Mike Cole and John Poray have been talking about forming a 40-and-older running team for a couple of years.
“We were waiting until John and Jesse Davis turned 40 and hoping I would still be running decently strong and be able to help the team,” said Cole, a 46-year-old Zionsville resident.
The Indiana Elite Athletic Club won the USA Track and Field National Club Cross Country Championships 40-and-over men’s masters 10K division Dec. 11 in Tallahassee, Fla.
“We’re very proud and happy. One of the best running moments of my life, and I’ve had a lot of them, (was) to put together a team to win a national title. (It) is pretty special,” Cole said.
Davis, an Indianapolis resident, was the race winner in 32 minutes, 55.1 seconds.
“Jesse is a two-time Olympic qualifier in the marathon, and he’s an all-around good runner,” said Cole, who competed for Ball State University’s cross country and track and field teams.
Team member John Poray of Fishers was 12th. Other team members’ finishes were Bryan Lindsay, Zionsville, 19th: Tom Burns, Westfield, 28th; and Jasen Ritter, Indianapolis, 40th. The top five finishers were counted in the winning total.
Cole finished 41st and Jeff Zeha, Fishers, 77th and Rob Awe, Carmel, 120th.
“Bryan Lindsay was second in the NCAA Championships in the 1,500 when he was at BYU,” Cole said. “There are some really good athletes on our team. It’s crazy we all live in a 20- to 30-mile radius other than Mike Jackson, who lives in Bloomington, and (he) wasn’t able to go (to) the race.”
Poray competed in cross country and track for the University of Indianapolis while Davis ran at Ball State and the University of Southern Indiana. Burns, who competed for Indiana University, was the 2005 Big Ten champion in the steeplechase.
Ritter, a former Florida State competitor, is the oldest runner at 47.
“This is our first national championship we went to together,” Cole said. “USA Track and Field has several masters national championships. We have high hopes for winning all we go to.”
Cole said there are championships in 5K, 1 mile, 10 mile and half-marathon.
The 5K road championships are in February.
Cole’s oldest son, Logan, runs for Northern Colorado’s cross country and track and field teams. His youngest two sons, Skyler and Aidan, are runners for Zionsville Community High School.