FROM LEFT: ERIC ARNOLD,
MATT GILLETTE, TREVOR VAN ACKEREN,
AND DYLAN GEARINGER.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Three-Peat for Gillette at Diamonds;
Foster Takes Women's Win
By Bill Bull
The Mens Race
BERWICK, PA--When Matt Gillette, Orefield, PA, crossed the
finish line, he flashed three fingers on his right hand. Can
you say three-peat? Gillette had accomplished something that
had not been done in over fifty years; three wins in a row at
Berwick! The goal this year was to try and get the third
win in a row, Gillette said. I looked in the program.
I wanted to be part of the history of the race, he continued.
The last runner to win three in a row was Frank Pflaging, Baltimore
Olympic Club, in 1963, '64, and '65. Looking at next year, Olympian
Johnny Kelley, of Boston Marathon fame, had four wins in a row
during World War II. Well have to wait a year to see if
Gillette can match Kelley!
Its become a tradition, coming here every year.
Its special. I really enjoy it. Hopefully Ill stay
fit and be back next year, Gillette said.
A lead pack of four runners (Gillette, second place finisher
Trevor Van Ackeren, Bethlehem, third place finisher Eric Arnold,
Haverford, PA, and eventual seventh place finisher Dylan Gearinger,
Berwick) quickly broke away from the rest of the field. The group
of four stayed together until THE Hill. The race was pretty
much a repeat of last year. Matt runs that uphill really hard.
I tried to keep it as close as I could, but he got away from
me there. On the back half of the course, I ran tough, but its
hard to catch a good runner once they get a lead on you. Thats
the challenge of this race, said VanAckeren.
The mile and a half uphill from Mile Two to three and a half
is usually where Berwick is won or lost. VanAckeren has finished
second two years in row and in the top four in each of the last
I ran in the lead pack until about halfway up the big
hill. Thats when I made my move and took the lead. Then
I pushed the downhills, said Gillette.
Rounding out the top seven diamond-ring winners were fourth
place Chris Mullen, Eagleville, PA, fifth place Alexander Hampel,
Hummelstown, PA and sixth place Jonathan Condly, Jim Thorpe,
The Womens Race
The Berwick Marathon Association race committee was buzzing.
Word came down from Race Director Margaret Livsey that course
record holder Karaleigh Foster had post-registered. The womens
field was strong with 2015 winner and perennial top finisher
Marina Orrson (Martino) in the field. Several other past diamond-pendant
winners were also in the field including Rose Mascoli, Samantha
Snukis, Christy Peterson, Josey Rupert, and Samantha Snead.
JUSTIN KREBS, 11TH
OVERALL AND TOP
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Three-time winner, Millhouse-Foster had missed the last two
years. She had been living in Australia for part of the time.
Now, back in the States and coaching at Edinboro University,
a return trip to Berwick was possible. Her husband, former diamond-ring
winner, Ryan Foster, wanted to run. So although she wasnt
in as good of shape as previous years, the chance to run in Berwick
was too enticing to pass up. I wasnt sure if I was
going to race until last night. Ryan wanted to run and its
always a good time. I love the race, said Karaleigh.
Marina Orrson, Shavertown, PA, set the pace during the early
miles with Karaleigh a step behind. By the halfway point, Foster
had taken the lead and began to create a gap between the two
front runners. I ran with Marina during the early part
of the race. On the downhill, I just let my legs turnover. I
didnt push all that much. I let gravity work for me. I
moved in front of Marina at about four miles. Then I just tried
to hold on, said Foster.
Orrson kept the pressure on Foster by finishing just 24 seconds
later. This was Orrsons second consecutive second place
finish after winning in 2015. Rounding out the rest of the top
seven was third place finisher Rose Mascoli, Conshohocken, PA,
moving up from sixth last year. Hannah Coffin, Vestania Hills,
AL, earned her first diamond while finishing fourth. Samantha
Snukis, Stowe, PA, added to her diamond collection by finishing
fifth. Christy Peterson, North Wales, PA, returned to the top
seven with a sixth place finish. Seventh place finisher, Whitney
Heydenreich, Danville, PA, earned her first diamond pendant.
LORI KINGSLEY FINISHES
AS 10TH WOMAN
WITH A NEW RECORD AND THE TOP SPOT FOR
WOMEN AGES 50-59.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Sunny, dry conditions, calm winds, and temperatures in the
upper 30s made for great running this year.
Lori Kingsley, Wysox, PA broke the 50-59 female age-group
record by running 59:18. The old record was held by Ann Sick
in 61:58 from 2009. Kingsley finished tenth female overall.
Dylan Gearinger, a junior at Haverford College, won his fourth
consecutive local title. Gearinger set a new PR with each win.
This year was the most impressive yet! Gearinger not only won
the local diamond but became the first male Berwick HS graduate
to earn a top seven diamond since Allen Parr finished sixth in
1930. Note: There have been two females to accomplish the feat.
Also of interest: The only male local to win the race was Nescopeck
HS graduate and future Olympian, John Blondy Romig
in 1920. Romig, a Penn State runner, passed on the local award
after receiving the first place diamond ring.
Gearinger was part of the four-runner lead pack until it broke
up on THE Hill. Gearinger became only the second local runner
to break the 48-minute barrier. His time of 47:48 is tied with
Bill Bulls 47:48 for the fourth fastest local time ever.
Also Gearingers time set a new local 20-29 age-group record
previously held by Bull.
Another Berwick HS graduate, Mason Kimbell, also ran under
50 minutes with a twelfth place finish in 49:50. Kimbell is a
freshman at St Bonaventure University. This is the first time
since 1993 that two local runners finished under 50 minutes.
It is also the first time two locals finished in the top fifteen
since 1985 when Bill Bull and Steve Johnson finished eleventh
and fourteenth, respectively. Berwick HS Senior, Mitch Martin,
had a very strong 20th place finish in 50:46 to round out a great
race for the former BHS Cross Country/Track teammates. This is
the first time three locals have finished in the top twenty.
Samantha Dyer, now a freshman at Seton Hall University, successfully
defended her local womens title. Dyer ran 63:27 to improve
upon her last years time by over four minutes. As with
last years race, the local title did not come easy. Eleven-time
local winner, Wendy Lupashunski, pressed Dyer throughout the
course to finish second local by a small eight second margin.
Lupashunski broke the local female 50-59 age group record with
Two-time winner, Mt Holly Springs, PA's C Fred Joslyn's streak
of top seven finishes ended at thirteen this year. Also, Joslyns
record-tying streak of running sub-50 fourteen years in row also
came to an end.
Several Canadians made the trip south again this year.
The top Canadian finisher was Trevor Dykman in 61:22.
MARINA ORRSON, ON
HER WAY TO A
SECOND PLACE FINISH.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Dave Sheridan, Ontario, made the trip but did not run. The Sheridan
family has been represented almost every year at the race for
over eighty years. Daves Father, Whitey, first ran in 1936.
Two more runners joined the Berwick Marathon 35+ Club. They
were John Beers, Bloomsburg, PA, and Mike Micca, Shickshinny,
PA. There are now sixteen in the club.
A pictorial review of the first fifty years of the race, 1908-1959
is available for purchase. Contact Fred Takacs at email@example.com
for more information.
The Pasta Dinner the night before the race was well attended.
The guest speaker was Jack Heath. Jack authored a book about
ten-time winner Browning Ross. His book is available on Amazon.
Community support for the race was once again outstanding.
Thanks to all the many sponsors of this historic race! Special
thanks to the Police, Fire Police, and Firemen for their continued
And last, thank you to all the runners who continue to support
this great race!
TREVOR VAN ACKEREN,
CLAY SHAW PHOTO