Courtesy of Boston Athletic Association
BOSTON – Sean Quigley, 24, originally from Braintree, Massachusetts, won in a lean over last year’s champion Jacob Korir, of Kenya, to win the 20th Mayor’s Cup Cross Country 8k Championship at Boston’s Franklin Park on Sunday in a time of 23 minutes, 54 seconds. Quigley, a graduate of LaSalle University in Philadelphia and who now runs for Puma, returned to the course where he won the MIAA Division II (state) championship in 2002 while attending Archbishop Williams High School and beat a talented field of 144 finishers on a picture perfect day (sunny, 60-degrees F).
Quigley and Korir – along with Andrew Ledwith, Timothy Ritchie, Patrick Mellea – ran together for four miles until the duo separated themselves from the other co-leaders on the final loop and the course’s landmark Bear Cage Hill. Quigley did not lead during the race but timed his finish perfectly, outsprinting Korir. A close, but clear finish gave the local kid the victory, and he recorded the same winning time as did Korir in 2008. Korir finished one second behind as runner-up (23:55), while Ledwith followed in third (23:57).
Quigley was an NCAA All-American and placed ninth at the 2008 US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at 10,000 meters, his professional debut.
New Balance Boston was led by Roland Lavallee, scored 75 points, and won the men’s championship team competition. The host Boston Athletic Association was second (78 pts.) and Genesee Valley Harriers was third (96 pts.) among the 11-team field.
In the women’s 5-kilometer championship race, Irene Kimaiyo, a 26-year old native of Kenya who runs for the female winning club Riadha, based in Maryland, outpaced Virginia’s Samia Akbar. Kimaiyo’s time was 16:39, 13 seconds better than Akbar’s 16:52, who was fifth at the Mayor’s Cup last year. Riadha – victorious with 43 points – placed three runners among the top four, as Delilah Dicrescenzo (17:05) was third and Serena Burla (17:16) was fourth. There were 95 finishers and eight teams in the contest. New Balance Boston (53 pts.) was the runner-up team and the B.A.A. was third (53 pts.).
About the Mayor’s Cup
The Mayor’s Cup has witnessed Olympians, world cross country team members and running legends participate over its hill and dale since the first race in 1990. During the last 20 years, the event has grown from a single race which started on the adjacent golf course to a full slate of six races – including an open, experiential race and three youth races – on a track of dirt and grass which is synonymous with cross country in the United States. Similar to the B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon which began with a field size of 15 starters and 10 finishers in 1897, the first Boston Mayor’s Cup two decades ago included only a few dozen harriers. Now, with the support of the same Boston Athletic Association and its partner adidas, the Mayor’s Cup is the pre-eminent cross country racing opportunity for clubs and teams on the East Coast. Since that first year, the race has been nurtured through its development by its single meet director, Steve Vaitones, who was presented with a memento of special recognition of the milestone by the B.A.A. following the day’s races. Vaitones is the managing director of USA Track & Field – New England.