2014 Year in Review, Part II

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By Jim Dandeneau


Former Marblehead High and University of North Carolina star Shalane Flanagan declared herself “all in” for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and even led the way until just after mile 20. In finishing 6th (we do not count drug cheat Rita Jeptoo) she ran the fastest time ever by an American female (2:22:02). In the men’s race Meb Keflezighi  became the first American since Greg Meyer to win, finishing in 2:08:37. Several locals ran well led by Ruben Sanca (2:19:05), Brian Harvey, (2:20:31), Tyler Andrews 2:21:33  (who had run a treadmill world record ½ marathon 1:07:18 a month prior) Eric Ashe, (2:21:41) and Alex Taylor 2:23:21 while on the women’s side Hilary Dionne (2:35:08) Andrea Walkonnen, (2:37:06) and Erica Jesseman 2:42:32 led the New England contingent.

In the BAA 5K held 2 days prior to the main event, Molly Huddle, in a mild upset, won in 15:12 while Ben True nearly won the men’s race finishing a close second in 13:26.

At the James Joyce 10K Amos Sang and Glarius Rop, both of Kenya, finished 1-2 while in the Masters national championship event,  Mike Galoob  (32:37) held off 47 year old Peter Hammer (who had run Boston 6 days prior) to win by 4 seconds. Former all-everything Melody Fairchild, (still the girls course record holder at the Footlocker national cross country championships 25 years later), won the women’s masters title in 35:15. Brandeis University professor, Diana Bowser, 40, who is married to Hammer, finished 3rd.

At the Penn Relays, Hannah DeBalsi won the high school girls 3000 meters in 9:34.57 while Alex Ostberg finishes 3rd in the boys race in 8:20.


The first ever All Terrain Series in New England kicked off at the Sleepy Hollow 10k trail race as Kasie Enman, 2011 World Mountain running champion, dominated the field winning in 46:44 while Josh Ferenc, the “wild neoteny”, was even more dominate on the men’s side finishing in 40:44, separating himself from second place by 2:05 .

Tyler Andrews, a Tufts University graduate, took the lead after 24 miles, winning the Vermont City Marathon in 2:20:27.

Out at Stanford University’s Payton Jordan 5000 meter invitation Ben True ran a meet record 13:02.74 holding off Hasan Mead by .06 after perfect pacing by 3000 steeplechase extraordinaire Dan Huling, a RI native.  Molly Huddle ran the second fastest time ever in the women’s 10K by an American female in finishing second in 30:47.59.  Former University of Maine star Riley Masters won the 1500 in 3:38:42.

At the New Balance Boston Twilight series meet #3 Morgan Uceny ran 2:00.29 for 800 meters while Princeton bound Garrett O’Toole tuned up for his break out mile race a week later with a 1:50.16 in finishing second in an open field of competitors.

Four athletes broke 1:47 in the men’s 800 meters at the Hoka One One Adrian Martinez classic held in Concord, MA while in the mile, 4 runners cracked the 4:00 magical barrier. However it is the 4:01.89 by O’Toole that caught the eye of the track and field world. Amy Hastings ran 15:25.94 in winning the women’s 5000 meters.

At the Loucks Games in White Plains, NY Dan Curts of Ellsworth, ran a Maine high school record for 3200 meters, (8:51.24) as LaSalle Academy (RI) freshman DJ Principe finished in 9:15.87.

At the Pack Monadnock 10 mile race, veteran mountain runner Kath Hardcastle, 32, Watertown, MA, won handily over Christin Doneski, 43, while Brandon Newbould, 32, easily won over Kevin Tilton and Eric MacKnight with a very strong late race move.

Up in Maine at the Portland Sea Dog’s 5K, Olympic trials marathon hopeful Robert Gomez stepped down in distance and coasted to victory while Erica Jesseman outdistanced the women’s field.


Joe Gray, 30, Colorado Springs, who has shown to be  competitive on a national scale not only on the trails and hills but also on the track and cross-country surfaces, won the 54th running of the Mount Washington road race in  59:09, winning by 52 seconds over defending champion Eric Blake (the Central Connecticut State head men’s cross-country coach), and former Cornell runner Sage Canaday (the 2012 champion). On the women’s side, Shannon Payne, 28, also of Colorado Springs, competing in her first Mt. Washington race, ran 1:10:12. Kasie Enman (4th place) was the first NE resident with Denise Sandahl, 33, of Bow, NH  just behind in 5th.

Esther Erb, 28, Zap Fitness, held off teammate Stephanie Pezzollo, 32, to win the Litchfield Hills 7 mile road race while foreigners dominated the men’s race. Former Yale standout Lucas Meyer, formerly of the B.A.A now living in Washington D.C., finished 8th with BAA ace Brian Harvey 9th.

In the Spring Street Mile, Craig Hunt ran 4:02 with Elizabeth Ebelhardt winning the women’s race in 4:54.

Former University of Arizona star, Stephen Sambu, a native of Kenya, ran the world’s fastest road 10K of 2014 in 27:25 in claiming the men’s title while Mamitu Daska, 30, of Ethiopia. won the women’s race in 31:04.

At the New England High School track and field championships, Jeremy Brassard, Coe-Brown (NH) held off 10th grader Jack Salisbury in winning the 1600 meters, 4:12:44 to 4:12.97.

Alex Ostberg (5000 meters 14:16.94), who is a HS junior and Hannah DeBalsi, (2 mile-10:09.08) only a sophomore, won New Balance high school national titles. A week later DeBalsi broke 10:00 in finishing second at the Brooks PR meet running 9:55:05.

At the NCAA Division I in Eugene, OR, UNH junior John Prizzi ran 8:44.02 in the 3000 meter steeplechase to finish 8th while Portsmouth, NH native Eric Jenkins, now running for the University of Oregon, finished 4th in the 5000 meters in a time of 13:27.41. Andrew Springer, Georgetown University finished 13th in the men’s 10K.

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