Defilippis and Kelly Capture Spring Lake Five

BY WAYNE BAKER

SPRING LAKE, NJ-The Jersey Shore running community's annual kickoff of the summer running season was notable both for the quality performances and the strong presence of local athletes. Limited to 9000 entrants, entries closed out during March, a quality field toed the line early Saturday morning of Memorial Day Weekend.

Appearing to run comfortably throughout the race, Scott Defilippis, of Tinton Falls, established himself as a force in the regional racing scene. A pack of three runners opened up a small gap on the rest of the leaders shortly after the one-mile mark. About two miles in, Defilippis began to break away, quickly putting twenty yards on the other racers and gradually building his lead to about 200 yards by his finish in 24:50. Second was earned by Patrick Hennigan, of San Diego, in 25:33, the only non-regional runner among the leaders. Rob Zand, of Belmar, took third in 25:46.

On the women's side, Alicia Kelly, of Spring Lake, again captured first, this time in 29:08. Tiny, eleven year-old Briana Jackucewicz, of Allaire, captured second in 29:30. Third was taken by Dorian Meyer, of Locust, in 29:33.

Weather at race time, though cooler than usual, was a bit warm for the runners¾in the upper 60s, with a strong breeze from the north. This meant that the first mile and the finish were into the wind. The course had been slightly modified this year, adding Spring Lake's third lake to the course beyond the 4-mile point. As usual, local fire companies were spraying water to cool the passing field.

Nearly 4200 men and 3200 women completed the course. One young man who did not finish the race had other things on his mind. Howard Lesnik, of Livingston, left the race shortly after it began. His plan was to meet his girlfriend, Keri Dennis, of Manhattan, at the finish to propose. With flowers and ring in hand, Howard met Keri just after she picked up her finisher's medal. An astonished Keri accepted the proposal.

Scott Defilippis is not the first in his family to make a mark on the local running scene. His older brother, Rob, took fifth place in 25:58, and his sister-in law (Rob's wife) Christy, took sixteenth in 31:38.

Men's Top 25 Finishers

1.Scott Defilippis 24:50
2.Patrick Hennigan 25:33
3.Rob Zand 25:46
4.Anthony Debenedictis 25:58
5.Rob Defilippis 25:58
6.Borck Butler 26:16
7.Elias De Oliveira 26:20
8.Nick Albanito 26:29
9.Rich Byrne 26:36
10.David Demonico 26:39
11.Hans Parrado 26:45
12.Gary Cohen 26:51
13.Michael Keohane 26:57
14.Bob Mateicka 27:15
15.Michael Aiken 27:18
16.Gene Mitchell 27:22
17.Mike Cose 27:37
18.Jon Smolgnski 27:43
19.Christopher Chiaro 27:52
20.Eric Boucher 27:54
21.Kevin Ellis 27:57
22.Gary Hans 28:00
23.Michael O'Connor 28:00
24.Rick Pingitore 28:00
25.Ken Shatzer 28:03

Women's Top 25 Finishers

1.Alicia Kelly 29:08
2.Briana Jackucewicz 29:30
3.Dorian Meyer 29:33
4.Jennifer Flint 29:37
5.Noel Whitall 29:49
6.Patty Andersen-Parrado 30:20
7.Megan Phillips 30:22
8.Lauren Saul 30:36
9.Amanda Mitchell 30:38
10.Anne Britt 30:52
11.Lauren Rhatigan 31:08
12.Beth O Connor Chernalis 31:10
13.Christine Gentile 31:18
14.Bernadette Taylor 31:26
15.Moncia Episcopo 31:26
16.Christy Defilippis 31:38
17.Jean Clifton 32:10
18.Linda Cooper 32:17
19.Tara Ricciuto 32:31
20.Dawn Hausman 32:32
21.Becky Johnson 32:42
22.Erika Nutter 32:44
23.Nicole Strand 32:51
24. Mary Jane Gilligan 32:54
25.Catherine Lynch 32:55