Throughout the Dirt Dog Series, the PRT’s Open Men found themselves battling the Jamul Toads, while the Masters Men were in tight competition with the San Diego Track Club. Over the course of seven races, each team earned the maximum possible points—60—leading into the championship race at Mission Bay. Some top performances on the Open team included victories by Nick Scarpello at the Wild Duck 5K, the Balboa 4-Miler, the Cougar Challenge, and the Cuyamaca 6K; second-place showings by Tyler Underwood at the Balboa 4-Miler, the Cougar Challenge, and the Cuyamaca 6K; and a second-place for Dan Seidel at the Ursula Rains Balboa Boogie 5K. On the Masters side, Stephen Johnson ran 17:03 to get a close second at the Wild Duck 5K; Patrick Burke grabbed second place at the Balboa 4-Miler (23:42); PRT impressively swept places 1-4 at the Ursula Rains Balboa Boogie 5K (Rob Verhees, Stephen Johnson, Patrick Burke, and Brian Culley); Kevin Zimmer took second at the Cougar Challenge 8K; and Brian Culley won the Cuyamaca 6K Masters race, with Jeff Creighton winning the 50-59 division.
Heading into the Dirt Dog championships at Mission Bay, the Open Men were tied, 60-60, with the Jamul Toads, and the Masters held a 60-48 lead over the San Diego Track Club. In the Open race, Nick Scarpello took second place and led the men’s team, running 25:51, just ahead of new (though non-scoring) member Carl Dargitz. The remaining four scorers were Tyler Underwood (26:33), Alex Phipps (26:41), Dan Seidel (27:00), and Derek Bradley (27:10), who came up just short of the Jamul Toads and therefore took second place overall in the series.
In the Masters race, Rob Verhees took second in 28:09, followed closely by Patrick Burke (3rd, 28:26), and Brian Culley (4th, 28:37). They led the 40-49 team to victory in the race and the series. In the 50-59 group, Kevin Zimmer won the championship race in 28:41, and along with Jeff Creighton (30:16) and Scott McEntee (32:51) took the team title as well.
Individually, PRT had five Open men in the top ten overall for the Dirt Dog Series—Nick Scarpello (1st), Tyler Underwood (4th), Dan Seidel (6th), Iron Dog Alex Phipps (8th), and Derek Bradley (9th). In the Masters standings, five men also placed: Patrick Burke (2nd), Brian Culley (3rd), Rob Verhees (5th), Iron Dog Matt Sheremeta (7th), and Michael Hansen (8th).
In December, PRT sent 18 men to compete at XC Club Nationals in San Francisco in Golden Gate Park—seven in the Open race, and 11 in the Masters race. In the Open race, Nick Scarpello finished 50th in an incredibly deep field, setting a hard early pace and battling through to a PR in the 10K (including roads!) of 30:53. He was followed by Dan Seidel (32:44), Derek Bradley (33:06), Alex Phipps (33:18), Paul Wellman (34:36), Andy Corman (35:13), and Kevin Sorrell (37:14), and the PRT Open men were able to defeat the Jamul Toads squad who’d narrowly beaten them the previous month at the Dirt Dog XC Championships at Mission Bay. Overall, the Open team placed 32nd out of 59 teams, a significant improvement from their previous appearance at the 2013 XC Club Nationals in Bend, Oregon.
In the Masters race, Robert Verhees turned in the best individual performance, winning third place nationally in the 50-59 age group! (34:22). He led the 50-59 San Diego team, which also featured PRT members Kevin Zimmer (35:37), Jeff Creighton (37:21), Gerard Reski (40:10), and Scott McEntee (40:36), to a sixth-place finish out of 18 total teams. The 40-49 squad, led by Brian Culley (35:13) and also featuring Matt Sheremeta (36:18), Chris Hupfeld (37:38), Marc Sosnowksi (38:08), Joel Bernard (39:13), and Justin Renac (39:31), took 18th out of 28 teams.
Based largely on their excellent cross-country performances (as well as earlier performances in the 2015 spring road series), Nick Scarpello (Open) and Rob Verhees (Masters) were each recognized as the 2015 USATF San Diego-Imperial Association Distance Runner of the Year. Congrats, guys!
The women of Prado Racing Team had a successful Fall, highlighted by multiple victories in the cross country season and several PRs in the marathon.
The women kicked off the season with several cross country races in San Diego. The first race of the Dirt Dog USATF San Diego Cross Country Series was the Wild Duck 5K, where 11 women toed the line between the Masters and Open races. In the Masters race, Hilary Corno won for the women, leading Darcy Davidson and Maureen Friend to their first Masters Team win.
A strong pack highlighted the women’s Open race, led by Kristin Schleicher. Kristin, along with Cortney Berling, Sabina Piras, and Angela Moll, swept the top four places for a perfect score and the first cross country win of the season.
All four of the Masters women (Hilary, Darcy, Maureen, and Tracy Wright) showed up for the Crazy 8s 5K in Rancho Bernardo, and swept the field, finishing 1-4 in the Masters Division. This gave them their second team win of the season.
The women finished off the regular Dirt Dog cross country season at the Cuyamaca 6K, with full scoring squads on both the Open and Masters women’s teams, for a total of ten women competing. Darcy led the Masters team to their fourth victory of the regular season, whileCortney led a strong pack of Open PRT women to their third victory. Both teams would enter the final championship race undefeated when they had a scoring squad on the line.
The Championship race was held at Mission Bay on a bright, crisp morning in early November. Ten women would again toe the line with both individual and team standings to be defended. A strong pack of women came through the first loop, where PRT’s pack mentality worked to its advantage. The women of PRT pushed the pace through the next two loops, pulling away from the field to place first through fifth in the race. Cortney kicked it to the finish line to be the overall victor, followed by Erin Menefee (note: Erin did not score for PRT as she was not enrolled on the team at the beginning of the season, but we are excited to see her rock it next season!), Julie Sawyer, Noelle Rysselberghe, and Hilary Corno, the overall Masters Women’s champion. Sabina Piras rounded out the scoring team for the Open women, finishing in eighth. Overall, PRT women accounted for eight of the top ten finishers in the Championship race, with the top four women finishing within eight seconds of each other! On the Masters side, after Hilary, Darcy finished second and Maureen finished fifth.
Strong performances from both the Open and Masters women allowed PRT to clinch both titles for the overall Dirt Dog Series. This was exciting both because it was the fourth year in a row for the Open women to win, and because the Masters Women’s win marks the first year that PRT fielded a team in that division.
For the individual standings for the season, PRT took six of the top ten spots, led by Cortney (1st). She was followed by Julie (2nd), Sabina (3rd), Noelle (6th), Kathy Dunbar (7th), and Sara Sanchez (10th). Similar to the results of the Championship race itself, Hilary was the overall champ of the Masters Series, followed by Darcy (2nd) and Maureen (5th).
After a strong showing locally, the women of PRT were ready to head up to the USATF Club Cross Country National Championships in San Francisco. There a squad of eight Open women raced with some of the top talent in the United States. Three hundred and fifty women representing over 40 teams competed over the 6K course in Golden Gate Park. The race started out quick, with a large pack of FAST women blazing through the first mile. PRT fought for every place in the competitive and crowded race. In only their second showing at this national event, the women of Prado finished in 16th place, with Erin Menefee breaking into the top 100 at 89th place. Overall, the season was a huge success for Prado Racing Team!
Whlie most of the focus of the fall was on the cross country season, several women also trained for marathons, bringing PRT four new PRs in the distance. Kicking it off for the long-distance ladies, Marie Schaper took on the Chicago Marathon, running a PR of 2:45, shaving over a minute off her previous best. Not to be outdone, a few weeks later Hilary Corno lined up in the Elite division in the New York City Marathon. She ran a 2:45 as well (only one second faster than Marie ran!) and was the second Masters woman in the race. In the last marathon of Prado’s Fall season, at the California International Marathon, Sabina Piras gunned for an Olympic Trials qualifying time and Julie Sawyer made her marathon debut. Sabina ran a strong 2:43, which in the next few weeks would be announced as a qualifier time, entering her into the Olympic Trials race in Los Angeles. Julie accomplished her goal for her first marathon, finishing in 2:47.
To top off an awesome season, PRT's own Maureen Friend was honored on February 28 at the USATF San Diego annual Track Banquet as the 2015 Masters Long Distance Runner of the Year! We are all very excited for and proud of Maureen!
The Women of PRT raced to personal records in races from the mile up to the marathon this Spring. Many of those performances took place in local San Diego races where a majority of the team showed up in force to dominate the competition.
In February, ten women toed the line of the Cardiff Kook 10K, coming away with multiple PRs and top ten finishes. Hilary Corno led the way, running her fastest 10K ever in 35:55, taking fourth place in the race. She was followed by Julie Sawyer in 36:28 and Darcy Davidson in 36:50, both of whom also PR’d in the race, finishing 5th and 6th overall, respectively. The rest of the team put up notable performances as well, with the following women placing in the top 15: Marie Schaper (37:14), Angela Moll (37:17), Cortney Staruch (37:34) and new teammate Kathy Dunbar (38:12).
Many of the women chose to test themselves in an event that was out of their comfort zone by participating in the Encinitas Mile in March. Thus unique event allowed the women to show their versatility at all distances on the road. Darcy Davidson started things off right for the women by coming away with the Masters Women’s win in 5:14. In the elite field, a tight pack of PRT women came in within a second of each other, with Julie Sawyer finishing 6th in 5:09, Kathy Dunbar finishing 7th in 5:10, and Gina Merchant finishing 9th in 5:10.
As the season progressed, many of the women focused on their speed to race in the always competitive Carlsbad 5000. The races are broken down by age group, giving the women the chance to snag more podium spots. Julie Sawyer led the 30-39 women by placing 3rd in a PR of 17:19. She was followed by Hilary Corno (18:21), Angela Moll (18:23), and Kathy Dunbar (18:27), all of whom placed in the top 10 in the race. Marie Schaper led the women in the 20-29 division, also taking third in 17:48, impressive off her Marathon training.
In addition to the impressive performances in local races, many of the PRT women went outside of San Diego to seek out competitive fields in which to lower those race times.
Several women trained for Marathons this past spring, Sabina Piras, who joined the team earlier in the year, raced to a PR despite the miserable weather at the Boston Marathon, running 2:51. Darcy Davidson didn’t mess around in her debut at the Mountains to Beach Marathon. Not only did she run 2:54, but she also won the race! What a great start to her Marathon career! Marie once again left the country for her Marathon, though not quite as far this time around. She went up to Vancouver and finished 4th against a competitive field running 2:49 on a difficult and hilly course.
In the world of track and field, Julie Sawyer laced up her spikes for her first ever 10K on the track, competing at the Mt. Sac Relays. Despite a start time after her usual bedtime, she raced to 3rd place in her heat and ran a PR of 35:15.
PRT had Half Marathon PRs booked its spring season. Angela Moll didn’t let congestion stop her from racing to a 1:21 PR in the Arizona Rock and Roll Half Marathon in January. Then in June, Hilary Corno shaved over a minute and a half off of her previous best to run 1:17 in the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon.
In recent years, many of the PRT Men have treated the Cardiff Kook 10K as the first real test of the year. This February, Tyler Underwood was the top finisher, cracking 32 minutes (31:40) for eighth place in a highly competitive field. He was followed closely by Derek Bradley, who also cracked 32 minutes (31:56; 9th place), and Dan Seidel (32:00; 11th place). Rob Verhees was the top Master, winning his age group and running well under 34 minutes (33:40). Steve Johnson was next, finishing second in his age division and running 34:02.
In March, at the second edition of the Encinitas Mile, Alex Phipps led the PRT men, running 4:33, slightly ahead of Chuck McKeown, who finished in 4:36. Justin Turner, deep into training for the half marathon and marathon, still turned in an impressive 4:36. Robert Verhees ran a scorching 4:44, only a second behind the winner of the Masters Mile. Sean Fader ran five minutes flat, good for fourth place, and Joel Bernard was fifth in his age division, running 5:19.
At the Carlsbad 5000, PRT had an impressive turnout of 20 guys racing. The top three Open finishers were Tyler Underwood (15:07; 8th place, 20-29), Justin Turner (15:20; 6th place, 30-39), and Chuck McKeown (15:59, 12th place, 30-39). On the Masters side, the top three guys were Rob Verhees (16:00, 6th place Master – beating many of the PRT Open guys!), Steve Johnson (16:18, 11th place Master), and Jason Lewis (17:00, 22nd place).
After a longish break, the next team-focus race was in June at the Bonita 5K, which doubles as the San Diego USATF Association Road 5K Championship. Dan Seidel was fourth overall in 15:43 (finishing just out of the prize money!), and not far behind him were Luis de la Vega (15:53) and Alex Phipps (15:56). Steve Johnson was the top Master overall, running 16:05.
At the final team race of the spring, the Scripps Ranch Old Pros 10K, the PRT men traditionally pack the front of the race, waiting for the patriotic Speedo-wearing crew to burn themselves out in the first 100 meters before they begin to work together along the Lake Miramar loop. This year, Tyler Underwood and Justin Turner set a strong early pace, and Tyler pulled away in the second half of the race to get the race victory, running 31:32, and also setting a new PRT men’s record in the 10K! Justin ended up in fourth, running 32:01, and Dan Seidel was fifth in 32:20, followed closely by Alex Phipps (32:22). PRT’s top Masters were Steve Johnson (33:41; 3rd Master) and new member Patrick Burke (34:20; 4th Master). Overall, the PRT men had four of the top six spots, and nine of the top fifteen – an impressive team showing to cap off the spring season!
Several individual performances from this spring also deserve recognition. Justin Turner set a half-marathon record for PRT, running 1:06:50 at the Holiday Half Marathon. And Tyler Underwood not only set the 10K mark at Scripps, he also set the best mark for the marathon, running 2:26:23 in London.
Fresh and rested, the PRT Men are now ready for the 2015 Dirt Dog XC Series this fall!
The PRT Men made more than 100 race appearances this past fall, consistently bringing scoring teams in both the Open and Masters divisions to the Dirt Dog XC Series races. The Masters team, led by Robert Verhees and Stephen Johnson, won the overall team title, while the Open Men, coming in third in a closely fought championship race with San Diego Track Club and Milestone Track Club, took second in the overall team scoring, and had three men in the top-ten individual scoring (Tyler Underwood, Derek Bradley, and Alex Phipps).
Alex Phipps led the Open team at the first race of the series, the Wild Duck 5K, running 16:13. He was closely followed by Dan Seidel (16:14), Thomas Whitcomb (16:15), Chuck McKeown (16:19), and new member Rory Golden (16:51). Stephen Johnson won the Masters race in 16:54, followed by team captain Brian Culley (17:03), Greg McMillan (17:21), Jason Lewis (17:21), and Iron Dog Sean Fader (17:39).
At the very tough Balboa 4-Miler, new member Justin Turner made an immediate impact, finishing just behind Derek Bradley (22:07) in 22:09, followed by Dan Seidel (22:12) and Chuck McKeown (22:50). Rob Verhees took second in the Masters race, and Jeff Creighton, running in the 50+ division, took fifth overall Master.
The PRT Open Men won their first team race of the season at the Bonita Stampede (8K), with an outstanding performance by new member Tyler Underwood, who took second overall in 26:25. Seidel, Phipps, Whitcomb, and Bradley all finished within a minute of Tyler to seal the team victory.
In early October, PRT had a great turnout at the Balboa Boogie 5K, with all top five Open men (Derek Bradley, Dan Seidel, Eduardo Mariscal, Justin Turner, and Alex Phipps) running well under 16 minutes on the rolling course. For the Masters, Rob Verhees took second in 16:13, followed closely by Stephen Johnson (16:21) in third.
Alex Phipps turned in a terrific sub-26-minute performance at the Cougar Challenge 8K to lead the Open team, and Rob Verhees and Stephen Johnson again took second and third, respectively, for the Masters, with additional strong races by Jeff Creighton, Sean Fader, and Joel Bernard, all breaking 30 minutes.
Derek Bradley led the Open men to a team win at the Cuyamaca 6K on November 1, taking second overall in 19:19. He was followed by Tyler Underwood, Alex Phipps, Eduardo Mariscal, Daniel Farmer, and Patrick Baldwin. The Masters men swept the top four spots, with Stephen Johnson taking the top spot in 20:35, followed by Jason Lewis, Jeff Creighton, and Sean Fader.
After a long season, the Dirt Dog Championship 8K race was held on November 16 on a tough, four-loop grass course at Mission Bay. Justin Turner, who also ran a 2:25 marathon in October, led the Open men in 26:57, and scoring behind him were Tyler Underwood (27:03), Alex Phipps (27:16), Derek Bradley (27:22), and Thomas Whitcomb (27:56).
The Open men narrowly took third in the race but earned second place overall in the Dirt Dog series. The Masters men, extending their dominance from earlier in the season, won the race and the series, with Rob Verhees (28:15; 2nd), Stephen Johnson (28:31; 3rd), Jason Lewis (29:46), Jeff Creighton (29:51), and Brian Culley (30:09) making up the top five.
In the overall individual standings for the Dirt Dog series, Tyler Underwood took second place, and Derek Bradley and Alex Phipps also finished in the top ten. Stephen Johnson and Rob Verhees took second and third overall, Jeff Creighton was second in the 50+ division, and Sean Fader achieved “Iron Dog” status, running all races in the series. All in all, a great season for the PRT men’s team, and they look forward to another great year in 2015!
As always, the team focused on the San Diego Dirt Dog Cross Country series during the fall, competing in a total of eight cross country races spread out over San Diego County. The PRT women had a full scoring squad in seven of the eight races, and went undefeated for the 2014 season.
The women showed their strength early in the series at the Balboa 4-miler, where the women were led by Jenna Munguia, who finished second overall in the race. She was followed by teammates Courtney Staruch (3rd), Hilary Corno (4th), Caela Timinsky (5th), and Gina Merchant (8th). For the first time ever, the PRT women had a Masters runner competing in the Dirt Dog Series. Darcy Davidson won the Balboa 4-miler in the Women’s 40+ division, and would remain undefeated in all races that she ran for the season.
The strongest regular-season race for the PRT women came in mid-October at the Cougar Challenge. PRT had three runners under 18 minutes on the cross country course, led again by Jenna Munguia, who was first overall in 17:12. She was followed by Courtney Staruch, who set a new 5K PR of 17:21, and Hilary Corno, who ran 17:37. Also finishing for PRT was Gina Merchant (18:17), Angela Moll, who ran 18:32 only six days after competing in the Chicago Marathon, and Julie Sawyer (19:47).
The PRT women went into the championship race undefeated, and as the reigning Dirt Dog Champions. The women did not disappoint in an exciting race. Jenna Munguia showed her strength by pulling away from the lead pack early in the race and running all the way to victory. Jenna’s victory in the championship race also sealed her individual champion status in the Dirt Dog Series. She was followed by Cortney Staruch, who ran a gutsy race to hold on to second place. Marie and Hilary finished next, in 4th and 5th, respectively. Darcy Davidson was the fifth PRT woman to cross the line, and the first Masters woman, clinching her Masters individual title. She was followed by Gina Merchant (9th) , Angela Moll (10th), Caela Timinsky (12th), and Sara Sanchez (21st). Overall, the PRT women claimed seven of the top ten spots at the championship race, and seven of the top ten spots for individuals in the series, including the individual champion. As a team, PRT once again repeated as the Women’s Open Champion.
In addition to a full cross country schedule, the PRT women were busy racing on the roads and trails during the 2014 Fall season. Both Hilary Corno and Marie Schaper competed in the Long Beach Half Marathon, finishing first and second, respectively, in times of 1:19:35 and 1:20:28.
Darcy Davidson ran several trail half marathons and came away with impressive wins in both the Stairway to Heaven Trail Marathon and the Raptor Ridge Trail Half Marathon (where she placed seventh overall – including the men!).
PRT had two women PR in the marathon this fall. First, Angela Moll ran the Chicago Marathon in a speedy 2:51:31, good for a new personal record. Then in early December, Hilary Corno tackled the California International and finished with a new PR of 2:47:11. Both ladies significantly reduced their prior times in the marathon.
Finally, Darcy and Marie decided to wrap up 2014 with a set of PRs of their own. Both women competed in the Holiday Half Marathon in San Diego and took down the 1:20 barrier! Darcy finished in 1:18:38, followed by Marie in 1:19:43.
After a solid season of cross country and road racing, the PRT women gear up for the 2015 spring season, where they’ll focus on several team races in San Diego, as well as participate in events on the track, the trails, and the roads. Check back for more updates and PRs!