This year’s USATF-NE Indoor Championships was one to remember, and we’ve got a solid chunk of it on video. Here’s a brief summary of what went down.
The day’s running events kicked off with the USATF-NE 5k championship, which was also the open indoor race for the USATF-NE All Terrain Runner Series. For the women, it was Emma Spencer who would run away with the top honors. She initially traded off the lead with Craft Concept Racing’s Kathryn Cooper, but eventually broke away and won the race in 17’03 to Cooper’s 17’25.
On the men’s side, Dan Vassallo did a decent amount of the work early on, with CMS teammate Nate Jenkins, GMAA’s Pete Gurney, and UMass Amherst redshirt Kendall Westhoff all on his heels. The elusive Nate Jenkins would take command of the race later on and never let up. He would hammer away a very well paced 14’41 with a 67.x last quarter. Vassallo would complete the CMS 1,2 sweep with a 14’45 for 2nd.
The majority of the women’s race was led by Phillips Andover’s Samantha Valentine before Battle Road Track Club’s Nikki Long took command just before the bell lap. Though it looked like Long had everything wrapped up going into the final curve, it was Bedford, NH high school standout Leya Salis who gunned a blazing fast last lap to outkick Long for the win in 4’53.50 to Nikki’s 4’53.76. On a side note, Salis broke the New Hampshire Division 1 1000m indoor record two weeks ago at the NH D1 Championships (2’52.42), competed in the NB Indoor Grand Prix high school mile (6th OA), and was 3rd in New England in the 800m last spring (2’10.15). So she’s definitely got some fitness!
On the men’s side, it was the NE Distance guys who took command of the field as Ryan Widzgowski and Nick Ross served as pace rabbits to set up teammate Steve Mangan to break the four minute mile for the first time this season. It was a valiant effort, but Mangan would fall just short of the big accomplishment, running a 4’00.97. The next closest competitor to Mangan was Dartmouth’s Pat Gregory, who ran a 4’17 for the runner up spot.
In the women’s race, it was Cait Abelseth who broke some hearts in style, taking a close race in 2’09.28. Paige Kouba would be the runner up in 2’10.46 with Leya Salis completing an incredible mile/800 double with her 2’12.21 for 3rd.
The men’s race saw a new meet record as Harvard’s Myles Marshall blazed a 1’49.29. Harvard alumni Connor Reck was the runner up in 1’52.
This was most certainly the marquee event of the meet as some big names took the track on both the men’s and women’s side. The entire women’s elite field finished in 10 flat or faster with New Mexico’s Calli Thackery taking the title in 9’09.77. Oiselle athlete Sasha Gollish finished 2nd right behind Thackery in 9’11.09. Battle Road TC’s Danielle Bessette topped the field in the open section, racing to a 10’09.09.
The Men’s race featured four Furman Elite athletes battling it out with Brooks Beasts’ Izaic Yorks. Caleb Hoover would be the eventual victor in 7’52.07, dragging the next four men under the 8 minute barrier with him. Andrew Erskine went on to win the open heat in 8’37, completing the Battle Road open 3k sweep.
Enjoy these race videos and then some, courtesy of our own Mike Giberti.