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Oakley 3:55! Mann 3rd, Armstrong Season Debut in Armagh Road Race!

On the heels of a strong month of January, the Ocean State AC men have shown no sign of slowdown, keeping their momentum into the first few weeks of February, which have been incredibly busy across the board.

Millrose Games

The top highlights of the month came from Julian, who started the month against a world-class field with a sub 7:50 3k clocking in at the Millrose games in New York. Despite a bit of disappointment finishing towards the back of the field, Julian ran the second fastest 3k of his career, closing quickly and gaining valuable experience against top competition in preparation for contesting the 3k at IAAF World Indoor Championships at the beginning of March.

BU Valentine Invitational

A week later in Boston on February 10, three Ocean State Athletes were active at two different venues in Boston. First, Julian contested the mile close to home at the BU Valentine Invitational, where he turned out another exceptional performance. In a field where more than five men went under 4:00 for the mile, Julian sat in third or fourth place for most of the race and unleashed his deadly kick over the last lap to beat all men but the NOP man who can only be called his top rival this season, Craig Engels. But this time, Julian smashed his old personal best in the mile, coming through in a blazing mark of 3:55.

Also at BU, Kevin Cooper contested the mile in the fourth section of the event. Despite feeling a bit off at the line, Cooper competed strong to finish in 4:09, his first sub-4:10 clocking since working full-time. The strong finish despite feeling a bit flat the day of the race has him excited, and has the club optimistic that on a better day, he could soon demonstrate, or even surpass,  the form of his collegiate and early post-college marks while maintaining a full time work schedule.

And finally, on the same day as the strong performances from Julian and Kevin, Ocean State was absolutely delighted to receive a guest appearance in Boston from Providence College Graduate Harvey Dixon, the Gibraltar national record holder in the 1500m, who put on the Ocean State AC kit to compete in the 800m. And he did the jersey proud, finishing in a mark of 1:52 as he gears up for World Indoors. The club looks forward to further cameos from Harvey as he makes American tours in the future.

NB Indoor Grand Prix

At the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, Jordan was active, once again as a pacer for the 3k. Except this time, arguably the greatest NCAA runner of all-time, Edward Cheserek as well as Olympic Medalists Dejen Gebremeskel and Hagos Gebrhiwet headlined an unbelievable field, asking for a split of 4:03 at 1600m. Even as the pacer, Jordan drew some attention from the announcers for hitting his splits perfectly even as the leaders sagged off towards the end, with Cheserek winning the race with a time of 7:38. Still, he was thrilled just to have the privilege to participate in such an Olympic caliber race.

Armagh Road Race

And he didn’t sit still for long! On Tuesday, February, 13th, Jordan and Hugh took to the skies and flew to Ireland to compete in the Armagh Road Race on February 15th. Hugh would represent Ireland as well as Ocean State AC in his first time contesting the race, which would also be his season debut after a long cross country season that extended into January. The men were off the line with blazing speed, as 2:09 marathon man Dewi Griffiths led them through the first thousand meters in a reported split of 2:40. The pace continued through the third lap before it dipped in the fourth, and a previously strung-out field began to clump towards the front. With one lap around the square (about 1000m) to go, the Belgian Yannik Michels made a move that only Jordan covered, and with 400m to go, Jordan found himself with a few meters lead on the field. However, he started his sprint too early and couldn’t bring the race home, getting passed by sub 13:40 man Sam Stabler and previous Armagh Road Race Champion Charlie Hulson for a third place finish in a road Personal Best of 14:01. Likely not quite sharp enough so early in his season to handle the early pace, Armstrong finished the race in 14:28, which, while this was a road PB, he was a bit disappointed in some of the athletes who had beaten him. Still, so early in his season and with so much pace from the beginning of the race, Hugh promises to have strong performances come his track debuts with both this race and a few more workouts in his legs.

Upcoming Races

Julian Oakley: World Championships, 3k, March 2-4, 2018

Kevin Cooper: BU Last Chance, Mile, February 25, 2018

Hugh Armstrong: BU Last Chance, 5k

Jordan Mann: BU Last Chance, Mile

Strong Performances in New York and Boston for Ocean State Men

In the last track weekend of January, the men of Ocean State AC divided to compete on Friday evening and Saturday at the BU John Thomas Terrier Classic, in Boston, and on Saturday at the Columbia Challenge, at the Armory in New York City.

On Friday night in Boston, Jordan competed in one of the invitational sections of the men’s 3k. Despite pre-race drama surrounding the lack of a pacemaker, some last-minute help from letsrun.com (http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=8643650&page=1) in support of their athlete, Ben de Haan, helped the athletes attract US Army man Robert Cheseret for the job. When the gun went off, Jordan sat in immediately behind the rabbit; by a mile, they were alone, and when the rabbit stepped off the track, Jordan continued on strong to finish in a new personal best of 7:52.45. He will pace the mile at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 10, and his next race will be the Armagh Road Race on February 15.

Saturday in Boston, Kevin Cooper competed in the fifth section of the 3k. In the face of pre-race disrespect from an unnamed teammate, Cooper’s first crack at the 3k in an Ocean State vest proved fruitful, posting a mark of 8:24.20, his best time in the event since returning to the track two years ago. Cooper was conservative at the beginning of the race, going through the mile towards the back of a strung-out pack, but as the race progressed, so did he, moving into fourth place with a final 400m of 62 seconds! Cooper will compete next in the mile at the BU Valentine Invitational in two weeks.

In New York on Saturday afternoon, Julian posted perhaps the most impressive result of the weekend against world-class field of professional and collegiate athletes. The pace was pedestrian early on– Julian came through 809 meters with the middle of the field in 2:03– but furious over the last 800m of the race. Nonetheless, against the likes of British Olympic finalist Charlie Grice, and 3:35 man Patrick Casey, Julian blazed to a second-place finish in a time of 3:57.45, with a final 400m under 56 seconds. The only man to best Julian was Craig Engels of the Nike Oregon Project, who sports a 3:35 1500m PB and finished fourth at the US Championships in 2017 after his senior year of college. Despite finishing just short of the standard for the Commonwealth games, Julian continues to demonstrate incredibly strong form, which he will test next in the 3k at the Millrose games on February 3.

Upcoming Races

Julian Oakley – Millrose Games, 3k: February 3

Kevin Cooper – Valentine Invitational, TBD: February 10

Jordan Mann and Hugh Armstrong – Armagh Road Race, Road 5k: February 15

 

OSAC Dominant at USATF New England Championships

USATF NE CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

On Sunday Nov. 5, the Ocean State Athletic Club competed in the USATF New England Cross Country Championships at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass. The club posted a perfect score of 15 points to win the USATF-NE title. With the win, the club moved to 3-for-3 in USATF-NE competitions.

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Julian Oakley, Shane Quinn, and Jordan Mann (L-R) leading the field early on.

Ocean State established a dominant presence from the beginning of the race, with Shane Quinn and Julian Oakley setting the pace from the start. With Hugh Armstrong, Jordan Mann and Trevor Crawley also a part of the lead pack, OSAC was primed for a low score. The lead pack passed through the halfway mark in around 15:45.

At Coach Ray Treacy’s instruction, the pace began to ratchet up as the group entered into the Wilderness section for the second time. The field quickly began to string out as the team continued to push the tempo over the second half of the race.  Julian Oakley, the team’s top runner in the BAA Mayor’s Cup 8k two weeks prior, pulled away over the final 2,000 meters to finish first, completing the 10k course in 30 minutes and 25 seconds. Fellow Rhode Islander, NE Distance’s Henry Sterling  would finish a distance second to Oakley but, as his team had fewer than five finishers, his place did not count towards team scoring. Jordan was next across the line in third (30:45), followed closely by Trevor (fifth, 30:49), Hugh (sixth, 30:51) and Shane (seventh, 30:53).

Stephen Robertson and Kevin Cooper were the sixth and seventh finishers on the day for OSAC. Robertson was 10th in 31:24, while Cooper was 28th in 32:43.

Full Results: http://www.usatfne.org/cross/results/17-11-05-ne.html 

BOSTON MAYOR’S CUP CROSS COUNTRY

Two weeks prior, on Sunday, Oct. 22,  the New Balance Ocean State Athletic Club competed in the BAA Mayor’s Cup at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass.  The race marked the club’s second team performance and second team win in a USATF New England competition.

Led by an impressive third-place finish from Julian Oakley, who completed the 8k cross country course in a blazing 23:57, OSAC won the event with 25 points, 47 points ahead of the second-place team. The club placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 15 of the race. Jordan Mann was the second club member to finish, as he took seventh overall with a time of 24:29. Shane Quinn also finished in the top ten as he took ninth place with a time of 24:42. Hugh Armstrong and Trevor Crawley rounded out the team scoring for OSAC as they took 13th (24:52) and 15th (24:58), respectively.

Full Results: http://coolrunning.com/results/17/ma/Oct22_Mayors_set1.shtml

Other news from the month of October includes:

Hugh Armstrong made his debut in the half marathon with a top five finish at the Hartford Half Marathon. Armstrong ran the 13.1 miles in an impressive time of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 54 seconds despite developing a stitch in mile 8. He expects to run even stronger in his next attempt at the distance. 

Julian Oakley and Shane Quinn posted a 1-2 finish at the Molly Huddle Fall-Comers 5k XC, opening up the cross country season with strong performances. 

Jordan Mann competed in Japan as part of the Ivy Select team in the Izumo Ekiden against some of the top collegiate competition in Japan. The team posted a top-10 finish, coming in behind a strong anchor leg from Ben Rainero, who completed his 10.2 kilometer leg faster than all but two competitors in the race. 

Hugh Armstrong: New Athlete Questionnaire

After his debut at the Lone Gull 10k, we’re incredibly excited to welcome the Mayo man Hugh Armstrong to the Ocean State AC Team! Here are some questions he answered for us earlier this summer. Check them out, and get to know Hugh a little bit! If you’re interested ladies, he always looks great running and is powered  by Flahavan’s porridge.

  • Hometown: Knockmore, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
  • Where did you go to college? Providence College.
  • Main Event: 10km, cross country.
    PRs: 29:16 (10k)
  • Additional events you have trained for: 5km 14:06, 3km 8:09.
  • Story of your Best Race: running 29:16 in Stanford 2016 was special. Winning New England XC in 2014, with our “B” team at the time was one of my favourite XC team memories, along with qualifying for NCAA cross last year with much the same team. Running a big pb in the 5k at BU terrier, when [my high school coach] Dermot McDermott was there in 2016 was a big breakthrough for me.
  • Worst Race and How it Affected You: Strangely, my very first race and my very last race for Providence College were two of my worse ones: a xc race in Franklin park, Boston, and outdoor Regionals in Kentucky this year (10k). Some of the ones in the middle were much better. Bad races always show you that you have to go away and train harder (or train differently) and hopefully come back better the next day.
  • Favorite place in Rhode Island: Providence.
  • Reflection on the Last Season: I was pleased with cross and indoor seasons. I led our team at NCAAs in cross and ran pb’s in every event indoors. Outdoors was disappointing, I ran one solid 10k in Stanford to qualify for regionals, but struggled after that with sickness and tiredness, the season eventually ended with a very poor performance at regionals in Kentucky.
  • Goals for the Upcoming Season: I would like to become consistently good, and qualify for some Irish teams at senior level. I hope to successfully move up the distances on the road, and run a great half marathon this season, (and a great marathon in the future).
  • Favorite place to train: Grass, especially if it is nicely cut.
  • Favorite Food: Oranges
  • Favorite hobbies off the track? This might not count as non-athletic: I like following the GAA. During the summer, I travel around following the Mayo football team. I am also interested in politics
  • Favourite Mayo Player: Kevin McLoughlin
  • Favourite politician: Michael Davitt.
  • What you bring to a team dynamic/what you like best about being part of a team? This is a very individual sport, but I always loved having the team aspect running xc in college. It is great that we are continuing this with Ocean State AC. It is great to have a bunch of lads similar to yourself to work with in training and in races. It makes you want it a little bit more when you know that these lads need you to put in a good shift and run your hardest and you need them to do likewise.
  • Why OSAC: Ocean State was an easy choice for me. I am delighted to be staying in Providence for two more years, and I am very excited to continue working with Ray Treacy and some of the athletes who ran with me in college. It is also great that we are now getting support from New Balance.
  • What do you look forward to most about being part of the Providence running community? The Providence running community has some quality athletes in it. I look forward to competing with them on the roads and track and cross country, and seeing how well we can do as a new club in this community, and how well I myself can compete.
  • What you think is one of the most important aspects of a team mentality/environment:  I think that it is important for a team to work together. Ní neart go cur le chéile (there is no strength until we come together).
  • What is your day job? Providence College Graduate Assistant