Nier leds locals at National Masters 1 Mile Championships in Michigan


On Friday (25-August) fourteen athletes and two teams from USATF Niagara competed in the USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships held as part of the Crim Michigan Miles in Flint, Mich.  A total of 133 athletes from 20 states competed in the championships with $10,000 awarded in prize money to individuals and teams.
Mike Nier, 52, of Rochester led the area runners with his fourth place finish in the always competitive men’s 50-54 division.  His time of 4:57 scored 87.09% on the masters age grading tables.
The age grading tables provide a means to converted each athlete’s performance in a manner to allow for comparing performances of all competitors regardless of the age or gender of the athlete. Scores of 80%-89% are considered to be national class while scores above 90% are classified as world class performances.  
Following Nier across the line was his Geneses Valley Harriers teammate Dale Flanders.  Flanders, 52, of Allegany ran 5:15 to finish ninth in the 50-54 division.  His age graded score of 82.11% was the second highest for the Niagara men.
Patricia Pirnie, 53, of Hilton ran 6:12 to finish sixth in the women’s 50-54 division.  Her age graded score of 83.55% was the best Niagara women’s performance on the day.  In the women’s 40-44 division Heather Webster, 43, of Honeoye Falls and Wakenda Tyler 42, of Syracuse finished fifth and sixth, respectively.  Webster stopped the clock at 5:42 (80.27%) with Tyler finishing  eight seconds later, running 5:50 (77.53%).  Melissa Senall, 45, of Fairport finished fifth in the women’s 45-49 division running 6:05 (77.01%).  Pirnie, Webster, Tyler, and Senall are all Genesee Valley Harriers teammates.
Others scoring over 80% were: 
  • Timothy Riccardi, 59, (Marietta, Genesee Valley Harriers, 5:36) 81.66%
  • Bill Beyerbach, 62, (Rochester, Genesee Valley Harriers, 5:47) 81.18%
  • Stephen Ruchlin, 49, (Rochester, Genesee Valley Harriers, 5:14) 80.40%
The Genesee Valley Harriers sent two full teams to the championships - mens’ 50+ and men’s 60+.  In the men’s 50+ division they finished third with a combined time/score of 15:48; an average of 5:16 per runner.  The three scorers were Nier, Flanders and Riccardi.  They were just two seconds behind second place Playmakers Elite/New Balance of Michigan.  The winning team was the always formidable Cal Coast Track Club from California who scored an impressive 14:53.   In the men’s 60+ division the threesome of Bill Beyerbach, Mike Reif, and Gary Radford finished fifth with a combined time (score) of 19:39.