With late surge, Toczko chases down his first Jack Daniels Mile title

By Bob Miner - For Times Leader | August 3rd, 2017 11:48 pm

TUNKHANNOCK — Jake Toczko ran to his first victory and Marina Orrson ran to her third win in the Jack Daniels Mile on Thursday evening in the race that kicks off the big bazaar in Tunkhannock.

Toczko’s win was dramatic.

The 19-year-old from Tunkhannock passed Chris Wadas, 35, of Swoyersville, with less than 200 meters to go. And then he held off Wadas — a past winner of the race — who made a valiant attempt at catching the leader.

Toczko crossed the finish line in four minutes and 40.68 seconds, scoring a two hundreds of a second win.

“He passed me as we approached the final turn,” said Wadas, who was recently inducted into the Misericordia University Hall of Fame. “I tried to make a big push to catch him right at the finish. But it was in vain — he had too much of a lead on me.”

Toczko, who is a sophomore at Appalachian State, where he runs track and cross country, was excited about his first win in two attempts at Tunkhannock.

“I knew (Wadas) was behind me,” said Toczko. “But I wasn’t sure just how close. I finished strong right through the finish. I felt good. It was fun. It was a good night for a race.”

Unlike Toczko’s victory. Orrson was basically unchallenged en route to top female honors. She crossed the finish line in 5:08.26. The former Misericordia standout has now won the 1 miler three times in four attempts.

Sadie Bosscher, 15, of Springville, who runs track and cross country at Elk Lake High School, finished second among the females clocking in at 6:27.81. Madi Swanchak, also 15, from Dalton, who runs track and cross country for Lackawanna Trail High School, finished third in 6:29.34.

“I ran almost the same time as I did here last year (less than four seconds slower),” said Orrson. “I’m actually training for the Wine Glass Marathon (Corning, NY) on October 1st. So I’m happy with my time.

“This race is a lot of fun with all the fans lined up along the street,” she said. “I’m sure most of the fans are there just waiting for the parade. But when we run by, they cheer you along. It’s exciting.”

Orrson holds the female course record, 4:58. Hugh Mundy holds the male course record, 4:20. Laurel Park holds the female masters record, 5:17. John Serrao holds the male masters record, 4:24.

Jack Daniels Mile results

Top finishers

Jake Toczko, 19, Tunkhannock, 4:40.68

Chris Wadas, 35, Swoyersville, 4:40.70

Carson Ayers, 21, Tunkhannock, 4:50.88

Top female finishers

Marina Orrson, 26, Shavertown, 5:08.26

Sadie Bosscher, 15, Springville, 6:27.81

Madi Swanchak, 15, Dalton, 6:29.34

Male award winners: Overall: Toczko. Age group winners: 8 & under: Jack Watts. 9-11: Andy Lupinski. 12-15: Alex Patton. 16-19: Connor Helsel. 20-29: Carson Ayers. 30-34: John Martino. 35-39: Chris Wadas. Masters division: 40-44: Adam Edwards. 45-49: Paul Shaffer. 50-59: Ryan Andrews. 60-69: Russ Davis. 70 & over: Deacon Ray Pieretti.

Female award winners: Overall: Orrson. Age group winners: 8 & under: Erin Traver. 9-11: Piper Lukasavage. 12-15: Sadie Bosscher. 16-19: Eliza Bosscher. 20-29: Bridget Vullo. 30-34: Katie Lykon. 35-39: Jill Matthews. Masters division: 40-44: Molly Watts. 45-49: Juill Kaminski. 50-59: Sandra Orrson. 60-69: Joyce Foster.

Field: 270.

Starter: Burt Sharp. Timing and results: Scranton Running Compay. Race director: Dick Daniels.


Sunday: 9th annual Pauly Friedman Family 5K Run/Walk at Anderson Sports & Health Center, Misericordia University, Lake St., Dallas at 9:30 a.m. Info: Amber Loomis, 570-823-5144.

Thursday, Aug. 10: Susquehanna River Runners Club’s 1 Mile Run on paved loop, Church St., Kingston (second leg of Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series) at 7p.m. Info: Chris Wadas, 570-592-2820.

Saturday, Aug. 19: 19th annual Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run , starts at Pittston YMCA, Main St. at 10 a.m. and finishes at the festival grounds, Main St. Info: Jay Duffy, 570-574-0463.

Thursday, Aug. 24: Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Challenge (final 1 miler of the Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series), Northampton St., Laurel Run at 7 p.m. Info: Chris Wadas, 570-592-2820.

Marina Orrson of Shavertown.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_TTL080417jack-RUN2.jpgMarina Orrson of Shavertown. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Jake Toczko wins the men’s 1-mile Jack Daniels race on Thursday in Tunkhannock.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_TTL080417jack-Race1.jpgJake Toczko wins the men’s 1-mile Jack Daniels race on Thursday in Tunkhannock. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Bob Miner

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports