By: Mike Giberti
For the 24th year, the Boston Athletic Association hosted one of the most exciting post-collegiate XC meets in New England. Franklin Park was surely the place to be this past Sunday as regional and national elite athletes made their way to Beantown. In addition, the meet served as the third installment of the USATF-NE XC Grand Prix, allowing hundreds of club athletes to toe the line with the pros. A handful of college teams also joined in on the fun, likely as a tune-up for their conference championship meets.
The women’s championship 5k race featured the quickest field in the recent past for the meet, highlighted by several New Balance and BAA High Performance ladies. Canadian athlete Rachel Hannah (New Balance) took home top honors in a blazing 16’36” with BAA’s Juliet Bottorff and 40 year old Jen Rhines taking the silver and bronze. Seven time NCAA D1 Champion Abbey D’Agostino cruised in a 4th place finish in what was a very solid post-collegiate debut for her. The hosting BAA team would sweep the team competition as Bottorff, Rhines, Sarah Pagano, Elaina Balouris, Katie Matthews, and Emily Lipari snagged the top six scoring positions for the unicorns. The top 5 BAA athletes traversed the course in 17’03” or faster. Not too shabby for what is actually a touch longer than 5 kilometers on grass and trails.
The men’s side also saw quite the fast field. Former Iona standout Mitch Goose (Manhattan Project) broke open a gap with 2k left and emerged victorious in 23’46” over the 8 kilometer layout with Reebok-sponsored Robert Mack just seven seconds back for 2nd place. BAA stud Ethan Shaw and ZAP Fitnes athlete Griff Graves posted even 24 minute efforts to grab 3rd and 4th. The BAA blue and gold also took home the team crown on the men’s side as Ethan Shaw, Dan Lowry, Steve Mangan, Sam Alexander, Bo Waggoner, Dan Harper, David Chorney formed a solid group of seven.
View some awesome photos of the meet, courtesy of Scott Mason!
Of course we provided some video coverage for all to enjoy!