Anna Shields of Torrington ran away from the women’s field while Joe Gioielli of New Britain used a second-half surge to take the men’s title at the 2016 Spring Street Mile on June 11th in Manchester. The race was the fourth in the USATF-CT Grand Prix Road Racing Series.
In the women’s race, the story of the day was Shields taking the lead from the start and never looking back. Surging to the front about 100 meters off the line, Shields led by 5 meters at the 1/4 mile and only lengthened her lead from there. At the half way mark, Shields was well on her way to victory with a 10 meter lead, she stretched into 15 meters at the 3/4 mark before stepping off the gas in the last stretch to finish in 4:43, just a second off the course record. Shields wins $300 for the win, along with an extra $50 for leading at the half and 3/4 marks.
Jackie Baumgartner and Courtney Dinnan held strong in second and third place for much of the race, working together as SoundRunner Racing teammates, but a very late charge by Milford Road Runners’ Brittany Heninger propelled her to second place while Dinnan held on for third and Baumgartner 4th. A record seven women broke the 5-minute mark.
SoundRunner took the women’s open competition, Manchester Running Company was second and Milford Road Runner’s were third. Manchester took the master’s women’s competition over Milford, while Milford won the grand master’s division.
On the men’s side, Adam Pacheck of the Greater Boston Track Club bolted out to an early lead, bringing the field through the 1/4 mile in just over 56 seconds. Pacheck would hold the lead while Gioielli, Austin Trainor of New Britain, and Connor Reck of Boston slipped into 2-3-4 and distanced themselves from the field.
Pacheck continued to lead through the half mile to pick up a $25 bonus, with the group following closely behind in 1:57. About 600 meters in Gioielli made his move to pass Pacheck and Trainor went with him. Pacheck would fade to fourth behind Reck as Gioielli took the bonus at 3/4 mile and 2:59 showing on the clock. A very fast final quarter (the fastest on the course) saw Gioielli extend his lead on Trainor by 5 meters and finish with his second straight sub-4 on Spring Street in 3:57. Trainor was second in 4:00, Reck third in 4:01 and Pacheck held on to fourth in 4:08.
The team competition was incredibly close back in the field as Mohegan Striders ended SoundRunner’s eight-race winning streak to steal the victory by just 8 seconds. MRC was third in the open competition as all three teams were separated by a mere 34 ticks. Mohegan also took the master’s and senior divisions while MRC won the grand master’s title.