Fratini wins 4th race
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
By BILL WELLS
SPRINGFIELD - Ludlow's Paul Fratini just wanted to get back
to race pace.
Amherst's Kelli Lusk just wanted to get in a good speed
They both got what they wanted, and more.
In a field of 223 runners, Fratini and Lusk won the Greater
Springfield Harriers Fourth of July 5K, held downtown
Fratini, 40, crossed first, winning by 30 seconds in 16
minutes, 33 seconds. Lusk, 35, was the top female, finishing
Karl Lenser of Conway, Ark., was second in 17:03. Pelham's
Chris Gould (17:12), Springfield's Steve Lombardo (17:31) and
Kevin Johnson (17:43) rounded out the top five overall
On the women's side, Kelly Heroux was second in 19:07,
followed by Florence's Sidney Letendre (20:11) and Carrie
Fratini, Lenser, Gould and Lombardo broke from the rest of
the field during the first mile along Main Street. As the lead
pack approached the first mile marker, Fratini stayed strong,
and held a three-second lead. Fratini quickly increased his
lead to six seconds as the race turned onto East Columbus
Avenue, and was never threatened the rest of the way.
"Younger and stronger," said Lenser, 47,
referring to Fratini.
"I wanted to come out and take it out hard,"
Fratini said. "I wanted to run the pace I'm used
Fratini hadn't been able to run his usual pace in his last
two big races. At the Rhody 5K race in Lincoln, R.I., and the
Whirlaway 10K in Metheun - a pair of USA Track & Field New
England Grand Prix races - the weather conditions were less than
"It was hot and humid. They were bad conditions,"
But that wasn't the case yesterday.
"I concentrated yesterday on today's course. I broke it
down into (three sections). It worked out well."
For Lusk, one of the premier females runners in Western
Massachusetts, she's thrilled she's able to push herself again.
Lusk didn't do any hard running for eight weeks due to an injury
to her left calf.
"I was fit in April," Lusk said. "I'm trying
to build a base again."
Lusk is focused on July 16, when she will compete at a
high-caliber mountain race.
"The winner gets an automatic spot on the National Team.
It's the last automatic spot for women," said Lusk, who
favors hilly, longer courses. "I'm trying to play
Lusk pulled away from the women's field in the first mile,
and won the women's overall by 47 seconds.
"I like the course," Lusk said. "I wanted to
get something in. I don't like track workouts. A race like this,
this gets me back to race mood. There's a pack of people and I'm
being pushed, instead of doing intervals on the track."