Monday, November 30, 2009

That's Verzbicas As In Victory!

The only question on Saturday at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional in Kenosha, WI, was whether Lukas Verzbicas' tender left achilles would be OK. It was. The sophomore from Sandburg High School in Orland Park won the 5,000-meter race at UW-Parkside in 15:34. Martin Grady of Fenwick (Oak Park), who is a resident of Burr Ridge, placed sixth in 15:47. By finishing in the top 10, Verzbicas and Grady qualified for the Foot Locker Nationals on Dec. 12 in San Diego. Verzbicas skipped the Nike Midwest Regional the week before in Terre Haute, IN, to rest his achilles. The two girls from Illinois were Kayla Beattie of Woodstock, who finished 18th in 18:52, and Samantha Fry of Downers Grove, who was 19th in 18:53. Here are the top 10 boys and girls from Saturday in Kenosha:

1) Lukas Verzbicas ORLAND HILLS, IL 15:34
2) Walter Schafer CENTENNIAL, CO 15:41
3) Tyler Byrne GEORGETOWN, IN 15:46
4) Nathan Karr ANN ARBOR, MI 15:46
5) Scott Fauble GOLDEN, CO 15:47
6) Martin Grady BURR RIDGE, IL 15:47
7) Colby Alexander STRONGSVILLE, OH 15:49
8) Ryan Poland WESTMINSTER, CO 15:50
9) Danny Nicolls PARKER, CO 15:55
10) Chris Walden CARMEL, IN 15:55

1) Megan Goethals ROCHESTER, MI 17:24
2) Emily Sisson CHESTERFIELD, MO 17:42
3) Katie Flood DES MOINES, IA 17:48
4) Ashlie Decker DES MOINES, IA 17:51
5) Kelsey Lakowske BOULDER, CO 17:52
6) Diane Robison CHESTERFIELD, MO 18:09
7) Sara Kroll WESTLAND, MI 18:15
8) Avery Clifton TOPEKA, KS 18:16
9) Marya Haegler CASCADE, WI 18:17
10) Shannon Osika WATERFORD, MI 18:37

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

North Central Wins Big, Coach Carius Honored

After North Central (Naperville) took the NCAA Division III men's cross-country championship on Saturday, more honors headed NCC's way when Al Carius was named men's coach of the year. Here is the news release from the U.S. Track @ Field and Cross County Coaches Association. Congrats to Al and his outstanding runners.

Carius, Schwamberger Earn Division III Cross Country National Coach of the Year Titles
Courtesy: Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA
November 24, 2009
NEW ORLEANS – Al Carius from North Central College and Dan Schwamberger from UW-Eau Claire were named Division III National Cross Country Coaches of the Year Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Carius, was named men’s coach of the year as his North Central College Cardinals took the NCAA Division III national title on Saturday, their first since 1999. With all seven competing runners earning All-America status, the Cardinals decimated the field, finishing with just 50 points, and the fourth-lowest winning total in the meet's history.

In addition, Carius, in his 44th year at North Central, guided the Cardinals to eight invitational wins this season, attaining a perfect score of 15 in three races this fall which included a sweep for their 36th- consecutive College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin crown this season. The Cardinals also won the NCAA Midwest Region title by a commanding 84-point spread and topped Division I Illinois by 16 points at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships.

Women’s National Coach of the Year Dan Schwamberger, in his third year at the helm at UW-Eau Claire, led the Bluegolds to their second national title in program history and their first in NCAA’s Division III on Saturday. The Bluegolds edged out St. Lawrence, 171-180, for their first national crown since claiming the NAIA Championship in 1984.

This season Schwamberger’s Blugolds also won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title for the third year in a row and the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional for the second-straight year.

St. Lawrence’s Wendy Pavlus and Lynchburg’s Ricky Flynn were honored as the USTFCCCA Division III Cross Country National Athletes of the Year on Saturday following the conclusion of the national championship races.

In addition, 70 student-athletes earned USTFCCCA All-America honors following Saturday’s races.

View a complete list of Division III All-Americans here:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lincolnwood Opens Week of Turkey Trots

The annual Lincolnwood Turkey Trot, always well-managed and full of fast runners, was run on Sunday with 690 5K finishers and 509 10K finishers. The 5K men's field was led by Emisael Favela, 32, of Cicero, consistently one of the area's top runners, in 15:34. Felipe Lopez, 33, of Chicago, was next in 17:05, and third went to Mark Dolgin, 27, of Chicago, in 17:45. The women's top three went like this: Columba Montes, 30, of Chicago, in 17:47; Kayoko Hamamura, 48, of Chicago, in 19:53; and Michelle Thom, 40, of Chicago, in 20:30.In the 10K, Oscar Ramos, 35, of Chicago was first across the line in 34:32. Second went to Alberto Perez, 27, of Chicago, in 35:29, and third went to Bo Muzikowski, 18, of Chicago, in 36:22. The women were led by Michelle Rich, 35, of Chicago, who ran a 40:39. Runner-up lady was Karen Grabowski, 34, of Chicago, one of the toughest competitors I've ever met, who ran a 41:18. Third went to Erica Sitkoff, 30, of Chicago, who ran a 41:45.

Pilgrim Pacer 5K Draws 454 Finishers

The Pilgrim Pacer 5K in LaGrange, IL, had almost perfect conditions on Sunday (Nov. 22) as a large field came out to begin building their appetites for Thanksgiving, when it will be considerably colder. Sarah Grzybek, 29, of Tinley Park, won the women's competition in 18:28.7, while Archie Bareikis, 23, of Oak Forest, took overall honors with a nice uncontested 15:49.4. Second and thrd women were Meghan Kennihan, 28, of LaGrange, in 18:33.9 (close!), and Charlotte Walsh, 16, of LaGrange Park, in 20:04.5 On the men's side, John Flores, 13, of Countryside, was a distant second in 17:24, and Ronald Lavaire, 23, of Shelbyville (not sure which state),took third in 17:27.6. With 454 finishers, I'd say the race was a success.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

York (Kroy) Wins Nike Midwest

The York (Kroy for post-IHSA races) boys put their losses to Neuqua Valley and Loyola at the state meet behind them on Sunday, beating both of their rivals at the Nike Nationals Midwest Regional in Terre Haute, IN. Andrew Smith and Jack Driggs went 5-6 to lead the Dukes. York (Kroy or Elmhurst depending on the year) is the only team to qualify for the nationals in Portland, OR, all six years the Nike event has been held. Please check out Dyestat for all the info. They do a great job of reporting.

Alexander, Peters Gobble 'Em Up

Brent Alexander and Claire Peters were clear winners on Sunday in the Oswegoland Park District's annual Hobbler Gobbler 10K in Oswego. Alexander 29, of Wilmette, cruised to 33:50 victory. Peters, 23, of Naperville, also won comfortably in 43:37. Hats off to masters winners Bill Holstine, 43, of Aurora, who ran a 35:37.2, and Mary Bogdan, 40, of Frankfort, who posted a 44:00, which also got her second-place overall in the women's standings. There were 452 finishers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Boston Is Filled; Registration Closes

Yep, it's true. The Boston Marathon has hit its 25,000 limit and registration for 2010 is closed. Here's the story:

I had heard it would close Friday from Mr. Boston, Mark Buciak of Chicago. Mark, who has run 30 consecutive Boston Marathons, lives for the event (well, almost!).

M25-29, A CARA Conundrum?

Jeff Jonaitis (M25-29) probably is the best or almost the best runner in the Chicago area. In CARA Runners' Choice Series races this year, he ran a 24:29 in the snowy, slushy Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle; 49:58 at the Soldier Field 10-Miler; 30:58 at the DeKalb Cornfest 10K and 2:18:01 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. He easily won his age group in those four races, but to win your overall age group in the Runners' Choice standings, you need to have run seven races. A closer look at the M25-29 group shows that no one ran seven or more races. I don't recall anything like that ever happening except in age groups like 0-14 and 80-plus. First, hats off to Jeff for a great season on and off the circuit. Second, what happens in that age group? Third, does anyone remember a similar situation in the past?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Westchester Veterun Goes to Ware, Marinangeli

And what a race it was. The previously blogged Veterun in Westchester produced two top-notch victories as a pair of 25-year-olds, Chad Ware of Deerfield (top photo), and Jean Marinangeli of Arlington Heights, grabbed the overall titles in the 10K, which was the season finale on the CARA Runner's Choice Series circuit of races. Both winners have done well this year and put their championship stamps on a great year with their wins. Ware won in a fleet-feeted 31:12 while Marinangeli was top woman in 36:35.On the men's side, second through fourth went like this: Emisael Favela, 32, of Cicero, 31:31; Lars Juhl, 32, of Chicago, 31:37; Julius Rotich, 34, Kenya via West Des Moines, Iowa, 32:26; and masters master Dave Wilson, 40, of Brookfield, 33:03. Two through four for the women were: Columba Montes, 30, of Chicago (shown in photo at about 3.3 miles with Marinangeli, who is wearing No. 1234), 37:16; Christina Overbeck, 23, of Chicago, 37:19; Tammy Lifka, 39, of Glen Ellyn, 39:53; and Erika Vazquez, 29, of Chicago, 40:26. There were some nice battles in various age groups, and a total of 529 runners finished.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Veterun -- A Day to Run and Remember

I'm a veteran, drafted from 1971-'73 during the Vietnam War. I was not im combat and consider myself very lucky. For me, it's simple. I know others weren't as fortunate as I was, and to honor them, I don't miss the Veterun in Westchester. Because of injuries, I'm not running right now, but I went and watched this year's race, which was run in unseasonably warm conditions. It was great with many of the top names from the local running scene making the CARA Runners' Choice Series finale a hot one to say the least! I don't want to post any results until I see the official ones, but there were some sizzling times. They had quite a crowd out there today, too, watching at various points along the course. It was truly a remarkable day. As part of the big picture, they also had the traveling version of the Vietnam Memorial set up in the park behind the tent. I went and took a look, hoping to find the name a high school friend who died over in Nam while I sat behind a typewriter in Washington, D.C. I didn't find it, but saw names of thousands of other members of the armed services who made the ultimate sacrifice in that war. Those few moments behind the tent put me in a somber mood as I remembered those days I spent in the Army. But watching the race picked me up in a hurry! Congrats to all who ran today.

Tessling,Nagel Win Fall Frolic

I've only run it twice, and it's been a while, but one of the best runs a lot of people don't know about is the annual Fall Frolic/Jennie Hamilton 4-miler in Hammond, IN. Over the years, a lot of big-name runners have stopped in to do this race in the place where Chicago Marathon director Carey Pinkowski grew up. Sunday's version was more locally oriented as John Tessling, 20, of Glenwood, IL, and Karen Nagel, 30, of Valparaiso, IN, took individual honors. Tessling won it in 21:41.29, and Nagel posted a 24:16.40. Second and third men were James Elia, 18, of Valparaiso in 21:48.87 and Alberto Perez, 27, of Chicago, in 21:56.39. Second and third women were Christine Leslie, 17, of Griffith, IN, in 25:59.71,and Chris Wickard, 39, of Crown Point, IN, in 26:18.22. Special kudos go to male masters winner Dave Macknick, 45, of Chicago, who ran a strong 23:48.55. I've known Mac for a long time through our ties in past years with the Chicago Marathon. Way to go, Mac! Women's masters champ was Angelia Erb, 47, of Hammond, in 30:00.73. Put this race on your to-do list for the future.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Imig, Marinangeli Sweetest at Hot Chocolate 15K

The Hot Chocolate 15K and 5K attracted close to 10,000 runners to the north lakefront on Sunday. I wasn't there, but I would be interested on hearing how crowded the course was or wasn't. According to preliminary results, 4,172 people finished the 15K (9.3 miles) and 4,473 finished the 5K. Congrats go out to Steve Imig, 32, of Geneva, who wom the overall 15K title in 49:11, and Jean Marinangeli, 25, of Arlington Heights, who took women's honors in a nice 56:32. Ryan Hopper, 27, of Chicago, comfortably placed second overall in 50:58, and Mac McCulley, 25, of Grayslake, nabbed third in 51:29. No. 2 woman was Suet-Fei Li, 34, of Schaumburg, who is at or near the top at every CARA Runner's Choice Series race. She ran a 59:30. Third went to Emily Inskeep, 27, of Chicago, in 59:41. Two of the many notable performances in this race were by Mike Egle and Nancy Rollins. Egle, 47, of Glenview, finished eighth overall and was top master in 53:45. Rollins, 63, of Evanston, was 38th woman overall and easily won her age group in 1:05:49. In fact she beat all the male 60-64 runners as well. In the 5K, Brent Alexander, 29, of Wilmette, won in 16:06, and Angelo Kidd, 32, of Clarendon Hills, was women's champ in 18:38. So how was it today? Comments are welcome.

Favela, Montes Alive for Sure at Day of the Dead

Saturday's Carrera de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 3.2-mile race (that's right) in Chicago went to Emisael Favela, 32, of Cicero, in 16:38.5, and Columba Montes, 30, of Chicago, in 19:10.9. The festive Halloween run had 1,034 finishers. On the men's side, Matthew Lavine, 35, of Crystal Lake, took second in 17:38.7, a full minute-plus behind Favela. Chris Sengenberger, 24, of Chicago, was third in 17:58.6. Runner-up to Montes on the female side was Clara Prouty, 34, of Oak Park, who ran 19:29.6, and third went to Alexis Carabello, age and hometown not available, in 22:01.3. Thanks to F50-54 winner Eileen Skisak for the great photos.