WILKES-BARRE ‚?? The second annual Valley‚??s Fastest Person race series opened Wednesday night at Kirby Park with the Chase Mile Run. Heidi Peoples set a new course record in the Women‚??s Open division and former Duke Blue Devil Sean-Patrick Oswald pulled away from Frank Redmond to win the Men‚??s Open division.
Peoples set out to a fast pace in the Women‚??s Open and was challenged early in the race by Samantha Snukis, of St. Claire, who competed in college at Wagner College, where she set the school record in the 800-meter run.
Peoples began to open up some distance after the halfway point and pulled away over the final lap and a half, turning on some speed over the final 100 meters to set a new Chase Mile record of 5:18, 13 seconds ahead of Snukis.
‚??I really didn‚??t even know I was on the pace until everybody started yelling it out,‚?Ě said Peoples, who was a Division III 1,500-meter national champion in her time at Moravian College.
‚??I didn‚??t think it was too fast of a pace, really, because I couldn‚??t feel (Samantha) behind me for most of the race. I actually thought I could have gone a little faster, but I‚??m happy with the result against a tough field and I think I‚??m set up pretty well for the next two legs.‚?Ě
The series continues with two more 1-mile races. The second leg will be Aug. 22 when entrants will take on the notoriously steep Giants Despair Hill. The series concludes on Aug. 31 with the River Street Mile.
The Men‚??s Open race was equally as close through the first two laps with Redmond nipping at Oswald‚??s heels.
Oswald began to pull away from Redmond with a little over a lap to go and continued setting himself apart from the field over the final lap to finish in a time of 4:28. Redmond finished second in a time of 4:34.
‚??Any time you can come out with a victory it feels great,‚?Ě said Oswald, who holds Duke‚??s school record in the 800-meter run. ‚??I had a pace that I wanted to hit, and I was a little slower than that pace, but I came out here just with the expectation of running hard and getting good first race.
‚??I think I‚??m in a great position, but I know there are strong competitors in this series and I want to continue to push myself and try and win this series.‚?Ě
Fastest Valley Person 1 Mile Run
Overall Female: 1. Heidi Peoples, Scranton, 5:18.7; 2. Samantha Snukis, St. Clair, 5:31.5; 3. Jill Matthews-Lada, Wilkes-Barre, 6:10.5; Overall Male: Sean-Patrick Oswald, Consohocken, 4:28.5; 2. Frank Redmond, Exeter, 4:34.2; 3. Jeffrey Skwierz, Forty Fort, 4:43; Female Master‚??s: 1. Traci Strungis, Mountain Top, 7:04.2; 2. Barbara Zeske, 7:34.5; Male Master‚??s: 1. Daniel Pszeniczny, Benton, 4:47; 2. Tony Korch, Nanticoke, 5:27; 3. Michael Kinney, Wilkes-Barre, 5:57.2
Female 1-19: 1. Florence Kwak, Wilkes-Barre, 6:23.5; 2. Maria Pais, Wilkes-Barre, 9:08.7; Male 1-19: 1. James Ryan, Wilkes-Barre, 5:09.7; 2. John Kahne, Shavertown, 5:27.7; 3. Adam Eckhart, Nanticoke, 6:42.7; Female 20-29: 1. Alonica Espi, Dallas, 7:25.5; Male 20-29: 1. Anthony Rizzo, Wopwallopen, 4:48; 2. Kyle Suponic, Shavertown, 4:59.2; 3. Tyler Angeli, 5:24.5; 4. Jamie Miller, Larksville, 5:46.5; Female 30-39: 1. Jen Stec, Mocanaqua, 6:40.2; Male 30-39: 1. Flash Flash, 5:51.7; 2. Glenn Zimmerman, Wilkes-Barre, 6:04.5; Male 40-49: 1. Bob Guzenski, Dallas, 6:02.5; Male 50-59: 1. Rich Pais, Wilkes-Barre, 6:05.2; 2. Reginald Thomas, Bear Creek Twp., 6:18; 3. Joe Stanitis, Plymouth, 7:10; 4. Charles Hilliard, Stroudsburg, 7:54.5; Male 60-plus: 1. Jeff Nero, Hopewell Junction, 6:11.2