Mayor’s Cup Results and Summary 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007 - Blustery winds, blue skies, and temperatures in the lower 50s created the quintessential New England cross country backdrop for the 782 finishers in Sunday’s Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races, presented by adidas and the Boston Athletic Association, and directed by USA Track & Field (New England Association) and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with Boston Centers for Youth and Families.
Westchester (New York) Track Club repeated its feat from last year, sending both the male and female champions to the winner’s circle. Aziza Ayilu – an Ethiopian residing in the Bronx – became the first female to win back-to-back since the legendary Lynn Jennings successfully defended her title in 1994-95. Ayilu, 22, ran 16:37 in the women’s championship 5-kilometer race, beating Julie Culley, of Arlington, Virginia, by six seconds. Culley, 26, and formerly of Rutgers University improved from her eighth place finish at the 2006 Mayor’s Cup. Serena Ramsey placed third in 16:50.
With her second Mayor’s Cup title, Ayilu joins Jennings and Kathy Franey as the only women to have notched two victories in the event’s 18 years. Four men have won the Mayor’s Cup twice: Keith Kelly (2002-03); Francis Kirwa (1998, 2000); Silah Misoi (1996-97); and Brad Schlapak (1992-93).
RIADHA/S4A won the women’s competition by the score of 35 to 46 over the Nike Central Park Track Club. Greater Boston Track Club (GBTC) was the first local club (third place; 70 points).
Riadha (ree-ah-thah), Swahili for athletics, which in East Africa translates to Track and Field plus non-track running, is a self-funded, athlete-based philanthropic organization focused on improving human health worldwide. The organization also supports developing track and field athletes. Riadha merged with Shoe for Africa (S4A) and the club is now referred to as Riadha/Shoe for Africa.
Girma Tola, 32, also Ethiopian and who has been living in the Bronx, New York for approximately two months, won the men’s 8-kilometer race (180 finishers), with a time of 23:18, three seconds faster than runner-up Jorge Torres, 27, of Reebok and Boulder, Colorado. Massachusetts was represented on the awards platform by Sean Quigley, 22, who is in a collegiate “red shirt” year at LaSalle University (Penn.), but who made his name as a scholastic standout at Franklin Park when he wore the local colors of Archbishop Williams several years ago. Quigley ran 23:24, while fourth place Dylan Wykes (23:41), of the host Boston Athletic Association, led the B.A.A. to the team victory. Genesee Valley Harriers (91 points) and Westchester Track Club (100 points) were the second and third place men’s teams.
Defending champion Stephen Chemlany (KEN) took 14th place and and 2005 champ Jarrod Shoemaker (Sudbury, MA) finished ninth. Shoemaker was recently named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic triathlon team. The 10-year old meet records by Franey (Women’s 5K; 16:22 in 1997) and Misoi (Men’s 8K; 22:53 in 1997) went unchallenged for yet another year.
Another former Mayor’s Cup champion – U.S. Olympian Kate O’Neill – served as the starter of the women’s race and was an all-around celebrity as she distributed the awards to the top placers from the youth races. O’Neill, the 2003 Mayor's Cup champion and Milton, Mass. native, was a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team (10,000m), and was in town to tour the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon course in Boston and Cambridge. She qualified for that event three weeks ago at The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon where she placed third with a time of 2:36:15.
The Mayor’s Cup is composed of five races: girls’ and boys’ 1.1-mile races, the open Franklin Park 5K, the women’s Championship 5K and the men’s Championship 8K.
Winners of the other Mayor’s Cup races were:
- Brett Baker (Boys 1.1 mile) – 5:40
- Laura Williamson (Girls 1.1 mile) – 6:21
- Eric Khatchadourian (men, Franklin Park 5K – 16:02)
- Jennifer Rapaport (women, Franklin Park 5K – 19:30)
A portion of the proceeds from the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races are directed back to the park for the maintenance of the cross country facility.