Lexington's Masterton Station Park was the confluence of America's forty best clubs this past Saturday, and when the mud settled after a rainy, sloppy day in Kentucky, New Jersey's Garden State Track Club finished 9th overall in combined open men and women scoring at the 2012 USATF National Cross Country Championships.
Many teams, like the overall men's champions Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, had just a men's team--while a few, like the women's team champions, Team USA Minnesota, brought just women. However, out of the hundreds of clubs in America, the GSTC cracked the top ten in the combined score--a incredible feat for the group headquartered in New Brunswick. The overall winner was the Boulder Running Company with five points, as their men finished third and women were second.
In master's competition, the Clifton Road Runners (Clifton, NJ) finished second out of three teams in the men's 70's division, while the Raritan Valley Road Runners (Highland Park, NJ) were sixth out of eight teams in the men's 60's category. The Atlanta Track Club won both the 60's and 70's team championships.
Last year's national championship race was in Seattle, Washington; in 2013, Bend, Oregon will play host. It is a race that draws both the best clubs and individuals from around the country. This year, American record holder Alan Webb (3:46.91 mile!) was a distant seventh place, finishing twenty-eight seconds behind champion Jacob Riley.
The scoring five for the GSTC in the men's open 10k race were Chris Heibell (32:28/Immaculata HS/Loyola), Ken Goglas (32:32/Randolph HS/UConn), Steve Mennitt (33:13/Edison HS/Rowan), Rob Nihen (33:28/Glen Rock/TCNJ), and Kyle Price (33:55/Spotswood HS/Ramapo). The GSTC's open men's B Team finished 32nd, beating eight teams.
The GSTC women were lead in the open 6k race by Cheyenne Ogletree (22:00/Garfield HS/Rutgers), Alyssa Douma (22:14/West Depford HS/Lock Haven), Lindsey Lambert (22:29/Howell HS/Lock Haven), Chelsea Callan (22:54/Raritan HS/Rider), and Kristin Cupido (23:38/Bridgewater-Raritan HS/Kutztown).
While most people wouldn't consider racing six miles in cold, midwest mud as the definition of "Getting Lucky in Kentucky," these three running clubs and their team members would!