The Pacific Association has always been highly competitive, but on the sport’s biggest stage, the PA really flexed its muscles in cross country at the 2019 USATF Cross Country Club Nationals on a muddy, cold course in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on December 14th. Our association featured numerous incredible individual and team performances.
Three PA teams became National Champions in their divisions. One of the most impressive surprises of the meet was the high-achieving performance of the HOKA Aggies Open Women, which won the Open Women’s 6K race by a 73-104 score over the elite Nomad Track Club in Boulder-Denver area. Although less of a surprise the West Valley Track Club’s Masters Men (age 40+) team took their rivals to the proverbial woodshed and won by a frightening 31-97 score. Their recruiting game has stepped up but they really work hard. In fact they were so deep that their second Masters Men’s team would have finished 4th! The ever-consistent and relentless Impala Racing Team also came away with the Seniors Women’s crown (age 50-59).
There were also some other strong team performances from HOKA Aggies Open Men (3rd), the Impalas Master Women 40+ (4th), and Peninsula Distance Club (6th) a team which is always in the mix for a top five finish. Another notable finish was the quiet 11th-place effort turned in by SRA Elite Open Men in the very deep field.
Some individual podium performances also stood out in the crowd: Men’s 40-44 (Peter Gilmore 2nd , Jorge Maravilla 4th, Brad Poore 7th three top 10 placings from the West Valley Track Club, and in the Men’s 45-49 age group, HOKA Aggie runner Jaime Heilpern took 3rd in that category and 10th overall in the masters race. It’s widely known that when he turns 50 in February his new age group is going to have…problems; nevertheless hot on his heels about 30 seconds back was Mark Yuen from (you guessed it) West Valley TC.
The women’s 50-54 age category was repped by two speedy Impala racing Team members: Hronn Gudmundsdottir 2nd and PA stalwart Nancy Thomas 3rd.. Also worthy of mention was the 6th-place individual finish turned in by Jenna Hinckle of the HOKA Aggies, who led her team to a great victory.