ELYRIA — Victory tasted better than any Thanksgiving dish for Amherst’s Vince Molosky and Katie Kay of Fairview Park at Thursday’s 44th annual Penton Memorial 10K Turkey Trot.
Molosky and Kay finished second the last two years at the Penton. Molosky never won in eight previous appearances since 2002.
Both runners finally broke the ice on an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving morning in a field of 295 runners at Lorain County Community College.
A 1998 Amherst High graduate, Molosky won in a course-best time of 36:35 as he outdistanced Elyria’s Ray Armstrong Jr., 27 (36:54) by 19 seconds. Kay, 30, who ran only 47:13 last year under extremely muddy conditions, tore up the course with a time of 42:05.
“It’s like the holy grail of my races,” said Molosky, 33, a six-year resident of Tallahassee, Fla. “It just really came together. You can’t plan for something like this. It’s good. I’ll take it.”
Last year, Molosky (36:44) was second to Amherst’s Zak Wilburn (35:57) with Armstrong third (37:06). Wilburn (38:42) outkicked Molosky (38:49) in the last 120 meters to win it in 2010.
“You get Zak out of here and it helps all of us out,” Molosky joked. “It’s a long time coming. I’m excited about this. It’s kind of cheap not having Zak here but, hey, I’ll take it.”
Molosky wore racing spikes this year. Two years ago, when he didn’t, he almost wiped out coming down Mount Washka on the opening loop of the race.
“Ray was right behind me for about 4-5 miles and then suddenly dropped off,” Molosky said. “I knew I wasn’t totally in the clear. Coming back off the last hill (Mount Washka, with just over a half-mile to go) I didn’t see him and felt OK. He never was even with me, but came within about 20 feet. I could hear him and hear him breathing.”
An experienced ultra-distance trail runner, Molosky comes off another very successful year. He typically competes in trail races of distances ranging from 18 to 50 miles. A season highlight for Molosky was when he broke 10 hours for a 50-mile trail race at Buena Vista, Colo., in May. He’s competed in 30-40 ultra-distance trail races in the last five years.
“I caught a cramp in the last 2 miles,” said Armstrong, a 2003 Elyria High graduate. “I was within 3-5 seconds at the turnaround. I didn’t prepare as well as I should have. I probably had too much Powerade yesterday. I should have probably watered it down a bit, but it happens.”
Course conditions were considerably improved from a year ago, when heavy rains pounded the course throughout the fall season, leaving many large puddles of standing water on the north edge of the course.
Kay toed the start line in great shape. She came off a stellar second-place finish in September at the Dayton Air Force Marathon with a time of 3:05, a personal-record time by 15 minutes.
“I’m training for the Boston Marathon in April,” said Kay (nee Biscotti), a 2001 Fairview graduate and mother of three. “I ran a lot faster today, but the course was a lot better. I started training more consistently again three years ago after my third child was born. It’s starting to catch up with me now. I’m feeling good. I ran on this course in high school and I love it. I’m going to keep coming back.”
Amherst senior Cassie Vince, 18, was second (43:30), Lakewood native Rachel Zubricky, the 2010 winner, was third (45:28), Avon’s Kirsten Millet, 37 (46:28) was fourth and Open Door junior Gabrielle Neubauer, 17 (46:34) rounded out the top five.
On the men’s side, Lorain’s Dave Leonard, 33, (38:07), Bay Village’s Mike McKenna, 45, and Sheffield Lake’s Creighton Jensen, 15 (40:22) finished third-fifth, respectively.
Leonard’s reason for racing was a bit different, albeit humorous.
“I’m not in shape,” said Leonard, an Amherst High math teacher. “It’s a great local race and I didn’t feel like going downtown. When I’m seriously in shape I don’t like to do grass because it’s slower. I haven’t raced here since districts my senior year in high school (1996-97). I came in second running for Midpark behind Mickey Martin of St. Ignatius.”
Three local runners extended their race streak appearances: Elyria’s Jim Mackert (38), Avon’s Dave Wendell (34) and Amherst’s Scott Snyder (33 straight, 40th overall).
The race turnout was the largest for the event in 14 years. The LCCC event is one of the most renowned Thanksgiving Day races in Northeast Ohio.
OVERALL: Vince Molosky, 33 (Tallahassee, Fla.), 36:35: Ray Armstrong Jr., 27 (Elyria), 36:54; Dave Leonard, 33 (Lorain), 38:07; Mike McKenna, 45 (Bay Village), 38:12; Creighton Jensen, 15 (Sheffield Lake), 40:22.
Age group results
13 and younger: Anthony Ross, 54:24; Owen Beer, 56:09; Simon Corrigan, 10:5:35. 14-18: Jake Chizmar, 42:41; Blake Benyard, 43:11; Dave Terschak, 44:51. 19-24: Will Powell, 40:40; J.J. Mihalic, 40:46; Ryan Kaya, 43:12. 25-29: Eric Lam, 44:36; Tom Habenicht, 45:38; Danny Peterson, 46:31. 30-34: Jim Sosinski, 40:52; Phil Hock, 41:17; Mike Callahan, 44:26. 35-39: Aaron Henely, 42:00; Ellis Dotson, 43:54; Mike Deremiah, 44:27. 40-44: Mike Schaefer, 45:23; Dave Binder, 48:36; Kevin Landis, 49:14. 45-49: Jerry Chizmar, 44:36; Terry Kemp, 44:47; Chuck Kiser, 45:25. 50-54: Scott Zubricky, 42:11; Andy Hill, 43:25; Walter Orwn, 44:43. 55-59: Scott Snyder, 42:45; Rick Ventura, 43:11; Steve Babson, 46:23. 60-64: Dave Wendell, 44:53; Randy Barkacs, 48:08. Dave Alpine, 51:21. 65-69: Jack Secrist, 1:02:54; Paul Kuebler, 1:15:15. 70 and older: Ralph O’Neal, 1:07:02; Jim Mackert, 1:08:03; Bob Beer, 1:11:23.
OVERALL: Katie Kay, 30 (Fairview Park), 42:05; Cassie Vince, 18 (Amherst), 43:30; Rachel Zubricky, 28 (Champaign, Ill.), 45:28; Kirsten Millet, 37 (Avon), 46:28; Gabrielle Neubauer, 17 (Elyria), 46:34.
Age group results
13 and younger: Kate Anderson, 1:00:07; Grace Henely, 1:19:27. 14-18: Nina Hill, 47:56; Michelle Carandang, 52:35. 19-24: Hannah Cook, 47:54; Tealla Scrofano, 50:03; Gabi Patarini, 51:02. 25-29: Kasey Lasko, 54:30; Meghan Kuebler, 58:11; Erica Drost. 30-34: Jen Petkovsek, 47:47; Lisa Belcher, 52:15; Elizabeth Rowland, 52:39. 35-39: Elizabeth Poore, 48:41; Liz Wetter, 48:51; Krissy Minteer, 53:21. 40-44: Laura Ward, 58:13; Angela Herst, 1:01:27; Maureen Johnson. 45-49: Denine Ryan, 52:42; Anna Callahan, 57:10; Susan Work. 50-54: Athena Scrofano, 53:11; Joanne Collins, 57:25; Amy Powell. 55-59: Cookie O’Neal, 50:27; Karen Forbus, 1:09:45; Kathy Norrod, 1:28:25. 60-64: None. 65-69: Fran Kennedy. 70 and older: None.
Youngest Turkey: Grace Henely, 7. Oldest Turkey: Leo Lightner, 84. Longest migration: Guan Yoe Goo (Beijing, China). Last Turkey into the Barn: Justin Bowles.
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.