GVH teams run to national titles at USA Cross Country Championships in Florida


On Saturday, twenty-seven (27) athletes from the Niagara association competed at the USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida.  Six championship races were held in near perfect cross country weather with the early races going off under sunny skis and temperatures in the high 40s. The day began with championship races for Masters (ages 40 and over), followed by the under-20 men and women races, and then the Open women and men took to a course that was well worn and anything but fast.
The top 6 finishers in the open and under-20 races earned automatic Team USA births compete at the the North American Central America Caribbean Championships February 17 in San Salvador, El Salvador.
All of the competitors from the Niagara association competed in the masters races.
The story of the day for the Niagara athletes were the two team wins turned in by the Genesee Valley Harriers (GVH) women’s 60+ and men’s 70+ squads.
In the first race of the day the women’s 60+ GVH squad scored 13 points to as they defeated local rival Syracuse Track Club by just three points.  Sharon Moore, 63, of Rochester led the GVH runners as she finished third in the 60-64 division and was followed across the line by Cheryl Guth of Rochester in fifth and Nancy Munson of Pittsford in ninth place.  The Syracuse TC women were led by Patricia Ford’s (La Fayette) fourth place finish.  Sharon Ames (Fayetteville) and Carol Dodge (Fulton) finished sixth and tenth, respectively.  The Atlanta TC finished matched the 16 points scored by the Syracuse TC but were regulated to third place based on the team tie-breaker (highest third runner finish).   
Carol Bischoff, 53, of Victor finished third in the 50-54 division to earn a trip to the awards podium. 
In the men’s race, the septuagenarian trio of Tony Gingello (Rochester), Keith Yeates (Pittsford), and Jim May (Williamson) scored just 16 points to win the 70+ division.  They defeated the Atlanta Track Club by 2 points with the Cal Coast TC (California) third with 20 points.  Gingello finished third in the 70-74 division earning a visit to the awards podium as an individual.  Yeates finished seventh and May eighth in the division.
In the men’s 50-54 division Mike Nier (Rochester) and Dale Flanders finished sixth and tenth, respectively.  Nier ran 29:03 and Flanders stopped the clock at 29:53 over the 8 km course.  Neir’s age graded score was 84.45% and Flanders’ was 81.41%.  In the 60-64 division Brian Cummins, 63, (Cortland, NY / Syracuse Track Club) finished seventh running 32:35 (82.17%).
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