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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

TRI-VALLEY’S HEATHER Iatauro opens a lead in the early stages of Friday’s OCIAA girls’ cross country championship race on her way to a first place finish.

Iatauro Runs Her
Way to Victory

By Rob Potter
BEAR MOUNTAIN — October 30, 2001 – Heather Iatauro began near the front of the OCIAA Cross Country Championship girls’ race Friday at Bear Mountain State Park.
And she finished in front.
The Tri-Valley sophomore ran the three-mile course in 17:55 to capture the girls’ OCIAA title. Iatauro crossed the line 15 seconds ahead of the second place runner, Alexandra Brown of Kingston.
Although she said that she “likes it a little hotter” when she runs, the cold conditions and occasional wind did not affect her.
Once she grabbed the lead early in the race, Iatauro was concentrating on one thing in particular.
“I was thinking about attacking the hill,” Iatauro said. “I said to myself ‘I’ve got to run the hill.’”
As she did with the rest of the course, Iatauro handled the hill well. Her time of 17:55 was nine seconds faster than her winning time in last year’s championship meet.
“It was a good race,” she said. “I wanted to break 17:50, but 17:55 is good. I’m happy with my race.”
Iatuaro will return to Bear Mountain this Friday for the Section IX Championship Meet. Joining her will be Sullivan West’s Jamie Clifford, who finished 13th with a time of 19:24. (The top 25 individual runners in the boys’ and girls’ races qualfied for the sectional run.)
“She knew she had to hit the hill and she did it,” T-V girls’ cross country coach Missy Iatauro said of her daughter. “She had a great race, knocking nine seconds off of last year’s time. All of the girls ran well today and they all had personal bests.”
As a result, the T-V girls finished fifth in the team standings with 222 points.
In the boys’ championship race, the top county finisher was Tri-Valley’s Steve Creek. He finished fifth in a time of 15:50, 20 seconds behind the winner, Josh Conklin of Pine Bush.
“It was fast,” Creek said of the 5K course. “It was the first time I ran under 16 (minutes) here.”
T-V boys’ cross country coach Joe Iatauro noted that Creek joined a group of “less than 10 Tri-Valley runners” who have run under 16 minutes in a championship meet in the 28 years Iatauro has been coaching the Bears.
“Steve had a great finish today,” Joe Iatauro said. “With a half-mile to go, he really pushed it and achieved a lifetime best (time).”
Other county runners who finished in the top 25 and earned a spot in the Section IX Championship race were Ian Parnett of Sullivan West (8th, 15:56), Liberty’s Matt Manzi (14th, 16:14) and Monticello’s Tim Billias (25th, 16:48).
In the team standings, Sullivan West finished sixth with 193 points and Tri-Valley was seventh with 181 points. Liberty was 11th with 321 points. (For the team results, the places of the top five runners for each school are added up for one score and the team with the lowest score wins.)
“We’re still rivals,” SW co-coach George Rose said of his squad and T-V. “But we cheer for each other and keep an eye on each other at events like this. So, it’s a friendly competition.”
Individual times and places for Sullivan County runners are as follows:
31. Kevin McCarthy (Sullivan West) 16:59; 35. Ryan Ringi (Liberty) 17:02; 38. Adrien Hobbs (T-V) 17:06; 39. Brent Rose (SW), 17:07; 41. Travis Wolfe (T-V) 17:11; 51. Brenton Smith (T-V) 17:36; 53. Matt Parks (SW) 17:37; 55. Brandon Sauer (Liberty) 17:39; 58. Seth Hodge (SW) 17:43; 72. Jeremy Mathsen (T-V) 18:11; 81. Don Curry (T-V) 18:44; 91. Adam Wilson (T-V) 19:10; 92. Joe Lerner (Monticello) 19:13; 96. Catlan Sardina (Eldred) 19:24; 100. Mike Wiley (L) 19:40; 113. Michael Barry (L) 20:58; 114. Chris Goldsmith (L) 20:59 and 116. Art Ward (SW) 21:21.
33. Tara Taylor (T-V) 20:14; 44. Tracy Taylor (T-V) 21:19; 49. Erin Garry (Monticello) 21:28; 54. Lindsay Fisk (LM) 22:06; 55. Jessica Fisk (LM) 22:06; 57. Vanessa Houghtaling (T-V) 22:14; 58. Jen Gutman (Eldred) 22:18; 64. Danielle Hendrickson (SW) 22:35; 79. Ashley Wahl (SW) 24:12; 87. Erin Paul (T-V) 25:29; 92. Tiffany Wright (T-V) 26:33; 95. Caryn Dymond (T-V) 27:44 and 104. Katie Hanson (Eldred) 34:32.

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