Roberta crosses the finish line at the Gate River Run 15K in Florida on March 22, 2021.
PHOTO COURTESY LAURA DELEA
New Shore AC member Roberta Groner continues to do what she has done for the past ten years: amaze and inspire the running world. A busy mother of three and full-time registered nurse, somehow she finds the time to engage in the sport of running at a near-Olympic level. Roberta owns the third-best time in the marathon among masters (age 40+) American women with her jaw-dropping time of 2:29:07 in the 2019 Rotterdam Marathon.
Roberta kicked off her 2021 competitive campaign with that same red-hot speed. On a windy March 22 in Florida at the USATF Open 15K National Championships, she shredded the tough course with a phenomenal 51:56 performance. This feat earned her the women’s masters crown with a margin of more than 2 minutes over second place. And get this: her time was a mere 4 seconds behind the top masters male, multi-year USATF champion David Angell. Read all about it here in an article by USATF Running Professor Paul Carlin.
We look forward with great anticipation to see what Roberta conquers next in 2021!
Dear Friends and Teammates:
Mr. Michael Martin McDonnell (his full name) was a truly wonderful gentleman who did so much in his 85 years on this planet.(Sept 30, 1965 to March 5, 2021). He did so much for so many. He was there for all of us. He was a great family man. He was a great FBI man. He was a proud alumnus of St Benedict's Prep and Seton Hall University. He traveled the world. He was a proud Shore AC teammate. And he was much more
It was good that several of us were able to attend the viewing Monday and some the service Tuesday morning at St. Mary's Church. I was there and, with tears still in my eyes many hours later, want to report to all that teammate Mike received the very best of sendoffs, with services conducted by his brother, Father Patrick McDonnell and a very eloquent address by eldest son Mike Jr.
Let it be known now, thanks to Mike Jr,, that Mike was an Olympian in spirit. He did not compete in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games but served in the FBI security group there and, just as has happened to many who experience the Olympic Games for the first time. Mike quickly got caught up in the Olympic atmosphere of universality and total dedication to the visions of a better world through friendly health-building and lively competition.
Soon as Mike returned from Los Angeles he embarked on the training programs he would follow all the rest of his days. He became a road runner and soon he was entering every race he possibly could, 5Ks to half marathons and full marathons, surely smiling through every step of them. Some days, when the time schedule allowed, he'd even run two races in one day. When a progressive illness precluded him from running these "long ones" in recent years, Mike - with coaching by his family - reinvented himself as a sprinter. And so one of his greatest recent joys was taking part in the Masters 80-up 100-meter dash at the Penn Relays, an event sometime seen by over 50,000 fans and a worldwide television audience, When some kidded, "Mike, don't let that 100-year-old woman beat you," his smile set a world record, too.
Like so many of us, Mike loved the Lake Takanassee Races in Long Branch, where the "new" Shore AC was born in the early 1960s. Mike ran those 5Ks - every Monday night through the summer for years and years. When the 2019 "Lake Tak" season rolled around, Mike wasn't quite up to going the 5K distance. So - true to form - he set another great example for all of us, by volunteering to assist his fellow runners. There he was yelling out one-mile "split" times at "Lake Tak." When we gave him a stirring round of applause at the concluding session of the series, Mike's smile was again a record-breaker.
How much did all this running and comraderies and years-long friendships and his favorite club team represent to Mike, dear wife Bunny, and the McDonnell family? Obviously, the world.
The single photo chosen for the "official program" to the services showed Mike in all his glory, proudly wearing his Shore AC singlet ("Lake Tak" variety) striding to yet another finish line, hands raised in the "victory salute" every racer can experience at the end of a run well done.
We were able to read Mike's goodbye message on the opposite side of the "program."
Mr. Michael Martin McDonnell wanted to remind all of us that:
"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always."
That was our beloved Mike.
These, of course, are very difficult days.
A pandemic is still raging, We do not know "when this whole thing will be over."
So are the debates centering on the challenges our proud nation - and our fellow occupants of this planet - must ponder.
But, as we do, lessons are being taught.
The most basic, of course, is that "we're all in this together,"
Let's continue making Mike proud of all we do.
Most sincerely written,
Elliott Deman: Elliottden@aol.com.
March 09th, 2021
Of course/of course/of course, Shore Athletic Club, the greater Shore AC Family, and all of the track and world, just love the Penn Relays, and the great things the magnificent meet means to all of us.
There was no 2020 Penn Relays, as the pandemic raged.
But, hopefully, there will be a 2021 Penn Relays, in very different form.
Here is the official word from Penn Relays headquarters:
The University of Pennsylvania Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics has announced that the 2021 Penn Relays, originally scheduled for April 22 through 24, has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and local restrictions on large gatherings. If health conditions on campus and in the city of Philadelphia continue to improve, the Penn Relays plans to host a local collegiate-only track and field meet on Saturday, April 24 that is consistent with the Ivy League Council of Presidents' parameters regarding spring sport competition. The Penn Relays will also aim to host a meet for open and professional athletes in the coming months and a scholastic meet this summer.
"It is disappointing that we once again have to cancel one of the landmark events of the spring in Philadelphia and in track and field, but collectively we want to ensure the safety of our athletes, campus, community, and spectators," said Dr. M. Grace Calhoun, the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W'69 Director of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. "Our goal on campus has been to safely move through the Ivy athletic activity phases to host competition and we remain hopeful that we will be able to provide some competitive opportunities for as many athletes as possible who have missed out on so much this past year. Splitting the meet into three distinct group of participants provides the greatest opportunity to host safe competition."
The collegiate-only track and field meet would consist of local Division I, II, and III institutions within the Philadelphia region in a one-day event. All teams and participants will have to comply with the COVID-19 campus safety policies and procedures in place, including adhering to sufficient testing programs, symptom checking, contact tracing, mask wearing and physical distancing except when actively competing. Only essential meet personnel will be permitted in Franklin Field and spectators are prohibited.
"We are extremely disappointed to cancel the Penn Relays for a second year," said Dave Johnson, the Frank Dolson Director of the Penn Relays. "At the same time, we feel a strong obligation to the local track and field community to provide as much competition as safely possible during the course of the spring and summer."
The open and professional meet will take place prior to US Olympic-qualifying deadlines and the scholastic meet will be held later this summer. More information on both meets will be released at a later date.
ALSO: Be it known that Mr. Dave Johnson has announced his retirement as Penn Relays director after the 2021 edition.. He has served the Penn Relays cause with excellence and dedication...The Penn Relays have truly prospered under his guidance. Here's a suggestion: Take time out to write a letter of thanks to Mr. Johnson for this dedicated service....Maybe do it the old fashioned way, snailmail. Perhaps you can mention a personal memory or highlight...We are sure Mr. Johnson would appreciate it....Well remembered, of course, is Mr. Johnson's visit to the Shore AC Awards Banquet a few years ago, at which it was our pleasure to present him the Wisner Brothers Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Sport of Track and Field.
CHEERS FOR MR. DEVIN HART AND STANFORD XC TEAM,AND ALL OUR SHORE AC TEAMMATES, FRIENDS AND ALUMNICONTINUING TO DO BIG THINGS IN OUR SPORT
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
Cheers Again For Mr. Devin Hart and the whole Stanford cross country team ...
Devin is doing superb job as redshirt freshman for the team that just won the Pac-10 title..!!!
(titles, actually, both men and women..)
And they will now be top candidates in the NCAA finals coming up.
Check out all the details at: Gostanford.com.
Let's be reminded of all the big ties we have...
Cheers again for the whole great Hart family and all the big things they and Shore AC have done together for years and years !!!//
And for Stanford head coach JJ Clark, now making his mark so prominently in yet another section of America,
having previously excelled as runner at Villanova and coach at Florida, Tennessee and UConn...
And as his officiai bio reminds us:::
On the international scene, Clark was the United States women's middle distance assistant coach at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic games. He was also the United States head coach for the World Championship Team in 2001 and an assistant coach in 1997, specializing in middle distance.
At the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials, Clark was part of a historic moment as he coached his wife (Jearl Miles-Clark) and two sisters (Hazel Clark, Joetta Clark Diggs) to a sweep in the 800 meters and the trio advanced to the Sydney Games. Clark also coached his wife to the 800 American record (1:56.40), which lasted 20 years.
And the Stanford assistant track coach is "Iggy" Ignaczak, graduate of Toms River North HS and Mt/ St. Mary's, who starred for a while as a post-collegian for Shore AC...
And we know that cheering all this are the Trotter twins, Red Bank Regional HS alumnae who did so many great things, too, for Stanford in recent years...
And furthermore, twins Joe and Jim Rosa were major Stanford major stars, too, from West Windsor, NJ
And ....moving right along....let's applaud (along with Mom Joetta Clark Diggs) all the great deeds thus far in her freshman season at U of Florida by Ms. Talitha Diggs,
who heading into NCAA Indoor Track Championships had number two 400m time in nation (back only of another New Jerseyan, Texas A&M's
Ms.Athing Mu)...No doubt about it, Ms. Talitha Diggs will soon be an Olympic candidate. long with so many other good friends, too ...
Let's salute them all !!!!
To ILLUSTRIOUS TEAMMATES A.J. AND MICHAEL:
MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ON YOUR FINE PERFORMANCES IN DIFFICULT CONDTIONS IN THE
USATF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AND PAN AM CUP TRIAL 50K RACEWALK SUNDAY IN SANTEE, CALIFORNIA...
CHAMPION WAS NICK CHRISTIE IN 4:10:53.
SECOND PLACE WAS OUR SHORE AC TEAMMATE A.J. GRUTTADAURO IN P.R. 4:19:18.
FIFTH PLACE WAS OUR SHORE AC TEAMMATE AIRMAN MICHAEL MANNOZZI IN 4:54:00.
THROUGH THESE PANDEMIC-TROUBLED TIMES, IT WAS TRULY HEART=WARMING TO SEE
TEAMMATES A.J. AND MICHAEL COME THROUGH SO WELL...
AND MAINTAIN THE GREAT HISTORY OF SHORE AC'S RACEWALKING TEAM,,,'
57 YEARS OF BIG THINGS !!!
YOU MAKE ALL OF US SO PROUD !!!
MOST SINCERELY ,
ELLIOTT DENMAN AND FAMILY AND TEAMMATES...