Moore, Gioia, GVH teams earn trips to awards podium at Masters 5 km Championships in Atlanta


The USATF Masters 5 km Championships were held on Saturday (18-Aug) in Atlanta.  The championships were part of the America's Finest 5K. A total of 176 athletes from 27 states competed in the championships with 17 competitors from the Niagara association toeing the line.

Earning trips to the awards podium for their top three age division finishes were Sharon Moore, 64, (Rochester, NY / Genesee Valley Harriers) and Frank Gioia, 65, (Batavia, NY / Genesee Valley Harriers ) as well as the Genesee Valley Harriers W60+ and M70+ teams.
Moore and Gioia each picked up bronze medals for their third place finishes.  Moore ran 24:33 to finish third in the women's 60-64 division.  She was just 10 seconds behind Donna May of Florida who finished second.  The division was won by Patrice Combs of Georgia in 21:48.  Moore's GVH teammate Cheryl Guth, 64, of Rochester finished fifth in the division running 24:54.
Gioia stopped the clock at 21:06 to earn his bronze medal in the men's 65-69 division.  Kirk Larson of Georgia won the division in 20:10 with John Hirschberger of California second in 20:48.
Cindy Ingalls, 66, finished fourth in the women's 65-69 division missing a trip to the awards podium by just five seconds.
The top age-graded performances by Niagara athletes were turned in by Adam Engst, 50, of Ithaca, Dale Flanders, 53, of Allegany and Mark Rybinski, 63, of Manlius.  All three compete for the Genesee Valley Harriers.  Scores of over 90% are considered to be world class while scores over 80% to be national class.  The top mark was turned in by Engst who ran 17:34 to score 83.98%.  Flanders ran 18:16 for an age graded score of 82.65% and right behind him was Rybinski who scored 82.62% based on his time of 19:49.  Others with scores of over 80.00% were Timothy Riccardi, 60, (Marietta, NY / Genesee Valley Harriers, 19:36, 81.47%) and John Van Kerkhove, 56, (Rochester, NY / Genesee Valley Harriers, 19:04, 81.07%).
The top age-graded performances for the Niagara women were turned in by Moore (79.38%) and Guth (78.27%).
In the team competition the GVH women's 60+ team finished second as Moore, Guth, and Ingalls combined for a time of 1:16:44.  The Atlanta TC won with a team time of 1:11:32.  The GVH men's 70+ finished with a team time of 1:10:32.  Very strong teams from the Ann Arbor TC (Michigan) and Atlanta TC (Georgia) finished first and second, respectively.   THe GVH men's 50+ and 60+ squads each finished fourth just missing the awards podium by one place.  The men's 60+ team was just 22 seconds behind the Shore AC's (New Jersey) third place performance.

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