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Home & Current News   Old News (pre 2008)

Wanderer Track Meets Produce Strong Performances

by Wanderers correspondent Rock Steady

A small but elite corps of runners competed in the annual Wanderer track meets in mid-August at the Roxborough High School Track. The first meet on August 16 was made even smaller by a driving rain storm, but that did not dampen the performances.

None of the runners were quite in the league of Kenyan distance man Eliud Njubi who starred in last year's meets and who set a meet record in the 5,000 meters of 14:52, a mark which should last for at least a couple of millenia. But the quality was excellent.

Neill Clark won the mile run over a very strong field in a time of 4:41 on August 16. Neill came back the next week to shave .2 seconds off his time to win the mile again. In both races, local running legend Chuck Shields came in second. Chuck was timed in 4:46 on the August 16 meet and 4:44.2 on August 23.

The 5,000 meter run on August 24 was perhaps the most competitive race. Wanderer Phil Ranly grabbed an early lead, and then he battled with Kevin Forde and Steve Metraux up until the last lap when Chuck Shields stormed to the front to take the race in 17:10.3. Chuck had placed second to Kevin the week earlier.

Steve Metraux of Philadelphia Runners should have won some type of iron man medal for competing in the mile run, the 3,000 meters and then the 5,000 meters on August 16. Steve figured he would take it easy the next week, only running in the mile (5th place in 5:22.1), and the 5,000 meters (second place in 17.14.6).

Sarah Tabutt won the women's division of the mile on August 16 in a time of 5:49.5, but was nipped by Erin McLeary by .3 seconds the next week. Erin was timed in 5:48.8. Wanderer Barbara Gorka was top finisher in the womens division of the 5,000 meters on August 23, in an excellent time of 20:35.1.

Wanderer veteran Marc Zesselman won the 800 meters on August 16 in 2:46.6 followed by Diana Garrotts in 2:46.7. The next week, David Spandorfer won the 800 meters in a swift 2:17.1. Megan Campewell won the womens 800 in 2:30.3.

Wanderers Chris Moore, Lynne Andersson and Jennifer Rezeli also excelled during the two meets. Another repeat star from last year was 7-year-old A.J. Lofton. He completed the mile in 7:10.4 and then came back for a 3:22.1 performance in the half mile, shaving more than 45 seconds off his performance a year ago.

Medley relay races were held at the end of each meet and were hotly contested.

Race director Leslie Turchetti and club members Matt Palombaro and Melanie Wright did a great job organizing and supervising the meets and were ably assisted by Philadelphia Masters impresario Kyle Mecklenburg.

Wanderer gourmet chef Jan bin Reuter cooked up some great barbeque beef for the August 16 meet, but was knocked out of commission for the August 23 meet by the dentist. Instead, vegetarian fare was prepared by Leslie with Matt winning a blue ribbon for his brownies and Susan Hurrey supplying the watermelon.

The prizes for the two meets were kindly supplied by Liberty Sports Magazine.

Click here for the complete results (PDF format).

Susan Hurrey delivers the
watermelon for Wanderers
track meet.

Tim Kelly leads Steve
Metraux in the middle of
the pack of the one mile.

Seven-year-old A.J Lofton
returned for a splendid
performance in both the
mile and 800 meters.

Erin McLeary nips Sarah
Tabutt at the finish.

Race brain trust confers
at finish line. That’s
Kyle Mecklenburg, left,
Jim Adderley, and
Melanie Wright.

Yeah, Matt. Looking good.

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