Sunday, June 12, 2016

Linton and Centner take their first Potluck

According to the calendar, summer of 2016 didn't start in Tallahassee, Florida till 20 June. But Tallahassee summers are marked by afternoon rain showers, and one of those soaked the town on Saturday afternoon, 11 June 2016. That's a better indicator than any calendar, right?


An early summer shower or a late spring storm, the worst of it had passed when Stan Linton won Gulf Winds Track Club's nineteenth annual Potluck Four Mile, running 22:52. Ann Centner took first on the woman's side, placing 23rd overall in 30:02. 160 athletes completed the soggy cross country course through Phipps Park.

Stan Linton
Stan Linton

Afterwards, Linton wasn't as unreservedly upbeat as you'd expect a race winner to be. "We couldn't take it down this year," he said. "Maybe next year."


Linton was talking about the Potluck course record. You could argue, though, that no such record exists. Race director David Yon whimsically changes the course each year. Sometimes the distance isn't the advertised four miles. In 2015, for example, the course was two or three furlongs more than four miles. But Linton had his eye on 21:17, the winning time posted by Kevin Sullivan in the 2013 race. That mark was as good a candidate as any for the Potluck record, and Linton had finished 39 seconds behind Sullivan at that 2013 Potluck. Sullivan had since moved away to Michigan, but Linton could always run against the time if he couldn't run against the man.


David Yon did his part as race director to support the "record" attempt. He took great care to make sure that the distance was as near as possible to four miles. The course was marked with care, every turn indicated by arrows drawn with generous amounts of white marking powder. All those marks were put down before the rain shower, though. If you looked closely, you could see that someone had taken great care to draw some directional arrows, but those arrows were gone.

Vince Molosky
Vince Molosky

I imagine that any Hash House Harrier reading this is nodding and smiling right now.


If there was a record set that day, it was for the speed that Team Yon put out waterproof signs on the course after the rain washed the park clean of marking powder. By the time the race started as scheduled at 6:00 PM everything was ready for the runners. With Stan Linton leading, the athletes headed west from the youth playing fields, across the Meadows Soccer Complex and into Phipps Park's maze of hiking trails.


"He was in sight for about a mile or so," said Vince Molosky, a three-time Potluck champion. "But when we got off the single track where he could run he was gone."

Ann Centner
Ann Centner

Gone, indeed. That was the last that anyone in the field saw of Linton till the finish line, which he crossed first in 22:52. Vince Molosky was second in 25:39. Geb Kiros was the first master runner across the finish line, coming in third in 26:22.


It was Linton's first Potluck win, and it was also the first Potluck women's title for Ann Centner. Five-time Potluck women's champ Sarah Docter-Williams was the first woman master and second female finisher, placing 30th overall in 31:00. Katie Sack was third in the women's standings and 34th overall in 31:28.


"It was definitely a slower course this year," said Vince Molosky. He should know. Including his three wins, Molosky has run Potluck eight times in the last nine years. So maybe the record attempt was a victim of the conditions. Linton still set a kind of record, though. In the first eighteen Potluck races, the winner sometimes finished as close as five seconds ahead of the runner-up. Usually the margin of victory was larger, but only twice was it more than a minute. In 2014 Kevin Sullivan won the race by 1:07, the biggest gap yet, besting Chris Lake 23:34 to 24:41. Linton eclipsed that in 2016, finishing 2:47 before runner-up Molosky--nearly three minutes.

Sarah Docter-Williams
Sarah Docter-Williams

Yet it isn't all about records. Sarah Docter-Williams hadn't been at Potluck since picking up her fifth women's title in 2008, but she was back at the race in 2016, wet trails and all.


"I miss it," said Docter-Williams. "I miss everybody."


Geb KirosTop Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Potluck Four Mile
  1. 22:52 ~ Stanley Linton (M, 22)
  2. 25:39 ~ Vince Molosky (M, 36)
  3. 26:22 ~ Geb Kiros (M, 49)
  4. 26:30 ~ Ryan Truchelut (M, 30)
  5. 26:38 ~ Jay Wallace (M, 51)
  6. 26:53 ~ Jim Halley (M, 36)
  7. 27:11 ~ Mickey Moore (M, 46)
  8. 27:18 ~ Eric Godin (M, 32)
  9. 27:35 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 32)
  10. 27:44 ~ Myles Gibson (M, 49)

Jillian HeddaeusTop Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Potluck Four Mile
  1. 30:02 ~ Ann Centner (F, 24)
  2. 31:00 ~ Sarah Docter-Williams (F, 52)
  3. 31:28 ~ Katie Sack (F, 24)
  4. 32:05 ~ Jillian Heddaeus (F, 33)
  5. 33:37 ~ Angela Dempsey (F, 47)
  6. 34:28 ~ Kenya Rich (F, 43)
  7. 34:35 ~ Meagan Giddens (F, 18)
  8. 35:04 ~ Emily Smith (F, 31)
  9. 35:04 ~ Lyssa Oberkreser (F, 45)
  10. 35:56 ~ Vaishali Desai (F, 29)

Potluck champions, 1998 - 2016
DateMenWomenFinishers
20 June 1998
5 June 199929:29, Zack Heissner32:26, Sarah Docter-Williams58
3 June 200024:42 Paul Hoover25:59, Kim Wynn
2 June 200124:59, Reid Vannoy25:33, Sarah Docter-Williams53
8 June 200222:47, Ryan Deak26:04, Sarah Docter-Williams132
7 June 200325:17, Tim Unger25:36, Sarah Docter-Williams91
5 June 200423:05, Caleb Carmichael25:59, Kara Newell136
4 June 200523:22, Caleb Carmichael27:21, Kara Newell110
3 June 200623:06, Jared Black25:58, Sheryl Rosen155
2 June 200724:26, Tony Guillen27:36, Jane Johnson115
7 June 200823:00, John Robida25:09, Sarah Docter-Williams144
13 June 200922:40, Jay Wallace27:05, Micah Adriani177
5 June 201022:14, Matt Mizereck27:39, Micah Adriani173
4 June 201122:57, Vince Molosky26:33, Summer Calder196
2 June 201222:33, Vince Molosky27:18, Katie Showman232
1 June 201321:17, Kevin Sullivan26:24, Micah Adriani237
31 May 201423:34, Kevin Sullivan32:17, Katie Sherron165
6 June 201525:45, Vince Molosky30:35, Carrie Seiberlich179
11 June 201622:52, Stanley Linton30:02, Ann Centner160
The race was five miles in 1998 and 1999, and four miles thereafter.


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