(Reported by Dave Bischoff)
GVH rocked the nation this past Saturday in Tallahassee FL at the USATF National Club XC Championships. Topping that list was the incredible victory by the SuperVet Men (60+), led by Mark Rybinski, Gary Radford, Bill Bayerbach, Tim McMullen, and Gary Moore. This marked the first men’s victory ever at Club Natls. No small feat! This was one of the hardest fought battles I have seen since 2006 when GVH and Cal Coast fought to within inches of victory. Mark and Gary outkicked Tamalpa’s 2nd runner and Bill took down their 3rd to seal it by just 2 points! 16 teams competed but only one stood on top the podium. GVH!!!
As it turns out, GVH’s 60+ Men’s B team also took top 10 honors with an 8th place. It might have even been higher if Coach hadn’t unselfishly put himself off the scoring team list to allow others to count. Led by newcomer Kevin Clinefelter, this team had incredible runs as well, including former Natl. Champ Doc Rappole, Mitch Moore, Keith Yeates, and Dave Bowen.
In the same race, marking our first Ultra Vet Men (70+) appearance at Clubs, GVH took 3rd place in a hard fought battle with 6 teams. Led by Jim May’s 4th overall, Jim Glinsky, and Patrick Dwyer, they have served notice that they are in the hunt to win it all next year.
Moments before that, the Masters Women took 3rd overall behind a superb 3rd place overall (actually they tied for 2nd) individual effort from Heather Webster! Wakenda Tyler, Missy Senall and Gail Geiger brought down the hammer to seal the podium. With this performance it looks like they will win the USATF Grand Prix series!
The Vet Women were next with a hard-earned 4th place tie with Club Northwest out of Seattle. Led by Kathleen Hayden’s stirring 6th place and backed up closely by Carol Bischoff, Maureen Bischoff, Bonnie Lindblom, and Colleen Magnussen, this team continues to threaten for the overall Grand Prix title.
The Super Vet Women showed again why they have been the team to beat for many years. The 3-time National Club champs continue to impress despite some injuries and finished 4th overall. Former Natl. Champ Sharon Moore led the team with Jeanne Herrick and Cindy Ingalls close behind.
The Vet Men placed 5th in a stacked field and were led by the venerable Mike Nier with his 10th place overall. Mike was backed up by a stout bunch including Joe Mora, Dale Flanders, Theo Schnaufer, Johnny V (Vankerkhove), Phil Alesio, and Mike Sayers.
Not to be outdone by the older and more experienced folk, the open men and women went up against incredible talent including a number of Olympic athletes. For sure it was like watching thoroughbred horses straining at the reigns! The races were won by Sam Chelanga and Colleen Quigley none the less! 24 women’s teams and 36 men’s. It was like watching D1 Nationals on steroids.
Kathryn Potter (mid 21 6K!), Leila Mantilla and Donna Langerfeld all ran amazing races, and times among their fastest of the season. This team was also stricken by last minute injuries to two of their top runners.
Robert Hurlbut and Matt Pierce ran mid-32 min. 10K’s to pace the men with outstanding team running from Maurie Clark, Brian Hotchkiss, Brian Suhr, Sean Cooke, and Dan Knopp.
For sure, what an amazing venue, series of races, camaraderie, and post race celebrations for GVH. One for the record books! Congrats to all. Well done!