The Manchester Running Company club teams have had strong showings in the second half of the USATF-CT Grand Prix with some of the top individual performances in the state as well. The men’s squad picked up a win at the SpringStreet Mile in June, a second place showing at the Sea Legs Shuffle and top three performance at the Old Wethersfield 10k. The women’s team took a close fourth at the Mile and was in the running (to be determined) with a very tight pack at the Old Wethersfield 10k.
Spring Street Mile – June 14th – Manchester
The MRC men won their home meet, the Spring Street Mile, on June 14th behind Jake Gurzler’s third place finish in a personal best as he sprinted down Spring Street in just 4:08, three seconds clear of (former) teammate James McKirdy who also ran a personal record 4:11. Teammate Matt Maynes had one of his best performances of the year with a 4:15 clocking to give MRC the 3-4-5 places. Brian Nelson and Chris McCormack took 11th and 12th overall, respectively, with times of 4:21 and 4:22 to close out the scoring five with a combined time of 21:17 to outpace New Haven Road Runners by just over a minute.
MRC also had great performances from Garrett Ash (4:39), Brett Stoeffler (4:42), Ned Smith (5:02), Sean and Mark Barkasy (5:38, 5:39), Ben Pierpont (6:25), Dylan Barkasy (6:37) and Rich Lindahl in 6:11.
On the women’s side the competition was stiff and the MRC ladies came away with a fourth place finish, just nine seconds out of the money. Laura Tignonsini was the first runner across the line for the home team in 12th place overall and a 5:45 clocking. Mary Bugbee was second in 5:49, while Laura Nelson took 18th overall in 6:01.
Sea Legs Shuffle 10 Miler – August 3rd – Guilford
On a relatively cool but humid day, the club traveled down to Guilford for an early start and one of the longest races on the circuit. The rain held off, but the course was challenging and the competition was ready to end the MRC men’s 7-race win streak.
Brian Nelson quickly was in the top three from the gun, slipping comfortably into second by mile five; Nelson was caught by mile seven and fell to third but was clear of fourth by nearly a minute and finished in 54:41 – a 5:29 pace.
Nelson was followed in the scoring by McCormack in 57:31 (10th place), Ash in 59:15 (14th), Steve Clayton and Maynes then concluded the scoring in 59:27 with 16th and 17th place finishes. Patrick Byrne was 30th overall in 1:04:08 and Jason Earl made his MRC debut in 1:05:31 to take 42nd overall.
On the women’s side, Laura Nelson was the lone representative for MRC and she was clocked in 1:18:00.
Old Wethersfield 10k – August 24th – Wethersfield
The largest contingent of MRC men and women took to the roads of Wethersfield for Hartford Marathon Foundation’s Old Wethersfield 10k. While the team scores are not available yet, the men and women each had strong showings.
The women were led by Amira Lerario’s 44:33 showing in her 2014 MRC debut. Tignonsini was just a minute behind in 45:46, while Nelson was 45:59 and Bugbee crossed the line just 22 seconds later.
On the men’s side, Nelson once again led the squad with a fourth place overall finish in 33:01; Maynes and Ash were 11th and 12th in 35:30, Byrne was 26th overall with a 38:24 showing. Dave Fusfeld made his team debut with a 44:32 clocking and rounded out the scoring. Also helping out on the team were Tom Soisson (45:11), Mike McCall (56:36) and Al McCall (56:56).
The MRC squads will conclude the 2014 USATF-CT Grand Prix at the New Haven Road Race – a 20k on Labor Day in New Haven.