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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Harness Track Mile...and they're off

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Harness Track Mile...and they're off




SARATOGA SPRINGS — The numbers may have been down in some of the categories Monday night at the 4th annual Harness Track Mile, but the competition within the divisions carried the event, hosted at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway.

The event had a record turnout in the mile and half-mile kids races that kicked off the evening sprint races and several contests had photo finishes, but the low numbers turned the elite women’s mile event into a Saratoga Special match race.

Saratoga Springs graduate and current Oregon runner Nicole Blood was the lone entry in the elite women’s mile event, open to any female capable of running a sub-6 minute mile. She turned to someone who would keep her company and give her a good race, who else, but her mother, Jill Buff.

“She was going to run with her age group, but I talked her into it,” Blood said. “She wanted to get back into competitive running anyway.”

The duo was all smiles over the two laps on the hard, curved surface, racing in step for the full mile. As they approached the finish line, the crowd roared its approval of the two former Saratoga residents running shoulder to shoulder to the finish line. When the crossed, it was in step, one blue running shoe, one red…a dead heat.

Blood quickly asserted that Buff was the winner of the race, giving the gold horseshoe trophy to her mom and keeping the silver for her for their five minute, 44 second time.

“I expected to see the same group that was here last year,” Blood said. “It makes it an exciting race. It worked out, putting on a show for everyone.”

The two runners have moved to the West Coast, but returned to Saratoga for part of the summer.

“I like this, I enjoy a fast race,” Buff said. “We do this every year as a family. We may live out there (West Coast) but we’re Saratogians at heart.”

The men’s elite mile provided another photo finish as Columbia graduate and University at Albany freshman runner Aaron Lozier beat out James Medeiros by a step, running the track in 4:41.

“I didn’t know the type of level of field showed,” Lozier said. “I figured I would take it out in the first five steps and then I decided to let him (Medeiros) take it out.”

The two battled during their two laps around, with the Great Dane taking the gold painted horseshoe.

“I heard from friends not to wear spikes,” Lozier said. “So I wore my trainers. It wasn’t easy because the track curves in, but it was a fun race.”

Wilton 12-year-old Brian Halligan earned the first gold horseshoe on the night, leading the pack across the finish line.

“It’s harder than I thought,” Halligan said. “In the first turn my heart was beating a lot. I kept the same pace and at the last turn I took a quick look back and saw he (runner) was still close.”

The different surface didn’t faze the young runner.

“I run around my neighborhood every day,” Halligan said. “So I’m used to it.”

Each runner in the kids run received a participation ribbon and an ice cream coupon.
Tommy Mitchell and Laura Clark earned gold horse shoes for their efforts in the men’s and women’s 60-plus races.

“I was second three years ago,” Mitchell said. “I’m a little older (66), a little better but I didn’t slow as much.”

Clark had to adjust for the short, flatter running surface.

“I’m not a miler, this was hard for me,” Clark said. “I like it cantered, I pretended it was a trail race.”

She admitted being intimidated by the crowd on hand enjoying the bar-b-que and the two-legged racers.

“I tried to get out fast and get the women in front of me that I thought might be fast,” Clark said. “It was hard having people watching me.”

The event, presented by the YMCA of Saratoga, fit right in with the charities mission statement.
“Another great Harness Track Mile, another great family evening,” YMCA of Saratoga CEO Jim Letts said. “This is such a great family event. We had runners from the age of three to over 75. That is what the ‘Y’ is all about.”


YMCA OF SARATOGA
4TH ANNUAL HARNESS TRACK MILE
MEN’S OPEN ELITE MILE

1. Aaron Lozier 4:41. 2. James Medeiros 4:42. 3. Anthony Giuliano 4:46. 4. Tyler Welsh 4:51. 5. Buddy Nolan 4:58. 6. Kevin Mulcahy 4:59
WOMEN’S OPEN ELITE MILE
1. Jill Buff 5:44. 2. Nicole Blood 5:44
MEN 13-17
1. Devin Bennett 5:14. 2. Greg Coleman 5:16. 3. Kyle Wegner 5:23. 4. Matthew Rocco 5:28. 5. Brian Dixon 5:40. 6. Ethan Miller 5:53. 7. John Gamino 6:11. 8. Jonah Williams 6:13. 9. Benjamin Spingarn 6:51. 10. Alger Gavin 7:30. 11. Ryan Cannon 7:55
WOMEN 13-17
1. Moira Hilt 6:02. 2. Chloe Williams 6:34. 3. Kayleigh Lavender 6:48
MEN 18-24
1. Shaun Donegan 5:02. 2. Michael Stabinski 5:08. 3. Michael Campbell 5:14. 4. Michael Winstein 5:28
WOMEN 18-24
1. Justine Mosher 5:49. 2. Ashley Brennan 6:02. 3. Neleigh Olson 6:52.4. Shannon Connors 7:08. 5. Jennifer Hawkes 7:59.
MEN 25-29
1. Jason Hewitt 4:57. 2. Matthew Fryer 5:12. 3. Chris Mancuso 5:17. 4. Matthew VanSlyke 5:39. 5. Matthew Flannery 6:24
WOMEN 25-29
1. Sandy Tatarynw 6:48. 2. Suzanne Johnson 7:23. 3. Sarah Flannery 7:37. 4. Ariel Epstein-Dickson 7:57
MEN 30-34
1. Kenneth Sluti 5:27. 2. Mike Schmidt 5:35. 3. Charles Petraske 5:50. 4. Scott Starr 6:16. 5. Shane Kilburn 6:45. 6. Stephen Cupp 6:54. 7. Ryan Buff 7:39
WOMEN 30-34
1. Shannon Hansen 6:24. 2. Jesse Albert 6:46. 3. Paula canell 7:15. 4. Joanna Adamczak 7:35. 5. Amanda Farrell 8:42
MEN 35-39
1. Walter Boldish 5:22. 2. David Shumpert 5:36. 3. Marc Miller 5:37. 4. Anthony Cavotta 5:45. 5. Gary Damico 5:51. 6. Jerry Buff, Jr. 6:20. 7. David Martin 6:21. 8. Keith O’Brien 6:25. 9. Matt Vaughn 6:29. 10. Chris LaFlamml 7:39
WOMEN 35-39
1. Carla Bengle 6:18. 2. Pamela Delsignore 6:27. 3. Renee Damico 6:37. 4. Kim Scott 6:51. 5. Laura Goodwin 7:57. 6. Leona Valazquez 7:57. 7. Heather Vaughn 8:17. 8. Christine Wright 8:28. 9. Kristen Jensen 9:22
MEN 40-44
1. James North 5:20. 2. Patrick Connors 5:59. 3. Mark Nadolny 6:00. 4. Robert Blunt 6:14. 5. Darrel Rikert 6:17. 6. Alan Blond 6:20. 7. Richard Newman 7:00. 8. Scott Fitchett 7:14
WOMEN 40-44
1. Amy Knoeller 5:52. 2. Jacqueline Schiffer 6:02. 3. Teresa Alger 6:08. 4. Sandra Reulet 6:10. 5. Marilyn Laliberte 6:38. 6. Kathleen O’Connor 7:11. 7. Kim Wegner 7:48
MEN 45-49
1. Derrick Staley 5:07. 2. John Couch 5:21. 3. Adam Newman 5:36. 4. Keith Meyer 6:06. 5. Jeff Tabbert 6:08. 6. James Kilduff 6:20. 7. Ray Gimino 6:30. 8. Ron Metzger 6:34. 9. James McElroy 6:45. 10. Keith Dixon 7:02. 11. Ken Williams 7:10. 12. Robert Mains 7:44
WOMEN 45-49
1. Shirley Geerling 6:20. 2. Linda Dalton 7:15. 3. Lisa Biss 7:30. 4. Linda Metzger 8:01. 5. Donna Charlebois 8:05
MEN 50-54
1. Paul Salerni 5:51. 2. Cole Hickland 5:57. 3. Raymond Lewis 6:11. 4. Ron Pavoldi 6:33. 5. Lee Hilt 6:50. 6. David Spingarn 7:33. 7. Edward Kercado 7:49
WOMEN 50-54
1. Susan Polmateer 8:19. 2. Ginny Statelman 8:41. 3. Rebecca Kercado 10:27
MEN 55-59
1. George McGowan 6:18
2. Frank Wittman 6:55. 3. Brian McGovern 7:20. 4. Lorin Spiegel 8:17
WOMEN 55-59
1. Laney Lutzker 7:11. 2. Linda Plante 10:03. 3. Eileen Hutson 15:03. 4. Joy Yahak 15:04
MEN 60-PLUS
1. Stephen Mitchell 6:37. 2. Tony Cupaiulol 6:51. 3. Gove Effinger 6:59. 4. Peter Hettrich 7:20. 5. Edward Lamby 7:37. 6. Walt McConnell 8:21. 7. Dennis Brunelle 10:57
WOMEN 60-PLUS
1. Laura Clark 8:07. 2. Kathy Hoffman 8:45. 3. Becky Kotler 9:00. 4. Cathy Biss 9:31. 5. Susan Fassett 10:27

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