April 17, 2014

Elyria
Mostly clear
37°F
test

Jack St. Marie edges Michael Brajdic in Bay Days 5-miler

BAY VILLAGE — The last time Westlake’s Jack St. Marie and Bay Village’s Michael Brajdic battled during a race was in the 2010-11 high school season.

They then went to different colleges — St. Marie to Virginia and Brajdic to Ohio State.

But the rivalry was re-heated during Thursday’s 39th annual Bay Days 5-miler. It was tight for the first 2 miles before the 21-year-old St. Marie finished with a winning time of 25 minutes, 1.8 seconds — the fastest winning time in four years.

Brajdic, 20, cruised to second in 25:37.4.

Rocky River’s Jocelyn Rood held off Rocky River’s Kristy Hill to win the woman’s title for the second time. The 36-year-old mother of two won the event in 2008 and was the runner-up last year and in 2004. She finished in 30:29.9, while Hill, 33, ran 30:33.2.

The field featured 620 runners, up from 525 last year.

St. Marie and Brajdic opened with mile splits of 5:05 and 4:47 — 9:52 — before the 2011 Westlake grad gained 10 seconds on the three-time state champ from Bay High with a 5:03 third mile.

“I’m just trying to get back on it,” said St. Marie, who red-shirted outdoor track this spring because of a right femur stress fracture. “I hope to have a good fall and help Virginia to win a conference championship. Today was a good opportunity to run against some fast people.”

St. Marie and Brajdic defeated a stellar field, including Padua grad and 2011 runner-up Aaron Apathy, 25 (third, 26:00.3) and three-time defending champ Ken Sullivan, 25 (fourth, 26:04.0), of Rocky River and a former St. Ignatius runner.

“I hadn’t been home since January,” St. Marie said. “I flew in last night at about 2 a.m. I probably could have come back this spring for outdoor track, but I’ll probably be at Virginia for five years anyway. The coach made a good call.”

Brajdic was fourth (26:05.3) and St. Marie eighth (26:39.0) in 2009, the last Bay Days appearance for the two runners.

“Jack was feeling good and ruled. He was having a day for sure,” Brajdic said. “That was awesome. I felt good for him. Jack’s definitely fitter than I am right now so all the props to him.

“I had a good outdoor season this spring. I ran 14:14 for the 5,000 and 3:53 in the 1,500. It was nice to get marks on the board after being injured for so long. I’ve red-shirted three seasons so I still have three seasons of eligibility.”

Rood and Hill also brought excellent resumes to the event. Rood had finished in the top four in five previous Bay Days appearances dating back to 2004. Hill was second in 2010 (32:52.6) and fourth in 2011 (32:42) behind Rood, who finished third that year in 31:24. Hill also did the Bay Days event three times as a high school runner.

For Thursday’s race the two couldn’t have been better matched.

“She motivated me across the finish line,” said Rood, a member of Magnificat’s 1995 state champion cross country team. “I usually don’t have a kick at the end, but I didn’t want to get passed.

“I’ve been putting in more training miles this year and doing a little more work on the track. This event is always on my training calendar. I always want to have a good Bay Days race. It sets the tone for the rest of my season.”

A 1998 Rocky River graduate, Hill was a state track qualifier for the Pirates as a member of the 3,200-meter relay. She missed a stretch of Bay Days races from 2002-09 when she lived in New York City.

“I’m happy. This is a 30-second PR for me,” said Hill, who led the first 3 miles. “She pulled away from me at around mile No. 4 and I tried to catch her in the last mile. I think we had about the same kick speed.”

North Ridgeville’s Steve Benesh and Vince Molosky of Amherst, both 33, were the top Lorain County finishers. Benesh was sixth in 26:59.1 and Molosky eighth in 27:26.3.

“I’m happy to get under 27,” Benesh said. “I usually don’t run well at all in this type of weather. I went out slow intentionally and didn’t try to go with the lead pack. I just gradually tried to pick it up and went hard the last mile. I wish I could have attacked things a little better the fourth mile, but I’m happy.”

“I’ve been doing a lot of longer training runs so my shorter race times are kind of slow,” said Molosky, a seven-year Tallahassee resident and an ultra distance trail runner who typically races distances ranging from 18 to 50 miles. “This weather is typical for me. It’s kind of cooler from where I am. This is always a great race.”

Men

Overall

1. Jack St. Marie, 21 (Westlake), 25:01.8; 2. Michael Brajdic, 20 (Bay Village), 25:37.4; 3. Aaron Apathy, 27 (Westlake), 26:00.3

Age group results

14 and younger: 1. Jake Vehar (Rocky River), 35:30.1; 2. M.J. Manimbo (Bay Village), 35:56.3; 3. Aaron Assas (Avon Lake), 36:50.0. 15-19: 1. Francesco Maiorca (Avon Lake), 27:46.6; 2. Jack Miller (Bay Village), 28:13.0; 3. Tim Villari (Avon Lake), 28:18.0. 20-24: 1. Brajdic; 2. Nick Banks (Bay Village), 26:45.0; 3. Joe Kinkelaar (Bay Village), 27:19.9. 25-29: 1. Apathy; 2. Ken Sullivan (Rocky River), 26:04.0; 3. Henry Goodnough (Cleveland), 28:52.7. 30-34: 1. Steve Benesh (North Ridgeville), 26:59.1; 2. Vince Molosky (Tallahassee, FL), 27:26.3; 3. Michal Orzel (Oberlin), 29:52.4. 35-39: 1. Dave Pandrutt (Lakewood), 29:59.0; 2. Mike Zbiegen (Euclid), 30:01.1; 3. Seth Hothem (Parma), 30:31.1.

Top masters — Mike Ryan, 47 (Strongsville), 28:01.5.

40-44: 1. Mark Durno (Fairview Park), 32:23.3; 2. Mark Murphy, 35:34.3; 3. Keith Erwin (Bay Village), 35:59.4. 45-49: 1. Rob Juergens (Avon Lake), 29:48.2; 2. William Bischoff (Cleveland), 30:49.7; 3. Ted Hagan (Avon), 31:15.9.

Top grand masters — Scott Snyder, 57 (Amherst), 31:25.7.

50-54: 1. Joe Vishey (Cleveland), 33:26.8; 2. Scott Zubricky (North Ridgeville), 33:34.6; 3. Chris Gillespie (Bay Village), 33:45.5. 55-59: 1. Charles Baker (Amherst), 35:49.1; 2. Paul Gigliotti (North Royalton), 36:32.7; 3. Mike Bates (Medina), 38:43.2. 60-64: 1. Randy Barkacs (Elyria), 35:22.1; 2. Gary Daignault, 37:15.6; 3. Phil Kasuric (Cleveland), 38:50.9. 65-69: 1. Dan Bellinger (Wadsworth), 40:03.0. 70 and older: 1. Bob Blum (Lakewood), 36:54.0; 3. Angel Rivera (Lorain), 45:01.1.

Women

Overall

1. Jocelyn Rood, 36 (Rocky River), 30:29.9; 2. Kristy Hill, 33 (Westlake), 30:33.2; 3. Maddie Britton, 17 (Bay Village), 31:27.9

Age group results

14 and younger: 1. Caroline Eifert (Bay Village), 37:15.0; 2. Robyn Hageman (Westlake), 38:07.8; 3. Hillary Mihalik (Avon), 41:11.2. 15-19: 1. Britton; 2. Macey Walker (Avon), 35:26.8; 3. Abbie Marquard (Westlake), 35.27.5. 20-24: 1. Kelly Gallagher (Westlake), 32:54.5; 2. Jessica Zangmeister (Fairview Park), 32:54.6; 3. Heidi Benson (Lakewood), 34:57.1. 25-29: 1. Dianne Fisher (Rocky River), 32:40.0; 2. Alex Miles (Rocky River), 32:54.5; 3. Bryn Heinicke (Charlotte, NC), 33:24.5. 30-34: 1. Hill; 2. Jennifer Petkovsek (Avon), 32:41.3; 3. Sara Laux (Westlake), 34:09.1. 35-39: 1. Katie Diete (Lakewood), 34:36.1; 2. Kara Lade (Bay Village), 36:03.1; 3. Kirsten Millet (Avon), 36:11.0.

Top masters — Sue Ottogalli, 46 (Middleburg Heights), 35:23.6.

40-44: 1. Rachel Carney, 37:28.2; 2. Heather Ransom, 40:15.5; 3. Priscilla Thayer (Westlake), 40:43.7. 45-49: 1. Beth Darmstadter (Berea), 35:35.8; 2. Denine Ryan (Strongsville), 39:13.6; 3. Robin Kane (Avon), 40:42.6.

Top grand masters — Patti Sparks, 50 (Northview), 37:18.9.

50-54: 1. Joanna Brell (Lakewood), 37:58.6; 2. Maureen Scullin (Cleveland), 38:25.2; 3. Julie Ware (Bay Village), 40:24.0. 55-59: 1. Linda Roesch (Marietta), 44:42.2; 2. Nena Moskwa (North Olmsted), 49:17.2; 3. Ann Weatherhead (Cleveland Heights), 49:52.0. 60-64: 1. Melissa Pillari (Bay Village), 46:43.9; 2. Libby White (Westlake), 59:00.2. 65-69: 1. Pati Habenucht (North Ridgeville), 44:49.7; 2. Peggy Wielenberg (University Heights), 56:45.5. 3. Nancy Nieberding, 1:05:55.1. 70 and older: 1. Marilyn Olsen (North Olmsted), 55:10.3.

Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.