Cross Country Races in Franklin Park Produce Close Finishes Yet Again
Knowing nothing of the trails and terrain in Boston’s Franklin Park, Lauren Centrowitz came blindly to the starting line in the Women’s Championship 5K race at the 22nd Annual Mayor’s Cup. What she lacked in preparation, she redeemed in will. “I just decided to make it hurt,” Centrowitz said. “I didn’t know anything about the competition or the course.” The 25-year-old took clear ownership of the lead after 3 kilometers, and never looked back. “There were a lot of good runners out here today. It was a surprise to pull away when I did. It’s always difficult to run by yourself. I’m happy with the win.” The seven-time All-American from Stanford University earned $600 for her victory, and $300 for finishing as the top American.
Running for Pacers New Balance in the Washington DC area, Centrowitz won with a time of 17:10, 17 seconds ahead of teammate Erin Koch. Jenn Donovan of Brighton, Massachusetts finished third with a time of 17:28. Donovan led New Balance Boston to victory in the Team Competition, as she, Erin Dromgoole (ninth), Jordan Daniel (11th), Joan Bohlke (15th), and Joanna Murphy (16th) combined for the victory with 54 points. Boston Athletic Association was second with 87 points, and Central Park Track Club New Balance placed third with 90.
In the Men’s 8K Championship, the Mayor’s Cup trophy remained in the possession of the New York Athletic Club, albeit with a new owner. David Nightingale emerged from a four runner pack on the Franklin Park home stretch to take the title with a time of 23:46. Fellow NYAC runner Jon Phillips experienced victory on the same finish line in 2010. “There were about nine or ten of us in a pack for the first three miles. We picked it up a little bit from three to four. It wasn’t until the last 400 meters that I was able to get a lead.”
The well-timed kick of Nightingale put him two seconds ahead of Jeff Schirmer Steve Hallinan, and Harbert Okuti, who all finished in 23:48. It also earned him $900. Nightingale’s isn’t the only trophy the NYAC will be bringing back to the Big Apple, as he and Gian-Paul Caccia (eighth), Matthew Forys (tenth), Phillips (11th), and Daniel Lewis (13th) combined to win the Team Competition with 43 points. Host Boston Athletic Association was second with a score of 98, and New Balance Boston placed third with 108.
For the past 22 years, the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races have given elite and recreational runners one of their best Cross Country racing opportunities in the Northeast. While the day’s events are capped by the Men’s and Women’s Championship races, a series of youth races and a 5K are held through the course of the morning. The youth races are split into 10-and-under, 11-12, and 13-14 year-old age divisions. All divisions are 1.1 mile. For full results and scores from all the morning’s races, click here.