Misericordia runners win first leg of ‘Fastest’ series in the rain

By Robert Miner - For Times Leader
Sean Luzzi, 21, of Bethpage, N.Y., wins the second heat for the men during the Susquehanna River Runners Club race at the Misericordia University track in Dallas Township. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
The second heat starts the race for the Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Fastest Man/Woman series at the Misericordia University track in Dallas Township. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Clare Schoen, of Scranton, talks with first place men’s winner Sean Luzzi, after finishing first for the women during the Susquehanna River Runners Club race at Misericordia University in Dallas Township. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

DALLAS TWP. — Two Misericordia University runners — boyfriend and girlfriend — Sean Luzzi and Clare Schoen ran to wins in the Meal Prep Grind Mile on Wednesday night on the track at Misericordia in the rain.

Luzzi, 21, of Beth Page, Long Island, N.Y., crossed the finish line in 4 minutes and 39.72 seconds. Luzzi outran second-place finisher, Kyle Suponcic, 27, of Pringle by nearly 20 seconds.

“I decided to go out hard right from the start and build up a lead,” said Luzzi, who is a grad student at Misericordia. “I managed to build the lead. After that, I settled into a nice even pace and maintained that lead to the finish.”

He won the race in wire-to-wire fashion.

Schoen also won in wire-to-wire fashion, clocking in at 5:09.87. Schoen, who is also 21, from Scranton, outran Marina Martino, 27, of Dallas, by better than a half minute.

“I went out kind of fast right from the start,” said Schoen. “It paid off in the end. I didn’t have to go too hard at the finish.”

Martino won the last five Fastest Woman titles, then under her maiden name Orrson. But she was running easy on Wednesday due to a hip injury. Martino and her husband, John Martino (the couple married in October), both won the Mad River Half Marathon on July 8 in Waitsfield, Vt.

Schoen, who will be a senior at Misericordia this year, represented the Cougars last season at Nationals three times: in cross country at Elisa, Ill.; indoor 5,000 meters in Birmingham, Ala.; and outdoor 10,000 meters in Lacrosse, Wis. Her best finish was 12th in the indoor event.

Luzzi finished second behind Chris McCabe in the Old Fort 5 Miler in Forty Fort on Memorial Day.

Suponcic won the Benjamin August Memorial 3 Mile Run at the Jewish Community Center in April.

The race was the first of three 1-milers that make up the Fastest Man/Woman Series. Runners must run in all three races to compete for the Fastest title. The second 1-miler will be run on the paved track on Church Street in Kingston on Wednesday, Aug. 8. The final race in the series will be the Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Challenge, an uphill tree up the infamous hill on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Luzzi plans on running in all three races. But Schoen may not run in the second or third 1-miler. That means Martino may still have a shot at winning her sixth straight series.

Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Fastest Man/Woman Series (first of three 1-milers)

Race No. 1. Meal Prep Grind Mile on the Track at Misericordia University results

Top 3 male finishers

Sean Luzzi, 21, Beth Page, Long Island, NY, 4:39.72

Kyle Suponcic, 27, Pringle, 4:58.93

Zachary Keiner, 15, Drums, 5:07.73

First male Masters (40 & over) finisher:

Keith Austin, 52, Sweet Valley, 6:03

Top 3 female finishers

Clare Schoen, 21, Scranton, 5:09.87

Marina Martino, 27, Dallas, 5:43.64

Bree Riley, 25, Scranton, 6:19.94

First female masters finisher:

Traci Strungis, 43, Mountain Top, 7:43

Heat No. 1. (Runners who usually run six minutes or over per mile)

First male finisher: Keith Austin, 52, Sweet Valley, 6:03

First female finisher: Bree Riley, 25, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6:19

Heat No.2. (Runners who usually run six minutes or under per mile)

First male finisher: Luzzi

First female finisher: Schoen.

Field: 22.

Official starter, timing and results: Chris Wadas (race director). Registration: Jen Heck and Jill Sosnoski.

Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 2.: 33rd annual Jack Daniels Mile, starting at Tioga St. and Franklin Ave. at 7 p.m. and finishing at Tunkhannock Middle School (Franklin Ave.). Info: Dick Daniels, 570-240-1932.

Sunday, Aug 5: 10th annual Pauly Friedman Family 5K Run/Walk at Anderson Sports & Health Center, Misericordia University at 9 a.m. Info: Dick Daniels, 570-823-5144.

Wednesday, Aug. 8: Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Fastest Man/Woman Series (second of three 1-milers) Race No. 2. SRRC 1-Miler on Paved Track on Church St., Kingston at 7 p.m. Info: Chris Wadas, 570-592-2820.

Saturday, Aug. 18: Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run, starting at Pittston YMCA, Main St. at 10 a.m. and finishing on Main St. near the entrance to the festival grounds. Info: Jay Duffy, 570-574-0463.

Wednesday, Aug. 22: Susquehanna River Runners Fastest Man/Woman Series (final 1-mile race of series): Race No. 3. Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Challenge, starting on Northampton St. Laurel Run at 7 p.m. and finishing 1-mile up the infamous hill. Info: Chris Wadas, 570-592-2820.

Sean Luzzi, 21, of Bethpage, N.Y., wins the second heat for the men during the Susquehanna River Runners Club race at the Misericordia University track in Dallas Township.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072618Runners2-1.jpgSean Luzzi, 21, of Bethpage, N.Y., wins the second heat for the men during the Susquehanna River Runners Club race at the Misericordia University track in Dallas Township. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

The second heat starts the race for the Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Fastest Man/Woman series at the Misericordia University track in Dallas Township.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072618Runners-1.jpgThe second heat starts the race for the Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Fastest Man/Woman series at the Misericordia University track in Dallas Township. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Clare Schoen, of Scranton, talks with first place men’s winner Sean Luzzi, after finishing first for the women during the Susquehanna River Runners Club race at Misericordia University in Dallas Township.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072618Runners3-1.jpgClare Schoen, of Scranton, talks with first place men’s winner Sean Luzzi, after finishing first for the women during the Susquehanna River Runners Club race at Misericordia University in Dallas Township. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

By Robert Miner

For Times Leader