Crowd of 2,000 Gathers to Cheer
BY BILL BULL, BEV BULL,
BERWICK, PA--The 43rd annual C. Wilfred Heller Market Street races, held November 17, were a huge success this year. Over 450 youths ranging in age from 1 to 18 gathered for seven races of various distances. An estimated crowd of close to 2,000 came to cheer the young runners on.
The day began with the Quarter Mile for girls kindergarten age and younger. Kayleigh Hoover won the race, with Violet Race finishing second and Lynndon Stroup finishing third. There were 40 finishers.
The boys Quarter Mile followed. Kieran McDonald won, with Benny Pasukinis finishing second and Hunter Stout finishing third. There were 45 in the race.
The girls Half Mile was next. Grades 1 through 3 ran. Isabella Jaffin won, with Allie Palermo finishing second and Yelena Share finishing third. There were 67 in the race.
The boys Half Mile was the fourth race of the day. Connor McDonald won, with Tanner Harmon finishing second and Eric Correll finishing third. There were 88 in the race.
The girls Mile, grades 4 to 6, was next. Ashley DiPippa won, with Katia Lewis finishing second and Mariel Adams finished third. There were 65 in the race.
The boys Mile was next. Robert Albertson finished first and his twin brother David finished second. Albert Gensel finished third. There were 81 in the race.
The boys and girls 5K was the seventh and last race of the day. This race is the oldest road race in the nation that allows youth runners only to participate. The race was established in 1959 by C. Wilfred Heller. For its first 20 years it was run on Thanksgiving Day, in conjunction with the Run for the Diamonds. When race fields became too large to accommodate both races on Thanksgiving, this race was moved to the Saturday before. The first elementary school races were conducted in conjunction with Berwick's Bi-Centennial celebration in 1986.
The 5K race was dominated by Sunbury area runners. Jadrien Diebler won by over half a minute. Diebler was the District 4 Cross-Country Champion. He ran much of the race on sub-16 minute 5K pace, and with more pressure from behind, probably would have done it. As it was, he "settled" for a very impressive victory in 16:03. His teammates followed. Sunbury area runners had five of the first seven finishes.
The first girl finisher was also from the Sunbury area. Dghogho Aifuwa easily won by over a minute, even though she ran with an untied shoelace for much of the race.
The Race Committee would like to congratulate all the runners
and also thank the volunteers that made this race the success