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.
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...
As many college athletic programs around the country begin to compete again, the local Monmouth University Hawks prepare for a potential winter cross-country season.
Head Coach Mike Nelson, who is going on his second year as coach at the local college, said, “I’m both excited and a little apprehensive about the potential season. Anything could happen but I think if protocols are safely executed, like testing, wearing masks, etc. racing as a full team is a huge possibility.”
He continued, “I want the men and women to know that this season is not the same from seasons in the past; arbitrary features like time might not be as important. Just go out there, have fun, and run your best.”
Monmouth University, like most other universities, had to suspend their athletic competitions last spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, with new additional safety precautions, athletes at Monmouth University were fortunately allowed to practice as a team during last year’s fall semester.
Nelson explained how the season is going to unfold, “The plan now is we want to complete two meets before the championship in March. We plan on hosting a home meet at Monmouth Park Racetrack on February 13. Then another meet either in New York state or a race on the track (possibly a 5k or 8k) with another team. These are subject to change but we will see how it plays out.”
Junior Lou DiLaurenzio, one of the captains noted, “We're looking forward to this season, obviously it’s a little different from most years but we’re training to the best we can.”
He added, “It’s an odd season because we only have three races this year, but we will use every opportunity to earn some good performances.”
The MAAC conference is scheduled to host the Cross Country championships for March 5 at Seaview Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey.
The team's Outdoor Track and Field season is also around the corner. As of now, their opening meet is scheduled for March 13.
Article written by: John Spinnelli
MU student athlete and SAC volunteer
BY ELLIOTT DENMAN
"It's been crazy," Ajee' Wilson tells you, by way of telephone interview.
Which isn't exactly late-breaking news.
Then again, when you are the Number One-ranked athlete in the world in a prime event on the program of the "flagship sport of the Olympic Games,"
a very good guess is that the last year has been a whole lot crazier for you than it's been for so many of your contemporaries.
At 26 - she'll be 27 on May 8, 2021 - the stellar speedster from Neptune, New Jersey, a Temple University graduate who now lives and trains in Philadelphia, is already the owner of 11
USA Track and Field national championship gold medals, holds both versions of the American record for the 800-meter distance (1:55.61 outdoors, 1:58.29 indoors), and a young veteran of both the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and five editions of the World Championships, And, too, she ran off with the top spot in the most recent complete edition - 2019 - of the Diamond League circuit of high-stakes global invitational meets.
That's already a career dossier that already puts her right up there with the best of the best in American track annals.
Nevertheless, she hasn't competed in nearly a year and can't really tell you "where I am" heading into the New Balance Grand Prix meet at Staten Island's Ocean Breeze complex, on Saturday, Feb. 13. Her 2021 debut will thus be more than interesting as the track and field world - and her legions of fans everywhere - catch up on her exploits and she catches up with her own sport.
Her most recent competitive outing was at the USATF Indoor Nationals, Feb. 15, 2020, in Albuquerque, N.M. Of course, she won it. In 2:01.98, and at altitude. It came a week after she'd won at New York's Millrose Games, in 1:58.29, an American record, which held up as number two world time of the indoor season, back only of Great Briton Jemma Reekie's 1:57.9, and the top USA women's time all of Covid-racked 2020, indoors or outdoors. She'd opened her 2020 season with a 2:02.37 win Jan. 25 at the New York Armory's Dr. Sander Invitational.
Before that, her last prior major outing was her third-place finish at the 17th edition of the World Outdoor Championships, Sept. 30, 2019, at Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar.
So that adds up to just three major competitions in a year and just four in nearly 16 months. What can the track and field world expect?
Wilson can't really tell you - other than saying "I'm pretty healthy, I've been training well, not bad at all (with her training group partners and coach Derek Thompson, almost always outdoors in Phiily, no matter the weather.)
"I don't have any issues, no nicks, no nacks."
Yes, there were "some nicks, some nacks" for a brief stretch last summer but they're long gone now and she's more than anxious to get back into real racing.
She's grateful, too, that, even through this brutal stretch of overlapping universal economic slowdown, and the devastations of the pandemic, the adidas co, has stayed with her and lent the ongoing support appropriate to a world-class athlete.
After the Staten Island start, she hopes - tentatively - to run The Texas Qualifer, a brand new outdoor meet in the Austin area - exact location undisclosed - on Feb. 26-27 designed to help Tokyo Olympic hopefuls post qualifying marks.. Focusing on events from the 800 up to 10,000 meters for men and women, the meet will be USATF-sanctioned, spectator-free and fully observant of Covid protocols.
"Hopefully" - a word almost all the global elite uses regularly these challenging days - the meet will evolve into a major stepping stone on the way to Japan in July.
Of course/of course/of course, it's still "The Big One" - the Olympic Games - that awaits her most definitive performance,
Like every global Games candidate, she has no firm idea if the Tokyo Olympics (now booked for July,23- Aug. 8, 2021 after the Covid-19 cancellation of 2020) will actually transpire as scheduled. And if so, in what form? As a strictly-for-TV extravaganza? As a spectator-free production? In a who-knows-what format?
"I'm just hopeful," said Wilson. "Whatever they (the leadership of Japan and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, the moguls of the International Olympic Committee, TV's major media magnates, international health organizations, et al) decide, that's fine with me. " What more could an athlete do, anyway?
"It's obviously a bigger call than any of us can make."
With emphasis on that single word - "obviously."
Rio 2016 wasn't what she'd hoped it would be. After running a sterling second place in that March's World Indoor Championships, that wasn't "the real Ajee" her legions of fans
saw bowing out in the semifinals of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad six months later in Brazil.
But the 2019 outdoor campaign saw Wilson rising to the top of the world elite - with firsts in Kingston, Jamaica (1:59.22) and USA Nationals in Des Moines (1:57.72), the Herculis Monaco Meet (1:57.73) as well as the Diamond League finale in Brussels (a strategic 2:00.24.) (All this as 2012-16 Olympic 800 champion Caster Semenya was seeing her own hopes of a "three-peat" at the two-lap distance ruled out by a Swiss court, which determined that the cisgender South African woman, born with XY chromosomes, had naturally elevated testosterone levels which created unfair physical advantages.)
The World Championships 800 final in Doha 2019 didn't go to plan.
As the official IAAF report told it, "from the gun, Wilson ran with purpose to take the lead at the break and control the race....
"Through the final turn, (Uganda's Halimah) Nakaayi worked her way up to Wilson's shoulder, shadowed by (Uganda teammate Wiinnie) Nanyondo.
"The diminutive Nakaayi executed the classic pass off the turn. Wilson had no answer.
"(USA teammate Raevyn) Rogers was sprinting down lane four, passing Nanyondo, passing Wilson, and getting to within a meter of Nakaayi before the finish."
"Very disappointing," third-placer Wilson admitted afterward. "But a lesson learned, too."
Yes, there's always somebody coming up on you in this sport. Never/ever are there givens. Press clippings get you nowhere.
But always to be remembered - every starting gun answered represents a whole new chapter. It's no wonder Ajee' Wilson's can't wait for the 13th of February, 2021, to roll around.
Great article written by Jeff Benjamin on www.lifetimerunning.net on our very own, Harry Nolan. Train non-stop for close to 60 years and you pile up 145,000 miles of running. Race like a warrior, and you earn several national championships as well as world championship medals. Read the full article here.
Led by Shore Athletic Club "alumna" star Ajee Wilson's 1:58.29 800-meter clocking, Shore AC proudly announces that
nine Varsity Team and "alumni" members achieved USA nationally-ranked performances through the Covid 19-curtailed
2020 track and field campaign.
Indoor season action shut down the second week of March and the outoor season that followed provided only intermittent opportunities to
achieve top quality performances. And, of course, the Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed to (optimistically) 2021 and such major
events as the Penn and Drake Relays, USA Olympic Trials and our own New Jersey International Meet were cancelled.
Nevertheless, many Shore AC athletes "found a way."
When Neptune Academy of Health and Science and Temple University graduate Ajee' Wilson won the 800 meters in the USATF Indoor National Championships,
staged Feb. 15 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it represented the 11th Senior National crown of her illustrious career, seven of them at Indoor Nationals and
four at Outdoor Nationals. And, at age 26, her best of all running years seem to be just ahead. Her best 800 time of 2020, 1:58.29, came at the Millrose Games at
New York's Armory Track Center on Feb. 8 and represented the only sub-2 clocking by a U.S. woman, indoors or outdoors, all year.
When Shore AC star Amina Smith cleared 6-3 1/2/ 1.92 meters, at the Terrapin Invitational Meet on Jan. 18, it was a mark topped only by Olympian Vashti Cunningham's
6-5 1/2 / 1.97 on the U.S. year list.
Shore AC's top-rated men's performance was A.J, Gruttdauro's 1:28:46 in the 20-kilometer racewalk, number two in the nation bested only by
Emanuel Corvera's 1:26:38. Gruttadauro also ranked fourth at the other Olympic distance of 50K, with his 4:42.32.
The women's U.S. 50K racewalk list saw Shore AC's Erin Taylor-Talcott in third place at 4:47.01. Her en-route time of 1:54.28 ranked ninth at 20K.
Also on the men's 50K list for 2020 were Shore AC teammates Michael Mannozzi (now on active Air Force duty after winning 15 National titles in previous years), sixth at 5:02:01;
and Masters stalwarts Dave Talcott, seventh at 5:06:52, and Barry Blake, 11th at 6:25:47.
Shore AC veteran Brandon Roulhac, a Nationally-ranked performer for over a decade, recorded a 54-1 1/4 / 16.49 mark at Indoor Nationals for the eighth best U.S. triple jump
performance of 2020.
Shore AC teammate Corey Murphy, the former IC4A and Penn Relays champion at Monmouth University, was 36th in the men's shot put at 63-1 /3/4 / 19.24 for his
Listed at 39th in the men's pole vault at 17-3 3/4 / 5.38 was Shore AC member Scott Houston, the 2018 USA National Indoor champion.
Monmouth University graduates Dylan Capwell and Allie Wilson, both now representing the Atlanta Track Club, gained National recognition at 800 meters.
Capwell's 1:47.68 put him 18th on the men's list; Wilson's 2:02.95 put her 23rd on the women's list.
Red Bank Catholic High School and Columbia University graduate Rob Napolitano of Brick Township and the Hoka One One team, posted the number five men's mile
in the nation, 3:56.56. He was also fourth at 1,000 meters at 2:18.36 and 19th at 1,500 meters at 3:38.03.
Also making the men's National lists were a pair of Christian Brothers Academy grads, Andrew Liskowitz and Tim Gorman. The rapidly-improving Liskowitz, now a senior at Michigan, had the nation's fifth best shot put mark, 68-11 3/4 / 21.02; Gorman, who competed collegiately at Dartmouth and Oregon, was listed 29th at 1,500 meters (3:41.45) and 46th at the mile (4:00.12.)
Surprise World Number One mark in the men's hammer throw was the late-season performance of 264-9 / 80.70 notched by former Cornell and Rutgers star Rudy Winkler;
Sam Mattis, his East Brunswick training partner and 2019 National champion, was second in the discus at 204-11 / 62.46.