Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nicole Schappert & Frances Koons to Test Manchester Mile

Field for ‘Mile’ an Elite One
New Hampshire Union Leader
Published Jun 28, 2011

If runners weren’t excited enough about the first HASLAW Manchester Mile, wait until they see the field of elite runners planning to participate in the race.

Race director and coordinator John Mortimer released names of nine men and five women elite runners who will compete in the mile run, set for Sunday at 10 a.m. on Bridge Street near Derryfield Park. Also, a 5k race will commence at 9:15 a.m.

The downhill course, which features a 188-foot drop from the starting line to the finish line at Pulaski Park, promises, according to Mortimer, to be one of the fastest mile runs in the country. The world record is 3:43. Since the course is downhill, Mortimer has said no world record can be officially set but, with many talented runners in the field, there’s a good chance someone could topple the 3:43 time.

Top male runners supplied by Mortimer include Rob Novak of the New York Athletic Club, Liam Boylan-Pett of the New Jersey-New York Track Club/Powerbar and 2011 Millennium Mile champion Brian Gagnon of Lowell, Mass.

Novak, a former high school national 800-meters champion who later became an NCAA All-American and Big East champ for Seton Hall, has a personal best time of 3:59.70 for the one mile.

Boylan-Pett, an NCAA All-American and three-time Ivy League champion from Columbia University, has achieved personal best times of 3:56.4 for the one-mile on the roads, 3:59.7 on the track and 1:46.0 for the 800 meters.

Gagnon, who impressed with his 3:54 time in the 2011 Millennium Mile, is a two-time NCAA All American from the University of Connecticut.

Michael Rutt and Aidan Walsh, both from the New Jersey/New York Track Club, are in the field along with former Ivy League champ Jeff Moriarty of Westwood, Mass., Kevin Alliette of New Balance Boston, Tim Ritchie of the Boston Athletic Association and Justin Lutz of the United States Navy.

Rutt of Sinking Springs, Pa., is a former Big East Athlete of the Year from the University of Connecticut. His specialty is in middle distance running, posting a personal-best time of 1:46.63 for 800 meters. His teammate, Walsh, was a bronze medalist at the 2004 Irish Olympic Trials (1,500 meters) and he’s an eight-time NCAA Northeast Conference Champion.

Moriarty was the Ivy League champion in the 800-meters and 1,000-meters in 2010 while at Columbia. He still holds the school record in the 800-meters (1:47) which is a personal best. Alliette was an NCAA Division II All-American at UMass-Lowell and a former New England 1,000 meters champ.

Ritchie was the 2010 USATF-New England cross country champion and, while running for Boston College, was honored as an All-ACC athlete in track and cross country. Lutz, of Framingham, Mass., has run a mile in 4:09. Another runner to watch is Sam Horn of Reading, Mass., who has run a 4:02 mile.

The women’s field is just impressive, beginning with Frances Koons (New Balance), a kidney cancer survivor and former Villanova University star. Koons was a nine-time NCAA All American and a seven-time Big East champion for the Wildcats. Koons owns personal bests of 4:31.5 for the one-mile and 15:43.8 for the 5k race.

Nicole Blood (Nike) of Saratoga, N.Y., while running for the University of Oregon, was a nine-time NCAA All American, a four-time PAC-10 champion, and she broke her school record in the 5,000 meters. Her personal-best times are 4:38.8 in the mile and 15:38.6 in the 5k.

Julie Culley ( NYAC) was an NCAA All American for Rutgers University. The Clinton, N.J., resident has qualified for three USA National World Championship teams (2008 World Indoor Championships in the 3,000 meters, the 2009 World Cross Country Championships, and the 2010 Outdoor World Championship 5,000 meters). She has personal best times of 15:21 for 5k and 4:34 in the mile.

Two other elite runners to watch are Nicole Schappert (N.J.-N.Y. Track Club), a three-time NCAA All American at Villanova and Caitlin Malloy (New Balance Boston) from Medford, Mass., a four-time Division III All-American for Tufts University. Schappert has run a personal-best time of 4:35 in the mile.

No comments:

Post a Comment