Increased Participation and Broken
BY JOHN HARWICK
PITTSBURGH, PA--Jerry Richey's graciousness, 15 records, and an increase in entries highlighted the second annual Pittsylvania Mile Run on July 7 at Carnegie Mellon University.
Jerry--one of the greatest schoolboy distance runners ever in Pennsylvania--won six PIAA titles in cross-country and track from 1965-1967 for North Allegheny High.
He spent the beautiful morning presenting awards to the place winners in 12 men's races and seven women's races. And Jerry--with minimal training--ran the 50-54 race.
Eight men and three women used the fast 8-lane Surpan track to break meet records. Both winners of the 16-19 Jerry Richey Mile broke records.
New York University's Brian Buechel--running in the River City Elite singlet--lowered West Penn's Pat Sheridan's 5:09 by 15.1 seconds with his 4:53.9.
Washington High's Anna Beck, third in the 800 in this year's PIAA Championships, lowered CMU's Giti Farudi's 5:43 by 16.8 seconds with her 5:26.2.
Race chair Joe Silverio reported that entries jumped from 46 in 2000 to 71. Male entries made a modest gain (42 to 53), but female entries soared from four to 18.
Brian Buechel, of River City Elite, and West Penn's Jake Moore staged the meet's closest race in the Jerry Richey Mile with Brian winning by 2.7 seconds.
Chad Buechel--Brian's brother and River City Elite teammate--posted the meet's fastest time with his 4:32.5 in the 20-24 race. Chad won the 1998 Pennsylvania High School 1600-meter Championship for Central Catholic High.
Coaches swept the top three places in the 45-49 race. Barry Harwick, of Dartmouth College, Lee Zelkowitz, of Penn Hills High, and Dave Sobal, of Point Park College, went 1-2-3.
Bob Harwick and three of his children--Mark, Mary, and Mike--ranked as the family with the most runners.
Eleven of the 19 records set in 2000 fell. Eight of the 15 men's marks fell, and three of the four women's marks fell.
Dick Firsching--who worked with Jerry Richey on the awards presentation--won the PIAA 220-yard Championship in 1945 for Mt. Lebanon High.
Frank Rodenbaugh, President of the USATF Three Rivers, started the races.
Don Slusser, an NAIA All-American marathoner in 1972-1973 for Indiana University of PA, ran the 45-49 race.
Chris Walliser, one of the top distance runners in the Butler County Special Olympics, ran the 30-34 race.
Twenty-seven runners from the host West Penn Track Club crossed the finish line: 20 men, but only seven women.