2014 USATF Masters 8 km Championships

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Report by: Eric Barron

It is always rewarding to run in a national championship, and 13 lucky TCLA'ers had that experience at the 2014 USATF Masters 8K Championships in Brea, California. Of course, if you run a major masters race in California, you have your work cut out for you as the state has more than its fair share of national class masters runners. Thus, though the club entered four teams in four different categories, a top three finish was an unlikely result. TCLA did, however, come close.

The club's highest place occurred in the Women's 50+ race. Rikako Takei was the first to cross the finish line for TCLA, which might have come as a surprise to anyone who noticed she was the last to cross the starting line. Along the way, she passed teammates Meganne Kanatani and Laura Dreskin. Meg and Laura probably did not expect to be on the club's best-finishing team, but their hard efforts paid off. Rikako also happened to have the highest age-graded score among all TCLA runners.

Next best placement for TCLA came in the Women's 40+ race. Although not race sharp, Wenise Wong led the club here, all the more impressive given the wrong turn she made a half mile out from the finish line. Note that had she paid as much attention to traffic cones as her son does, this would not have happened. One of the first club members to commit to this race, Elizabeth Poppert was the two runner for this group. The last club athlete to commit to the race was Tori Newmark, but thank goodness she did because she nailed down a top five finish for TCLA.

Meanwhile, in the men's 40+ race, Nyron Bernard posted the fastest time for any TCLA runner. He and teammates Wansun Song and Brian Panosian ran well enough for sixth place. Peter Glassman was the team leader for TCLA in the highly competitive men's 50+ race. With a p.r. on the course, Jim Sterling took the second spot for the club. Scott Allen was less than a minute behind Jim, and Michael Berger rounded out the team. The four earned a top ten finish.

In addition to sending four teams to the Championships, TCLA provided great support for all runners thanks to members Jim Gidlow (timing), Wayne Joness (direction), Tim Petersen (timing), Jim Spear (timing), Thuc Tran (assistant direction), and Noel Velasco (photography).

Average Finishing Time: 38:5.2
Averge Per Mile Pace: 7:39.7
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