News - Part 2

Cheryl Rellinger

Chula Vista, CA – Cheryl Rellinger set and American track record today and became the first female athlete to qualify for the 2004 Track and Field Olympic Team Trials en route to her 30,000m national championship victory at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.

Rellinger, a resident of Troy, New York started out at a cautious pace and ducked under the Olympic Trials automatic qualifying standard of 1:48 with a 1:47:44 for her 20,000m split, but it was no walk in the park.

“I had 2 red cards within the first 4 laps of a 75 lap race, and that got me worried, because one more would have meant I was disqualified. I was called for bent knee, and learned that it was my right leg that was locking late.” The two rules of race walking state that an athlete must always have one foot on the ground, and that the knee shall be straightened as the foot touches the ground and remain straight until thebody passes over it. “That surprised me because my left leg is longer than the right, and I would think my left leg would have trouble before the right one would. I was puzzled by the biomechanics, but then I told myself not to think about it until after the race and instead concentrated on correcting my technique. I consciously drove my right arm further back, figuring that would bring my leg further in front and give me more time to straighten it before it landed. A few laps later, I grabbed a cup of water at the middle of the straightaway and dumped it over my head. I wasn’t trying to balance it, but when it didn’t fall off my head until I leaned into the curve, I knew I had corrected my technique and was not pushing off asymmetrically.” Rellinger hit her 10,000m split exactly as planned: 53:45, 2:09 per lap, which would give her a 20,000m time 1:47:30. “Two (minutes) 10 (seconds) would be! too slow, and I liked the idea of that 30 second cushion. My plan was to start as slowly as would meet the standard because of the heat, then pick up the pace if I could. That split seemed pretty easy, pretty controlled, but I did not hold it too much longer after that.” Rellinger started slipping to 2:14 per lap, and after calculating the remaining laps and time, knew she had to drop to 2:06. “I spent two laps trying to do math, but I was getting tired and confused. At 46 laps, I realized my current pace would yield a 1:48:36, and I knew I had to forget about the last 25 laps and focus on the next four. I was worried that I would get so fatigued making up the time that once I crossed the line I would lose form and get a third red card and be disqualified, so I asked permission to step off the track after the 50th lap”. After crossing in 1:47:45, she did just that, taking a full 2 minute r! est. “The rest was nice, but I knew if I took any longer than two minutes, I would have trouble getting back out there for another 25 laps.” Since she had entered the 30k national championship race, U.S.A.T.F. rules dictate that she complete the race in order for her split to count. Rellinger said she did not pay attention much to pace after that, only on her technique. “If I’d have known how slow I was doing that last 10k, my ego probably would have taken over and I’d have accelerated, risking a disqualification”. The top seed in the race, defending champion and national 50k record holder Susan Armenta, a resident athlete of the ARCO Olympic Training Center since 1997, dropped out of the race after 42 laps. “Her technique did not look as fluid as usual, and I knew she wasn’t having a good day, which happens to everyone at some point. I was surprised I had lapped her 3 times, but I never! counted her out of it until I saw her on the sidelines because I know how strong she is.” Rellinger finished the national championship race in 2:51:50, ahead of Heidi Hauch of Scottsdale, AZ in 3:02:30 and Erin Taylor of Queens, NY in 3:11:18.

USATF Adirondack Awarded Championships

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – At the 2002 USATF Annual Meeting, the USA 5k Open Women National Championship has been awarded to the Adirondack Association for 2003 and 2004. The Freihofer’s Run for Women in Albany, NY will be host to these championships on Saturday, May 31, 2003 and on Saturday, June 5, 2004.

The Eastern Regional 5k Race Walk Championship has been awarded to the Adirondack Association for 2003. Date and location of host event and venue to be announced.

Awards Breakfast honors USATF’s finest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – At the annual Awards Breakfast on Saturday, December 7th, USATF announced the 2002 awards winners for their contributions on and off the track.

The following are the Adirondack Association award winners:

Cross Country
Masters Athletes of the Year: Tom Dalton

Masters Track & Field
75-79 Track: Pat Peterson

Eastern Regional 5k: Race Results and Summary

2002 USATF Adirondack & Eastern Regional 5k Open Racewalk Championships. Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs NY October 20, 2002 1:00 pm

A small but stellar field found strong competition, personal records and “2nd lifetime” PR’s in an ideal afternoon race for entrants of the Eastern Regional 5k Race Walk. The course was a smooth, flat 1k loop on a pine tree-lined road with wide turns. The sky had cleared, and a crisp fall air was warmed by a brightly shining sun that also highlighted the fall foliage of the Saratoga Spa state park. The lead pack of Jose Duce, Allen James and Bill Vayo started out with a blistering speed set by Duce. When James saw they were going to hit 1k at 4:12, he settled into a more reasonable pace and Vayo held back with him as the! y let the leader go. Duce, a Spaniard who arrived in the US in August and began his season in September, won the Eastern Regional 30k last week in NYC and wanted to test himself at the shorter distance. A 21 minute 5k was not in the cards, however, and James’ patience paid off as he walked to victory in 22:18. Duce was not disappointed in his loss as he did what he set out to do: determine his current fitness level and hold his desired pace as long as possible. He finished in 22:33, followed by Vayo in 24:25. The women got sucked into the men’s quick start with Laura Feller staying on Cheryl Rellinger’s heels for the first half of the race, coming through the first 1k in just over 5 minutes. The pace slowed a bit after 3k, but Feller finished in a PR of 26:41 behind Rellinger’s 26:22. The next pack consisted of 3 men master walkers, with Bill Crone leading the trio in a time of 28:37. Not a PR, but his fastest since he li! ved in Riverside, CA back when a young Susan Armenta was walking that same pace (in other words, quite a long time ago). Next was Jim McGrath, making up a 10m deficit with 400m to go to pass Mike Piplani for 5th overall male in 29:21. Piplani wasn’t too disappointed to finish so close behind McGrath, who had lapped him 3 weeks earlier in the national masters 1 hour. Rather, he was happy to break the 30 minute barrier with a 29:36 for the first time since he was a high school walker. Rounding out the race was Keisha Pearson, a 15 year old who also got a PR of 32:54 today, in her first abbreviated season. The talented junior competitor began race walking in the spring of this year, but was busy sailing in Holland and Bermuda as a member of the US national team. It was time to begin cross country training upon her return, but the `distance’ workout today will provide a little muscle memory before her return to walking in the! indoor track season. With her efficient, legally sound technique, this girl will be a contender for the junior team if we don’t lose her to another sport. Her efforts today brought the team title to Walk USA. And as a spectator noted, (yes, we had quite a few) what a mixed team it was: a masters man, open woman and high schooler. A good representation of how all-inclusive our sport can be.

Results (Place Name Age Team Time Award):

  • 1 Allen James 38 Park Racewalkers 22:18.4-1st M
  • 2 Jose Duce 29 Park Racewalkers 22:33.4-2nd M
  • 3 Bill Vayo 38 Eastside T.C. 24:25.4-3rd M
  • 4 Cheryl Rellinger 36 Walk USA 26:22.3-1st F
  • 5 Laura Feller 23 Unattached 26:41.2-2nd F
  • 6 Wilson Crone 42 Upstate Walkers 28:37.4-4th M 1st Adir Assn.
  • 7 Jim McGrath 65 Walk USA 29:21.3-5th M
  • 8 Michael Piplani 41 Upstate Walkers 29:36.4-6th M 2nd Adir Assn.
  • 9 Keisha Pearson 15 Walk USA 32:54.5-3rd F

Open Mixed Team Title: Walk USA

Many thanks to George Regan, president of the Adirondack Association who believes every association should contest a racewalk, for making the race happen, Bruce Vandewater for registration and results, Allen James for course discovery, permission and measurement, head judge Elaine Humphrey (and for refreshments), judges Kathy Sullivan, Sharon and Chet Boehlke, Earl Daniels, and to our local association for officials, judges and volunteers. And of course to all the competitors who made the trek on fairly short notice and provided worthy competition for one another!

Genesee Valley Harrier (GVH) Cross Country Invitational

With the lure of $5,000 in team and individual prize money, elite harriers from across the United States and Canada will once again descend on Rochester, New York on October 13.

The $5,000 Genesee Valley Harrier (GVH) Cross Country Invitational is slated for Sunday, October 13 at Black Creek Park in the Rochester suburb of Chili.

The women’s 5k is scheduled for 10:30am while the Men’s 8k will go off at 11:15am. The race is a part of the 13 year-old Upstate New York Cross Country Series and will serve as the 2002 Niagara Association Senior Men’s and Women’s Championship.

The GVH Invitational, coupled with the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country races two weeks later in Boston gives American post-collegiate runners a great opportunity to hone their cross country skills as they lead up to this years’ Fall Cross Country Nationals in Rocklin, California.

The $5,000 in prize money available at the GVH Invite also makes the event a “can’t miss” opportunity for US and Canadian athletes preparing for national and international cross country competitions.

$3,300 will be given out to the top 4 men’s and women’s teams ($750-$400-$300-$200) while $1,700 is to be distributed among the top 5 male and female finishers ($300-$175-$150-$125-$100).

Entry information for the meet is available on the Genesee Valley Harrier website ( Meet Director Peter Glavin can be contacted at gvh@frontiernet or at 585-720-9252



1999: 191 at Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park in what was called the $5,000 Home Depot Invitational. Sandu Rebenciuc of the Greater Springfield (MA) Harriers (25:01) held off Derek White of the Syracuse Chargers (25:02) for the Men’s 8k title while Michelle King led a 1-2-3 the Toronto Olympic Club sweep of the Women’s 5k. The Greater Boston Track Club nipped the Syracuse Chargers to win the $600.00 Men’s 1st prize while the Charger women won the distaff title.

2000: Home Depot upped the prize money to $10,000 and the race became arguably the best cross country race ever run in Upstate New York. 239 competed on a rainy, blustery day at Genesee Valley Park. Kenyan Paul Mwangi led 10 men under 24:00 in the 8km while Colette Liss of the Indiana Invaders began her rise to national prominence with a victory in the Women’s 5km. Team Kenyada of Hamilton, Ontario edged Hanson’s Running Shop of Michigan for the $1,000 first place men’s prize and Liss’s Invaders went 2-3-4 behind her to secure the women’s team title.

2001: A new sponsor and a new venue. 191 compete at Black Creek Park in the Rochester suburb of Chili and compete for $5,000 in prize money, put up by the host club, the Genesee Valley Harriers. Liss and her Invader teammates once again dominate the women’s field. Priscilla Hein, who would later win the Fall XC Championships title in Mobile, finishes second. Rick Sluder of the Invaders runs away from Ricardo Santos of the Toronto Olympic Club to win the 8km. Santos and his TOC win the team title, though and the $750.00 that went with it.

Dalton repeats as top Masters runner

Tom Dalton of Rotterdam was named USA Track and Field’s Masters Runner of the Year for the second consecutive time.

The award is based on age-graded times, meaning an older runner posting a fast time is given more credit than a younger runner finishing in the same time. Runners have to be nominated for the award.

Dalton won two national cross country titles, at 8 kilometers (Nov. 4 in Rochester) and 5 kilometers (Nov. 18 in Deland, Fla.).

“For the race in Florida, the course had taken six inches of rain the day before,” Dalton said. “(The mud and water) was shin-deep in some places.”

Dalton won that race by 58 seconds in 15 minutes, 42 seconds. He won by 1:23 in Rochester in 25:15.

Dalton is ranked No. 1 in the world at 5,000 meters, second at 3,000, fifth at a mile, and sixth at 1,500 meters.

“Run for America” to raise money for victims of terrorism

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, October 4, 2001)- Anyone who owns a pair of running or walking shoes is invited on November 4 to “Run for America” to raise money for the victims and heroes of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

An historic, joint effort between USA Track & Field (USATF), Runner’s World, the New York Road Runners Club, Inc., the Road Runners Club of America and Running USA, the Run for America is a “virtual run/walk,” held November 4 to coincide with the New York City Marathon. All proceeds from the Run for America will go to the American Red Cross, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund and the Twin Towers Fund.

Run for America is organized much like any road race. To take part, entrants must register at the Run for America Web site – – and select the “race” in which they will participate on November 4 and the charity to which they would like to donate. Running events offered range from 1 mile to 100K, with walking events from 1 mile to 20K.

For a $15 donation/”entry fee,” participants will be entered in the “race” and can download a special Run for America race bib. On November 4, entrants will run or walk their “race” and will have the opportunity to post essays and photos about their Run for America experience on

“The Run for America will ‘virtually’ bring people from around the world together on a single day, just as Runner’s World, The New York Road Runners, Running USA, and the Road Runners Club of America came together to make this project happen,” said USATF CEO Craig Masback. “It is our hope that Run for America is able to positively affect the lives of the September 11th survivors, as well as the lives of the participants in Run for America.”

“One of the great things about Run for America is that any person, at any fitness level, can take part,” said USATF President Bill Roe. “The tragedies of September 11th have brought people together in an amazing way. It is in that spirit that the Run for America is being held.”

Participants may also enter the times they ran on November 4, to be compiled within the “official” results for various distances, allowing participants to see where they stand against other Run for America participants around the country and the world. Entrants can use their daily run/walk, a special group event, or a race that they have already planned to compete in as their Run for America “race.” Youth, high school and college cross-country runners are also encouraged to join the Run for America.

For additional donations, entrants can purchase a Run for America long-sleeved t-shirt and/or a Runner’s World Run for America button. Several Team USA items autographed by top stars and other memorabilia will be given away in a random drawing as well.

For more information on the Run for America, visit the official Web site:

The Charities

American Red Cross

American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided to people in need without charge. Donations will help provide support for people in need following the Sept. 11 disaster as well as emerging human needs resulting from this tragedy. For more information, visit

Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

This Fund is designed to provide educational assistance for post-secondary education to financially needy children and spouses of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the tragedies of September 11. The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund will benefit children and spouses of the victims, including airplane crew and passengers, World Trade Center and Pentagon employees and visitors, and relief workers, including firemen and policemen.

For more information, visit

Twin Towers Fund

New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has established the Twin Towers Fund to assist the families of the members of the uniformed services of the NYC Fire Department and its Emergency Medical Services Command, the NYC Police Department, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York State Office of Court Administration and other government offices who lost their lives or were injured because of the tragedies of September 11, 2001.


Jill M. Geer
Director of Communications


U.S. distance runner, Libbie Hickman, is pregnant and will miss this week’s U.S. Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

“We found out ten days ago,” said her husband and manager, Walter Hickman. “It was such a shock [but] everything is fine.”

Hickman, 36, was an Olympian last year, running the 10,000m at Sydney where she finished 16th. She has a personal best time of 31:41.33 at that distance and has run the marathon in 2:28:34. She was U.S. 10,000m champion in 1999, and is the reigning U.S. half-marathon champion.

The child, which will be the couple’s first, is expected in late November or early December.


ALBANY, N.Y. (May 29, 2001) — Libbie Hickman, the defending Freihofer’s Run for Women champion, withdrew yesterday from the 5K National Championship & Fitness Run slated for Saturday, June 2 at 10:15 a.m.

According to Walter Hickman, Libbie’s coach and husband, Hickman pulled out because she is not in the type of competitive shape necessary to defend her crown this weekend.

“During last minute workouts over the Memorial Day weekend, Libbie realized she is not where she’d like to be to compete in a National event like Freihofer’s,” said Walter, explaining that Libbie has been fatigued since returning from last year’s Olympics in Sydney.

“She disappointed not to be coming back to run in Freihofer’s,” he added. “She loves coming to Albany and has been continuing to correspond via e-mail with students at Green Meadow School in East Greenbush over the past couple of months.”

With Hickman, the race’s clearcut favorite now absent, Saturday’s field is now “wide open,” said Run for Women Event Director George Regan.

“I’m very disappointed that we’ve lost our defending champion,” he said, “but her withdrawal now opens up our field for a number of other runner to shine like Blake Russell (2nd place finisher in 2000), Sylvia Mosqueda (3rd in 2000), and Laura Baker (5th in 2000).

“I’m excited, however, about this year’s master’s (over 40) race, which is certainly the best field we’ve ever assembled,” Regan added. “Joining our two-time defending champion Carmen Troncoso will be Judi St. Hilaire (2nd place master’s finisher in 2000, and open winner in ’89 and ’91), Joan Benoit-Samuelson (1984 women’s Olympic marathon gold medalist), Jane Welzel (’95 and ’96 master’s champion), as well as new master’s runners like Gordon Bakoulis and Sabrina Robinson.”

Those who’d like to sign up to run in the 2001 Freihofer’s Run for Women can still do so. Entries will be accepted from noon-9 p.m. Friday, June 1 at the Runner’s Expo, concourse level, Empire State Plaza.

For more information on the 2001 Freihofer’s Run for Women, Freihofer’s Community Walk and Freihofer’s Kids’ Run, call (518) 273-5552 or go to

Howard Dewey from Corinth NY – 2001 Accomplishments

May 12, 2001- Jacksonville TC Masters Meet, Jacksonville, FL

  • High Jump 60-64, set record with a jump of 5′ 3″
  • Long Jump 60-64, 15′ 1″

New York State Senior Games

  • Won age group 60-64 High Jump at 5’0″
  • Won age group 60-64 Long Jump at 4.57

July 20, 2001- Summer National Games (Senior Olympics) Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Set Senior Games 60-64 High Jump record at 5′ 3″

July 27, 2001- USA Masters Outdoor T&F; Championships, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • After playing 3 on 3 basketball in Senior Games for four days, Howard went on to win a Silver medal in the High Jump at 4’11”.