Saturday, April 11, 2020

Top GRC Performances (#5 and #6)

Below is another installment of Jerry's "totally subjective list" of top 10 GRC performances.

Women

6. GRC Women Win 2017 Millrose Games Distance Medley Relay

"In our first trip to Millrose, our interpid crew of Alyson McGonigle, Alex Morris, Jesse Carlin, and Stephanie Reich were just hoping to be competitive. Much to our surprise, we won, and by a comfortable margin. Here's what I said about the race at the time.

We had a truly an epic performance by our women's DMR at the Millrose Games. Each of our legs--Alyson on the 1200, Alex on the 400, Jesse on the 800, and Steph on the 1600--ran great, and it all came together on the big day. Alyson got us started with a very strong 3:37.06, and she handed off just fractionally behind Central Park TC. Alex sat on Central Park's athlete for about 150 meters, then made a big move to take the lead and never looked back, finishing in an impressive 58.8. Jesse got out hard as always, and immediately extended our lead, and finished in 2:13.8, which was the fastest leg of the day by over a second. Steph got the baton with a sizeable lead, and when she got out aggressively for the first 600 and further extended our lead, the race was essentially over. Steph kept her foot on the gas the whole way, and finished in an excellent 4:54.2, which was also the fastest leg of the day.

Getting the win was important for two reasons. First, Millrose is as big as it gets in indoor track, and for us to be able to be competitive, let alone win, is something special. After all, it's not often that our athletes are described as "useful performers" by Tim Hutchings on a national broadcast, and it was fantastic for us, and our sponsors, to get that kind of exposure. Second, our victory is indicative of how far we've come in building our women's middle distance crew. Having Jesse on board has brought us instant credibility, and with outstanding young middle distance talent in Alyson and Alex, Liz, we will continue to improve. Finally, on a personal level, I grew up watching the Millrose Games, and it was truly my pleasure to be part of such a stellar accomplishment. Well done ladies!"

The video of the race is below:

https://www.usatf.tv/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=45365&do=videos&video_id=197590

5. Maura Linde Finishes 108th in 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon

Maura has amassed several impressive performances during her time at GRC as evidenced by the fact that she is in the top five in the 1500, 3000, 5000, and 10,000 on the track, and is second on the GRC list on the roads in 5k, 8k, 10k, and 10 mile, and her 20th place at Clubs in 2017 is the second best finish in team history. Here's what Jerry had to say about Maura's amazing run:

"For the women, Maura was an outstanding 108th in 2:44:13. Maura's tactics were perfect, and she steadily moved up through the field over the last 15 miles. Maura's time was a PR, and as difficult as it was to PR on that course, Maura's performance is all the more impressive given that this was only her second serious attempt at the marathon, and her training cycle was exceedingly short because of a nagging injury that prevented her from working out or doing real long runs until the middle of January. To run what surely would have been worth sub 2:39 (or faster) on a reasonable course, off of a six week training cycle, is incredible, and demonstrates Maura's immense potential in the marathon. Maura is only starting to scratch the surface of her ability at the longer road distances, and she will be a real threat to place in the top 25 in 2024."

Men

6. GRC Men Win 2018 Millrose Games Distance Medley Relay

"After the women got the win at Millrose the previous year, the men wanted to get in on the action in 2018. Our men's middle distance group was still in its infancy, and our lineup featured distance runners Stewart Reich on the 1200 and Paul Thistle on the mile, along with Daniel Trettel on the 800 and Craig Morgan on the 400. Here's what I said at the time.

"The big highlight was the men's victory, which was truly a team effort. Stewart got us off to a great start with outstanding 3:03.5 1200. Stewart has good speed for a distance runner, but a 1200 at this level was a major challenge for him. Undaunted by the enormity of the task, Stewart ran a smart, patient race, and worked his way up steadily, handing off in third place. Craig, who has excellent 800/1500 credentials but hasn't run a competitive 400 in quite some time, ran a very solid 52.3. Despite being out there with actual 400 runners (one of whom ran 47.8), Craig more than held his own, running the 4th fastest leg of the day. Daniel was ready to pop a big one, and he perfectly executed his race plan of going out hard and settling in. Daniel's excellent 1:52.7 was the second fastest leg of the day, and set us up to go for the win. Paul T got the baton in second, 5 seconds behind the leader, and he methodically chipped away at the deficit. With 200 to go Paul was within striking distance and charging hard. Paul has only done a handful of workouts this winter, and hadn't raced anything shorter than a steeple in several years, but he managed to find another gear in the final 100, and made the pass in the home straight. Paul's 4:14.3 was the fastest leg of the day, and got us the win, in the impressive time of 10:02.95. I'll readily admit that I did not see the victory coming--the competition was formidable, we were not race sharp, and other than Daniel we had athletes competing at distances that were well outside of their comfort zone. Despite the long odds, the guys collectively rose to the challenge, and each of them ran better than I could have hoped for. That our group was able to exceed my most optimistic projections is proof that GRC athletes running together for a common goal can accomplish great things. Well done, men!"

5. Dan Meteer Runs 2:17:38 in Marathon Debut, CIM 2019

"In 2019, Dan had arguably the best year of any GRC man during my time with the team. He capped off his incredible year, which included a 4:09 anchor leg at Millrose and a 1:04:53 half at Indy, with an amazing performance in his marathon debut. Here's what I said about it at the time.

Congratulations to Dan M for qualifying for the Olympic Trials in his marathon debut with his fantastic 2:17:38 at CIM! This stellar performance puts Dan third on the GRC all-time list. Ten months ago, Dan anchored our DMR at Millrose, and and our expectation was that he would stick to the track for the foreseeable future. That changed after Dan jumped into the DC RNR Half as a workout and ran 1:07:33. With several months of marathon focused training under his belt, it was clear that Dan was fit to break 2:19. But being fit to qualify and actually qualifying are two different things. When the gun went off Dan executed his race plan perfectly, going through the half in 1:09:03 and running a big negative split to qualify with plenty of room to spare. Dan's transformation from a 5000 specialist to a marathoner has been remarkable, and I could not be more proud of his superb performance."

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