GREENSBORO GOLD RUSH STORY: SHORE AC MASTERS STRIKE GOLD ELEVEN TIMES AT USA NATIONALS !! MONESMITH-LEE-LEWIS-HUFF-BLACK WINNERS
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
All the G’s were in alignment.
Google the Grand Gold rushes of history, the Gusting visions of the cherished inGots just waiting for the next incredibly fortunate digger to Gather and thus buld a lifetime of Glittering Grandeur.
And, for sure, you’ll strike Googled Gold at Kalgoorlie, Cripple Creek, Sutter’s Mill, the Klondike, Pilgrim’s Rest,,,and so many more.
But there was plenty of gold to be found in Greensboro, North Carolina, Thursday though Sunday, July 20-23, too.
And Shore AC stalwarts Fred Monesmith, Rick Lee, Oneithea “Neni” Lewis,
Carl Huff and Ivan Black staked their claims to big chunks of it, at the annual USATF National Masters Track and Field Championships at
North Carolina A&T State University’s Truist Stadium.
No less than 135 USATF club teams took part and Shore AC wound up an excellent 12th over-all with 133 team points. SAC’s 105 ranked seventh in men’s scoring and its 28 ranked 20th in women’s scoring, with 8-6-4-3-2-1 at stake in each event. And for sure, we’d have fared much higher if our whole lineup had been able to attend.
The Lee-Monesmith-Lewis-Huff-Black quintet garnered no less than 11 of those vaunted USATF National Championship gold medals. And plenty more silver and bronze, too.
As a famed football coach, trying to soothe his team’s vanquished opponent, once put it, “there was glory in it for all.”
Rick Lee, Shore AC’s brilliant and totally tireless distanceman, earned no less than five golds as he dominated the M60 division of the meet that was open to all athletes of ages from 25 to a century-plus.
Wow – this is Rick’s summary: 1st in the M60 1500 meters (4:52.41), 5000 meters (18:00.5), 10,000 meters (37:22.29) and in his debut as a 2,000-meter steeplechase, that event, too (7:33.36) For good measure, he ran on the winning M60 4x800 relay team (9:31.06) and placed 7th in the 800 (2:26.44.) Only in the 400 (1:04.13) did he miss the top echelon.
But it was Shore AC teammate Fred Monesmith whose all-around talents surely outdid everyone in Greensboro, and they were there from all over the USA – and a whole bunch of other nations. The runs, jumps, hurdles, weights and multis – Fred did them all !
Truth be told, Fred was totally understating his brilliant showing in this
post-meet, e-mailed report to his teammates.
He tells you that he “only” competed in 11 of the 12 events he originally entered in the M75 category. That, however, was counting the pentathlon as a single event (when it really is five) and not counting the two relays he ran, as well.
Here is what Fred told us:
“The meet is over and I was able to meet a number of other Shore AC athletes here.
I was able to compete in 11 of the 12 events scheduled. (His only miss – due to time conflict - was with the 100-meter sprint, where he’d almost surely have made the finals.)
Fred, along with his Shore AC teammates, was brilliant and tireless over the four days of the meet.
“I was able to earn 45 points for SAC of our 133 combined team points. My points were in the M75 group as follows:
“1st in the Pentathlon (2436 points); 2nd in the weight throw (18.57 meters); 2nd in the pole vault (1.90); 2nd in the discus (34.00); 3rd in the shot put (10.86); 3rd in the hammer (31.46); 3rd in the javelin (31.01); 4th in the triple jump (6.61); 5th in the high jump (1.19); 5th in the 80 M hurdles (19.15); 7th in the long jump (3.16).”
“I exceeded the All-American standard for all of my events and was especially pleased to earn a medal in all five throwing events. “
But that wasn’t the whole story. He ran a leg on the winning 4x100M relay and the 2nd place Shuttle Hurdles relay. (Oh, too, he had firsts in the M75 pentathlon long jump, javelin, 200 and discus.)
“t was great to throw the shot with (SAC teammate) Charley Roll , ,the discus with Glenn Weaver, and vault with Carlton Huff and to talk with other SAC team members.”
Summing it all up, “This meet will likely be the highlight of my Masters career and I was proud to represent our team.
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
Our illustrious Shore Athletic Club, with a history that includes having its first USA National champion as far back as 1933, added to its glory list with top performances by its
four delegates to the 2023 USA Nationals, staged
July 6-9 at the historic Hayward Field on the University of
Oregon campus in Eugene.
Leading the way was brilliant and mighty shot putter Josh Awotunde, with a superb performance of 72 feet,
6 ¼ inches, that gave him the silver medal, trailing only world record-holder and two-time Olympic champion Ryan Crouser’s winning toss of 75 feet even.
Awotunde, the Delsea High School and University of South Carolina graduate, had started the competition slowly, and was in sixth place heading into the fourth round of the
Eugene SP event, where he unloaded his 72-6 1/4-effort that propelled him into second place, and there he stayed, even as top tossers Payton Otterdahl and Joe Kovacs were breathing down his back.
With his second-place performance, Awotunde’s best of the year and Number Five on the 2023 year list, and proudly wearing his Shore AC singlet for the National TV audience to see, he clinched a place on the Team USA delegation bound for August’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
This will be his second trip to the Worlds; he had placed third, back of Crouser and Kovacs, at the 2022 Worlds, also at Hayward Field, the glistening centerpiece of Eugene’s ongoing reputation as “Tracktown USA” and the American site where track and field is indeed treated as a major league sport.
Racewalking brothers Sam and Ryan Allen, both now collegians and graduates of Kingsway High School, kept Shore AC rolling at Hayward Field.
Early on the morning of July 9, for the 6.30 start of the men’s National 20,000-meter racewalk, Sam Allen, a rising senior at Cornell University, raced to a strong third place finish with a performance of 1:31:58.57, trailing only Californians Nick Christie (1:25.30) and Emanuel Corvera (1:31:31).
Christie, the veteran star, took an early lead and held it throughout. But Sam Allen was closing strongly on
Corvera over the last several of the event’s 50 laps. Jordan Crawford next in line at back of Sam Allen, fourth in 1:32:03. Sam, of course, had won the USA National Indoor 1-Mile walk title at February’s Millrose Games at the NYC Armory.
Not long after the completion of the Senior 20,000-meter race, it was time for the 10,000-meter racewalk in the concurrent USA Men’s Under 20 (Junior) National Championships.
Now it was time for Ryan Allen to excel.
Now a rising sophomore at Villanova University, he became a two-time U20 National champion with a convincing win in 46:17.05.
Leading throughout, he won by over a lap over walker-up Clayton Stoil.
Cheering them on was Mr. Frank Ratti, the official “Shore AC Ambassador to Tracktown USA.”
Completing the Shore AC lineup at Eugene was mighty hammer thower Tyler Williams, who also serves as throws coach at Widener University.
Williams came through with a 234-9 toss which landed him in 10th place back of champion Rudy Winkler.
Winkler, who had excelled for both Cornell and Rutgers, won it all with a heave of 259-4.
Williams, along with Sam and Ryan Allen, had warmed up for USA Nationals with top performances at the Elliott Denman/36th Annual New Jersey International Meet,
hosted by Shore AC June 17 at Monmouth University’s Joe Compagni Track and Kessler Stadium.
NOW – to backtrack and remember some great moments in Shore AC history at Nationals. Back in 1933, SAC’s Eulace Peacock had won the National AAU pentathlon title.
And in the 1935 National AAU Championships, Peacock beat Jesse Owens in both the 100-meter dash and long jump finals, stunning results that still rank among the great upsets in track and field history,
EDITOR’s NOTE: Given Peacock’s 1933 Nationals win, why did Shore AC list 1934 as its year of birth? Answer: insufficient research. Long after we established 1934 as our official
year of revival on the Track and Field scene, further research revealed to us that 1933 Peacock win.