KINGSTON — Sean Luzzi took a commanding lead in the Valley’s Fastest Series and Marina Martino moved in front in the women’s division after scoring wins in the SRRC 1-miler on the Paved Loop at Church Steet Park on Wednesday evening.
Luzzi, 21, of Bethpage, N.Y., finished the 1-miler in 4 minutes, 34.86 seconds. Kyle Suponcic, 27, of Pringle, finished second in 4:51. Zach Keiner, 15, of Drums, finished third in 4:58.10.
Those three runners are the leaders after the first two 1-mile races in the series. The third and final 1-miler is the Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Challenge — which features a 22 percent upgrade over at least one-third of the course — at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22.
“It went well,” said Luzzi, who is a grad student at Misericordia. “It was a lot of fun. This was my first 1-miler on a paved surface. So it was good — different. Now I’m looking forward to running the Giants Despair hill. It’s going to be challenging. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Martino, 27, of Dallas, moved in front in the women’s division with her 5:41 finish. She actually finished second in the first 1-miler on the track at Misericordia on July 25 behind Clare Schoen, 21, of Scranton. But Schoen didn’t run on Wednesday. And runners must run in all three races to be eligible to win Valley’s Fastest honors.
“I’m happy with my performance,” said Martino, who won Valley’s Fastest Woman honors over the last five years but has been suffering with a hip injury of late. “I felt better today than I did in the first race. I was feeling pressured by Eryn Milius (second-place finisher in 5:44.83) here tonight. She was running right behind me throughout the race. She ran an amazing race.
“Now I’m looking forward to running up the big hill. It’s a trip up to Hell. You’re running up, but you feel like you’re running down to Hell.
Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series
Race No. 2. SRRC 1-Mile Run on the Paved Track at Church Street Park, Kingston
(Second of three 1-milers in the series) results
Top 3 finishers (elite heat)
Sean Luzzi, 21, Beth Page, Long Island, NY, 4:34.18
Kyle Suponcic, 27, Pringle, 4:51.44
Zach Keiner, 15, Drums, 4:58.10
Top 2 females
Marina Martino, 27, Dallas, 5:41
Eryn Milius, 33, Dallas, 5:44.83
Male masters winner: Tony Korch, 58, Nanticoke, 5:52.11
Female masters winner: Jacquelyn Comerford, 45, Scranton, 7:17.
Korch was the overall winner of the first heat which featured runners who usually finish a 1-miler in six minutes plus.
Jill Sosnoski, 38, of Ashley was the first female finisher in the first heat, clocking in at 4:34.86.
Standings after the first two 1-milers
Top 3 males
Race No. 1. Meal Prep Grind Mile on the track at Misericordia University: 4:39.72; Race No. 2. SRRC 1-miler on the Paved Loop at Church Street Park, Kingston: 4:34.86.
Male masters leader: Keith Austin, 52, Sweet Valley: 6:03, 6:06.78
Female masters leader: Traci Strungis, 49, Mountain Top, 7:43, 7:36.53
Starter: Jeff Swierz. Registration: Jen Heck and Jill Sosnoski. Timing and results: Susquehanna River Runners Club. Race director: Chris Wadas.
Saturday, Aug. 18: Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run, starting at Pittston YMCA, Main St. at 10 a.m. and finishing near entrance to festival grounds, Main St. Info: Jay Duffy, 570-574-0463.
Wednesday, Aug. 22: Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series: Race No. 3. Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Challenge (third and final 1-miler of the series), Northampton St., Laurel Run at 7 p.m. Info: Chris Wadas, 570-592-2820.
Saturday, Sept. 1: Wyoming Valley Striders 44th annual Cliff Robbins Sr. Memorial High School Invitational Cross Country Races at Letterkenny Fields, just off 42nd St., Dallas Twp. at 10 a.m. Info: Don Grose, 570-239-5792 or Karen Moskel, 570-406-4029.
Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports