NICK HILTON WINS THE
RUN FOR THE
DIAMONDS WITH THE FASTEST TIME SINCE
1993 IN 44:39!
KAREN MITCHELL PHOTO
Lots of Competition at the 105th Annual
Run for the Diamonds as Foster Breaks Record
and Hilton Claims First
The Mens Race
BERWICK, PA--Nick Hilton, Flagstaff, Arizona, was a man on
a mission. Hilton had traversed the Diamonds course once before,
in 2011. After nine grueling miles, Hilton had lost by just one
second. He had given his all, but came up just short of the big
prize. Hilton was determined to not let that happen again!
Hilton took the lead during the opening mile and was relentless
in his quest to win the first place diamond ring. That
second place finish I suffered three years ago sat in the back
of my head all this time. After I got out of college, all I wanted
to do was run this race again...and win, declared Hilton.
Hilton won the race going away. In so doing, he won by 54
seconds. His winning time (44:39) was the fastest time on the
course since 1993.
Matt Gillette was the only runner to try to stay within striking
distance of Hilton, and it almost cost him. Paul Thistle won
the race last year by running away from Gillette and the rest
of the field during the last four miles. Gillette, second last
year, didnt let Thistles kick get him again, although
Thistle came close!
Thistle looked like he was running for third place, but then
put on his amazing kick again. But this time, Gillette was up
to the challenge. Thistle came within one second of Gillette
at the finish line.
Trevor Vanackeren, two-time winner C Fred Joslyn, Bobby Torphy,
and Nicholas Patton rounded out the Top Seven Diamond ring winners.
The Womens Race
MARINA ORRSON, SECOND
WOMAN AT THE RUN FOR
KAREN MITCHELL PHOTO
Karaleigh Foster has put herself in the elite
category of the Run for the Diamonds. Foster completed the hat
trick with her record-setting performance! Foster not only
became the only female to win the race three years in a row,
but she set the course record (50:32.09) in the process. The
old record of 50:35 was set by Heidi Peoples in 2009.
There was a bit of confusion at the finish line. Foster, looking
at the finish-line clock, thought she had broken the course record.
When she received her time, however, it was one second off the
record. After reviewing finish-line pictures, race officials
determined Foster had actually broken it. Foster received a $500
savings bond for setting the record. Chip timers revealed she
was not recorded on the first finish-line mat. She was only recorded
on the second mat, thereby giving her the slower time.
The first time I ran in this race, I didnt even
know there was a tough hill. I went out really hard right from
the gun this time because I was going for the record. I attacked
the hill. I love this race. My family can watch. My grandparents
live in Berwick. I love the tradition of the race, said
an elated Foster.
Marina Orrson ran a terrific race! She moved up two spots
from her fourth place finish a year ago to capture the second
place Diamond pendant. She knocked off 62 seconds while doing
so, for a finishing time of 52:51.
Katie ORegan continued her good running. After finishing
second two years in a row, Katie dropped one spot to a very good
third place this year in a time of 54:11.
Brenae Edwards, Paige Stoner, Carly Shea, and Christina Faust
rounded out the Top Seven Female Diamond pendant winners.
The Male Local Title
Dylan Gearinger clocked the fastest local time (51:39) since
2005. In so doing, Gearinger quite possibly has made a statement
about the local running scene. There could be a changing of the
guard! Just as Tony Lawson ushered in a new era of local running
in the late 1990s, the same transition could be happening again.
Gearinger led a contingent of Berwick High School runners
across the line. Four of the Top Five local finishers ran on
the Berwick High School Cross Country Team this past Fall. Harrison
Ferro (54:25), Mason Kimbell (55:19), and Victor Guevara (55:24)
finished in third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Only 2011
local winner Michael Lisnock, Jr was able to split the group
with his second place finish (53:28). Perennial winner, Tony
Lawson, was injured and rode the press truck during the race.
The Female Local Title
Alexandra Bull, Gettysburg College graduate, ran a very strong
pace throughout the race to gain her fourth Local Title in a
row. Her time of 58:27 was good for thirteenth overall. It was
the third fastest local time on the course; behind her record
time of 56:56 last year and Wendy Calarcos time of 58:21
Wendy followed Alex to the line in 62:10. Third went to Abby
Bull in 65:01. Heather Turnbach and Miranda Hildebrand Costa
followed in fourth and fifth respectively.
MATT GILLETTE (#2)
AND PAUL THISTLE
BATTLE IT OUT FOR SECOND PLACE.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Although the area received six inches of snow the day before
the race, the roads were wet, but ice free. Occasionally snow
would fall from trees to cover areas of the road (and runners),
but it was not a problem.
Perhaps due to the snow, the race had the smallest field since
Twenty-one runners finished under 50 minutes, the most since
Thirteen female runners finished under 60 minutes.
Chris Aurand completed his 42nd consecutive Diamonds race.
His first was in 1973. This broke his High School Cross Country/Track
coachs record of 41. Lanny Conner set that record from
Darren and Julie Crispin donated beautiful jackets to
all diamond-ring and pendant winners. The Crispin family has
been one of the race sponsors since 1912!
THIRD PLACE WOMAN,
O'REGAN HEADING TO THE
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Unclaimed Diamond awards can be picked up at the Run for the
Cookies 10K February 28, 2015.
Complete results of all Diamond races can be found on www.runfordiamonds.com.
The Berwick Marathon Association would like to congratulate
all the finishers of this years race!
The Association also thanks all who helped make this years
race a success!
See you in 2015 for the 106th running!
Records & Redemption
FROM LEFT: DIAMOND
WINNERS TINA BARTHOLOMEW,
FIRST FEMALE MASTERS; ANN SICK, FIRST FEMALE
VETERAN; DIANNA GOLDEN, FIRST FEMALE SENIOR;
TERRANCE SHEA, FIRST MALE MASTERS; TIM SCHULER, FIRST
MALE VETERAN; AND TERRY PERMAR, FIRST MALE SENIOR.
KAREN MITCHELL PHOTO
BY MARK WILL-WEBER
An old proverb claims that good things come in threes--but
every once in a while, great things do, too.
The 2014 Run for the Diamonds race--the oldest
footrace in Pennsylvania--saw Karaleigh Millhouse Foster notch
two big milestones in the annual Thanksgiving morning 9-miler
staged in Berwick. The former Penn State star notched her third
straight Diamonds victory (becoming the first woman in the history
of the storied event to achieve that feat) and, if that wasnt
enough to raise a few eyebrows, Foster also set a new course
record of 50 minutes, 33 seconds--a mere two seconds faster than
what Heidi Wolfsberger Peoples clocked in 2009 when she broke
the previous mark of 50:54 set by Katy Schilly way back in 1981.
When one observer offered Foster (who has a sub-33 minute
10K personal best on her resume) post-race congratulations on
her fabulous performance, but also mentioned that they hated
to see Peoples lose her record, Foster said: Well, you
can tell Heidi that I had to work really hard for it.
Another hard-working runner in the 105th running of this historical
event was Nick Hilton. Hilton--who was out-leaned in a photo
finish in 2011 by C. Fred Joslyn--came all the way from high-altitude
training in Flagstaff, Arizona, to dominate a talented and experienced
mens field. The former Lock Haven University standout was
already applying pressure at the front of the pack in the second
mile--with the mile-long-plus ascent to Summer Hill yet to come.
As Hilton later wrote on his blog (some might argue with the
modesty of the blog title: The Moderately Talented Distance
Runner): I went into the race this year with the
mindset that I was going to run hard and not give anyone a chance
to outkick me. I pushed the first four miles, opened up a gap,
and kept pushing
By the top of the hill (graveyards located coincidentally
close for both over-zealous front-runners and struggling back-of-the-packers),
Hilton already looked like a winner. About 200 meters behind,
Paul Thistle (the defending champ), former Shippensburg University
star Matt Gillette, and two-time Berwick winner Joslyn, jousted
for the supporting roles. But Hilton still looked smooth, controlled,
powerful, and destined for redemption--despite the fact that
he had punched out a 2:21 marathon victory in Savannah, Georgia,
just a few weeks before. He only lengthened his lead through
Kaschinka Hollow Road, trucking through the 10K mark in around
Although temperatures did not escape the 30s, and a recent
snowfall hung heavy (and picturesque) upon the trees, the racing
conditions proved to be close to ideal. Runners feared that snowmelt
on the roads might prove icy and slick, particularly on the rugged
ups-and-downs of the historical loop course, but any hazardous
patches were easily avoided.
Hilton kept the hammer down when he entered the final mile
on Market Street, cheering crowds urging him on. Hiltons
efforts were reflected in his winning time of 44 minutes and
39 seconds--the first male runner to break 45 minutes (or 5-flat
pace for the nine-mile distance) since Carleton Buck
Jones did the trick in 1999. (Two-time Olympic marathon Peter
Pfitzingers 1980 CR of 43:21, it should be noted, still
appears in no immediate jeopardy.)
A spirited race for second saw Gillette (2nd, 45:33) nip former
Susquehanna University star Thistle (3rd, 45:34) for runner-up
honors, while former Princeton track standout Trevor Van Ackern
used his speed down the homestretch to place fourth (46:09).
The always-competitive C. Fred Joslyn grabbed fifth (46:24),
while Bobby Torphy (6th, 46:55) and Nick Patton (7th, 47:00)
rounded out the overall diamond ring winners for men. For Joslyn--a
guy who might consider opening his own diamond store--it was
his 11th diamond ring-winning effort in as many years, dating
back to 2004 when he was just 20 years old.
Although Fosters record-setting run put her comfortably
ahead of the rest of the womens field, some solid performances
nevertheless accounted for the next six diamond award winners:
Marina Orrson (2nd, 52:51), Katie ORegan (3rd, 54:11),
Brenae Edwards (4th, 54:52), Paige Stoner (5th, 55:25); Carly
Shea (6th, 56:15), and Christina Faust (7th, 56:57).
As usual, the Berwick Marathon Association also awarded diamond
rings to various age-group champions. Tina Bartholomew won the
womens Masters (40-plus, in 1:00:19); Ann Sick (1:09.01)
notched the 50-plus award; and veteran road racer Dianna Golden
turned in a strong 1:08.04 to take the 60-plus diamond pendant.
The age-group men also turned in stellar races. Terrance Shea
won the masters 40-plus ring in 49:36; Tim Schuler added to a
very strong fall with a victory in the 50-plus division in 52:39;
and 60-plus went to the always scrappy Terry Permar, with a sub-hour
effort of 59:37.
When the Berwick race (they called it The Berwick Marathon
in those early days) started in 1908, the field consisted of
just 14 starters (there were close to 1,400 this year) and 15,000
spectators. Keeping with its tradition, the race organizers always
pay special homage to the top local finishers. Former
Gettysburg College (and Berwick H.S.) standout Alexandra Bull
led the charge in 58:27--with veteran Wendy Calarco and sister
Abby Bull in second and third, for local women. On the mens
side, Dylan Gearinger--who earlier in the month snagged a state
cross-country medal for Berwick High Schoolwon the local
mens duel in 51:37, although he finished a few seconds
behind Alex Fitch of Bethlehem in a spirited competition to be
the first high school finisher in this rugged race.
Another Berwick tradition is a visit from Canadian runners.
Once again, a handful of distance running aces from the Great
White North made the journey down to Berwick--and
that included Ian Atkinson of Kitchner, Ontario, who finished
first in the 75-year-old and up division--besting five other
men in that age group.