Olympic trials next goal for Simonsick

December 17, 1991|By Michael Reeb

Eleanor Simonsick is the first to admit she is well off the pace of her personal-record 32 minutes, 9 seconds she kept in The Great Race 10K in Pittsburgh in 1988.

But after layoffs brought on by injury and motherhood, she hopes to have taken the first steps to competing in the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials in June.

A stress fracture sidelined Simonsick two weeks after The Great Race, and the birth of son Andrew Kirby Simonsick Green 17 months ago further curtailed her competitive running.

Of the stress fracture, Simonsick says: "I have a structural problem in my right foot that puts me at high risk."

This fall, Simonsick, a former Constellation Classic 10K winner, has victories in four local races -- the Johns Hopkins 5K (18:10), the Ronald McDonald House 5K (15:57), the Great Homewood 8K (29:47) and the Arthritis Jingle Bell Run 8K at Hunt Valley (29:27).

"I'm competing low key," Simonsick, an epidemiologist at the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, says. "It's a way to start to get me back -- to better prepare me for the spring when I will begin racing. I want to compete in the 3,000 meters at the Olympic Trials. From the times I'm running, I have a long way to go."

Running in area races has at least one advantage, though. It gives Simonsick, who coaches women's cross country at Johns Hopkins, an opportunity to run with her runners. In the Jingle Bell Run, one of her runners, Katja Von Tiesenhausen, finished fourth -- 3 1/2 minutes behind Simonsick.

"Almost my whole team ran in the 5K at White Marsh," Simonsick says. "That was an off week for us [cross country]. It was a way to stay competition-sharp."

On running with her runners, she says: "In some ways, it gets me up a little more for the race. It really helps my coaching a great deal because it gives me some legitimacy. It's a real easy way to get some respect. In some ways, it's almost like cheating."

* NOTES: Chet Coates, 51, of Silver Spring finished the Honolulu Marathon in 3:42:31 Sunday. . . . Eric Estrada and Betty Lou Tucker won their divisions of the Renaissance AllSports Athletic Club's Fox 5K in Bel Air Sunday. . . . The weekend's top finishers:

SUNDAY Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 5K At Salisbury Males: 1. Leslie Wright, 16:17; 2. Reuben Beauchamp, 17:04; 3. Brent Fox, 17:31. Masters: 1. Jack Powell, 18:10.

Females: 1. Karen Ardis, 18:16; 2. Linda Mills, 19:22; 3. Meg Jorn, 19:43. Masters: 1. Linda Hopkins, 24:39.

RASAC Fox 5K At Bel Air v,3Males: 1. Eric Estrada, 16:58; 2. David Webster, 17:01; 3. Jeff Hinte, 17:50; 4. Duane Christy, 18:47; 5. Brian Harris, 19:11.

Females: 1. Betty Lou Tucker, 23:01; 2. Anna Romagna, 30:20; 3. Margaret Smith, 30:20.

*

Upcoming:

Saturday, BRRC Santa's Sack Race 6-miler, 1.35-mile fun run, Lake Montebello, 9 a.m., (410) 323-RUN0.

Saturday, Tri-State Track Club Holiday Indoor Track & Field Classic, Hagerstown JC, 5 p.m., (301) 733-6076.

Sunday, RASAC Holiday Run 5K, Bel Air, 9 a.m. (410) 879-0018.

Sunday, WRRC Dancer Dash 10K, Westminster, noon. (410) 848-1782.

Dec. 28, Annapolis Striders' 13th Anniversary 15K Run, Quiet Waters Park, 9 a.m., (410) 268-1165.

Dec. 29, BRRC Father Time Frolic, (410) 323-RUN0.

Dec. 29, MCRRC Jingle Bell Jog 12K, Kensington, 9 a.m., (301) 353-0200.

Dec. 29, WRRC Winfield Mile, South Carroll High School, noon, (410) 876-7852.

Jan. 1, RASAC St. Mary's 6-Miler, Bel Air, 11 a.m., (410) 638-0235.

Jan. 5, BRRC Frozen Finger 5-Miler, (410) 323-RUN0.

Jan. 11, MCRRC Winter Flower Run, 6 miles, Rockville, 8:30 a.m., (410) 353-0200.

Jan. 12, BRRC 10-mile championship, (410) 323-RUN0.

Jan. 12, Tri-Maryland No Frills Biathlon (3.5 run, 14.5 bike), Salisbury, 10 a.m., (410) 882-6103.

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