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The Summer Sizzler series continued tonight with race #16, an 8,000 meter run through the park and surrounding communities. 33 runners lined up under partly cloudy skies and a slight breeze to take the edge off the 85F starting temperature. After some words of encouragement Brian Goddu clanged the opening bell and the field was off.
There was a large group of teenagers leading the field to the rose gardens and eventually exiting the park onto Trafton Road. After battling through the streets of Springfield and Longmeadow it would be Liam Garvey emerging from behind the ice cream shack with Scott Besser following closely behind. Liam was able to hold his position and cross the finish line in 30:03 to claim his first ever Summer Sizzler victory. His name will forever be etched in the Summer Sizzler Hall of Fame. Liam also claimed top honors in the Youth (0-19) division. Scott crossed the line 30:13 for second place overall with Freddy Garcia grabbing the final podium spot with a time of 31:15. Ag3 group winners for the men’s field were Mark Barile, taking the Open Division (2-39) in 36:27, Masters (40-49) was won by SS’s Dominic Wilson in 35:13, GSH’s Richard Clark’s 34:31 was good for first Senior (50-59) and GSH’s Seth Roberts claimed top Veteran (60-69) with a time of 38:41.
The women’s division also had a first time winner as Marissa Lapointe crossed the finish line in 35:39 for the women’s victory, top Open Division, and a coveted spot in the Summer Sizzler Hall of Fame. Second female and top Master belonged to Janet Aronson with a time of 37:17 and SMAC’s Leeann Cerpovicz finished in 39:55 to take the final female podium position as well as top Senior. Rounding out the Age Groups were GSH’s Catherine Merton in the Youth division in 45:11 and GSH’s Elaine Dill taking top Veteran with a time of 45:24.
Richard Clark was the time prediction winner, finishing just 1 second off his time prediction.
Volunteers for the race were Brian Goddu, Bruce Kurtz, Brian McCarthy, Ed Carroll, Pete Stasz and Mike Lescarbeau. Thanks to all the runners and volunteers making this race possible. Next week we return to the fabled 5K XC course for race 17 out of 19. Only three weeks remain, so if you’ve been waiting all season to enter a race the time has come!
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