Local Athletes Strike Gold at Senior Games

BURLINGTON ̶ Athletes age 50 and above gathered at Burlington High School on June 18, for the Vermont Senior Games Association (VSGA) track and field championships. Three of the seniors hailed from towns covered by the Hardwick Gazette. Elizabeth McCarthy and Tim Hogeboom from Walden, and Patrick Flood from East Calais earned a total of 13 medals: nine gold, one silver, and three bronze.

photo by Elizabeth McCarthy
Tim Hogeboom (#2) sprints the final straightaway in the Vermont Senior Games 400m race at Burlington High School. Hogeboom edged out Toshiharu Furukawa (#1) to win the M70-74 age group. Hogeboom finished just ahead of Charlie Miceli (#3). Miceli was the 400m gold medalist for the M65-69 age group.

The annual VSGA track and field championship event was dedicated to Barbara Jordan. Jordan died in November, 2020, at age 85, after a long battle with cancer. She competed in seniors track and field at the state and national levels for more than 25 years.

McCarthy won four gold medals in the F70-74 age group. In the 1500m race, her time of 7:52.84 was a second faster than her 2021 finish. McCarthy also brought home gold medals for her age group in the 400m run (1:49.9), the 800m run (4:03.91), and the javelin (47 feet, 5 inches).

“In the 800m race I ran alongside Gina Gracie from the 60-64 age group. Coming down the final stretch she pulled ahead by about 20 feet. I told myself that if I was near anyone at the finish, I’d kick it in as best I could, so I did and caught her at the finish line. My time for the 800 meter was 4:03.91. Gina’s was 4:03.92. You can’t get much closer.”

courtesy photo
Tim Hogeboom and Elizabeth McCarthy competed at the Vermont Senior Games track and field state championships. The athletic Walden couple earned nine medals between them in the meet held at Burlington High School on June 18.

McCarthy’s husband, Tim Hogeboom, won four gold medals and a bronze in the M70-74 age group. He defeated James Foley, 18.30 to 18.67, to win the 100m dash. In the 400m run, he edged out Toshiharu Furukawa, 1:30.5 to 1:32.0 for the gold. Hogeboom also struck gold for the 800 (3:33) and the 1500 (6:57). He capped off his day with a third-place age group finish in the javelin (72 feet, 5 inches).

“I fell behind in both the 100 meter and 400m races, but was able to come back and win,” said Hogeboom. “James Foley got off to a fast start in the 100m and had a narrow lead at the midway point. I managed to edge past him with a furious all-out effort. In the 400m run, we enjoyed a tail wind in the first half of the race, and I quickly fell behind. The two leaders lost power coming down the stretch into a stiff headwind. I sprinted in between them, probably getting a boost from the draft, and was able to kick it to the finish line for the gold medal.”

Patrick Flood of East Calais earned a gold medal in the 200m dash (44.37 seconds), silver in the shot put (28 feet, 5.5 inches) and bronze medals in the 50m dash (10.16s) and discus (80 feet, 11 inches). The 50m dash was Flood’s closest contest. Five sprinters crossed the line within a less than one second span.

photo courtesy of Darrel Lassell
Ann Bushey (left), from Montpelier, and Dot Helling (right), from Adamant, raced halfway up Mount Washington on June 18. Together with Donna Smyers of Adamant, the trio placed eighth of 25 teams in the women’s open division.

Women Weather Mount Washington

by Jim Flint

PINKHAM NOTCH, GORHAM, N.H. – A cohort of adventurous Northern Vermont women braved the elements on June 18 to race halfway up New England’s highest peak. For just the second time in the 61-year history of the race, hazardous weather conditions at the summit prevented the full 7.6-mile ascent up the toll road.

For the safety of runners and volunteers, race organizers opted to change the finish line to the 3.8-mile mark, which is just below the tree line. Due to freezing drizzle, no cars were allowed on the toll road. Runners carried enough gear to keep warm on the run back down the mountain after the race.

Craftsbury Olympian Caitlin Patterson, 32, raced Mount Washington for the second time. In 2019, she placed ninth in the women’s division, reaching the summit in 1:25:25. She moved up to fourth place in Saturday’s abbreviated hill climb, reaching the halfway-mark on the toll road in 35:30. Patterson’s Green Racing Project teammate, Alexandra Lawson, 23, was the ninth-fastest female finisher, in 38:05.

Donna Smyers, 64, completed the Mount Washington Road Race for the 26th time. The Adamant physical therapist topped the F60-64 age group. Her time of 45:23 on Saturday placed 189th of 983 finishers.

“At the top, the winds were gusting over 80 mph during the race and it was 29 degrees,” said Smyers. “That made for a wind chill of around 9-11 degrees. We had some stiff wind near the endpoint, but we were still well below tree line, so I didn’t add my jacket and hat until I finished. I was glad I had some hand warmers in my pocket to thaw my hands in the gloves on the way down.”

Dot Helling, 72, from Adamant, and Ann Bushey, 64, from Montpelier, joined Smyers to form a three-person team representing Central Vermont Runners. The CVR women’s team placed eighth of 25 teams overall and second in the women’s 60+ division. Helling finished the race in 57:51 to capture second place in the F70-74 age group. Bushey placed ninth in the F60-64 age group. Her time was 56:03.

“We were relieved not to have to go to the summit,” said Helling. “It was wild enough at the three-mile mark. Winds brought me to a halt. I also did the halfway race in 2002. My time in 2002 was 9-1/2 minutes faster. Over 20 years, I only lost 30 seconds a year.”

Joseph Gray and Kim Dobson, from Colorado, were the top male and female finishers. Their respective times were 27:44 and 31:59.

Burruss and Dunklee Top Tuesday Trails

CRAFTSBURY – Ollie Burruss and Susan Dunklee won the men’s and women’s divisions at the 5k trail race on June 14 at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Burruss edged out Ethan Dreissigacker, 21:21 to 23:49. Dunklee, the Center’s Running Program director, crossed the line in 24:05 to place third overall. Kaitlynn Miller was the fourth-place finisher in 24:28.

Robert Linck (26:58) and Jessica Bolduc (30:57) were the top Masters (age 40+) finishers. Stig Linck (26:25) finished just ahead of his dad. Stig was the only 5k finisher under age 16.

Asher Jacobs (23:45) and Scarlett Podolin (24:12) were the fastest finishers in the 3k trail race. Joe Fox (23:31) and Thorin Markison (38:04) were the respective winners of the 5k and 10k mountain bike races.

The Trail Race Series continues each Tuesday evening through August 23. Mountain bikers and runners start at 5:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. For race locations, visit craftsbury.com