Fall XC 2015 PRT Men's Team Recap

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.

Photo courtesy of Kristin Schleicher

Photo courtesy of Kristin Schleicher


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!



PRT Women Fall Season Wrap-Up

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.

Photo courtesy Chris Friend

Photo courtesy Chris Friend

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!

Photo courtesy Chris Friend

Photo courtesy Chris Friend


Spring 2015 PRT Women's Team Wrap-Up

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).

Angela Moll and Hilary Corno make racing look easy!

Angela Moll and Hilary Corno make racing look easy!

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.

Marie Schaper cruised to a podium finish at the Carlsbad 5000

Marie Schaper cruised to a podium finish at the Carlsbad 5000

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.

Darcy Davidson won her debut Marathon this past May

Darcy Davidson won her debut Marathon this past May

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.

Julie Sawyer took over a minute off her previous 10K PR at Mt. Sac in April.

Julie Sawyer took over a minute off her previous 10K PR at Mt. Sac in April.

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.