West Penn Runners Make Up Half of Pittsylvania
BY JOHN HARWICK
PITTSBURGH, PA--Two WPIAL medalists swept the Jerry Richey Miles in the sixth annual Pittsylvania Mile Run on a sunny June 4 at Carnegie Mellon University.
Pine-Richland senior Bobby Regan--sixth in the WPIAL 1600--held on to win a thriller from surging Penn-Trafford senior Bryan Waters, 4:40.3 to 4:40.5.
Regan will do his collegiate running at Washington and Jefferson. Waters--seventh in the WPIAL 800--will do his collegiate running at Seton Hall University.
Penn-Traffords Diane Filtz won convincingly in 5:27.9. Fritzs fourth in the WPIAL 1600 qualified her for the PIAAs and ranked as the highest sophomore finish.
Both winners ran in the meet last year. Regan took third in 4:40 in his first Jerry Richey Mile. Filtz won the 14-15 race in a record 5:28.8.
Eight runners or racewalkers--including Filtz--won their second straight. West Penn siblings Brighid (12-13) and George Kelly (8-9/10-11) won again.
And the meets first married couple repeated. Wright States Carmen (Blissit) Baxter and Wheeling Jesuits Corey Baxter swept the 20-24 races.
Glenshaws Wayne Jacobs (55-59), Providence Colleges Annie Nemeth (16-19/20-24 racewalk), and West Penns Karen Mizikar (45-49) won again.
Participants broke five of the existing 36 age-group records and established five. Men broke two and set one; women broke three and set four:
Mens Mile Run
70-74: Roger Brockenbrough of West Penn ran 6:31.9 to break the 7:28.9 record set by teammate Gehrett Smith in 2004.
80-84: Fran Albaugh of West Penn ran 8:52.7 to break the 10:05.4 record set by teammate Sam Madia in 2004.
Mens Mile Racewalk
55-59: Lou Fiorina of West Penn walked 11:24.5 to establish a record.
Womens Mile Run
6-7: Katie Harwick of West Penn ran 7:53.8 to break the 8:38 record set by Angela Donatelli of Pittsburgh in 2000.
45-49: Karen Mizikar of West Penn ran 6:35 to break the 6:39.6 record she set in 2004.
50-54: Debi Page of West Penn ran 6:59 to establish a record.
Womens Mile Racewalk
14-15: Mary Nemeth of Oakland Catholic High walked 10:01.3 to establish a record.
20-24: Annie Nemeth of Providence College walked 7:57.2 to establish a record.
40-44: Betsy Cwenar of Pittsburgh walked 11:10.1 to establish a record.
45-49: Carolyn Menard of Pittsburgh walked 11:03.1 to break the 11:26.9 record set by BK Kosmach of the South Park Runners in 2004.
Five sets of siblings participated: Luke and Nate Aaron; Colleen and Mike Cwenar; Katie, MC, and Mike Harwick; Brighid, Dighan, and George Kelly; and Elizabeth and Nathaniel Landis.
Five parent/child combinations participated: Betsy Cwenar and Colleen/Mike, George Dieffenbach and Sarah, Bob Harwick and Katie/MC/Mike, Betsy Magovern and Molly, and Karen Mizikar and Amanda Rubis.
Runners from nine high schools ran in either the 14-15 or 16-19 races: Baldwin, Central Catholic, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Kiski Area, Mt. Lebanon, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, and Pine-Richland.
West Penns George Dieffenbach--for the fourth year in a row--won the consistency award. George ran 5:28.8 in 2001, 5:28.2 in 2002, 5:26.2 in 2003, 5:24.9 in 2004, and 5:24.8 this year.
Dick Firsching--1945 PIAA 220y gold medalist for Mt. Lebanon High--presented the awards.
Wayne Jacobs, Ken Krynski, and George Dieffenbach repeated last years 1-2-3 finish in the 55-59 race.
Participation dropped to 62 after climbing from 58 in 2002 to 63 in 2003 to a record 72 last year. Forty-six participated in 2000 and 71 in 2001.
Jerry Richey served as the meets honorary chair. Jerrys brilliant schoolboy career at North Allegheny High saw him win six PIAA titles in XC and track. He won the 1970 NCAA indoor 2M and DMR during his Pitt career.
Runners ranged in age from 6-year-old Lisa Tripon of Minadeo Elementary School to 83-year-old Fran Albaugh of West Penn. Mihaela Tripon--Lisas mother--serves as an assistant track coach at Pitt. She works with the vertical/horizontal jumpers and multi-eventers.
Half of the 62 participants represented West Penn. That represented a large jump from 25 of 72 (35%) last year. Two years ago 33 of 63 (52%) represented West Penn.