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Week #3 marked the 2nd 5000 meter cross country race of the Summer Sizzler series through the trails of Forest Park in Springfield. Temperatures were a cool 55 degrees F at post time with cloudy skies as 23 runners toed the line. As the starting bell rang clear the field headed off towards the muddy trails from the week’s rain.
Daven Merkt and GSH’s Steve Virgudaula led the field through the opening straight-aways and into the forest. In the end it would be Dave Merkt climbing the finishing hill first in a winning time of 20:17. This was Dave’s first Sizzler victory of the season and third of his career. Steve followed in second place overall in 21:34, as well as sweeping the male Masters (40-49) and Seniors (50-59) division. Top male youth (0-19) went to Cameron Scott in 22:52. Jim Methe’s time of 32:50 won the Veteran’s (60-69) division.
The women’s race victory belonged to GSH’s Julie Carroll with a time of 24:07. Julie’s win marked her first of the season and 5th career win, placing her in a tie for 22nd place on the female Hall of Fame list. Second female and first Master belonged to GSH’s Colleen Cummings in 24:48. Laura Pelczarski’s 26:23 was tops in the Open Division (20-39) and Vicky Quagliaroli was top female Senior division winner in 35:44.
The usual cast of characters answered the call for volunteers, consisting of Brian Goddu, Ed Carroll, Bruce Kurtz and special guest volunteer Billy Carroll. Next Wednesday the series will continue with the 8K road race.