Double Victory: The B.A.A. Boasts Two Individual and Two Team Champions at the New England Cross Country Championship

06 NOV 2011
Double Victory: The B.A.A. Boasts Two Individual and Two Team Champions at the New England Cross Country Championship
The competition was seeing double as the B.A.A. Men's & Women's Open teams successfully defended their titles at the 2011 USATF New England Cross Country Championship at Franklin Park on Sunday, November 6, 2011. The win marked the sixth consecutive victory for the men's team and the fourth consecutive for the women. In all, the men have won eight of the last ten titles and the women have won nine of the last thirteen championships.

Individually, Tim Ritchie and Peter Hammer each claimed the victory with stellar performances. Improving upon his runner-up finish in the Men’s Open 10k in 2010, Ritchie ran a smart race up front before taking the lead after the half-way point. With the chase pack unable to challenge, Ritchie ran solo over the last several kilometers, eventually winning by 18 seconds over teammate Brian Harvey . Harvey ran tough from start to finish, out-kicking his two closest competitors in the final meters to claim the runner up spot. Just behind Harvey, in fourth place, was Justin Lutz.

Also scoring for the B.A.A. was club newcomer Eric Ashe. A recent Boston University graduate, Ashe placed 11th overall. Rounding out the top five was the 2009 New England Cross Country Champion Lucas Meyer in 15th place. Meyer is coming off a personal best 2:19:04 marathon at Chicago four weeks ago. With five in the top fifteen, the B.A.A. won handily, outscoring rival New Balance Boston by 24 points.

In the Men’s Masters’ 8k, Pete Hammer had his work cut out for him. Running in a tight pack that included teammate Wayne Levy, Hammer ran a controlled effort until the race broke open heading into the last Wilderness loop. As the lead pack stretched out, Hammer kept contact, sprinting to a 1 second victory in a tight finish: the top five finishers were separated by a mere 5 seconds. Levy finished sixth and was joined by Kevin Grant (24th), Rey Flores (28th) and Andrew Gordon (43rd) to help the Masters’ to a 4th place finish.

The Women’s Open Team had the most dramatic finish, ending the race in a tie with rival New Balance Boston. USATF New England Officials broke the tie by determining which club had their fifth runner in first and the decision went to the B.A.A.. It was fifth runner Melissa Nash who was the heroine, out sprinting her New Balance Boston competitor in the homestretch. A stellar performance by Diana Bowser who placed third, along with strong races by Kasie Enman in fourth, Emily Kroshus in ninth, and Mariko (Holbrook) Neveu in thirteenth, helped put the B.A.A. women back on the top of the podium.

Next up on the schedule, the B.A.A. will compete at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships on December 10, 2011 in Seattle, WA. The race will feature the top clubs from across the United States as they vie for honors and bragging rights as the nation's top cross country team. More than 40 clubs and 1,000 competitors are expected to compete.

MEN'S OPEN 10K RESULTS
1. Timothy Ritchie 30:25
2. Brian Harvey 30:43
4. Justin Lutz 30:45
11. Eric Ashe 31:16
15. Lucas Meyer 31:30
18. Colman Hatton 31:44
22. Ryan McCalmon 32:07
24. Will Dobbie 32:13
26. David Emerson 32:25
30. Michael Keebler 32:33
40. David Chorney 33:22
51. Tim Guerin 33:57 59. Kyle Ormsby 34:24 66. Antony Keller 34:44 75. Matthew Simonson 35:34

MEN'S OPEN 10K TEAM RESULTS
1. Boston Athletic Association 20
2. New Balance Boston 44
3. Green Mountain AC 89

WOMEN'S OPEN 6K RESULTS
3. Diana Bowser 21:03
4. Kasie Enman 21:15
9. Emily Kroshus 21:57
13. Mariko Neveu 22:10
16. Melissa Nash 22:12
28. Liz Hankinson 23:36
32. Maria Varela 23:46
23. Dorothy Zirkle 23:59

WOMEN'S OPEN 6K TEAM RESULTS
1. Boston Athletic Association 37
2. New Balance Boston 37
3. GBTC 46

MEN'S MASTER'S 8K RESULTS
1. Peter Hammer 26:49
6. Wayne Levy 27:03
24. Kevin Grant 28:47
28. Rey Flores 29:11
43. Andrew Gordon 30:02
45. Robert Collins 30:05
61. Ken Leinbach 32:27
70. Joe Hall 34:10

Visit the Event Website for complete results.

B.A.A. Moment 2

1996 - Centennial Boston Marathon

The starting field of 38,708 for the centennial race stood for more than seven years as the largest in the history of the sport. Included among the finishers were 16 Boston champions. The historic 100th Boston Marathon was monumental for another reason. It was the first time that a chip timing and scoring device was used in a major US Marathon.