Race Reports from the Men: NYC Marathon

Report from Phil Falk and Ed Mulder of the Open:

The New York City Marathon is a special race for CPTC. It’s our home turf. We trained through an unseasonably warm Fall (temps in the 70s in October anyone?). We crawled out for 6am intervals and crushed 7pm tempos. We ate long runs for weekend brunch. We logged miles. We pushed each other. We got injured. We recovered.

And we showed up. 101-strong on race day.

Our marathoners saw success – and disappointment –  that day. For the team, we notched third place by the slimmest of margins (35 seconds!). Our three-person scoring was made up by:

Phil Falk – 2:31:39 (42nd place)

Fritz Huber – 2:37:51 (92nd place)

Greg Cass – 2:38:46 (104th place)

It wasn’t a fast day, with the temperature creeping toward 60, but a light mist kept things tolerably cool. We had orange-clad support along so much of the route – early miles in Brooklyn, all along First Ave, and leading up to the Wall of Orange at the entrance to Central Park. 

Here are some of the race reports, directly from our runners:

Phil Falk:

If someone were to ask me about race strategy for a marathon – and NYC in particular – I’d say, “run by the clock for the first 16; run by feel for the last 10.” Of course this advice isn’t so much for them as it is for me. I need all the discipline I have to throttle those easy, downhill miles in Brooklyn, when the legs feel good and the mind clear. So of course I blasted out five seconds below my reach-goal pace for the first 5k. Luckily I was able to settle in, and recover from the fast start.

Going into my fifth marathon (fourth NYC), my training had been consistent (albeit set-back by injury), with more marathon-specific efforts (long runs, MP tempos) than I’d done before. But I hadn’t had a good prep race, so it was a real question how I’d fare. I maintained, and pushed through some desolate miles – on the Queesnboro, in upper Manhattan, over Willis Ave, up 5th Ave. The mental focus and drive was intense. As is my usual approach – I took a sip of Gatorade most miles during the first half – choked down half a gel, and licked about half a salt packet. That’s it on fuel. I run light.

I’m really pleased that I was able to hang on, make up some ground in the second half, and “finish with dignity” in 2:31:39, a 2.5-minute PR over my 2011 NYC time.

A big “Thank you!” to all my training partners, coaches, and fans along the course who made this special race happen for me!

Ken Tso:

This was my 3rd Chicago/NYC combo and after racing Chicago (3:05) and got my BQ, I figured NYC will be racing with zero expectations and really enjoy and race depending on feel.  I started the race huddled with [fellow CPTC teammates] Dan Ifcher, Joseph, Arjay, Coleman, Jesus, Jeff, Gerard. It was a good pack until Mile 9.  I went for it and decided if I blow up, I still had the Chicago time. To my surprise I ran a 3:04:31, 45-50 seconds faster than Chicago.  In addition, I was recovering from the flu and probably was a blessing in disguise as I was in bed recovering for the past 10 days.  I was really happy during Marathon Sunday and 49th marathon. The CPTC support was simply amazing!  Thank you!

Oliver Sax

Photo David Greenberg

Oliver Sax:

This was my first marathon and I finished 2:58:10. I was on pace for sub 250 but deteriorated with cramps and fatigue the last 5 miles. Glad I bested 3 hours!

Johnny Zhang

Photo: Andy Kiss

Johnny Zhang:

To sum it up, the NYCM was the best *** race, ever, any distance. My first time running NYC and third marathon (prior two were at Philly 2011 and 2012) overall. Coming off the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn I looked up 4th avenue and was in awe with just how many people there were… the entire course! Now I understand why people say if you do one marathon in your life, it’s gotta be the NYCM.

It was a very short training season. I was training for the Fifth Avenue mile after taking 2 weeks off early August and switched to marathon training the same day after the mile. I think it all came together for me, the short training, awesome weather, and the crowd. PR over 8 minutes from 2012.

Kiery Tuttle:

Including yesterday, I’ve run NYC 3 consecutive years, but this being the first where I really trained the right way.  2015/2016 were both done a solo with some general guidance from Greg but nothing like what I did after joining CPTC earlier this year.  I began workouts with the morning crew on January 31st and continued through the marathon.

Results wise, I PR’d by over 22 minutes, finishing yesterday at 2:56:11.  My goal was to break 3 hours, and I think my fitness level plus a great race day plan/execution helped me far exceed that (planning credit goes to Daniel Ifcher).  I did the first half at 1:29:27 and then the second at 1:26:44 and felt great throughout, doing the final 10k at ~630 pace., and final 5k at 620 pace.

Looking back at my first real training cycle, what resonates most is trusting the process. I got a bit sucked into what other, more experience runners were doing, and starting clipping 20+ mile LRs week after week in July/August.  Fortunately I had Greg step in and put a stop to it, which likely prevented me from injury or just being worn down. … I also trusted the taper and felt well recovered for the race.

I learned a lot during the process and look forward to pushing it a bit more now that I’ve experienced what a ‘successful’ marathon can feel like. 

Isaac Markel:

NYC was my marathon debut – I finished in 2:44:18.

My goal was to run a strong first marathon and use Coach’s 10-10-10 strategy. It was amazing running with so many teammates and hearing all the screaming fans in orange. I went out with teammate Nick Thompson and we ran together for most of the race. We hit the half way split in 1:22:30 and then gradually started to pick up the pace as we were able to pick off dozens of runners. I started feeling twitches and cramping in my calves at mile 23 and it made the remainder of the race very difficult. Overall I was very pleased to be able to execute this strategy and close the last 10k in 38 minutes. I know I have many faster marathons in my future!

Fritz Huber:

Sunday was a big course PR for me and only eleven seconds off my overall PR, so I was a happy camper despite having to walk those twenty blocks or whatever it was to pick up my bag at the finish. Since my PR was set on flat terrain at the Gold Coast Marathon, I’ll call this my best marathon–only missed the negative split by twenty-seven seconds–which I’ll take every time.

What an event! I’ve run marathons all over the world and this is, without a doubt, the best one. Let the trail folks have their silent hills. Give me the screaming crowds on 1st Ave! Speaking of, it was hugely beneficial for me to run the final ten miles of the course two weeks before the race. Came off Queensboro and was able to trick myself into thinking I was already on the homestretch. A big THANK YOU to my teammates and Tony! Looking forward to getting after it again soon.

Greg Cass

Photo: David Greenberg

Greg Cass:

My race was just about in-line with what I should have been expecting based on my training.  Strangely, I really didn’t have any sort of a race plan – I thought I would start out ~5:55-6:00 pace and see what felt comfortable.  Kept a nice group with some guys from NYAC and DWRT through the half at right around that pace – never felt totally comfortable but it didn’t feel like a ton of work either.  Still a lot of second guessing at every mile because my cycle lacked the key indicator workouts / prep races I’d used to gauge fitness with previously, but most of the first half made me feel optimistic about my chances at piecing together a good race.

My group pulled away from me right after the half – started feeling sorry for myself until I realized I was maintaining my pace and they were accelerating, and after a tough trek through LIC, I regrouped on the bridge. First Avenue was a lot of fun – got close to the pace I was running in the first half and ran down a bunch of guys along the way (always hard to gauge how much you’re slowing slightly but you’re also mostly passing people). Started feeling like I might be able to cobble together a solid last 10K+, but the reality of my light preparations caught up with me in the Bronx.

Not close to a PR, but that wasn’t ever in the cards this year (unfortunately).  Did a lot of things well this cycle, but more importantly I learned about what does and doesn’t work well as my training evolves over time. 

The crowds were bigger and louder than I remember in previous years, and the support for CPTC was awesome.  I’ve run previous NYCMs where I’ve hit tough patches, and I haven’t always enjoyed the cheers.  This year I couldn’t help but smile multiple times in the last 8 miles, even when I was near the day’s lows – there was always someone on the sidewalk to pick me up.  As always – impressed with the amazing accomplishments of teammates and grateful for the support of coaches and training partners.

Vincent van der Lans:

 

I am very happy with the result. 2:49:31 is an improvement of my PR of more than 7 minutes. Things have been going great since I joined CPTC (Morning Crew) this summer, after my move to New York from the Netherlands. I was able to execute my plan to run 1:24 on the first half marathon and continue that pace until mile 20. I was hoping to have an extra gear by then, but I was barely able to continue that pace. I had a tough time on the Fifth Avenue Hill, but recovered in the Park and gave everything I had during the last mile to finish sub 2:50.

Nobu Takeda:

Good day and a big confidence builder. I set my sights on a conservative 2:39:59 time goal, and came in at 2:39:11 (6:05 avg pace) with negative splits which would be a course PR by 4:45 from two years ago. I took a lower risk approach given my abbreviated training cycle and tough experience two years ago at the 2015 NYC marathon. While pleased with the performance, I felt like my goal may have been too conservative. I left this race with a much higher level of confidence, and look to attack future races with a more aggressive strategy if given the chance. 

I purposely had a conservative time goal given the fact that I only had a 5 week marathon specific training cycle. And I could serve as insurance in team scoring if any of our top guys blew up. Consequently, I did not struggle at all and felt great throughout the day. My breathing and form were as relaxed as possible as I ran on feel and only intermittently checked splits just to make sure I didn’t veer much off plan. …After running 20 miles, I felt strong both mentally and physically. I proceeded to run the last 10K comfortably harder (6:01 avg pace) – just fast enough to ensure a sub 2:40 finish. For the first time ever at the New York City marathon, I felt like I had the strength and muscular endurance on all climbs as I noticed myself passing many runners on Queensboro and Fifth Ave.

As always, the crowd support for the team was strong which carried me throughout the course. A huge thank you to teammates who came out to cheer!

Arnaud Enjalbert:

In a few words, I was pretty happy with my race this year compared with my two previous NYC marathons experiences. Apart from some stomach issues which cost me a few minutes along the race, I had a great time and even ended up running a 2min PR (4min course PR) (2:48:31). The training cycle this year has been somehow chaotic for me with one month spent traveling in France in August where I got injured and had to stop running for a whole week. But as soon as I got back to the city in mid September, I had a great time with the CPTC morning crew and was able to get in shape pretty quickly. This plus a conservative start for the first few miles made the whole race a much better experience overall. As usual, the support from club mates was incredible and I only got a limited number of “Go Canada”.

Hunter Sapienza

Weather was perfect – couldn’t have asked for anything better. Started out faster than anticipated, but held 6:00 pace for the first 16 miles, slowed just slightly from 16-19, and hit a terrible wall at mile 21, but still pulled out a 6:13 pace overall. I’m glad I started out a faster pace than I planned, and realized that I can actually hold that pace comfortably, which definitely helps in thinking about how I’ll train for future marathons.

Ran briefly with several CPTC teammates, especially in the first half of the race, which definitely kept me going. The cheer squad at mile 23/24 was amazing, unexpected, and got me through those last few miles.

Overall, was really happy with the outcome – PR’d by just over 4min (2:42:36). I wish I hadn’t hit that wall toward the end, and in future training need to get my training mileage just slightly higher. I’m excited to get back out training with the team soon!

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Report from David Greenberg of the 40+:

The CPTC M 40+ won the NYC Marathon yesterday, nailing down our second win of the year and our second place standing in the points championship.

 Our masters armada sailed the boroughs in full force, with 27 finishers.

 Our scorers were:

 Nicholas Thompson 2:43/24th 40-44/78.31%

Cary Segall 2:44/26th 40-44/78.83%

Brad Kelley 2:48/5th 50-54/81.90%

I counted many PRs and improvements on the day – this report was much more fun to write this year than last.

We were led by Nicholas Thompson, whose 2:43 was his fastest NYCM since 2011.

Nicholas Thompson

Photo: Andy Kiss

Nick:

Ran the NYC marathon today and was very happy to finish in 2:43:50—breaking my streak of five years of marathons in which I got slightly slower in each one.

Cary had a spectacular race – one for the ages. In past years Cary was one of our most dedicated points racers, but has been struggling with injuries all year. Cary put all that behind him and ran a course record 2:44, after 8 attempts.

Cary:

In December 2016, right after the NYCM, I developed plantar fasciitis and did minimal running until May of this year.  As a result, I missed many scoring races and the Boston Marathon.  The only treatment that seemed to work was rest and that took about 6 months.   I was able to resume somewhat normal training in June and it seemed that I had to learn to run all over again.  The goal was to get myself back together for the NYCM and hope for the best.  Thanks in large part to great teammates in my morning CP group I was able to consistently attend Tuesday/Thursday workouts and make adjustments when necessary to accommodate my son’s ridiculous weekend travel hockey schedule.  I was much smarter about my training this cycle compared to last year as I was able to move long tempos and long runs to weekdays where the weekends were booked with hockey games.  Overall, my training went well and I was able to hit all my key workouts and show up on race day with much more marathon specific work under my belt.

 As for race day, the hardest thing is always to show up healthy and I was able to check that box.  Based upon my marathon pace LR’s my goal going in was to run 6:10-6:15 pace and stay consistent.  I projected my finished somewhere in the 2:42-2:44 range.  Through the first half I went out a little quick and came across just under 1:21, but it never felt uncomfortable and thought I would be able to hold pace to the finish.  When I hit 20, I was still on pace and enter those ever tough miles in the Bronx I felt the pace slow a little to 6:15 but fought through until mile 24 going up 5th avenue when my legs started to feel heavy and I ran a 6:40.  I was able to recover on mile 25 back in the 6:15 area but struggled again on mile 26 back in the 6:40 range.  All in all, I was very pleased with my performance and basically ran solo the whole way.  In the end, my finish of 2:44 was a 2:30 NYCM PR and only 1:20 off my marathon PR.

 I would like to give a special shout out to Nick Thompson who put in another great performance with a 2:43.  Given his family life and work travel schedule it is amazing that he always shows up on the first Sunday in November to put up a great time.  He ran such a smart race going out in the first half 2 minutes slower than me and passing me in the final 800m dropping 5:40s in the final two miles and finishing with a negative split.  Assuming we both are in similar shape next year I plan to run with him as he is such a smart and patient runner.

 Finally, congrats to all my teammates out there on a great day to celebrate NYC!

Brad Kelley did what he does best: Make the best of what he has on the day. And usually that is a heck of a lot. Brad was 5th in the 50-54, best of any CPTCer.

Brad:

I bent but I didn’t break. My lungs felt fine pretty much the whole way but like my last 2 marathons my legs went to jello.  Upshot is though I know a marathon is out of my wheelhouse and I did not get in enough long runs, I am very happy to run 2:48. My hamstrings for the last 5 miles felt like they were going to seize up and I just tried to hold form while in the last few miles as I knew I was on the verge of having something give out which would have forced me to quit.  I guess a lot of people go out real hard because despite running 1:23/1:25 I was picking people off even in my decrepit state in the park. 

 Big congratulation to all and especially to Alan Ruben who helped out in 2 divisions and Cary who destroyed after missing much time with PF.  And of course to Tony and Devon.

Photo: John Le Tran 

Let’s talk course records. Because there was a mess of them. A plate, a dinner plate. Nay, a virtual platter full of course records.

 Stephen Curtis’ 2:52

 David Fanfan’s 3:13

 Duncan Mcverry’s 3:16

 Joe Oleary’s 3:22

 Duncan:

Yesterday was my 2nd Marathon – both NYC – and I put the ghosts of last year (3.41) to bed with a 3.16 and a BQ. That was my goal – get 3.20 and a Boston ’19 place. I knew it was achievable, but marathons are funny things, but speaking to Don Favre beforehand, we made a pact. He was recovering from injury so we supported each other all the way. It surpassed expectations so I’m delighted. 

Also of note, since starting to train with CPTC in March, that’s my 10th straight PR of the year (100% strike rate) – I also PR’d 18M during the marathon, so you could say 11 PRs in 10 races. I’m going for the 4M in 2w & the 15k in Dec. 2 more PRs and I’ll have swept every race and every distance in one calendar year.

David:

I completed the TCS NYC Marathon with my second fastest marathon time and an NYC PR. 3:13:45. My hamstring issues came back just before mile 25. I also lost time having to tie my shoe a record 4 times early in the race. The laces were silky and just couldn’t stay tight when I splashed water on my body, despite the double knots. Definitely my most fun NYC yet. But I will take a break for a year from this amazing race to focus on marathons in other cities.

 You like that? How about this: People who ran faster than last year.

That counts everyone above, plus:

Jacob Cooper’s 2:58

Coleman Cowan’s 3:03

Jeff Garnett’s 3:03

Arjay Jensen’s 3:12

Jim McQuade’s 3:12

Anthony Demaio’s 3:13

Erik Allen’s 3:29

And finally, debuts:

Zebulon Nelessen 3:45

Byron Johnson 4:15

And since this is the marathon, a race that can break hearts no matter how fit a runner is, a story from Daniel Ifcher, who had a disappointing day.

Daniel:

NYC Marathon is just one of those days I look forward to every year.  It feels like my day – I realize that I share this day with 50k runners and I don’t know how many teammates, fans, NY’ers, etc – it still feels like mine.  Coming into the race, I had a really great training season – thank you to all my teammates, running friends, and in particular the CPTC Morning Crew (big shout out here, and all are welcome to join!).  

 So, my plan was to run negative split sub-3 w a few others from the Morning Crew (getting the plug here?).  Specifically first 4 miles on the easy side, then run 645/mile through 20, and then make the move if we have something left to shave minutes from the 3-hour mark.  In reality, we had a posse of 4 of us who were on plan to a “T” as a group through mile 15.  We then narrowed to 3 and then 2 of us who were hitting the splits (645-650/ mile) about Mile 19.  So, it’s time to make the “move”, right?  

 That’s when my teammate, Kiery, had it and I did not.  I’ve had a cold for a few days going into the race and I underestimated its impact.  I just simply could not keep up that pace and in fact, had to slow down.  I won’t blame weather or other factors, I just think that the cold took it out of me.  So I packed it in for those last 6-7 miles as a much slower pace.  I ended up running 3:06, and as Coach Tony would say, finishing with “dignity”.  Not my fastest, nor my easiest NYC race, but I love it nonetheless.  One more shout out to everyone taking pictures – Thank You! – you all captures some great ones, keep them coming.  

After a few days to recover and ponder, Ok, so today wasn’t my best. I ran 3:06, when planning a sub-3 w negative split. I hit my splits through mile 19, ran first half at 1:29:30, when I just had to slow because of a cold I’ve had. I may have underestimated the impact of a cold, this would be a learning for next time. I love this race and will be back! Thanks again to my lovely wife, Whitney Ifcher who lets me pursue my passion, and all my friends, team mates and coaches

 And from teammate Rich Nelson, who spent the day in service to the marathon:

Rich:

It was an amazing day!  I was guiding a visually impaired runner named Matt TurnerMatt set his PR at 3:26 a few years ago in Philly and together we set his NYC course record last year at 3:29:50.  He had a strong training season leading up to this year’s NYC marathon so I planned to help him get a lifetime PR and he was hoping to break 3:25.

Knowing he was more fit than he realized, we took him out fast and kept it fast.  He didn’t ask and we didn’t tell him how fast he was running.  After we crossed the finish line we told him he just ran a 3:18 – an 8 minute PR!  He was in utter shock and disbelief.  Pretty impressive and inspiring – Matt is 52 years old, blind and his training is confined to a treadmill Mon-Friday (on which he deals with the constant fear of falling off) and relies on guides to take him outside on Saturdays for long runs. 

 Statistics

 2017 Scorers:

 7: Brad Kelley

4: Mohammed Lahseni

3: Jim McQuade

2: Peter Brady, Sean Fortune, Stephen Curtis, Cary Segall, Gerald O’Hara

1: Brian Halusan, Matt DeAngelis, Alex Tilmant, Nick Thompson, David Greenberg

 

 2017 Daniel Ifcher Cup (Most points races finished)

 

Daniel has locked up the Cup for the second year in a row with his 9 points races.

Brad Kelley, Jim McQuade and Mohammed Lahseni are tied for second place with 7 each.

 

See you at Ted Corbitt.

 

 

David 

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Report from Chris Donnelly of the 50+:

Marathon day is always a special day in New York as we take to the wall of orange and celebrate months of grueling training by more than 100 of our teammates that joined a 50,000 strong crowd of runners. This year was especially rewarding as runner after runner rolled by on the way to fast finishes. And among the 50+ teams the fastest feet once more belonged to CPTC. Their first place finish was particularly satisfying as it broke the dead heat with UA in the soon-to-wrap 2017 club points competition.

Brad Kelley again led the 50+ scoring team, running 2:48.59, besting even last year’s amazing 2:50:05 finish.

Alan Ruben

Photo: David Greenberg

 Alan Ruben offered a timely assist, his 3:12:41 scoring for both the 50+ and 60+ teams. As you may know, Alan is on a victory lap of sorts, celebrating his 30th New York Marathon, to be followed by the 20th anniversary of his breaking 2:30 in Boston. Alan, too, improved over last year, when he ran 3:12:56. Hearty congrats on an excellent effort.

Ron Romano

Photo: John Le Tran

Ron Romano, bouncing back from his excellent Chicago marathon just a few weeks early scored for the team too, running 3:13:30 this time out. The tough training pays off for Ron to be able to run such great races back to back.

Together, our scoring team chalked up a comfortable 17 minute margin over their nearest competitors. Brad took fifth among men 50-64 and Alan was eighth in the 60-64 grouping. Ron gutted out 23rd place in the 55-59 age group.

 We had so many other great races too. Don Favre, who got back into training with just enough time to get ready for the marathon ran 3:16:25.

And Tim Stockert crossed the line at 3:19:59 after running every step of the way with his husband (and birthday boy) Nick Garramone. That’s 26.2 miles of togetherness! 

Charles Parchment ran 3:29:12, breaking 3:30:00 in his second marathon outing, and wrested 21 minute PR out of the challenging course! Blessed be, Charles. Blessed be.

 Daniel Doebele, who recently aged in the 50+ camp ran 3:30:52 in his first NY Marathon since 2010.

 Speaking of anniversaries, Casey Yamazaki, too, laced up for his 30th New York Marathon, running 3:43:19. James Siegel was out there too, running New York for the seventh time and finishing at 3:44:08.

 Also we had Eiji Ebihara running 4:24:55; Erick Paredes came in at 5:18:17; and Toshiki Ikehata closed it out for the orange at 6:02:33.

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Report from Hank Schiffman of the 60+:

We bested West Side 10:47:47 to 11:12:51. 

It certainly helped having some youngsters on the team. These were less than ideal conditions. The Wall of Orange witnessed many broken dreams at mile 23.5.

Alan Ruben was 8th in your age group out of 1147, besting the revered Jaime Palacios. was also the 2nd scorer for our winning 50+ men team as well. Congratulations to Brad Kelley and Ron Romano for their performances. And to Charles Parchment, at 59, too young to score for us, but an amazing jump in performance in his second marathon, 3:29:12. 

Alan, once again proved himself to be a master of the game:

Good job everyone and we won the 60+ team division. Nice race Dennis and Yasuhiro, and way to hang in for your 40th, Rick!

Yasuhiro was 14th in his age group out of 426:

Thank you so much and I am so happy to make my 32nd goal anyway! 

Dennis ran on an injured foot:

3:57 and change, which, given the shape I was in (soon to be operated on foot and all), is nothing short of a miracle.  I will take it for what it’s worth. 

Yeah. I was yelling it was a f@#king miracle that I had made it that far at 90th Street. 

Actually, tried a new lidocaine patch on my foot that kept the pain at bay except for about 5 miles. 

Rick, having been a dominant marathon racer in the past put up with the indignation of keep in his streak alive on a broken body:

40 and done!

Relieved that you did not have to use my time. Near the end today I found I could walk faster than I could “run.” 20 years ago i remember saying I would retire from marathons when it took me 5 hours. Should have retired after the knee operation in 2014 but 40 seemed like a good number and I thought it might turn around.

Alan Ruben: 3:12:41. He was 1:35:08 at the half and .02% short of 78%. Age graded overall, Alan was 193rd out of 29, 590 men overall. His first 5k was 22:26, his last was 24:05. This was his 29th NYC Marathon.

Yasuhiro Makoshi: 3:37:49. He was 1:47:21 at the half and 72.42% age graded, 810 overall for men. His first 5k was 25:52, his last was 26:21. This was his 31st NYC Marathon.

Dennis O’Connell, 3:57:17.He was 1:55:55 at the half and .07 short of 64% age graded, 3390 overall for men. His first 5k was 26:51 and his last was 28:20. This was his 4th NYC Marathon.

Rick Shaver: 6:20:20. This was his 40th NYC Marathon.

How does this reflect the podium come Club Night?

A tight race wrapped in an illusion:

Outright: CPTC 128, Brooklyn 121, Taconic 120

But with 2 subtracted: Taconic 115, Brooklyn 113, CPTC 112

The sharp knives will be out come Corbitt’s.

Photo: John Le Tran

 
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