Phillips, DiCamillo Lead the Charge at the
21st Mayor's Cup in Franklin Park
BOSTON – Overcast skies and little wind greeted a record crowd at the 21st annual Mayor’s Cup Cross Country races in Boston’s Franklin Park on Sunday, October 24. The cross country event features a trio of 1.1 mile youth races, an open 5K, a 5K Women’s Championship, and an 8K Men’s Championship, respectively, weaving through the foliage of Franklin Park, one of the best venues for cross country racing in the country. The Mayor’s Cup is annually presented by the B.A.A. and adidas, and directed by USA Track & Field - New England and Boston Centers for Youth and Fitness (BCYF).
In the 8K Men’s Championship, Jon Phillips of the New York Athletic Club avenged his 18th place finish from 2009 with a winning time of 23:54. The 26-year-old shaved 1:15 from his previous year’s performance. “I would fall off the leader, and then catch up, throughout the race,” Phillips said of his strategy. Having experience on this course, Phillips used his familiarity to his advantage. “It was coming off of Bear Cage Hill where I knew I wanted to push on the downhill, and that’s where the big move was made.” Phillips, currently an assistant track coach with NYU, never looked back, and coasted to a three second victory ahead of Harbert Okuta (23:57), and four seconds ahead of Abiyot Endale (23:58). With a heavy racing schedule in recent months, Phillips has become consistent with his autumn training. “I train with NYU guys, and that helps me out a lot, and the NYAC guys are great to train with as well.”
The New York Athletic Club, which is preparing for the club cross country championships in December, had seven runners in event, but it was the B.A.A. which took the team title. Led by Boston native Ruben Sanca, the B.A.A. won with 46 points. Sanca, who placed fifth with a time of 24:06, got his start in running at Dearborn Middle School as part of the B.A.A. Middle School Cross Country Championships in 2000, and has since excelled both at O’Bryant High School and UMass Lowell. New Balance Boston placed second in the team competition with 72 points, and NYAC placed third with 98 points.
In the Masters division, Joseph Koech was the winner with a time of 25:41. A member of Team Run, Koech has found success in Franklin Park before, having recently won the Masters division in the B.A.A. Half Marathon on October 10 with a time of 1:11:07
In the 5K Women’s Championship, Katie DiCamillo of New Balance Boston used a late downhill surge to push past Reilly Kiernan of the NYAC for a two-second victory in a time of 17:06. A Providence College graduate, DiCamillo is no stranger to the course, and placed sixth in the same event last year. This year, she bided her time; “At mile two, I let the leader go ahead of me because I wanted to stay comfortable as we were going into the backwoods. At the last little bump, I got [Kiernan] on the downhill and took it form there.”
Jenn Donovan, a teammate of DiCamillo finished third in 17:15. Together they led New Balance Boston to win the Women’s team competition with 28 points, ahead of the B.A.A. (55 points) and the NYAC (91). The B.A.A.’s Mimi Fallon won the Masters division with a time of 19:57.
In the Franklin Park 5K, 20-year-old Jeremy Gilmour beat 21-year-old Gregorious Wilson by a time of 15:53 to 15:59. Toni Tugores finished third with a time of 16:07. On the Women’s side, Kristen Coon coasted to a 56-second victory over Amanda Shaffer (18:41 to 19:37). Emily Ricketson finished third in a time of 6:22.
The 21st Annual Mayor’s Cup has grown by leaps and bounds since its inaugural running in 1990 with just one race and a handful of runners. With time, the Mayor’s Cup has matriculated into six events, more than one thousand participants, and a combined prize purse of $5,700 distributed to the winners.
The record turnout at the Mayor’s Cup caps a busy month for presenting l sponsor B.A.A. After hosting a record field on a revised course in the 10th annual B.A.A. Half Marathon on the 10th, the Association opened and closed registration for next April’s Boston Marathon in just eight hours on Monday, October 18. On Thursday, it hosted the Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships, a pro-active measure taken by the Association to foster an interest in running among the athletes of tomorrow. One consistent theme through all four occasions is an unprecedented level of interest in B.A.A. events. The B.A.A. and adidas have played host to the Mayor's Cup since 1997. A video recap of the event will be posted in the coming days at www.youtube.com/TheBostonMarathon, and the website of the B.A.A., www.baa.org.