The Manchester Running Company club teams had an exceptional week with a USATF-CT Trail Championship win, a CT Club XC Championship win, followed by a second place finish at the Sea Legs Shuffle 10-Miler.
Monday, July 27th got things started with the first ever CT Club XC Championship hosted by the Silk City Striders and the Wickham Park XC series. The cross-country course is 2.6 miles long and traverses the difficult Wickham Park terrain. The scoring was cross-country style co-ed with the top three males and females in each gender. Dan Uriano led the way with a fourth place overall finish in 13:52 and Aaron Flamino was just eight seconds back in fifth place (14:00). Matt Maynes finished the men’s scoring in seventh and Melissa Stellato kept the trend going with a ninth place finish. Linda Yamamoto and Kathleen Shaw capped the women’s scoring with 14th and 21st places, respectively, which were 2nd and 5th in the women’s standings. Laura Tignonsini provided insurance in 24th. The team results put MRC ahead of host Silk City Striders by a score of 38-85 and gave the squad a $115 payday.
The weekend started with the trail championship at the People’s Forest 7 Mile Trail Run in Barkhamsted where the men’s squad of Brian Nelson, Joe Hallisey and Matt Maynes set out seeking the first trail win for MRC and the $90 team prize. On a near perfect day (in the shade) the course traveled up hill for the first three miles and Brian Nelson settled into second place. Hallisey settled into sixth/seventh place and Maynes struggled at the start but remained in the top ten. Nelson was passed by eventual runner-up Brett Stoeffler but hung on for third in a time of 53:56. Hallisey held seventh place through much of the terrain but got slightly off course in the final mile and finished eighth in 58:24 while Maynes closed out the scoring with a tenth place finish in just under one hour at 59:39. The team out ran the Hartford Track Club’s scoring three, despite the HTC’s number one runner winning the race by over six minutes.
The racing continued on Sunday as the women’s team took to the pavement at the Sea Legs Shuffle 10-miler. The conditions were warm and muggy down by the shore and the course was a rolling out-and-back. Led by overall winner Melissa Stellato’s 1:02:58, MRC was in a very tight battle with SoundRunner right off the bat. Tracy Deeter made her MRC debut with an impressive 1:06:06 and Ashley Gurzler closed the scoring in 1:06:59 to fall just five minutes short over the win, but were a solid 16 minutes in front of third place. The women were backed up by Kristina Miner (1:07:10), Kathleen Shaw (1:13:29) and Dana Merise made her MRC debut as well in 1:16:24. For their efforts the women take home an additional $90.
The men’s squad was unable to field a full team, but Adam Bulewich, Nick Ferron and Jake Gurzler each finished in the top twenty.