Ancient Race Directors saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.” Then first woman’s event of the premier day of the 110th Penn Relays was the women’s 5K race walk. Following in last years footsteps, the field was packed. After a few late scratches, 31 women headed to the start line.
Right from the gun, junior race walker Rachel Lavalee took the pack out. While her pace of 56 seconds for the first 200 might have been a bit ambitious, her early lead was more attributable to the conservative start of the senior athletes. World Cup Team member Susan Armenta started in second with Amber Antonia at her heels. The two trailed Lavalee by a meer second.
Rachel Lavalee (Left), Armenta and Antonia (Right)
By the second lap, Armenta and Antonia pulled away from the pack, and it was a PACK, by picking the pace up to about 1:50 a lap. Armenta’s World Cup teammate and disciple established herself in third, while Carolyn Kealty walked strong as the top Masters athlete.
Kealty holding her own with the open and junior athletes
Not far behind Lavalle, who continued to walk well, was Kate Dickinson. Dickinson was walking strong, but was disqualified after a few laps. An event directors nightmare were the large packs of junior walkers. Thanks to Fast Ed Gawinski, all the lap counts were right!
Just one of the many large packs of junior walkers
A 5K may be a sprint to some of these competitors, but they were working it hard today!
Working for a livin
The packs, long and large, pretty much stayed as they were for a few K. Our leaders settled into a 1:54 lap pace through about 3K, until Antonia ripped it open. Antonia dropped it to about 1:50 per lap while Armenta slowed to close to 2:00.
Anotnia Finishing Strong
The complete results follow:
Event 176, Saturday, 8:00 am
Event 177, Saturday, 8:00 am
Event 178, Saturday, 8:00 am