New Honors For the Old Year

16 JAN 2013
New Honors For the Old Year
The New Year has arrived and with it came several awards recognizing B.A.A. athletes for outstanding performances in 2012. Beginning with the USATF New England Grand Prix, the B.A.A. had another strong showing with a number of athletes appearing high on the leader board. Lindsay Willard earned top honors, taking home the Women’s Open title. Willard demonstrated her versatility, competing in six of the seven series events, missing only the Cape Cod Marathon as she was coming off of the Hartford Marathon and she had already clinched the title. Her performances included runner-up finishes at the Jones Realty Group 10 Miler in February, the New Bedford Half Marathon in March, and the Newton 10k in June; she also took 7th place at the Carver Cranberry 5 Mile in July, and 9th place at the Jack Kerouac 5k in September.

Willard was also honored at the USATF New England Second Annual Awards Banquet this past weekend as the 2012 USATF New England Women’s Runner of the Year. In addition to her strong performances in the 2012 New England Grand Prix series, Willard was also the third American finisher and 17th woman overall at the 2012 Boston Marathon, running an impressive personal best of 2:55:53 in spite of the heat. She was also selected to compete among New England’s Finest at the Hartford Marathon on Saturday, October 6th, where she placed third in another PR of 2:53:52.

The B.A.A. also had two additional athletes receive awards for taking the top spot in their age divisions as part of the 2012 USATF New England Grand Prix. Wayne Levy and Harry Carter both won the overall titles, Levy in the 45-49 division and Carter in the 70+ division. Levy competed in all seven of the GP events, notching two wins, three runner-up spots and two third-place finishes and earning the Iron Runner designation. Carter had four runner-up finishes in the half marathon, the 12k, the 10k and the 5k and won the 5 Mile Championship. In addition to the overall winners, the B.A.A. also boasts seven individual champions. Hilary Dionne (half marathon), Emily Kroshus (12k), Brett Ely (10k), Brian Harvey (5 mile), Brielle Chabot (5k), Dan Hocking (5k), and Eric Ashe (marathon).

Dionne also had noteworthy performances in the marathon. In the 2012 Boston Marathon, she was the second American woman and 15th overall. In the fall, Dionne won the Hartford Marathon, setting a personal best of 2:40:35 – six minutes ahead of the second place finisher. In between, Dionne was second in the Providence Rock & Roll Half Marathon and won the Boston Allstate Life Insurance Half Marathon in 1:16:53. But the marathon performance of the year goes to Jeannette Faber who won the Twin Cities Marathon in a personal best 2:32:38. It was her thirteenth marathon and her 13th consecutive personal best at the distance.

The top honor of 2012 went to Tim Ritchie, who was selected as New England Runner’s Athlete of the Year. Ritchie had an amazing year, demonstrating his talent across a wide variety of distances. Last January, he joined the elite sub-4 minute mile club, running 3:58:49 at BU's Terrier Classic. The same day he posted an 8:05 for 3k on the track. On the outdoor oval, he went 13:56 in the 5k and 28:44 in the 10k. He was also a force on the roads, competing several times in the USATF Road Circuit where he was third in the U.S. 15k Championship, fifth in the U.S. Half Marathon Championship, 4th in the U.S. 20k Championship, 17th in the U.S. 5k Championship and 4th in the U.S. 10 Mile Championships. Ritchie has already started the New Year off with a strong showing at the Emerald Nuts 4 Mile in New York City in New Year's Eve. Finishing just after the stroke of midnight in 1-1-13, Ritchie placed second overall.

As we go further into 2013, B.A.A. athletes will be taking to the track and the roads, with athletes looking ahead at several Boston-area indoor meets as well as kicking-off the 2013 USATF New England Grand Prix at the Jones Realty Group 10 Mile in Amherst, MA on February 24th and the New Bedford Half Marathon on March 17th. Of course, the Boston Marathon is on a number of members' racing schedules with well over one hundred B.A.A. members qualified and entered.
B.A.A. Moment 2

1935 John A. Kelley

Born in West Medford, Massachusetts as one of ten children, Kelley ran track and cross-country at Arlington High School in Massachusetts. He did not finish his first Boston Marathon in 1928, but eventually competed in a record 61 Boston Marathons. A legend of the marathon, Kelley won the 1935 and 1945 runnings of the Boston Marathon. He finished in second place at Boston a record seven times. Between 1934 to 1950, he finished in the top five 15 times at Boston, consistently running in the 2:30s. He ran his last full marathon at Boston in 1992 at the age of 84, his 61st start and 58th finish there.