THE SCHOOL MASCOTS.
BRIAN THOMAS PHOTO

Sparta Spirit 5K Draws Record Crowd

BY BRIAN THOMAS

SPARTA, NJ--Runners were greeted by the first frost of the season and with low temps to match, however it did not keep runners and walkers away from the 5th Annual Spirit 5K Run, held October 13.

Many runners celebrated by running in costumes. The event started with opening remarks by Race Director J.R. Giacchi, then a prayer and our national anthem. Mr. Giacchi was pleased with the record crowd of over 400 people.

Local school mascots ran a race after the Kids Fun Run, which had around 40 participants, ages six-and-under. The race was fierce in the mascot race, as the knight lost pieces of her armor sprinting to the finish line.

The 5K race got off to a brisk start with both temperatures and pace. Some of the young runners crowded the start line and took off like the race was a 100 yard dash... The Race Director J.R. Giacchi was quoted, "The spirit cup is something all the schools take a little pride in winning..."

The race was won with a time if 17:52 by 14-year-old Joseph Dragon, a varsity member of the High Point Regional Cross Country Team. I asked how he felt about the course, "The first part of the course was easy with the downhill, then the uphill section in the middle was a challenge; and the last downhill part of the race worked to my advantage..." Joseph also stated he was looking forward to the upcoming races with the cross-country team, where he is currently the top runner.

Sara Disanza, a 17-year-old from Wantage, took the overall female title in the 5K, with a time of 20:08.

The 2nd place over all female with a time of 21:26, and top Masters runner was Catherine Borkowski of Hamburg. A few weeks before, she was the top woman at the Crime Stoppers 5K Race.

The Race Director also added he was not surprised by a 14-year-old winning the race. "We knew Joe was going to run fast and be running with a group from Pope John Paul. And a youngster usually wins the race."

Next year's goals are to have another great day with nice weather and even more participants.