PAUL THISTLE (SIXTH) AT THE FINISH WITH C FRED JOSLYN (SEVENTH)
STRAINING TO REEL HIM IN.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO

Gillette, Gianotti Dazzle at Diamonds

BY BILL BULL

The Men’s Race

BERWICK, PA--Matt Gillette, Orefield, PA, pulled off a rare feat at the 107th Run For The Diamonds, held Thanksgiving Day, November 24. Gillette was able to successfully defend his men’s title. It had only been done twice in the last fifty years. Not since Jason Bodnar won in 1994 had it been achieved. Before that, Olympian Pete Pfitzinger accomplished the back-to-back win in 1981. Frank Pflaging, Baltimore Olympic Club, did it in 1964 and 1965.

Gillette had paid his dues in trying for the rare accomplishment. Gillette was second in 2013 and 2014 before winning the last two years. “The first couple of years when I got second, I had people in front of me. That was my mindset, to catch them. This year and last year, it is just push hard and hope nobody catches me,” said Gillette.

Trevor VanAckeren, Bethlehem, PA, hopes his Diamonds race progression will also lead him to the title. VanAckeren placed fourth in 2014, third in 2015, and second this year. He hopes the place progression continues one more year! “I think Matt (Gillette) will have something to say next year about me continuing the trend,” said VanAckeren.

Kieran Sutton, Shavertown, PA, moved up one spot to claim third this year. He was followed by Alexander Hampel, Middletown DE. Chris Mullin, Eagleville, PA, improved upon his seventh place finish a year ago to claim fifth. 2013 winner, Paul Thistle, Washington, DC, earned another diamond finishing sixth. Former two-time winner, C Fred Joslyn, Mt Holly Springs, PA, rounded out the diamond-ring winners.

 

CHRISTY PETERSON, FIST WOMAN MASTERS,
AND NINTH WOMAN.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
The Women’s Race

Emily Giannotti, Ephrata, PA, took home the title in her first appearance in Berwick. Giannotti beat her Keystone Track Club teammate and last year’s winner, Marina Orrson, Shavertown, Pa, by forty seconds. “I was trying to stay comfortable heading up the hill. I didn’t want to blast it and be in a bad spot,” Giannotti said. Giannotti, a Coudersport, PA native and Penn State grad, enjoyed the race atmosphere. “It’s like a small-town feel to the race, but there are so many people around the course. It’s kind of like a party out there,” she continued.

Three-time winner and former course record holder, Heidi Peoples, Moscow, PA, ran a strong race to finish third. Last year’s second place finisher, Samantha Snukis, Stowe, PA, earned the fourth place diamond pendant. Hazleton native, Brenae Edwards, now living in Bryson City, NC, returned to finish fifth. Rose Mascoli, Conshohocken, PA, placed sixth earning her first diamond since 2013. Carly Shea, Lewisburg, PA, grabbed the last diamond pendant, finishing seventh.
Diamond Points

C Fred Joslyn is quite the modern era iron man with his seventh place finish. Joslyn equaled the legendary Olympian Browning Ross’s streak of thirteen straight years having won a diamond ring by finishing in the Top Seven. Ross accomplished the feat from 1946 to 1958. Joslyn’s streak began in 2004.

Olympian Johnny Kelley, of Boston Marathon fame, is the owner of the longest Top Seven streak at twenty years. Kelley’s amazing streak began in 1936 and ended in 1955.

Once again, a huge contingent of Canadian’s participated in the race. The top Canadian finisher was Jose Fuentes, Hamilton, ON, in 53:21. (first in the 50-54 age group)

 

WOMEN'S WINNER EMILY GIANOTTI TAKES IT
HOME. (CLAY SHAW PHOTO) WOMEN'S WINNER
EMILY GIANOTTI TAKES IT HOME.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Norway and Portugal were also represented, as were 24 states and Washington DC.

Dylan Gearinger, a Sophomore at Haverford College, won the local title for the third year in a row. Gearinger did it with an exclamation point! He cracked the Top 15 with his 14th place finish. By running a PR in 48:31, his time was the fastest local time since 1993 when Bill Bull (48:10) and Jamie DeFinnis (48:28) ran faster.

Samantha Dyer, a Senior at Berwick HS, won the local female title. Dyer finished her high school Cross Country career with her third trip to the State Meet. Dyer battled the local record holder, Alex Bull, throughout the entire course. They took turns leading each other until Dyer pulled away on Market Street. She narrowly beat Bull by a scant six seconds.

Cold drizzle fell throughout the early morning. But a few miles into the race, the drizzle stopped. It was actually nice weather for running.

The community support for this race was, once again, tremendous! Even with the weather, the crowd along the entire course came out in force as always!

 

 

THE “CANADIAN CONTINGENT” WITH RACE DIRECTOR MARGARET LIVSEY
AT THE PRE-RACE PASTA DINNER.
KAREN MITCHELL PHOTO