Saturday, April 11, 2020

Top GRC Performances (#7 and #8)

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


8. Hilary May Runs Club Record 1500 Despite Torn Soleus at Hopkins/Loyola 2013

Coach Jerry: "Hilary was a middle distance standout at Harvard, where she broke the 30 year old school record in the 1000 meters. Hilary moved up to longer track distances in 2013 with great success, running club records in the 3000 (9:52.9) and 5000 (16:56) early in the season. The plan was to take her newfound strength and apply it to the 1500 in the latter stages of the season. Her first 1500 was at Hopkins/Loyola, which she treated as a rustbuster for the more competitive races to come. Here's what I said about the race at the time.

At the Hopkins/Loyola track meet on Saturday, Hilary picked up where she left off, running another GRC club record, this time 4:32.1 for 1500, which was also a new facility record. Hilary would have lowered her PR of 4:30 if not for an issue in her calf that impeded her the last 300. Considering that she was barely able to walk when she crossed the line, and led the entire race in a strong wind, that was another truly excellent performance.

But there's more to the story. What we thought after the race was a calf cramp turned out to be a torn soleus that kept Hilary out of action for months. Running 4:32 with a serious injury is truly impressive."

7. Kerry Allen Runs Qualifies for Olympic Trials at Twin Cities 2018

Jerry had this to write about the performance: "Congratulations to Kerry for qualifying for the Olympic Trials Marathon! At Twin Cities yesterday, Kerry ran an outstanding 2:41:33, a PR of over ten minutes, which is the second fastest time in GRC history, and was good for seventh place in a very competitive field. I can't overstate what an exceptional run that was, or how excited I am to see Kerry get the breakthrough she worked so hard for. As I've told Kerry many times in the last couple of years, she's had Olympic Trials qualifier written all over her, but despite several big PRs at shorter distances, she's had bad luck with weather on race day and a series of nagging injuries that had her questioning whether she would ever be able to reach her potential in the marathon. After another injury setback that scuttled her spring plans, Kerry put in a really good block of training for the past few months, and the weather in Twin Cities was perfect, and Kerry took advantage of her opportunity in a huge way. Kerry's fabulous performance was the product of years of hard work and unrelenting persistence in the face of daunting obstacles, and I'm really, really proud of what she accomplished."


8. Sam Luff runs 14:15.2 5000 at Princeton Larry Ellis Invite 2011

Sam had many impressive performances over all surfaces during his time on GRC, but the one that stood out to Jerry was his 20 second PR at Princeton. Here's what Jerry had to say:

"What an amazing run by Sam on Friday at Princeton! Sam went head to head with an elite field (that included future GRC greats Luke Meyer who ran 14:08 and Mike Franklin who ran 14:19) and proved that he belonged out there with them. Major breakthroughs like that do not happen by accident, and Sam worked extremely hard to put himself in a position to run with the big guns."

7. GRC Men Finish 9th at USATF Clubs XC, Bend, Oregon 2013

"GRC's recruiting class of 2013 was truly stellar. That summer we welcomed two-time Olympic Trials qualifier Luke Meyer, new graduate Mike Franklin, who was fifth in the NCAA 10,000 in his final race for Princeton, Kevin McNab, an All-American in the steeplechase at Texas A & M, and Kieran O'Connor, who was not nearly as accomplished as his comrades prior to joining GRC, but who quickly proved to be a special talent. With returning athletes Sam Luff and Sean Barrett, who was 8th in the long course race at the World Military XC championships that spring, we knew we had a formidable squad.

Bend posed unique challenges. In addition to being at 3500 feet of altitude, the course was literally up the side of a mountain, and the footing was very sloppy after several inches of show melted in the 24 hours prior to the start. We knew that if we stayed patient and let the course and the altitude take its toll on our competition, we could make a big move in the second half of the race. The guys executed the plan perfectly. In his only XC race since high school, Kieran placed 46th, which is still the best finish ever by a GRC man. Mike was 61st, which is sitll the fifth best finish in GRC history, followed by Luke in 72nd, and Kevin in 75th. Sam rounded out the scoring in 105th after taking an epic spill that, as luck would have it, was captured on film for posterity. Those great performances put us in ninth place, ahead of several professional teams. This was the first time a GRC squad placed in the top ten at Clubs, which was a monumental breakthrough for us. The success of the 2013 team set the standard of excellence for all future GRC Clubs teams."

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