Bayly defends national 5 km title in Atlanta



The USATF Masters 5 km Championships were held on Saturday (17-Aug) in Atlanta.  The championships were part of the America's Finest 5K. A total of 161 athletes from 25 states competed in the championships with two competitors from the New York association toeing the line.
While small in numbers the New York duo performed at a very high level against the best in the country.
Three time USATF New York athlete of the year, Fiona Bayly, 52, won the women's 50-54 division for the second year in a row.  She stopped the clock at 18:23 (last year 18:20) and was 49 seconds ahead of runner-up Katherine Wolski of Tennessee. Bayly, who competes for Urban Athletics, scored 92.04 on the age grading tables.  It was the third best woman's performance of the day and she was only .02 behind the second best performance turned in by Sonja Friend-Uhl of Florida.  The best score was 94.66 by Marisa Sutera Strange of from the Mid-Atlantic association.  Age-Grading indicates the top performance, relative to age, across all age divisions, on a score from 0 to 100. Scores of over 90 are considered to be world class while scores over 80 to be national class. 

IN THEIR WORDS - Fiona Bayly
I was determined to relax about summer racing, and coming into this 5K I had to harbor lower expectations due to a freak accident in March with a tiny piece of wood, which compromised one ankle for some time. So to run 18:23 was, for me, just a nice relief… and only 3 seconds slower than last summer there. 
In the men's competition Michael Slinskey, 50, of Hopewell Junction, NY finished fourth in the hyper-competitive men's 50-54 division.  His time of 17:38 was just 11 seconds shy of earning a trip to the awards podium.  The division was won by Tim Meigs of North Carolina in 16:28.  Mark Hixson (16:54) of Connecticut and Joseph Hegge (17:27) of New Jersey finished second and third, respectively.

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