Sunday, June 7, 2009
Southern California USATF members took top honors in the popular Los Angeles race—the 3rd race in the inaugural 7-race Grand Prix Road Running Series. The first place women’s finisher was Mary Akor with a time of 35:17. Mary also won the 2008 Southern California USATF Half-Marathon Championship at the International City Bank race in Long Beach last October. She was pleased with her winning time, noting that she was using the Brentwood 10K as a tune-up race for the June 20th Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota.
The second and third place women’s finishers were Erika Aklufi (36:12) and Tania Fischer (36:55), both members of the The Janes Elite Racing Team. Every member of The Janes who raced on Sunday placed among the top-3 finishers in their respective 5-year age-group, including Sissel Berntsen-Heber, chair of the Southern California USATF Masters Road Running Committee.
Team competition in the 2009 Road Running Grand Prix has been spirited and The Janes managed to edge-out Team Runners High by just one point for the highest single club score—4,148 points to the 4,147 points that Team Runners High scored at the Coaster 5K in March! In overall team point totals, the leader is Track Club LA with 7,809 pts by virtue of their having competed in two Grand Prix races. To qualify for end-of-year awards, teams must compete in at least four Grand Prix races with five finishers. Four races remain on the 2009 calendar, leaving lots of opportunities for any Southern California USATF Club to take the lead.
Barely a month after a runaway win at the OC Marathon, Eulogio Rodriguez battled it out with fellow USATF runner Peter Magill for first place in the men’s division. Eli ran in tandem with Peter for most of the race, then pulled away at the finish for a :15 second victory in 31:48. Eli has now competed in all three Grand Prix races to date, each time scoring well into nationally-ranked mid-800 point range and taking the overall lead in men’s grand prix points.
Peter Magill, however, is his senior by 22-years, making his age-graded score an incredible 935 points. The only other Grand Prix runner to reach the 900 point level is Jimmy Grabow, who won the Coaster Run 5K in 14:16. While Eli is in position to win the 2009 Grand Prix title, it is still possible for other elite runners to challenge his lead with four races remaining in the Series.
For the current Grand Prix Scoring totals visit www.scagrandprix.org.
On the women’s side, Rosalva Bonilla is in position to claim the 2009 Women’s Grand Prix title. Like Eli, Rosalva has competed in all three grand prix races todate and accrued an impressive average score of 822.7 points across the 5K, 10K, and marathon distances! She shows no signs of slowing down and plans to race the Semana Nautica 15K on July 4—the next grand prix race in the Series.
All told, 33 Southern California Association members competed in the Brentwood 10K, bringing the total number of participants in the 2009 Road Running Grand Prix Series to 93.
The Grand Prix Series will hit its mid-point on July 4 at Semana Nautica 15K race with many talented USATF runners from the Santa Barbara area joining the competition. That race could see new contenders emerge in the competition, or solidify the hopes of the current leaders for cash prizes and awards at the conclusion of the inaugural 2009 Road Running Grand Prix
Chair, Open Athletics Long Distance Running Committee
Southern California Association/ USA Track & Field
Cell (310) 600-5332 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org