October 25, 2014

Elyria
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Avon’s John Kruszka grabs a top 10 at Rite Aid Marathon

John Kruszka, above, finishes the Rite Aid Marathon in 2:48:12 Sunday in downtown Cleveland. The 34-year-old Avon resident was the top area runner, finishing in 10th place.  RAY RIEDEL/CHRONICLE

John Kruszka, above, finishes the Rite Aid Marathon in 2:48:12 Sunday in downtown Cleveland. The 34-year-old Avon resident was the top area runner, finishing in 10th place. RAY RIEDEL/CHRONICLE

CLEVELAND — John Kruszka and David Hathaway represented Lorain County well at Sunday’s 37th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, both finishing in the top 12.

Kruszka, of Avon, finished 10th overall in a time of two hours, 48 minutes and 12 seconds, while Hathaway, who lives in Elyria, ran a 2:48:53 to take 12th.

The near-perfect weather conditions after back-to-back years of near-record heat at the event was a plus for the field. The temperature for the 7 a.m. start was 45 degrees with low humidity (41 percent) and light winds.

“The wind on the way out (west) was a little tough,” Kruszka, 34, said. “I got stuck for about eight miles running alone, but all in all I like the new course. We had a tailwind coming back. That helped significantly.”

It was the third time in four years Kruszka was the top Lorain County finisher in the men’s category. Last year he was 19th in 2:56:12. He missed the 2012 event but was 16th in 2011 with a time of 2:44:44.

“The first 13 miles were probably still the best,” Kruszka said. “I ran some pretty low 6’s (for mile splits) and went through the halfway mark at 1:22:37. I just couldn’t maintain it the second half.

“It was a difficult day running with people. It seemed like there were more runners last year. I saw only one person after we split away from the half-marathon field around mile 10. I was flying solo trying to catch people. I wanted to run 2:44, but I’ll take 2:48. It’s not bad. It was great conditions today. You can’t ask for anything more.

“The crowds were great. There were so many more people on the course compared to prior years, especially heading out west. You had people the whole way.”

Hathaway, 43, was the No. 3 masters finisher in the field behind Kenya’s Richard Kessio, 40, who took fourth overall in 2:28:14) and Middleburg Heights’ Paul Krupa, 50, who finished eighth in 2:46:06.

“Today was a minute behind my PR (personal record),” said Hathaway, Oberlin High’s track and cross country coach. “I was trying to catch John. I was as close as about 15 seconds. I had him in sight the whole way, but couldn’t close the final gap. I knew he’d be a good one to keep up with. I tried going with the fourth-place woman (Ethiopia’s Serkalem Abrha, 2:48:25) when she went by me at mile No. 24, but I just couldn’t respond.”

Elyria’s Jim Mackert gives the thumbs up sign after completing the marathon in 6:06.18. Mackert, 77, is one of two people to run in all 37 Cleveland marathons.

Elyria’s Jim Mackert gives the thumbs up sign after completing the marathon in 6:06.18. Mackert, 77, is one of two people to run in all 37 Cleveland marathons.

Hathaway was Lorain County’s No. 1 masters runner at the Rite Aid two years ago, finishing 31st overall in 2:57:37.

Hathaway’s career best time is 2:47:15 set at the 2011 Dayton Air Force Marathon.

Elyria’s Jim Mackert, 77, kept his Cleveland marathon streak alive at 37. He is one of only two runners to have competed at all the Cleveland marathons since Revco was the first title sponsor in 1978.

Mackert finished eighth in the 70-and-older category in 6:06:18, within 31 seconds of last year’s time (6:05:49). Training partner Richard Pool, 73, of South Amherst (6:06:09), finished just in front of Mackert. Pool missed last year’s event due to quadruple bypass surgery in December 2012.

“Today was the best weather I could remember for the marathon in a very long time,” Mackert said. “I felt exceptionally good between miles 4-10. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

About 23,000 runners competed in the event, which included Saturday’s 5K race and some children’s races. The numbers in recent years: 2013 (22,000), 2012 (20,000), 2011 (18,269), 2010 (15,918), 2009 (12,400), 2008 (10,400), 2007 (9,077) and 2006 (7,887).

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

Marathon
Male

1. Philp Lagat, KEN,02:12:39; 2. Eliud Too, KEN, 2:13:35; 3. Abebe Mekuruya, KEN, 2:17:07; 4. Richard Kessio, KEN, 2:28:14; 5. Jack Klecker, Charlotte N.C., 2:28:43.

Top locals: 10. John Kruszka, Avon, 2:48:12; 12. David Hathaway, Elyria, 2:48:53.

Top local age group results

15-19: 10. Greg Miller, Avon Lake, 4:02:08; 20-24: 10. Mike Coury, Olmsted Falls, 3:13:48; 30-34: 3. John Kruszka, Avon, 2:48:12; 4. Michael Epp, Westlake, 2:54:28; 40-44: 2. David Hathaway, Elyria, 2:48:53; 45-49: 10. Tim Hugen, Avon, 3:18:30; 55-59: 1. Timothy Welch, Westlake, 3:06:56; 8. Andy Belaska, Sheffield Village, 3:34:52; 70-98: 7. Richard Pool, South Amherst, 6:06:09; 8. Jim Mackert, Elyria, 6:06:18.

Female
1. Sarah Kiptoo, KEN, 2:34:58; 2. Dehininet Jara, KEN, 02:41:14; 3. Carol Smith, Bethesda, Md., 2:45:53; 4. Serkalem Abrha, ETH, 2:48:25; 5. Kir Selert, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2:51:50.

Local age group results
35-39: 8. Carolyn Kuhlman, Westlake, 3:34:12; 40-44: 2. Andrea Hall-Miller, Lorain, 3:25:53; 50-54: 8. Christine Schoenholz, Avon Lake, 3:57:43.

Half-marathon
Male

1. Michael Groholy, North Canton, 1:12:35; 2. Kevin Moore, St. Catharines, Ontario, 1:13:24; 3. Michael Dahmen, North Bloomfield, 1:15:47; 4. Robert Altenburger, West Salem, 1:15:49; 5. Johnny Derov, North Olmsted, 1:16:44.

Local age group results

20-24: 1. Robert Altenburger, West Salem, 01:15:49; 2. Johnny Derov, North Olmsted, 1:16:44. 30-34: 7. Ryan Knight, North Ridgeville, 1:27:23. 50-54: 5. Tom Cullen, Westlake, 1:32:12; 6. Jeff Galvin, Westlake, 1:32:58. 55-59: 6. Rich Oldrieve, Westlake, 1:37:10. 60-64: 4. Thomas Kilcourse, Avon Lake, 1:40:04; 5. Tom Hayes, Avon, 1:42:36; 8. William Hagy, Avon, 1:47:33.

Female
1. Sarah Kiptoo, KEN, 2:34:58; 2. Dehininet Jara, KEN, 2:41:14; 3. Carol Smith, Bethesda, Md., 2:45:53; 4. Serkalem Abrha, ETH, 2:48:25; 5. Kir Selert, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2:51:50; 6. Shanna Ailes Istnick, Kent, 2:57:22.

Local age group results
14 and younger: 5. Mya Welch, Avon, 2:21:37; 6. Emma Beltz, Avon, 2:23:35; 25-29: 5. Katelyn Heun, North Olmsted, 1:32:11; 35-39: 9. Janet Spreen, Westlake, 1:37:37; 40-44: 7. Susan Irwin, Westlake, 1:47:11; 45-49: 7. Sharon Lerch, Avon, 1:47:11; 10. Gayle Piros, North Olmsted, 1:52:20; 50-54: 4. Mary Van Almen, Sheffield Lake, 1:47:39; 55-59: 3. Mary Beth Chambers, Westlake, 1:50:29; 5. Janet Michal, Oberlin, 1:51:58; 7. Janet Karpinski, Amherst, 1:54:29. 60-64: 8. Andrea Peterson, Amherst, 2:26:09.

10K
Male

1. Julius Koskei, KEN, :29:06; 2. Diriba Degrefa, KEN, :29:30; 3. Robert Ndiwa, KEN, :29:38; 4. Patrick Cheptoek, KEN, :29:49; 5. Dereje Deme, ETH, :30:12.

Local age group results

15-19: 3. Marshall Farnsworth, Wellington, :38:59; 8. Bruce Imbacuan, North Ridgeville, :45:54; 20-24: 10. Harrison Petts, Westlake, :47:00; 30-34: 6. Keith Rohr, Westlake, :41:49; 35-39: 9. Dietrich Schelzig, Westlake, :46:40; 40-44: 5. Lou Moore, Westlake, :39:24; 6. Michael Schaefer, Grafton, :40:05; 10. Brian Joyce, North Olmsted, :43:06; 45-49: 1. Tom Fries, Elyria, :40:44; 60-64: 6. Richard Spademan, Avon Lake, :51:23; 65-69: 1. Vern Hartenburg, Westlake, :48:15; 2. Bob Kuebler, Hudson (former Elyria resident), :48:24; 70-98: 3. Dale Sherry, Amherst, :56:42; 8. Franz Pussel, Westlake, 1:08:37.

Female
1. Lilian Mariita, KEN, :33:42; 2. Grace Kahura, KEN, :34:02; 3. Stephanie Pezzullo, Blowing Rock, N.C., :34:05; 4. Jessica Odorcic, Madison, :34:27; 5. Stephanie Bonk, McKeesport, Pa., :34:38.

Local age group results

15-19: 1. Robyn Hageman, Westlake, :45:58; 9. Caroline Dreher, Westlake, :56:23; 20-24: 7. Rebecca Dreher, Westlake, :47:01; 35-39: 5. Nicole Cooper, Avon Lake, :49:50; 45-49: 9. Lisa Macartney, Westlake, :55:06; 50-54: 10. Cathy Colleran, Avon, :56:27; 60-64: 6. Lynette Paine, Amherst, :58:28; 65-69: 2. Pat Habenicht, North Ridgeville, 1:03:24; 70-98: 2. Marilyn Olsen, North Olmsted, 1:21:32.

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