February 14, 2012

Growing older a positive thing for Weeks

Some people dread it when a milestone birthday arrives.
That was not the case when Groton Central teacher and coach Scott Weeks turned 40 back on Feb. 2, as the heralded runner who competed in the 2011 Masters World Track and Field Championships this past summer embraced the special occasion.
This past weekend in the Boston University Valentine Invitational, the former SUNY Cortland and Groton Central performer turned in a 1:54.92 clocking that is the fastest 800-meters run nationally in his new 40-44 age group. Weeks had already posted the top time in the 35-39 age group, a 1:58.04, prior to his birthday.
“I’ve been looking forward to turning 40 so that I could begin to really start going after some big Masters goals, including topping the USA rankings as well as competing in and possibly winning some national championships,” reports Weeks, who plans to compete in track, road races and cross country events in the coming season.
He finished second in his heat at Boston, where he also got the chance to run against former Groton Central standout Mik Kern by the luck of the draw. Now a junior at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., Kern was third in the heat in 1:56.80 time in an unsuccessful bid to chase down early pacesetter Weeks.
Weeks’ time in Boston would have earned him a gold medal in the World Championships last year in the 35-39 age group. The run was the latest in a string of recent success stories, as Weeks won the Southern Tier Collegiate Open 3,000-meters (9:02.25) at Cornell University in Ithaca on Jan. 6 and then was first at the Colgate Class of ‘32 Invitational in the 800-meters (1:58.04) on Jan. 28 in Hamilton.
“It has been difficult to find the time to do the appropriate training with two young children, a demanding profession and other personal interests,” noted Weeks, who coaches track and cross country at his Groton alma mater. “I’ve basically put all my other personal interests on the back burner to I can focus on training and at the same time not be neglectful to my family and to my profession of teaching and coaching.”
Weeks will run this Saturday in the mile indoors at Cornell’s Barton Hall in the Denault Invitational, looking to top the current USA Masters mile standard of 4:35.90.
Dragon Valentine Treats
SUNY Cortland sophomore Cody Amengual also ran the 800-meters at the Valentine Invitational in Boston this past weekend, where the Red Dragons were among a large crowd of schools on hand including several Division I programs. Amengual finished 50th overall in 1:55.28, and also finished 52nd in the the mile in 4:15.25. Both of those times were ECAC qualifiers.
Also posting ECAC qualifying times for Cortland men were junior Eric Banks placing 32nd in the 400m (49.50) dash, senior Phil Wiltshire in 39th at 400m (49.65), junior Tom Hopkins 53rd at 5,000m (15:18.59), freshman Neil Yodice 60th in the 400m (50.27) and junior Pat Fannon 68th in the mile (4:17.24).
Cortland women had ECAC-qualifying performances in 12 individual events and three relays — Senior Alyson Dalton’s 12th place showing in the 5,000-meters in 12:09.02 leading the way.
Sophomore Sarah Bonnell turned the trick while placing 20th in the 60m dash (8.01) and 46th in the 200m (26.15). Freshman sprinter Shay Walker hit the ECAC mark running 41st in the 200m dash (26.04), and just missed the standard taking 35th in the 60m (8.16).
Two other Red Dragons hit ECAC marks in the 200-meter dash, senior Jenna Evarts (26.39) in 58th place and freshman Hannah Anthes (26.87) in 84th. In the 400-meter dash, senior Veronica Montrose (59.97) in 65th, sophomore Trisha Clark (1:00.46) in 75th and senior Abby Vander Veen (1:00.48) in 76th had qualifying efforts.
Junior Jordyn Naylon ran 26th in the mile run in 4:58.00 and freshman Bori Tozser out of Homer was 74th in 5:13.13, both ECAC times. Sophomore Emily Cotey was a qualifier at 3,000m (10:42.27), placing 66th.
l Cortland also competed at the Cornell University Kane Invitational held this past Friday and Saturday, where senior pole vaulter Ryan Pericozzi was second at 15 feet-9 inches. The best showing for Cortland women was freshman Taylor Hudson’s sixth place in the pentathlon, a spot ahead of teammate and junior Nikki Schafer.
Honor for IC’s Randall
Ithaca College junior Jenn Randall out of Cincinnatus Central broke a nine-year-old school record in the 1,000-meter run this past Saturday at the Boston University Valentine Invitational en route to being named Empire 8 Women’s Track & Field Athlete of the Week.
Randall was clocked an ECAC-qualifying time of 2:54.69 in the event and helped the Bombers hit the ECAC qualifying standard in the 4x400 relay with a 4:03.62 finish.
Ithaca will next compete this weekend at on Feb. 17-18 at Cornell’s Denault Invitational.


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