PITTSTON — Reigning champs from last year’s Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run, Mike Flynn and Caitlin Gaughan, successfully defended their crowns at the 16th running of the 5K on Saturday.
Flynn, 28, of Media and formerly of Pittston, led a record field of 298 finishers in light rain, breaking the tape in 16:43. The former Pittston Area High School track and cross country standout outran second-place finisher, Mike Havrilla, 17, of Pittston, by 35 seconds. Mike Batko, 28, of Scranton, finished third, just two seconds behind Havrilla.
“It was tough out there,” said Flynn, who runs for the prestigious Bryn Mawr Running Company. “I ran with (Havrilla) for the first mile and a half. That’s when I threw in a surge and tried to pick it up. I pulled ahead. And after that, I was pretty much running by myself.”
The win was Flynn’s third at the Tomato Festival 5K.
Gaughan, 28, of Scranton, scored a 10th-place overall finish in 18:45, capturing top female honors. Deedra Porfirio, 37, of West Pittston, finished second, 40 seconds behind the winner. Kelly Curry, 32, of Macunje, finished third, 50 seconds behind Porfirio.
“I started out slow, like I always do,” said Gaughan, who ran cross country and track for Scranton High School. “I feel I can control my speed better by starting out at an easy pace. I’ve been training a lot on hills lately preparing for the Chicago Marathon (Set for Oct. 12, the same day as the Steamtown Marathon). Even though the Chicago Marathon is mostly flat, training on hills makes you stronger.
“So I made my move on a hill, just before mile 2. And that’s when I moved into the lead and took control of the race.”
Porfirio won the 5K in 2011. She has now finished second three years in a row.
16th annual Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run results
1. Matt Flynn, 28, Media, 16:43
2. Mike Havrilla, 17, Pittston, 17:18
3. Mike Batko, 28, Scranton, 17:20
4. Eric Shotto, 26, Scranton, 17:39
5. Mike McAndrew, 54, Avoca, 18:26
6. Pat Leonard, 32, Pittston, 18:28
7. Ryan Marvin, W. Wyoming, 18:31
8. Joe Buczynski, 16, Exeter, 18:32
9. Paul O’Hara, 42, Scranton, 18:45
10. Caitlin Gaughan, Scranton, 18:45
Male award winners: Overall: 1. Flynn; 2. Havrilla; 3. Batko. Age group winners: 14 & under: Lukas Volpetti, Pittston, 23:11. 15-19: Ryan Marvin, W. Wyoming, 18:31. 20-24: Jeff Colarusso, Havover Twp., 19:04. 25-29: Eric Shotto, Scranton, 17:39. 30-34: Pat Leonard, Pittston, 18:28. 35-39: James Basaro, Hughestown, 21:43. Masters division: 40-44: Paul O’Hara, Scranton, 18:35. 45-49: Randy Lybak, DuPont, 19:53. 50-59: Mike McAndrew, Avoca, 18:26. 60 & over: George Cosmetis, Dalton, 2518.
Top 3 females
1. Caitlin Gaughan, 28, Scranton, 18:45
2. Deedra Porfirio, 37, W. Pittston, 19:25
3. Kelly Curry, 32, Macunje, 20:15
Female award winners: 1. Gaughan; 2. Porfirio; 3. Curry. 14 & under: Bailey Loyack, Pittston, 28:00. 15-19: Tara Johnson, Avoca, 20:31. 20-24: Emily Richards, Kingston, 23:17. 25-29: Victoria, Blazick, Trucksville, 22:13. 30-34: Michele Fazone, W. Pittston, 24:23. 35-39: Jennifer ang arid, Dallas, 22:24. Masters division: 40-44: Melissa Obmann, Mountain Top, 22:38. 45-49: Mary Leonard, New York City, 22:44. 50-59: Ruth Wood, Jefferson, 28:36. 60 & over: Dolly Godlewski, Taylor, 33:48. Field: 298 finishers (record). Official starter and finisher: Joe Curry. Timing: Vince Wojnar (Wyoming Valley Striders). Results: Insta Results. Race directors: Jay Duffy and MicheleHopkins. Tomato Festival Chairpersons: Lori Nocito and Mike Lombardo.
Wednesday: D & L Trail Mile (third and final race of Valley’s Fastest Man and Woman series) at the Black Diamond Trailhead, Mountain Top, at 7 p.m. Info: Rich Pais, 570-814-0346.
Saturday, August 30: Wyoming Valley Striders 40th annual Cliff Robbins Sr. High School Invitational Races at Letterkenny Fields, just off 42nd Street, Dallas Twp. Race No. 1, Junior High Girls 3K, 9:30 a.m.; Race No. 2, Junior High Boys 3K, 10:10 a.m.; Race No. 3, Varsity Girls 5K, 10:45 a.m.; Race No. 4, Varsity Boys 5K, 11:35 a.m.; Awards ceremony, 12:25 p.m. Info: Vince Wojnar, 570-474-5363.