Sunday, February 26, 2012

USATF Southern California Runners Continue Domination of Brea 8K Classic

Brea 8K Classic, Sunday February 26, 2012, Brea CA

By Wayne Joness

Members of USATF Southern California cannot get enough of the irresistible one-two punch of the Brea 8K Classic, which combines the unique road racing distance of 8 kilometers with a finish line food feast which alone is worth the price of race registration. And for the third year in a row, USATF members turned out in record numbers to set new course records, competing in the largest field of registered Brea 8K runners in the history of the 21 year-old event.

Carlos Carballo (M29) of adidas Legacy Run Racing won convincingly in 24:32, a good twenty seconds ahead of second place finisher and masters champion Christian Cushing-Murray (M44) of Cal Coast Track Club who raced 24:57. The Brea 8K course was slightly changed for 2012, and recertified by USATF. Runners may debate how the 2012 course compares to the original, but Carballo’s time is seven seconds faster than the previous record set by Brian Livingston in 2010. Rounding out the open finishers were John Gardiner (M39) from A Snail’s Pace Running Club with 25:57 and Miguel Batista (M15) 26:18 of the Equalizers Track Club

In the women’s division Erika Aklufi (F35) of The Janes Elite Racing won with a time of 28:26. In a parallel of the men’s finish, Aklufi was also followed by a top masters competitor, Nathalie Higley (F42) of Club Ed Running, finishing in 28:38. 2nd and 3rd place in the open division went to Leilani Rios (F32) from A Snail’s Pace Running Club running 29:50, and Nichole Slykhouse (F22) also of Cal Coast Track Club finishing in 30:00 flat.

USATF Southern California is home to some of the best masters athletes in the United States, so it was no surprise to see Cushing-Murray joined by fellow Cal Coast Track Club runners Ken Ernst (M50) 26:17 and Matt Ebiner (M50) 26:33, giving Cal Coast Track Club a sweep of the men’s masters. In a replay of the Redondo Beach 2012 10 km Championships results, Higley was followed across the finish line by Tania Fischer, 29:16, also of the Janes, with Higley’s teammate from Club Ed Running Alison Atkinson taking 3rd place with 30:39.

In the youth competition, the Equalizers Track Club and the So Cal Roadrunners continue to use the Brea 8K to showcase some of the most promising runners in Southern California. While only 62 Equalizers competed in the large field of 3,000 runners, two thirds of the Equalizers finished in the top 10% of all runners. 

Local coverage of the Brea 8K, including USATF.