By Rob Potter
BEAR MOUNTAIN October 29, 2002 Tri-Valleys Heather Iatauro captured her second consecutive OCIAA cross country championship Friday afternoon at Bear Mountain State Park.
Iatauro got out to an early lead in the race, which featured a total of 112 runners. Just past the 1-mile mark near Hessian Lake, Iatauro, a junior, had extended her lead to several meters over the nearest pack of runners.
She crossed the finish line with a time of 17:53. Aislinn Ryan of Warwick finished second in 18:01.
Two other county runners finished in the top 30. Sullivan Wests Jamie Clifford took 24th place in 19:36 and T-Vs Tara Taylor ran the course in 20:03, which placed her 30th.
In the varsity boys race, four local runners were among the first 30 to cross the finish line. SWs Ian Parnett was 11th, posting a time of 16:11. Travis Wolfe of T-V was close behind, taking 12th place in 16:16. Libertys Matt Manzi was 18th in 16:29, and Monticellos Tim Billias was 23rd in 16:42.
After the race, Iatauro, who went on to also capture the Section IX title last season, said she was happy to win the event.
I was hoping to run a little faster than I did, though, said Iatauro, who was feeling a bit under the weather. I wanted to run faster, I wanted to run around 17:30.
Manzi, a senior, was also not in peak condition.
The race was o.k., but I did terrible, he said. I just had no energy. I could have run better, but it felt like my lungs closed off.
Like Manzi, SW senior Brent Rose ran his last OCIAA championship race of his high school career on Friday. He was 34th with a time of 17:08.
I just wanted to go out and try and run my best today, Rose said.
He added that he is thinking about the upcoming scholastic basketball season and the possibility of running cross country in college.
I wont miss the running itself as much as being part of the team, he said of scholastic cross country. We compete and make each other better its fun.
Prior to the races, the seasons OCIAA Dual Meet Division Championship teams were recognized for their accomplishments. The T-V Bear and Lady Bear squads as well as the SW Lady Bulldogs were so honored.
Other county runners who competed in the boys race included: 37. Brenton Smith, T-V, 17:11; 53. Kieran Pierce, Eldred, 17:51; 56. Trevor Kresnar, SW, 18:00; 61. Ron Ducharme, Monticello, 18:05; 75. Joe Lerner, Monticello, 18:31; 78. Adam Wilson, T-V, 18:34; 92. Jacob Schwartz, Liberty, 19:07; 94. Derek Smith, T-V, 19:19; 101. John Huppke, T-V, 20:08; 103. Kevin McGuire, Liberty, 20:42; 104. Chris Goldsmith, Liberty, 20:49; 106. Justin Tate, Liberty, 20:59; 108. Cono Cirone, Monticello, 21:24; 109. Josh Mattingly, T-V, 21:32; 113. Michael Barry, Liberty, 22:27; 117. Adam Nebzydoski, SW, 28:32.
The T-V boys team finished 10th with a score of 322, while Liberty was 15th with 424 points.
Other county girls who finished the race included: 35. Amanda Ward, SW, 20:15; 36. Jessica Wagner, SW, 20:22; 38. April Ackermann, SW, 20:31; 40. Moselle DiPane, SW, 20:34; 41. Tracy Taylor, T-V, 20:39; 44. Stephanie Clifford, SW, 20:44; 46. Erin Beach, T-V, 20:49; 55. Melynda ONeill, T-V, 21:41; 67. Melissa Fancher, T-V, 22:44; 72. Kim Parks, SW, 22:55; 87. Sara Belfiore, Liberty, 24:03; 88. Cassandra Martin, Eldred, 24:10; 98. Dasha Sienitsky, T-V, 25:33; 109. Megan Shaffer, Eldred, 27:33; 110. Nickie Hammond, Eldred, 27:34.
T-V was the only team to place in the girls team standings. The Lady Bears were sixth with 173 points.