Ricky Moore Leads Assault on Record Books
BY JOHN HARWICK
PITTSBURGH, PA--Two of West Virginia's finest distance runners--one a collegian and one a high schooler--led the assault on the record book in the Pittsylvania XC Challenge.
Wheeling Jesuit red-shirt Ricky Moore started the assault with his quick 25:29 in the third annual Challenge on November 10 at Frick Park.
Ricky's impressive win on the hilly 8K course knocked 20 seconds off the 26:28 record set in 1999 by Dan Lesser, of the Pittsburgh Pharoah Hounds.
West Penn's Justin Simpson--recent winner of the West Virginia high school XC championship--finished second with his 16-19 age group 26:30 record.
Justin shaved 12 seconds off the 26:42 record set in 2000 by Baldwin High's two-time Pennsylvania state champion Dan Mazzocco. Dan won the 1600m in 2000 and the XC this year.
Nine more runners broke age-group records, and 76-year-old Art Joachim, of the Youngstown Road Runners Club, established one in the 75-79 age group.
Justin and West Penn teammates Bryan Herdman, Steve Gonzalez, Mike Troy, and Ed Rosporski won the 16-19 team title with 32 points--28 fewer then the Open champion Hounds (60).
West Penn's George Carroll bettered his 55-59, 1999, 33:02 record by 1:39 with his quick 31:23. George missed the 2000 race.
Consistent Dario Donatelli, Jr. owns the 12-13 4K records for both the Saucony XC Series (15:04) and the Challenge (15:06).
Starter Dick Firsching won the PIAA 220y title in 1945 for Mt. Lebanon High.
Four of West Penn's first place 16-19 team competed in Foot Locker regionals. Westmont Hilltop's Steve Gonzalez, Blairsville's Bryan Herdman, and Somerset's Mike Troy ran in New York City. And Oak Glen, WV's Justin Simpson ran in Charlotte.
West Penn's Carl Hubel saw his 40-44 28:27 record fall to teammate Dominic Wyzomirski (27:57), but Carl--thanks to a recent birthday--grabbed the 45-49 record with his 29:29. That erased teammate Bruce Frey's 30:30 from 1999.
Ricky Moore won West Virginia high school XC titles in 1997 and 1998 for Wheeling Park High.
Runners ranged in age from 7-year-old Will Nabors, of Mt. Lebanon, to 76-year-old Art Joachim, of the Youngstown Road Runners Club, and Marvin Kaufman, of West Penn.
Referee Mark Schwartz--the longtime USATF National Official--did his usual excellent job running the finish line.
West Penn's Dominic Wyzomirski has found the Frick Park trials to his liking. Dominic ran 29:11 and 28:36 in the last two races in the summer Saucony XC Series and then broke the 28-minute barrier with his 27:57 in the Challenge.
West Penn's 40+ men showed plenty of depth by going 1-2 in both the 40-49 and 50+ team competition, but the club's 40+ women numbered only five.