Smith, Rome Win Famed Race: Run For The Diamonds Sparkles Amid Pandemic

by Clay Shaw

BERWICK, PA, NOVEMBER 26, 2020—It was a different vibe in 2020, with the pandemic shutting down many big running events. The Berwick Marathon Association implemented some changes to the format for the Thanksgiving Day  nine-mile Run for the Diamonds. The first two waves were the top 200 men, and the second were the top 200 women.  In order to be eligible for the diamond awards, one had to be in either of the first two (of five) start groups.  The finish line was set up with nearly the entire length of Market Street.  In years past, runners will remember the narrow gauntlet of spectators. In the social distancing year of 2020, this was not possible.  A warmish (for November), morning made the outdoor packet pick-up and the brief awards a non-issue.

A large group of front-running men ran together to the bottom of the infamous Summerhill climb.  Dylan Gearinger of Berwick took the lead for much of the uphill.  Matt Gillette, a four-time champ made a surge and took over the lead for much of the mid-race miles.  Simon Smith of Towanda, PA caught up to Gillette around mile 5.  The two ran together until around mile 8, when Smith threw in a surge that Gillette did not match.  Smith won in 45:20.  Gillette was second in 45:43.  Dominic Hockenbury of Harvey’s Lake, PA was third in 46:13.  Daniel Schaffer of Endicott, NY was fourth in 46:16.  Alex Price of Bethlehem was fifth in 46:16.  Dylan Gearinger of Berwick was sixth in 46:42 and set a new Berwick record.  Casey Ellis of Towanda, PA took the seventh and the final diamond in 46:46.  Brock Butler of Chester Springs, PA took the “40” diamond in 49:50 and was 14th overall.  Nathan Hangey of Quakertown, PA won the “50” diamond in 56:14.  Bob Reynolds of Wyndmoor, PA took the “60” diamond in 59:55 as he passed 2019 “60” champ Greg Cauller near the cemetery on the home stretch.

The top women started in their own wave, five minutes after the first wave.  They had the disadvantage of having to race through the back of the Wave 1 men. 

Regan Rome of Dallas, PA was the top woman finisher in 53:11.  Zoe Matherne of Camp Hill, the 2018 champion, was second in 54:46.  Marino Martino of Dallas, PA, the 2019 champion, was third in 54:48. Rosie Mascoli of Philadelphia was fourth in 55:32.  Sierra Castaneda of Hackettstown, NJ was fifth in 55:56.  Sayard Tanis of Jersey Shore, PA was sixth in 56:02.  Clare Schoen of Scranton took the final and seventh place diamond in 56:41.  Christy Peterson of Lansdale, PA was ninth overall and the “40” diamond winner in 57:47.  Tanya Navarro of Seven Valleys, PA was the “50” winner in 1:07:08, Tanya was the 2016 York Marathon winner.  Kate Fisher of Watsontown, PA was the “60” champ in 1:11:08.

623 finished in 2020, as a lot of runners opted for the virtual option in lieu of the live event.  Congrats to the Berwick Marathon Committee for staging the live event in this difficult year.

Top Women

  1. 53:11 Regan Rome, 24, Dallas, PA
  2. 54:46 Zoe Matherne, 24, Camp Hill, PA
  3. 54:48 Marina Martino, 29, Dallas, PA
  4. 55:32 Rosie Mascoli, 29, Philadelphia, PA
  5. 55:56 Sierra Castaneda, 22, Hackettstown, NJ
  6. 56:02 Sayard Tanis, 38, Jersey Shore, PA
  7. 56:41 Clare Schoen, 23, Scranton, PA
  8. 57:41 Corinne Fitzgerald, 29, New York, NY
  9. 57:47 Christy Peterson, 47, Lansdale, PA
  10. 58:05 Erin Jaffke, 28, Watertown, MA
  11. 58:11 Sarah Briggs, 31, Montrose, PA
  12. 58:37 Katie O’Regan, 35, Lititz, PA
  13. 59:54 Katie Sick, 29, Millville, PA
  14. 1:00:43 Cera Gaston, 21, Lehighton, PA
  15. 1:01:16 Alison Schwalm, 42. Line Lexington, PA
  16. 1:01:22 Eryn Milius, 35, Dallas, PA
  17. 1:02:38 Samantha Snead, 32, Blakely, PA
  18. 1:02:55 Shelby Foster, 27, Conshohocken, PA
  19. 1:03:36 Anna Weissenberg, 19, Shelton, CT
  20. 1:03:38 Kelsey Gaston, 17, Lehighton, PA

Top Men

  1. 45:20 Simon Smith, 24, Towanda, PA
  2. 45:43 Matt Gillette, 29, Allentown, PA
  3. 46:13 Dominic Hockenberry, 23, Harveys Lake, PA
  4. 46:16 Daniel Schaffer, 22, Endicott, NY
  5. 46:37 Alex Price, 27, Bethlehem, PA
  6. 46:42 Dylan Gearinger, 23, Berwick, PA
  7. 46:46 Casey Ellis, 21, Towanda, PA
  8. 46:52 Christopher Mullin, 26, Philadelphia, PA
  9. 46:59 Chris McCabe, 31, Mechanicsburg, PA
  10. 47:42 Ryan Mahalsky, 27, Center Valley, PA
  11. 48:30 David Haines, 21, Moscow, PA
  12. 48:46 Ethan Fadale, 23, Philadelphia, PA
  13. 49:09 Matthew Martino, 27, Hanover, PA
  14. 49:50 Brock Butler, 43, Chester Springs, PA
  15. 49:57 Ethan Hageman, 21, Greenville, NC
  16. 50:00 Kevin Haas, 19, Auburn, PA
  17. 50:08 Christopher Wadas, 38, Kingston, PA
  18. 50:11 Brody Beiler, 23, Mechanicsburg, PA
  19. 50:40 Andrew Healey, 18, Scranton, PA
  20. 50:42 Jacob Mavretic, 19, Millersburg, PA
Regan Rome of Dallas, PA wins the 2020 Run For The Diamonds in 53:11.
Simon Smith of Towanda, PA wins the 2020 Run For The Diamonds 9 Mile Race in Berwick in 45:20.
111th Run For The Diamonds lead men’s pack. Alex Price #2, Dominic Hockenberry #93, Casey Ellis #22, Dylan Gearinger #10, Simon Smith #84, and Matt Gillette (yellow singlet)
Diamonds race fans on the course, thinner this year than during non-pandemic years.
Dylan Gearinger #10 in the lead on the hill. Matt Gillette #7 and Dominic Hockenberry #93 keep pace as the pack thins out. Gearinger would set a new Berwick resident record of 46:42 and place sixth.
Dylan Gearinger #10 and Matt Gillette #7 share the lead on the high point of the Diamonds course.
Matt Gillette takes over the lead around mile 4. Simon Smith and Dominic Hockenberry give chase.
Simon Smith of Towanda, PA makes the decisive move toward victory with about a mile to go.
Dominic Hockenberry of Harvey’s Lake, PA takes third in 46:13.
Casey Ellis of Towanda, PA earns the final men’s ring and finishes seventh in 46:46.
Brock Butler of Chester Springs, PA was 14th in 49:50 and won the 40-49 diamond.
Daniel Danlovitz (age 14) of Mossic, PA finishes in 51:37 in 24th place. Former champ Fred Joslyn of Boiling Springs, PA races with him.
Zoe Matherne of Camp Hill, the 2018 champ, finishes second in 54:46.
Sierra Castaneda of Hackettstown, NJ finishes fifth in 55:56. Bob Reynolds #159 of Wyndmoor, PA wins the 60 plus diamond in 59:55. The women started about five minutes later per pandemic start rules.
Corinne Fitzgerald of New York, NY placed eighth in 57:41.
Christy Peterson of Lansdale, PA won the 40-49 diamond and placed ninth in 57:47.
Sarah Briggs of Montrose, PA races to the finish. She placed 11th in 58:11.
Samantha Snead of Blakely, PA places 17th in 1:02:38.
Josey Rupert of Shickshinny, PA places 24th in 1:04:16.
Alexis Stephens of Cooperstown, NY, sporting a Brave Like Gabe top, sprints to the finish just ahead of Olivia Lumia of Dallas, PA.
Isabella Navarro of Seven Valleys, PA ran her first Diamonds Run. Her mom Tanya won the 50-59 diamond. They’ll be back in 2021.
Tom Carter, 68, of Johnson City, NY did a 1:18:51 pushing a walker; that’s an 8:46 pace! Carter won several diamonds as a younger man and was the 1976 winner.
Kathy Keller of Berwick racing in Thanksgiving colors.
Trio of Run For The Diamonds runners made their own shirts for 2020.
Bill Bull completes his 47th Run For The Diamonds under the watchful eye of his wife Bev. The Bull’s are part of the Berwick Marathon Association who made this great event happen in the uncertain times of 2020.

Categories: Race Coverage

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