Masters runners Lance Fargo amd Sonja Friend-Uhl continue winning ways

July 21, 2017

I recently featured two young runners in this column, Elizabeth Dawson of Clemson and Madison MacElrevey of Lewes/Otterbein University in Ohio, writing about the accomplishments they had made on and off the track or cross country course. This week I will feature two outstanding athletes, both high-ranking masters competitors - Lance Fargo and Sonja Friend-Uhl. Lance and Sonja are very similar in that they dedicate so much to the sport, training hard, racing hard and just giving back. But at the same time, they keep nice balance in their lives with businesses of their own and families to come home to daily. I have followed these two athletes since the beginning of their running careers, and I am just amazed that they have been able to keep themselves at such high levels of competition for such duration of time.

I remember the day Lance Fargo ran his very first 5K with the Seashore Striders more than 20 years ago. I remember watching a young Sonja Friend tearing up the track at elementary field day and Hershey Track Meets in Sussex County and then moving up to high school, where she ran 2:17.3, if I remember correctly, to win the state 800-meter championship at Dover High School. I am proud to feature these two runners and to know them so well.      

Fargo wins New York Triathlon

Fargo is a local triathlete and nationally ranked clydesdale runner from Ocean View. Last weekend in the New York City triathlon, he finished the race in 2:12:03 to win the clydesdale masters division. Fargo, 51, finished well ahead of Spencer Cross of Brooklyn, who crossed the tape in 2:23:42, winning the clydesdale open division, as he is only 34 years old. The impressive thing about Fargo’s performance is if you take the clydesdale division away from the event, he still would have placed fifth overall in the 50-54 age group among 197 in the division. Billy Busko of New York won the 50-54 age group in 2:04:00, only 8:03 ahead of Fargo.

The NYC Triathlon is an Olympic distance race consisting of a 1,500-meter swim in the Hudson River, a 40K bike on the West Side Highway and a 10K run through the streets of NYC with a grand finish in Central Park. 

“Another New York City Triathlon in the books,” said Fargo. “Weather was as perfect as it gets in July, and I posted a new personal record for a full Olympic distance race.” 

National Champion Sonja Friend-Uhl 

Friend-Uhl is a nationally ranked masters track and cross country competitor, competing for the Atlanta Track Club under coach Andrew Begley. She won the 800 meters and 1,500 meters at the USATF National Masters Championships last weekend in Baton Rouge, La. She clocked a 4:38.14 in the 1,500 meters and a 2:15.56 in the 800 meters.

“I’m very happy with a 1,500-meter win at the USA Masters Track Championships,” said Sonja. “A 4:38.14 felt smooth the whole way. Special thanks to coach Andrew Begley, Atlanta Track Club, and Mizuno Running.”

Sonja lowered the record of 4:43.21 all by herself out front racing against the clock. The Bernie Moore Track Stadium at Louisiana State University has hosted many championship meets, and the young Seashore Striders runners competed at that facility in summer 1992 at the USATF Junior Olympic Championships. The Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation, Visit Baton Rouge and the USATF Southern Association are committed to hosting a world-class competition experience featuring the hospitality and culture of South Louisiana.

Cross country around the corner

We are less than a month away from the start of another cross country season, and many runners are logging the base miles and heading off to camp this week. Next week, I hope to run some photos of locals at camp and do a roundup of the cross country season ahead. Fall sports start Tuesday, Aug. 15, and all athletes must have a current sports physical (dated after April 1, 2017), parent consent form and participation form on file with the athletic office in order to try out for teams during the 2017-18 school year. Seashore Striders Youth Club practice will begin at the end of August/start of September and will be Tuesday and Thursday at Cape Henlopen State Park. Get your park sticker now!