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Africans set pace in Chambersburg

August 14, 2005|By ANDY MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The only thing more scorching than the weather Saturday was the pace set by the African frontrunners at the 18th annual Tom Ausherman Memorial 5-Mile Run.

Kenyan Henry Kipchirchir, 22, and Ethiopian Alene Reta, 23, broke away from the lead pack shortly after 2 miles and battled each other the rest of the way. Kipchirchir edged Reta by 1 second, winning in 23 minutes, 57 seconds - an average of 4:48 per mile - to claim the top prize of $500. Former Millersville (Pa.) University All-American Mark Stallings, 25, was third in 24:39.

"After the second mile, I tried to push the pace," said Kipchirchir, who also won the race in 2003. "I'm very strong at finishing."

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The women's finish was even closer in another duel between the East African nations. Kenyan Eunice Chepkirui, 21, held off Ethiopian Alemtsehay Misganaw, 25, by a fraction of a second as both runners were clocked at 28:13. Vickie Cauller, 32, of York, Pa., was third in 29:15, and Susan Graham-Gray, 37, of Greencastle, Pa., was fourth in 29:34.

Kipchirchir's winning time in 2003 was 23:03. He had hoped to go even faster this year.

"I was coming for the course record (22:43), but it was too hot," he said. "I hope to come back next year and get it."

Chambersburg native Ed Schlichter, 23, would love to be the one standing in his way. He was fourth Saturday in 24:58.

"This is my dream race to win," said Schlichter, who's training for next month's U.S. 20K championships in Connecticut and preparing for his first season as assistant cross country coach at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, his alma mater.

"I really want to win this one. The year will come when I win this, and it will be at the top of my highest accomplishments, because there's always an international field here. I want to do it for the town and for myself."

The last American man to win the race was Chris Fox in 1993.

Shippensburg, Pa.'s Steve Spence, 43, the 1992 Olympic marathoner, won the men's masters title Saturday in 25:48. He was sixth overall.

Top 10 men: 1. Kipchirchir 23:57; 2. Reta 23:58; 3. Stallings 24:39; 4. Schlichter 24:58; 5. Ryan Gleason 25:20; 6. Spence 25:48; 7. Justin Gindlesperger 26:10; 8. Randy Haas 26:25; 9. Tim Schuler 27:21; 10. Troy Harrison 27:39.

Top 10 women: 1. Chepkirui 28:13; 2. Misganaw 28:13; 3. Cauller 29:15; 4. Graham-Gray 29:34; 5. Lisa Haas 29:42; 6. Melissa St. Clair 30:01; 7. Amy Blanco 30:10; 8. Kelly Dworak 30:36; 9. Kim Saddle 31:31; 10. Laura Nelson 31:47.




Tri-State Calendar


Tuesday

Ausherman XC Series No. 6, Falling Spring Elementary School, Chambersburg, 7 p.m., 717-263-0168.

Aug. 27

Gary Brown Memorial 5-Miler, Williamsport, 8 a.m., 301-739-7004.

Sept. 17

Great Frederick Fair 5K, 9 a.m., 301-624-2683.

Mount St. Mary's Wellness Expo 5K, 9 a.m., 301-447-5396.

Sept. 18

Vibrant Life 5K, Hagerstown, 301-393-4019.

Andy Mason is assistant sports editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2334, or by e-mail at andrewm@herald-mail.com

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