Wadas, Capparell Take Top Honors
BY DINO OBERTO
HAZLETON, PA--Running standout Chris Wadas of Wilkes-Barre and rising star Christina Capperell from Hazleton raced to new course records at the 10th Annual Run for the Cannoli 5K held Sunday, August 18, at Queen of Heaven Parish.
A slightly redesigned course greeted the record number of runners who came out to partake in the popular mid-summer classic that is held in conjunction with the St. Mauros Italian Festival.
Wadas, 31, was making his first trip to the starting line for this race. A winner countless times throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond, the Misericordia University Cross Country and Track & Field head coach was on a mission, and he proved it from the get-go.
With a top prize of $100 to win, plus $50 for a new course record, Wadas set sail once the gun went off. He took the lead by the time the field reached the first corner at 50 meters, and once in front he was never headed.
He set out on a blistering pace that no one would be able to keep with. By the time he reached Mile One in 4:36 it was evident it was his race to lose. He easily kept that momentum going through the next 2.1 miles.
Wadas made it a race for second by halfway, as he was cruising way ahead of everyone else. At the finish line he hit the tape with an impressive 16:01, and effortlessly collected the cash awards.
Meanwhile, second place would come down to a hard fought battle between Hazleton Area High School XC senior Andrew Meyers and seven-time Cannoli winner Jeff Skwierz. On the final sprint up the Vine Street hill Meyers pushed ahead to the runner-up spot with a time of 17:06 to 17:15 for Skwierz.
Capparell is poised to make waves in the upcoming years of cross-country, and will most certainly become one of the key factors in the always tough District II conference.
2012 PIAA State Cross Country qualifier and Hazleton Area High School XC top harrier Nicole Buehrle of Drums showed that she will once again be a force to be reckoned with in the Wyoming Valley Conference, as the 16-year- old junior came home second in 20:17.
Buehrles HAHS teammates Angie Marchetti and Cassie Papp hit the tape one second apart at 21:22 and 21:33 respectively in garnering the top three spots for the ladies.
Winners Wadas and Capparell also received limited edition embroidered jackets for their well gotten efforts.
With cool 70-degree weather, a record 185 entrants signed
up to race, with 165 total being scored. Runners aged 6 to 77
took to the streets of Hazleton. The race continues to grow in
both numbers and popularity. Entrants came from throughout Northeast
PA, and as far west as Erie, as well as all points in between.