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Hanlin, Zielinski win Gary Brown 5-Miler

August 27, 2011|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com
  • Participants break from the starting line in the opening minutes of the Gary Brown Memorial 5-Miler at Riverbottom Park in Williamsport.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — Cameron Hanlin was an impressionable 15-year-old boy when he first ran the Gary Brown Memorial C&O Canal 5-Miler in 2003.

“Steve Spence (the Olympic marathoner) won it that year,” Hanlin said. “When he was leaving that day, he saw me eating a box of doughnuts. And I remember him saying, ‘That’s the breakfast of champions.’”

Hanlin joined Spence on the list of Gary Brown champions Saturday at the 30th annual running of the towpath race.

Hanlin, 23, of Hagerstown, covered the out-and-back course, which started and ended at Riverbottom Park, in 26 minutes, 49 seconds. Last year’s champ, Dan DeWitt, 23, of Frostburg, Md., settled for second this year in 27:08 after leading the first half of the race.

“I’ve joined an elite club of winners. How many people can say they’ve won the Gary Brown?” Hanlin said. “Since high school, it’s been a goal of mine to win this. The last time I ran this, I was 15, and I got my butt kicked (finishing 26th in 31:53).”

Sarah Zielinski, a junior at Boonsboro High School, was the overall female champ in 33:41.

She improved her time by nearly 2 minutes from last year, which means she won’t be any easier to beat during cross country season this fall.

“I ran a lot more miles this summer,” Zielinski said. “I want to break 19:00 this fall (on a 3-mile cross country course) and hopefully get top three at states. And our team’s big goal this year is to win states.”

Seven-time Gary Brown champ Susan Graham-Gray, 43, of Greencastle, Pa., was the women’s runner-up — and Masters (40-and-older) champ — Saturday in 34:08. Michelle Van Horn, 30, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., was third in 34:36.

The top high school boys finisher was Bryan Durboraw, who placed third overall in 28:54. The South Hagerstown junior seems to have found his calling.

“I never really was good at anything else in life,” he said. “I just decided to run one day.”

He came out of seemingly nowhere in track season last spring to run 10:23 for 3,200 meters. Now he’s poised for bigger and better things in cross country this fall.

“I love this sport,” Durboraw said. “I run every day, usually 10 miles a day. I just want to go out and try to win every race.”

Rob Hovermale, 47, of Smithsburg, was the men’s Masters champ. He finished fourth overall in 29:38.

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