Boulama defends; Leone wins Niagara 5 km titles

The 2017 USATF Niagara Association 5 km Championships were held on Saturday (12-Aug) in Bergen, N.Y.  The championships were part of the Jenny Kozma Memorial Bergen 5K.  A total of 64 Niagara members participated in the championships.  
The open men’s and women’s champions were Omar Boulama, 23, of Rochester and Laurel Leone, 32, of Minoa.   The top masters, based on age graded scoring, were Mark Andrews (men) of Rochester and Heather Webster (women) of Honeoye Falls.
Boulama ran 15:14 to defend the title he won last year.  He was four seconds ahead of Tim Chichester, 29, of Hornell. Last year’s third place finisher Elliott Martynkiewicz, 23, of East Aurora, was finished third this year; running 15:32.
Leone ran 17:09 to win the women’s title by 16 seconds over Melissa Johnson-White, 36, of Canandaigua.  Only seven seconds separated the 3rd - 6th place finishers.  Trisha Byler, 33 of Honeoye Falls ran 17:39 for third place with Danielle Groff, 28, of East Rochester just one second back.  Kathryn Potter, 28, of Honeoye Falls and Mackenzie Donahue, 21, of East Aurora ran 17:45 and 17:46, respectively for fifth and sixth.
In the masters competition Andrews, 46, and Webster, 43, had the best masters male and female performances on the day (based the age graded performance tables).    Andrews ran 15:51 to score 90.32% while Webster ran 18:44 to score 82.55%.  Andrews time was 4 seconds faster than last year year and only 7 seconds slower than he ran in 2015.
Other notable masters performances (over 80%) were turned in by: 
  • Charlie Andrews, 60, of Rochester (18:03, 88.46%); 
  • Kirk Komocki, 44, of Rochester (16:50, 83.81%);
  • Kevin Clinefelter, 61, of Rochester (19:47, 81.38%)
In the team competition it was the Syracuse Track Club men and Genesee Valley Harriers women winning the open titles.  
In the open men’s race a tight battle developed between the team winners from the past two years.  In 2015 it was the Syracuse Track Club that won the day but last year the Bergen Elite prevailed.  When the dust had settled this year only 4 seconds separated the two as the Syracuse TC won with a combined team time of 1:19:59 (16:00 per runner).  The Bergen Elite finished with a time of 1:20.03 and the Checkers AC squad finished third with a combined time of 1:22:00.
In the women’s race the Genesee Valley Harriers team time was 53:04 which put them  2:44 ahead of their their B squad. The Checkers AC finished third with a cumulative team time of 56:05.