Bulewich’s 5:51/mile effort as the Windsor resident finished in 1:12:41. Not far behind was Dan Uriano (1:12:56) and Ryan Miller in 1:14:12. Aaron Flamino covered the fairly flat course in 1:17:20. Nick Ferron was timed in 1:19:37 and Patrick Byrne wrapped up the scoring for the season in 1:25:55. Closely behind the scorers was Dave Fusfeld in 1:25:59.
The master’s squad was led by Flamino and followed by Tom Soisson of Glastonbury in 1:32:11 and Tony Torsiello in 1:37:33.
The open team (6:29:50) was again runner-up to SoundRunner (5:51:16) but well ahead of third place Brookfield Running Company (6:56:00). The Master’s squad took fifth overall, just behind Hartford Track Club.
The Grand Prix Series concludes with the open men’s team taking third with a total of 61 points, trailing Mohegan Striders by just three (64) and SoundRunner nearly sweeping the first place points to finish with 77 on the year.