asics Greenville Track Club-ELITE - a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program
ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE athletes Annie Rodenfels and Eddie Garcia won the women's and men's races at the Low Country Elite Invitational 5K road race in Bluffton, SC on a warm and humid Saturday evening. The race was conducted under COViD-19 policies and no spectators were allowed on the closed, USATF certified course (SC20003BW) with the elite fields limited to under 15 participants per gender.
Rodenfels took the lead immediately after the 6:00 pm start and passed the first mile in a quick 5:07. She made the turn-around on the out-and-back flat route with a 100-meter lead over ON ZAP Endurance's Triston Van Ord. After passing two miles in 10:25 she ran the third mile in 5:12 before finishing in an outstanding 16:08.14. Per road racing timing policy the time was rounded up to 16:09, which was only one second off the South Carolina All Comers (non-state resident) record of 16:09 set by Kenya's Sophy Jepchirchir back in December of 2013. She did manage to set a new South Carolina State record (state residents), eclipsing the 16:25 of Kathryn Lazarchick from November 2018. Rodenfels earned $500 for her victory. Raleigh's Kate Sanborn used a late race surge to take second with a time of 16:43, as Van Ord placed third in 16:53.
Garcia almost replicated Rodenfels's performance as he took the early lead along with teammate Victor Pataky. They passed the first mile in 4:35 with about a twenty-meter lead over ON ZAP Endurance's Matt McClintock and Josh Izewski. Garcia made the turn with a good lead as Pataky began to tire and was passed by the ON ZAP Endurance athletes. Eddie maintained his lead as he passed two miles at 9:11 and then covered the third mile in 4:39 as the heat and humidity began to take its toll. McClintock surged ahead of Izewski and began to gain some on Garcia. However, Eddie maintained his effort and broke the tape with an excellent time of 14:16.65, which is rounded up to 14:17. McClintock finished 12 seconds later in 14:29 and Isewski was third at 15:00. Pataky was fourth in 15:11. The prize money for the top five was $500, $400, $300, $200 and $100--which was the same as for the women.
The event was organized by former USC-Bufford coach Larry Kimball on short notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and presented by Mortgage Network and conducted by local run speciality shop Grounded Running.
GTC-ELITE was established in 2012. The program produced four qualifiers for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles, one qualifier/participant for the 2019 Pam American Games Marathon in. Lima, Peru and three qualifiers/two participants for the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta, GA. The post-collegiate, Olympic development program is sponsored by ASICS, the 48-year-old Greenville Track Club, Joy Real Estate, the Borch Foundation, generous individual contributors and partnerships with Performance Therapy, Carolina Spine and Rehab, Roll Recovery products, FinalSurge (on-line training log), The ATI Running Academy, ElliptiGO, NormaTec Recovery Boots, Cocoa Elite recovery products, Stryd Running, Coach Bob Williams Pace Calculator, the DorsiFlex (stretching device) and the MOBO board. The club is a proud and active member of both the Road Runners Club of America and USATF.