Seeded Boys: As anyone who has run the 5K at the famed Van Cortlandt Park knows, the first mile is almost all flat. The seeded boys race took full advantage of the flats as Brian Rhodes-Devy and Sintayehu Taye led the early stages of the 1200m flat before heading into the woods for the mile mark. Although they were leading, Rhodes-Devy and Taye were in no way in control of the race as a huge group of favorites came through the mile in a very conservative 4:50. Included in this group was Maryland (and Pwn3rs TC’s) very own Matt Centrowitz. As they headed across the bridge there were still no clear leaders with a large group of about 20 runners all clumped together. At the bridge, MoCo’s Nick Bax (Pwn3rs TC) was sitting comfortably in around 30th place. In the back hills, the race started to heat up as a group of Craig Forys, Taye, Rhodes-Devy, Gruenwald, Centrowitz, Murdock and a couple others separated themselves from the rest of the runners. As they rolled through two miles in about 10:10 there were only 13 runners remaining up front. Over the last hill, Forys started his attack and built up a 20-25m lead on Rhodes-Devy, Gruenwald, Taye, Centrowitz and Murdock. It looked like Forys would run away with the victory until Centrowitz and Taye made a move of their own on the last downhill approaching the long and grueling 800m straightaway. Centrowitz maintained his momentum coming off the hill and built himself a 10m lead on Forys with only 600m remaining in the race. At this point it looked as if there might be a repeat of the Penn Relays 3K where Centrowitz ran away from Forys and on to victory in a stunning 8:25. Forys had something else in mind, however, and started his famous kick that brought him the course record earlier at the Manhattan Invitational over Murdock and a host of others. Just as Forys started his move, Taye also showed he had something left in the tank. With 400m to go it was the Forys and Taye show with the two runners going neck and neck in a torrid battle that looked like it could result in a new meet record. Forys proved the stronger kicker as he crossed the line 3 seconds in front of Taye in an incredible 15:15 that put him just one second shy of the course record. Centrowitz held on nicely as well coming through 8 seconds later in an incredible 15:23 5th place, making him the first Maryland Qualifier since Georgetown Day’s Ben Stern. Nick Bax held his own as well, just missing 16 minutes as he crossed in 16:02 and 32nd place. With all seniors removed from results (and Taye because of age restrictions) Bax is the 8th returning runner for 2007, making him a future San Diego hopeful. Congratulations to Maryland Pwn3rs TC members Matt Centrowitz and Nick Bax.
Freshmen Boys: The freshmen boys race unfolded completely different from the boys seeded race. By the 800m mark, the eventual first, second, third and fourth place finishers were already going at it. This group included Steven Mangan of New York, Andrew Palmer (Pwn3rs TC) of MoCo, Drew Perille of New York and Jonathan Vitez of New Jersey. The front four continued to forge ahead, hitting the mile mark in 5:09. By the time they crossed the bridge, Palmer had made his move and was using the hills as best he could in an attempt to drop the other three. Brandt Silver-Korn (Pwn3rs TC) was also close behind running in about 20th place while the race was still heavily crowded. When they hit two miles, the clock read 11:10 and Palmer’s move had proven unsuccessful as the four were still going at it. As they hit the last hill, Vitez made a gutsy move that mirrored that of Forys in the seeded race. He carried a 10m gap into the straight as the runners emerged from the woods. With 600m to go Vitez still maintained his 10m lead but Palmer was leading a charge to catch the frontrunner. At this point it looked as if Palmer was going to bring the other two with him, which would result in a 4-way mad sprint to the finish. When they hit 400m to go, Vitez’s lead had shrunk to 5m. At this point Palmer hit a new gear and over the next 200m had pulled up next to a fighting Vitez and put 10m on the other two. Vitez was unable to hold Palmer off, however, and in the final 100m Palmer put another 10m on Vitez to win going away in 16:53. Vitez crossed the line two seconds later in 16:55 followed by Mangan and Perille in 17:00 and 17:02. Brandt Silver-Korn also launched an impressive kick coming out of the woods and moved up into 24th place by the finish, grabbing the last medal spot of the race in 18:06. Congratulations to Pwn3rs TC members Andrew Palmer and Brandt Silver-Korn.
On a side note the top 5 Pwn3rs TC runners would have combined for 269 points in the seeded race and would have placed 6th behind the Maryland team. The scoring goes as follows: Matt Centrowitz (5), Nick Bax (32), Graham Bazell (59), Kelli Thibou (61) and Andrew Palmer (112).