By Mike Giberti
It’s quite a rare occurrence when national and world class athletes gather to compete at a community track located in a town park. But the Adrian Martinez Classic did just that and took a huge leap in competition this year. The evening of Thursday, June 5th, 2014 was the 6th running of the Martinez Classic meet. In the past, it has traditionally been held as a night of mile races for all abilities and experience levels that concluded with “elite” sections. These elite heats attracted local sub-elites and were usually won in around 4’10” for men and 4’45” for women. But this year, Hoka One One took over sponsorship, the elite sections featured some of the best in the nation, and there were high performance 800m and 5000m sections added to the schedule as well. And yes, new Hoka athlete and Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano was in town along with 800m specialists from the Brooks Beasts Track Club and other professional track and field athletes.
There wasn’t a dull moment to be had in Concord that evening. Facility records were broken left and right in front of a great crowd. A lot of fast local guys in here as well. Here’s a breakdown of what went on in each of the elite races:
— Level Renner (@levelrenner) June 5, 2014
Men’s 800m: Four guys finished in 1’46” with Brooks Beast Cas Loxsom leading the way in 1:46.38. Lowell, MA native Brian Gagnon finished 3rd in 1:46.62 with a strong last 100m while GBTC’s Alex Engel came in 9th for a 1:50.73.
Women’s 800m: It was a really tight race every step of the way. The rabbit pulled them through 400m in 60 and they held on to finish between 2’02” and 2’08”. Dana Mecke took the win in a lean with 2:02.85 while Stephanie Charingo and Nicole Sifuentes followed in 2:02.92 and 2:02.94, respectively.
Men’s Mile: This was the race to watch if you were to be there for only one event. The rabbit did a poor job as they weren’t even close to the intended pace of 2’26” through 1k, but a negative split show was put on and Leo Manzano unexpectedly got taken down in a kick by three other runners. Team USA/Saucony athlete Mark Finan ran his first ever sub 4 mile to take the win in 3:58.73, edging out New Zealand great Hamish Carson and Providence’s Julian Oakley who both ran 3’58” and change. Leo dropped back to 4th in 3:59.31. Though the most impressive run of the day was Middlesex High School senior Garrett O’Toole, who shocked the crowd with a US #1 High School Best Time of 4:01.89, nearly gunning down Manzano. O’Toole will attend Princeton in the fall. Other local athletes in the race included Pat Fullerton (4:05.82) and David Goodman (4:08.25 – a track mile PR). There was also a ‘B’ section of the men’s HP mile that featured a number of local athletes from New Balance Boston, Greater Boston Track Club, and the Western Mass Distance Project.
— Eric Finan (@EricFinan) June 6, 2014
Women’s Mile: The adidas athletes who were in town were the class of the field. The race was a bunched up affair until the last lap, when Morgan Uceny and Violah Lagat took off. Lagat went around Uceny on the final turn and ran off with a 4:29.43, beating Uceny’s 4:29.89. Morgan Uceny was also in town last weekend at the third New Balance Boston Twilight Meet to run a 2:00.29 800m in a combined men’s and women’s section.
Men’s 5000m: Local stud and (Level Legion member) Brian Harvey did a fantastic rabbitting job, dragging Travis Mahoney, Mitch Goose, and Team RUN’s Jeff Veiga with him. Mahoney and Goose took it down to the final 400m, when Mahoney blasted off like a cannon with a 58 on his last lap to sneak under 14. Mahoney won in 13:59.13 with Goose second in 14:04.63. USATF-NE Road 5k Champ Veiga finished 4th in 14:13.39.
Women’s 5000m: Amy Hastings, the top American in the Run Westfield 5k broke away halfway through the race and ran it in for a solo 15:25.94. Former Dartmouth standout Alexi Pappas came all the way from Oregon to place second in 15:43.72, barely missing her PR. The USATF-NE Women’s Road 5k Champ, Larissa Park, was also racing the 5k this evening. Park finished 9th in 18:27.11.
We also can’t leave out the Men’s Master’s and Senior’s Miles, which were won by GBTC member (and also a member of the recent World Master’s 4x800m record-setting team) Chris Blondin and Whirlaway’s Paul Hammond, respectively.
Full results of the 2014 Martinez Classic can be found here.