Steck, Crookston claim Pole Green Park 5K and USATF-VA Titles
Mechanicsville, VA – Participants in the Pole Green Park 5K Run & Walk were greeted by nearly perfect running conditions on Saturday morning despite the looming threat of tropical storm Hermine in the days leading up to the race. Under cloudy, cool skies, the cross country faithful were rewarded with a great opportunity to run fast in a late summer race in Richmond. A total of three different races were held on Saturday morning, including the USATF-Virginia Cross Country Championships, the Pole Green Park 5k Run & Walk presented by the Collegiate Running Association, and the Spider Alumni Open hosted by the University of Richmond.
In the Open Men’s race 17 year old Conrad Steck (Surry, Va.) and 20 year old Collin Hahn (Chesterfield, VA) charged to the lead from the gun as they battled for nearly 2 miles. Shortly thereafter, Steck made his move, pulling away to a 19 second victory and claiming the individual title in 16:05 over Hahn’s 16:24. David Strickland (Lexington Park, MD) ran 17:00 to claim third, Jeff Fanale (Charlottesville, VA) placed 4th in 17:09 and Donavan Foley (South Riding, Va.) rounded out the top 5 with his 17:26 effort.
Steck, Fanale and Foley also claimed the top three spots in the USATF-VA Championships which were held concurrently with the Pole Green Park 5k Run & Walk.
The women’s open title was a battle between Brooke Crookston (Surry, Va.) and Serenity Chavez (Surry, VA). The two Growing Runners Club teammates took the lead from the gun and battled through the opening 2.5 miles of the 5K race. Crookston opened a small lead with 800M to go and extended the lead to 8 seconds as she raced to victory in a time of 20:43. Crookston claimed the Open Women’s title over Growing Runners teammates Chavez (20:51) and Anne Heaton Noble (Surry, Va.), who ran 21:14 for third. This trio also claimed the top 3 spots in the USATF-VA Open Championships and the Under 20 USATF-VA Championships.
In the Master’s race (over 40), Jason Dowdy (Richmond, VA) and Randall Myers (Arlington, VA) were the class of the field. Dowdy pressed hard after the 2 mile point and pushed to the finish to distance himself by 13 seconds (17:33) over Myers (17:46).
Laura Turner (Henrico, VA) easily claimed victory in the women’s Masters race, running 26:23. Her time placed her 6th overall among women. It was 61 year old Ethel Guerrero (King George, VA) who would claim the USATF-VA Masters title running 42:46.
“We were really excited to host the Pole Green Park 5K Run & Walk here at Pole Green Park. We were also happy to include the USATF Virginia Championships again this year”, said Collegiate Running Association Co-Founder and University of Richmond Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Steve Taylor. “The Pole Green Cross Country Course is one of the best. It is spectator friendly and has as nice of a running surface as I’ve seen. The Hanover County Parks & Recreation staff do a great job throughout the year maintaining this facility.”
“We like watching this event grow and hosting in conjunction with our annual Spider Alumni Open” said Taylor. “Tropical Storm Hermine kept some participants away, but this turned out to be a great day. The temperatures were cooler and the rain was minimal. We are avid supporters of USATF-Virginia and the officials. There were so many USATF-Virginia officials out here today and we want to publicly thank them for their efforts, not just today, but throughout the year. It was a great event and we hope more people will add it to their Labor Day Weekend plans next year.”
The Collegiate Running Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles through running, once again served as the presenting sponsor for the championships. “The CRA is happy to be the presenting sponsor of the races today’, said CRA Co-Founder Jon Molz. “We recognize the importance of being a support organization, not just for our national championships events, but also for our local communities. As we grow as an organization, Richmond remains our home and it’s exciting to watch great races and be part of events like this.”
2016 Pole Green Park 5K Run & Walk RESULTS (See Below)