May 2, 2022
By: Harry Nolan
A group of Shore A.C. master’s runners had one of the club’s best years
at the 2022 edition of the famed Penn Relays. Headed by the men’s 60’s
4 x 400 winning relay and Michael Kish’s outstanding performance in men’s
70’s 100 Meter Dash, the club collected a total of nineteen medals, 15 gold
and 4 silver, along with a number of the famed Penn Relays Wheels over a three
The action began on Thursday, April 28 with the master’s men’s 100 meter
dash series. Long time club member Michael Kish, running in the 70’s division
had his usual fast start, and out legged all other runners breaking the tape in
13.47. Michael returned to the track a half an hour later and teamed with
club members Rick Lapp, Dave Gritz and Keith McQuitter in the masters
60’s 4 x 100. Seven teams toed the line, with the Shore unit just getting nipped by
the Mass Velocity Track M65 team 55.23 to 56.65, but still winning the M60
division for the relay.
On Friday, April 29th, it was the clubs 400 meter runners lining up for a
series of 4 x 400 relays. The action began with men’s combined 60’s and
70’s race, with the club having one 60’s entry and two 70’s entries. With
a crowded field of 14 teams, the competition was fierce. However, lead off
man Bill Hughes moved out quick for the 60’s team and had a slight lead
when handing off to 400-800 star Bob Andrews. Bob, relying on his many years
of running at Penn increased the lead, and handed off to Scott Linnell. Known
more as a long distance runner, Scott ran a smart race not losing any ground,
and passed the baton to anchor man Keith McQuitter. Flying down the backstretch, Keith used his sprint speed to maintain the lead and break
the tape in 4:37.82.
Back a few places, the clubs 70’s “A” team was having its own battle
with both the other 70’s teams, along with some 60’s teams. Tony
Plaster, one of the nations top 800 meter runners led off for the team,
maintaining good position among a number of younger runners. Spider
Rossiter took the baton for the second leg, and used his easy stride to
maintain the team’s position and handed off to Harry Nolan for the third
leg. Nolan, running in his 55th Penn Relays, made up 15 yards on one of
the 60’s teams before handing off to Rick Lapp. One of the top 400 meter
runners in the country, Rick moved out quickly, picking up one runner
down the backstretch and bringing the team home in 6th place, but
with the team winning the 70’s division race in 5:04.23. This same team
also won the Millrose Games 70’s 4 x 400 Relay back in January, scoring
double header wins.
Also in this race was the Shore A.C. 70’s “B” team consisting of Ivan Black,
Rob O’Rourke, Tom Delisa, and John Kuhi. Ivan, lined up next to Tony Plaster,
went out fast behind his teammate, and delivered a solid 400 leg. Distance
men O’Rourke and Delisa showed that the also have some speed, and kept
the team in contention for a medal. The long time veteran Kuhi brought
the team home, earning a second place in the 70’s team division in 7:07.59.
Having run a Penn for many years, it was a first medal for both Kuhi and
Next up was the men’s age 50’s race, with the club having one team entry.
Leading off in a quick 400 was Greg Calhoun. Handing off in third place,
distance runner Chris Rinaldi cruised around the 400 oval battling some top
400 meter runners. New club members Paul Henry and Pat Keefe distinguished
themselves with two strong legs. The club landed a solid 6th place in
One other shore area team having a good day was in the women’s 4 x 400
40 and over relay. The Bella N Motion team out of Manasquan ran head
to head with the Central Park Track Club until anchor leg and team captain
Diane DeOliveira turned on the steam down the backstretch to win the event
in 4:44.35. Teammates Karen Carlton, Kim Nielson and Yulady Saluti stayed
with the leaders throughout the race.
On Saturday, April 30th, it was the special 100 meter dash for men 85 and
over. The club lone entry was Mr. Lester Wright Sr., who had turned 100
years old the day before his race. Running against seven other gentlemen
ages 82 to 85, Mr. Wright held his own, clocking a very respectable 26.34,
finishing to cheers of the entire stand of spectators. That time is now a
pending world record for the 100 and over division.
After a generally cold and windy April, the sun did come out with warmer
weather for most of the days of the Penn Relay events. But as most of the
teams runners agreed, good or bad weather, it was great to be back at
the relays after a two year absence.