BERWICK – The 103rd running of the nine-mile Run for the Diamonds on Thanksgiving morning proved to be a good day for competitors running for the first time, while last year's male and female winners had to settle for second-place finishes.
Derek Nakluski, a Canadian who ran in college for High Point University in North Carolina, led a field of over 1,700 runners, breaking the tape in 45 minutes and 51 seconds, holding off second-place finisher and last year's champ, C. Fred Joslyn, of East Syracuse, N.Y., who finished 11 seconds behind.
I took the lead, just after the first mile, said Nakluski. I increased my lead on the hill (a 1.6- to 1.7-mile punishing climb that begins just after two miles into the race) to about 75 meters. I was able to fight off (Joslyn) over the last mile en route to the finish with a good, strong kick. I'm excited about the win.
Joslyn said that he went out hard right from the start – a strategy that he thought was the right approach to use for a long distance runner like himself.
Normally, the faster the pace, the better for me, said Joslyn, who ran for State University of New York at Cortland. But (Nakluski) was just too fast for me here today.
Karaleigh Millhouse proved to be too fast for last year's female champ, Katie O'Regan, as well.
Millhouse, of State College, who ran cross country and long distance track for Penn State, won top female honors, breaking the tape in 52:58. O'Regan, who runs for the Keystone Elite Track Club, of Harrisburg, finished a distant second with a 54:25-finishing time.
I came into the race hoping to run as good as I could, said Millhouse. I had never run a 9-miler before – it's an odd distance. So I didn't know just exactly what to expect. This is the longest race I've ever run. The hill was pretty challenging. I just tried to run the hill at my pace -- just tried to keep my turnovers going at a good rhythm. The strategy paid off.
Notes: Millhouse is the Penn State record holder in the 10Krun.
Dickson City's Kevin Borrelli, who ran for Duquesne University, finished fourth in 47:03.
Matt Byrne, of Scranton, who won his third Steamtown Marathon in October, finished fifth, 10 seconds behind Borrelli.
Berwick Marathon Associations's 103rd running of the (9-mile) Run for the Diamonds results
Top six male diamond winners
Derek Nakluski, 30-34, Kitchner, Ontario, Canada, 45:51
C. Fred Joslyn, 25-29, E. Syracuse, N.Y., 46:02
Paul Thistle, 25-29, Wilkes-Barre, 47:00
Kevin Borrelli, 30-34, Dickson City, 47:03
Matt Byrne, 35-39, Scranton, 47:13
Tim Getz, 20-24, 47:25, Lancaster, 47:25
Other male diamond winners:
First local male: Tony Lawson, Berwick, 53:21. First local masters: Doug Alter, Berwick, 1:05:05. First Columbia County finisher: John Zaginhylo, Berwick, 58:39. First Tri County (Columbia, Luzerne, Montour) finisher: Mikhaial Litvinov, Drums, 48:08. First Tri-County High School finisher: Dom Hockenbury, Harveys Lake, 51:40. First High School finisher: Hockenbury. First Berwick High School finisher: Dylan Gearinger, 59:18. Age group winners: 15 & under: Dom Hockenbury, Harveys Lake, 51:40. 16-19: Justin Clarke, Factoryville, 51:06. 20-24: Craig Eppler, Bethlehem, 51:25. 25-29: Mike Dalton, Easton, Md., 51:31. 30-34: Jeff Skwierz, Forty Fort, 52:56. 35-39: Justin Krebs, York, 50:35. 40-44: Sean Robbins, Shavertown, 54:18. 45-49: Pat Singletary, State College, 53:24. 50-54: Tony Korch, Nanticoke, 54:43. 55-59: Budd Coates, Emmaus, 53:03. 60-64: Rich Borsos, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1:01:26. 65-69: Len Sowinski, Scott Twp., 1:06:49. 70-74: Chris Jermyn, ttawa, Ontario, Canada, 1:07:54. 75 & older: None.
Top six female diamond winners
Karaleigh Millhouse, 20-24, State College, 52:58
Katie O'Regan, 25-29, Lebanon, 54:25
Meg Ecker, 20-24, Pittsburgh, 55:01
Carly Shea, Cambridge, Mass, 56:03
Brenae Edwards, 20-24, Hazle Twp., 56:24
Jen Stevens, 30-34, Laceyville, 56:43
Other female diamond winners: First local female finisher: Alexandra Bull, Berwick, 1:00:19. First local masters finisher: Wendy Calarco, Berwick, 1:02:06. First Columbia County finisher: Kelly Fugok, Bloomsburg, 1:10:54. First Tri-County finisher: Brenae Edwards, Hazle Twp., 56:24. First Tri-County High School finisher: Molly Rupert, Shickshinny, 1:05:31. First High School finisher: Treicy Cedeno, Sunbury, 1:03:56. First Berwick High School finisher: Abigail Kemp, Nescopeck, 1:11:52. First Tri-County finisher: Molly Rupert, Shickshinny, 1:05:31.
Age group winners:
15 & under: Treicy Cedeno, Sunbury, 1:03:56. 16-19: Josey Rupert, Shickshinny, 1:01:55. 20-24: Sue Watts, Danville, 1:05:23. 25-29: Jenn Swiderski, Kingston, 1:02:57. 30-34: Lindsey Keller, Benton, 1:02:09. 35-39: Lynn Knothe, Wilmington, Del., 1:01:47. 40-44: Colleen Pak, Virginia Beach, Va., 1:02:53. 45-49: Barb Martin, Lewisburg, 1:07:54. 50-59: Lynda Deboer, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, 1:07:50. 60 & over: Barb Zeske, Hanover Twp., 1:19:10.
Field: 1,711 entered. Timing and results: www.chiptimeresults.com Race director: Margaret Livsey.
For complete results of Thursday's race, go to www.times