By Rob Potter
ROCK HILL — Although a powerful storm system dumped
several inches of snow in parts of Sullivan County only a few days
before, a total of 181 athletes competed in last Saturday’s Falling
Colors 8K Run/5K Walk amid some great running weather for the month of
The start line and finish line for the eighth annual event were both
located near the Emerald Green Clubhouse in Rock Hill.
The race is held each autumn by the Sullivan Striders Running &
Walking Club, which uses the proceeds to award scholarships to local
high school seniors who were members of their school’s cross country
and/or track and field teams.
“Thank you all for being here; it’s a special day,” Sullivan Striders
President Dennis Toscano said to all of the competitors.
This year’s run/walk was dedicated to Andy McKean, a founding member of
the Sullivan Striders who recently passed away. McKean was on the
hearts and minds of many of the competitors and the T-shirt each runner
received for competing had the words “in memory of our friend Andy
McKean” printed on the back.
During the post-race awards ceremony, Tom Manza, another founding
member of the Sullivan Striders, talked about McKean, who served as the
club’s vice president for two years.
“We all really miss Andy,” Manza said. “He was a great runner and a
great human being. We are glad to have his wife Karen, daughters
Shannon and Morgan and several other members of his family with us here
Manza noted that Karen donated several of Andy’s running books for the
event. The books were given out as prizes to the top finisher in each
men’s and women’s age group for the 8K run.
The top three men’s and women’s finishers in the run and walk as well
as the top three finishers in each age group for the run also received
either a dwarf Alberta Spruce tree or a Colorado Blue Spruce tree.
Tim Billias of Rock Hill was the overall winner of the 8K run. He
crossed the finish line in a time of 28 minutes, 38 seconds.
The first woman to finish was Jean Norton of Wurtsboro. Her winning
time of 31:59 also placed her ninth overall among the 135 runners in
“Lately I have been competing in triathlons and marathons and this is
the first 8K race I have run in a while,” Norton said. “I feel OK about
my time. This is a great race and the weather was perfect for running
Norton said she was thinking about Andy McKean while competing in the
“Andy was a great friend and competitor,” she commented. “Many times we
would be running together near the finish line of a race and encourage
each other to finish strong.
“When I approached the line today, I saw the clock and really wanted to
break 32 minutes,” Norton continued. “I was happy I was able to cross
the line in 31:59. It felt like Andy was out there with me again,
pushing me to the finish line.”
Complete race results are available online at fastfinishes.net
The top overall and age group finishers were as follows:
1. Tim Billias, Rock Hill, 28:38; 2. Martin Seybold, Lake Ariel, Pa.,
29:46; 3. Micah Hoernig, Monroe, 30:11
1. Jean Norton, Wurtsboro, 31:59; 2. Misty Verma, Hopewell Junction,
34:53; 3. Edna Harrison, Modena, 35:40
Overall Male Walker
1. Bob Barrett, Smallwood, 35:38; 2. Barry Lewis, Woodbourne, 40:09; 3.
Peter Kowalczyk, Ferndale, 41:18
Overall Female Walker
1. Kim Flynn, Wurtsboro, 29:56; 2. Myriam Loor, Thompsonville, 35:38;
3. Linda DiPaola, Kauneonga Lake, 39:33
1. Evan Taggart, Livingston Manor, 54:16; 2. Mike D’Auria, Livingston
1. Debbie Spannagel, New Hampton, 37:24; 2. Rebekah Spannagel, New
1. Danielle Schnitzer, Wurtsboro, 36:57; 2. Sarah Phelan, Montgomery,
42:56; 3. Stephanie Haddad, Hancock, 48:53
1. Jonathon Shrira, Hancock, 33:52; 2. Greg Gnevara, Hancock, 34:03; 3.
Caleb Carter, Hancock, 34:47
1. Allison Miraglia, Wurtsboro, 47:12; 2. Lauren Ross, New Paltz, 55:51
1. Zach Weinman, Jeffersonville, 33:41; 2. Peter DeVoe, Glen Spey,
34:09; 3. David Kennedy, Honesdale, Pa., 35:07
1. Elizabeth Walsh, Washingtonville, 35:50; 2. Barbara Ferrante,
Middletown, 37:39; 3. Karin Gorr, Hortonville, 41:25
1. Erick Sellstrom, Liberty, 31:03; 2. Tom Stratton, Liberty, 31:18; 3.
Michael Bassett, Rock Hill, 32:21
1. Daria Petraglia, Goshen, 38:53; 2. Karen Porzelt, Middletown, 39:25;
3. Marie DuSault, Washingtonville, 40:41
1. Donald Thurston, Pine Bush, 31:39; 2. Dean Diltz, Sugar Loaf, 31:46;
3. Marco Pabon, Middletown, 32:18
1. Christine DeVries, Hopewell Junction, 38:16; 2. Nina Snyder,
Bloomingburg, 46:20; 3. Eileen Wohltjen, Hurleyville, 47:17
1. Ken DeVries, Hopewell Junction, 30:32; 2. Doug Carter, Chester,
32:33; 3. Peter Weinman, Jeffersonville, 34:17
1. Margaret Kowalski, Beach Lake, Pa., 54:41; 2. Ann Singer, Suffern,
57:07; 3. Kathleen Davies, Hillburn, 58:54
1. Dick Paterson, Milford, Pa., 34:56; 2. Kent Laudeman, Ft.
Montgomery, 36:40; 3. Lorne MacDonald, Sussex, N.J., 40:16
70 and Over Female
1. Mary Heinle, White Sulphur Springs, 59:06
70 and Over Male
1. John Schultz, Wilmington, Del., 46:33; 2. Phil Brennan, Milford,
Pa., 46:34; 3. Herb Waterman, Middletown, 47:19