In what was one of the most competitive local road races in recent history, the Greek Fest 1 Mile and 5K run was home to many top runners from SELA. Though overcast, there was a strong wind in the warm evening air that would temper the paces just a bit. A new course due to construction made for some uncertainty whether the times would be fast or not.
To start the evening was the one mile run. The out and back nature of the course made the shorter race a little slower than a track mile would be, but the effort level was still high. Ian Carr, last week running 4:29 at Meet Under the Lights, surged strong at the end but came up just short with a 4:42 second place finish to Patrick Aucoin who ran 4:42. In the budding team match-up of the Power Miler Track Club vs the Louisiana Distance Project, this was a preview of things to come in the future. Third place was PMTC runner Casey Keiser in 4:43 and fourth was Louisiana Distance Projects Paul Freese. Top high schooler was Michael Buisson of Jesuit in 5:59.
Laura Carleton of Louisiana Distance Project defended her status as top local female miler (okay, a race between her and Gabrielle Jennings would be fun to watch as Carleton ran 4:43 while at LSU) with a 5:27 victory over Meghan Gohres (another former LSU runner). Carleton was the top miler last week in the womens invite section at the Meet Under the Lights. Top high school runner was Cabrini’s Lauren Klemm with a 6:09.
In the womens 5K, Carleton returned to attempt the double victory but the depth of the Louisiana Distance Project was astounding, leading a womens finish that rivals any local womens road race for amount of high level performances. Two women were under 18, six under 19, and ten under 19:45. A new era of womens road running could be emerging in Louisiana. Kat Telfeyan of the Louisiana Distance Project out sprinted teammate Kir Selert Faraud 17:54-17:59 while leading a team sweep of the top 5 places. Carleton took third in 18:17 in her second race in 30 minutes. Rounding out the sweep for Louisiana Distance Project was Kara Marlatt and Krista Moylan who ran 18:36 and 18:38 respectively. Gohres broke up the string of LDP finishers by running 18:59 over Kristin Wenstrom who ran 19:24. Top high school runner was Emily Blanchard of Hahnville who ran 19:33.
The men’s race would not be as dominated by LDP as PMTC also made some great finishes. The pack was tight until after the midway point where Louisiana Running Company owner and LDP member Pat Gavin took over and powered home in the windy evening with a 15:33. Closing hard was Austin Ballow, recent graduate of Sumner who is training and racing with LDP. With a late surge, third place finisher was Brother Martin coach and PMTC runner Drew Haro. Dropping a few places in the last mile was Devyn Keith of LDP who tied with teammate Ian Carr in a 15:59 for fourth and fifth place. Top master runner and first stroller across the line was Brandon Wingate in 16:14 of PMTC. Other finishers for Louisiana Distance Project included Christian Britto in 7th with a 16:16, Andy Barton in 8th with a 16:38, Kyle Montgomery in 10th with a 17:21, and Sean Fitzwilliams in 12th with a 17:33.
Both LDP and PMTC had key contributors not compete, so expect to see some good races between the squads in the near future.
Full Results can be found at the New Orleans Track Club site here.