Nazworth, Baclawski Capture
BY DAVE HERLOCKER
MT. AIRY, MD--Mt. Airy resident Andy Nazworth and 2002 female winner and recent American University graduate Jennifer Baclawski captured the men's and women's divisions of the eighth annual Flag Day 5K Run held on June 12. This year the race was renamed in honor of former Mt. Airy Mayor Jerry Johnson, who contributed to the race's success in its early years.
Top women's finisher in 2003 and former Salisbury University runner Sherry Stick led the field of fifty-five runners down Main Street from the Mt. Airy Elementary School through the first mile in a time of 5:40. Trailing her at that point were former Westminster High School runner Danny Velazquez in 5:42, Baclawski in 5:50, Eugene Buckwalter in 5:55, and former Hood College runner and Stick's training partner Becky Alvarez in 6:00.
Although running in sixth place at the one-mile mark in a time of 6:05, Nazworth, a Masters runner who had finished fourth overall in 2002, ran the fastest second mile of the top eight runners. By the time he had finished the loop that comprised the second mile, his time of 11:52 gave Nazworth, clad appropriately in "American flag" shorts, a five second lead over Stick and an eight second lead over Baclawski, with Avarez and Velazquez another twenty seconds behind.
As the lead pack returned down Main Street, Baclawski first passed Stick as she had done in winning the female division in 2002 and then ran stride for stride with Nazworth until the last hundred meters when Nazworth pulled away for a two second win. It marked the second time in the last four years that a female runner had finished a close second in the race and the first time that three female runners had finished in the top five as Stick finished third, running her fastest time in the last three years, and Alvarez finished fourth, running almost a minute and a half better than last year's time. Velazquez finished fifth as the second male.
Deirdre Sugrue, who finished ninth overall, was the first female Masters runner for the third year in a row, and Carole Michnya finished in 30:23 as the first 50-and-over female runner. Steve Pearson finished in 25:16 as the first 50-and-over male runner, and nine-year-old Timothy Burnett, who finished in 27:54, was the youngest participant.
Six-year-old Brian Peterson and nine-year-old Raeann Robisch were the top male and female finishers in the companion one-mile fun run, with times of 9:19 and 13:42, respectively.
1. Andy Nazworth 18:31