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  • Writer's pictureJames Diamond

Statement Made at Lakefront 10 Miler

Updated: Apr 27

As the Chicago Racing Circuit by CARA heads towards its third race of the year this weekend, we take a quick look back at how the Lakefront 10 Miler & 5k presented by Fleet Feet unfolded a few weeks ago. The race was truly dominated by Circuit veterans DWRunning that won 6 of the 8 categories in which they fielded a team. Below is a summary of the Circuit team categories and what we can expect in the coming races.


All Around

(Combined Gender, Age Graded Scoring, Top 5 Score Per Team)

DW dominated the all around category, with their average score of 854. A phenomenal score, and a stark contrast to the other top 5 teams as the CARA Racing Team, Evanston Running Club, Xtra Mile Fast Track Racing, and Oak Park Runners Club, had a tight score spread of 778-736. DW’s Top 5 were Kristin Dailey-881, Darren Barlow-861, Trent Fifield-854, Rick Summer-838, and Julia Ordzowialy-835. This depth was so punishing that only Evanston’s Nancy Rollins- 910 and Fast Track’s Grace Wasielewski- 846 were able to break up DW’s scoring 5. Although it’s only the second race of the season, DW reminded everyone who the returning champions are and those who want the crown will have to go through them. 

Open Men

(Top 5 Men Score Per Team)

DW once again took the team victory. Darren Barlow was the top Circuit finisher, crossing the line in 50:48. He received support from teammates Christopher Porst, Karl Roskamp, Zach Dale, and Andres Herrera, giving them an average finishing time of 55:23.

However, unlike in the all around Category, 2nd place’s CARA Racing Team was able to mount a defense, with JD Barrett’s 55:29 and Dan Pettit’s 57:00, being enough to break up DW’s scoring 5. CARA RT’s top end granted them a 1:01:55 average finishing time, while their depth was enough to remain a safe distance from Evanston’s 1:11:59 average, which was led by Scott Mangum’s 1:02:44. Evanston was closely trailed by Oak Park and Fast Track who averaged 1:12:38 and 1:12:55 respectively.

Open Women

(Top 5 Women Score Per Team)

Nobody had the firepower to deal with the squad DW brought to the lakefront. DW’s scoring 5 swept the competition, with their 6th and 7th runner still running parity with CARA RT’s 1 & 2 runners. A 1:01:55 team average was so dominant they would have been able to finish 2nd in the open men’s category based on their depth. DW’s women won this category last year, and they’re poised for a repeat. Unless other teams have weapons, they have yet to use or teams like Nameless are able to apply serious sustained pressure, DW could secure an early title before the big show at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

CARA RT finished 2nd averaging 1:12:12, while Oak Park was 3rd averaging 1:20:59. Oak Park’s Kristen McPhee did put a serious dent in the competition with her 1:09:44 finish. However, CARA RT’s depth was enough to keep Oak Park at arm's length.

Masters Men

(Top 3 Men Ages 40+ Score Per Team)

Victory was once again secured by DW thanks to 3 sub-60-minute performances by Trent Fifield, Daniel Stranton Jr, and Alvaro Montoya. The real battle in this race took place between Evanston who averaged 1:09:59 against Oak Park’s 1:11:25. Evanston’s top two runners, Scott Mangum and Rueben Keller finished in front of Oak Park’s top finisher Charles Vos. However, Oak Park’s depth was on full display as they put 6 runners in front of Evanston’s third man. 

Ultimately, Evanston’s top end talent was enough to hold off Oak Park, but these results indicate a trend that is developing between these two teams across multiple categories. Evanston’s scores typically rely on a few power players to anchor their team, while Oak Park uses crushing depth to remain competitive. A key runner added to Evanston’s number 3 position or Oak Park’s number 1 position would dramatically change the dynamic between these two teams. 

Masters Women

(Top 3 Women Ages 40+ Score Per Team)

3 of DW’s top 5 from the open women’s division were from their master’s team. This combined with only scoring 3 women, instead of 5, gave their masters women’s squad a faster team average then their open roster. DW’s Kristin Dailey, Julia Ordzowialy, and Jeannie Sullivan averaged 1:01:42, and won the category completely uncontested.

CARA Racing Team finished 2nd, with Oak Park in 3rd. The competition was close between these team’s front runners as CARA RT’s Evance Stalley and Erika Edmonson battled Oak Park’s Kristen McPhee. The three runners finished within 35 seconds of each other over the 10-mile distance with Stalley and Edmonson coming out on top and anchoring a second place finish for their team.


Veteran Men

(Top 3 Men Ages 50+ Score Per Team)

Trent Fifield, Rick Summer, and Sascha Edge led the division for DW in a dominant 1-2-3 sweep. The team averaged 1:00:50, over 12 minutes ahead of second place.

The battle for second place was tight as Oak Park and Elmhurst Running Club dueled for the silver. Oak Park took the victory with their top 3 running 1:12, 1:13, & 1:14 compared to Elmhurst’s 1:12, 1:14, & 1:16. These two teams averaged 1:13:17 and 1:14:33 respectively, a 10-minute gap on 4th place’s Evanston. For Elmhurst this is a fabulous result, as last year they trailed the top 3 teams all year by only the slightest of margins. They’re now off to a strong start, asserting themselves as a trophy contender in this category.

Veteran Women

(Top 3 Women Ages 50+ Score Per Team)

There was a change in the guard in this category. The CARA Racing Team was able to emerge victorious amongst a competitive field. CARA RT’s average time of 1:22:11, only edging out Evanston by less than two minutes, with Oak Park’s average only 3 minutes behind that. Unsal Ozdogru led the way with a 1:19:31, followed by Libby Harvey-Hill (1:22:48) and Erica Agran (1:24:14).   

The competitive parity between these top-3 teams and their top runners is notable: 1:18:36 from Evanston’s Maria Amaro, 1:19:31 from CARA RT’s Ozdogru, and 1:20:57 from Oak Park’s Geri Bensen. With such a tight spread between these team’s top talent, depth will prove to be the major difference maker. Ultimately, the team with the strongest number 3 runner will have the best potential to open or close significant time gaps on the competition.

Senior Men

(Top 3 Men Ages 60+ Score Per Team)

Oak Park put on a dominant display, with Eugene Callaghan's 1:14:20, followed by Nick Bensen’s 1:19:00, and Raymond Gobis’s 1:23:05. These men took up 3 of the top 5 scoring positions in the category. With Callaghan finishing as the top senior man, followed by Elmhurst’s Marc Woodcock, Bensen in third, Evanston’s Bill Leiner in fourth, and Gobis rounding out the top 5 in the category.

Oak Park's victory was significant considering their 3rd place finish in this category last year behind Evanston and Elmhurst respectively. This performance showed that Oak Park will be a force to be reckoned with in 2024.  Evanston walked away with a second-place finish while Elmhurst, anchored by Callaghan’s 1:14:34 finished in a close third.


Senior Women

(Top 3 Women Ages 60+ Score Per Team)

Evanston took home the victory, led by 2023’s Age Group Champion Nancy Rollins. Rollins's 1:28 was an impressive 910 age graded performance, however, that performance alone was not enough to overwhelm other team’s top runners. Oak Park’s Julie Blankemeier, CARA RT’s Libby Harvey-Hill, Fleet Feet’s Angelica Guerrero, and Fast Track’s Grace Wasielewski were all able to finish in front of Evanston’s top runner. 

However, it was Evanston’s depth that will make them a real competitor this year, as no team had a # 2 runner that could run parity with Evanston’s Doris Taerbaum. Additionally, while most teams struggled to put together a scoring trio, Evanston’s Elizabeth O’Connor is a solid final scorer, with their fourth, Linny Hansen, as insurance. This team finished second to Fleet Feet last year, but if they use this depth, they will be a headache for everyone else to beat. 

The reliability of Oak Park’s depth granted them a second-place finish and kept their average finishing time within 2 minutes of Evanston. Without a # 3 runner, CARA Racing Team finished a distant 3rd place.

Early Season Projections

Lakefront 10 was a strong indicator as to who are the teams to watch out for. However, making predictions for Circuit Champions is always fraught. The variability in race distances, geography, and time of year often hides talent for much of the season, only to be revealed when it matters most. Additionally, several clubs are still building up their racing teams. With high school and college track seasons wrapping up next month, some of that young talent may end up improving teams that are still looking to plug holes in their roster.

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