Skwierz Continues Reign as King of Cannoli
BY DINO OBERTO
HAZLETON, PA--Jeff Skwierz is undeniably the King of the Cannoli--Run for the Cannoli that is. For an unprecedented sixth consecutive year 28-year-old Skwierz of Tresckow, PA has been untouchable in attaining the coveted Cannoli Trophy.
This was the seventh edition of the race, which has become somewhat of a cult classic with its unique 3 p.m. start. Not exactly the best time of the day in the middle of the summer to run a race, but dont tell that to the 80 registered participants who came out to be part of the event, which coincides with the annual St. Mauros Italian Festival held at Queen of Heaven Parish on August 22.
Each year since 2005 Skwierz has been first across the finish line and just as in races past, he dusted the field, this year with a rousing 16:17, nearly two minutes ahead of runner-up Mike Lisnock, Jr. who came in at 18:16.
Skwierz missed setting the course record, which of course he already owns, by a mere five seconds.
Samantha Snukis, 24, of St. Clair made her first Run for the Cannoli a memorable outing as she took top honors for the women with a very respectable 19:57, becoming only the second female to run a sub-20-minute race in the events seven year history.
Patty Fulton of Maryland still holds the mark at 19:16 set in 2005.
Snukis ran a great race finishing a solid 10th overall, and not to mention she competed in a four miler early that day in Reading.
Keenan Monks, captain of this years Hazleton Area High School Cross-Country team, took third while Ed Snukis was fourth and Jeremy Dormer, head cross-country coach at Marion High School, rounded out the top five overall finishers.
Megan Ashford, two-time and defending champ Alexandria Petsuck, and Nicole Monticalvo were second, third, and fourth overall for the women. The trio is heading into their senior year for their respective schools of Bloomsburg, Hazleton Area, and Berwick. Candin Striet rounded out the top five for the ladies.
For many area high school harriers, this race has served as the final tune-up before the official cross-country season gets underway, most time within the following week.
The past few years, racers toed the starting line in 90-degree weather. Not so this time around as most of the day saw torrential downpours although by race time the skies had cleared with a comfortable mid-70s temperature.
Everyone in the race received a commemorative T-shirt, $5 in festival food tickets, and of course .a cannoli!
1.Dan Nensteil 20:45 1.Stacey Lipton 28:11
2.Brian Serfass 23:35 2.Dina Cusatis 29:17
3.John Laforte 25:38 3.Stacey Halko 37:05