Forty (40) athletes from USATF Niagara participated in the USATF Masters Cross Country Championships
in Saratoga Springs, NY on Sunday.
The Genesee Valley Harriers (GVH) men’s squad won the M50+ and M60+ team titles while Carolyn Smith-Hanna, 65, of Pittsford and Mark Rybinski, 60, of Manlius had the highest age division finishes while Sascha Scott, 40, of Syracuse and Mike Nier, 50, of Rochester turned in the best age-graded performances.
In the M50+ team competition the Genesee Valley Harriers placed its five scorers in the top six to score 19 points. The Greater Philadelphia Track Club was second with 58 points. The scorers for the team were Mike Nier (Rochester), Carl Johnson (Pittsford), Theodor Schnaufer (Syracuse), Dale Flanders (Allegany), and David Bischoff (Fairport). The M60+ team won by just three points over rival Shore Athletic Club of New Jersey. The final scores were 12 to 15. After each teams top two finishers had crossed the line they were tied with 6 points. The third and final scorers decided the title with Frank Gioia of GVH finishing three places ahead of the final scorer for the Shore AC to secure the win. The other two GVH scorers were Mark Rybinski and Bill Beyerbach, 60, of Rochester. The Syracuse Track Club finished fourth with 45 points. Other team performances were: Genesee Valley Harriers (W40+ 2nd place) and Syracuse Track Club (W40+ 3rd place)
Individuals earning trips to the awards podium for finishing in the top three in their age divisions were: Carolyn Smith-Hanna (W65 2nd place), Sascha Scott (W40 3rd place), and Mark Rybinski (M60 3rd place). Scott, who turned 40 in late September, ran 17:44 and was just 11 seconds off the winning performance of Janet McDevitt of Washington. Her time scored 84.67% on the age-graded performance table which was the best of all Niagara women on the day. Leading the men’s age-graded scores was Mike Nier who ran 16:25 to finish fifth in the M50 division. His age-graded score was 89.86%. Mark Rybinsk (86.16%) and Brian Cummins, 60, of Cortland (86.00%) had the next two best performances.
Other top performances, based on their age-graded scores, were: David Bischoff (5th M50-54; 17:50; 84.66%) and Sharon Moore (4th W60-64; 22:19; 83.78%).