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Friday, June 30, 2000 -- Latrobe, PA
Rolling Rock 5M Run
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Overall 1-299] [300-580] [By Class 00-34] [35-Over]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] []

Race Start
I'd run 5 miles for a Rolling Rock...
The folks in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, wasted no time in getting their 2000 4th of July Celebration underway. As a matter of fact, they didn't even wait until July. Friday evening, June 30th, all the excitement began with the Rolling Rock 5M Run where some 600 racers converged on Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

At 7:00pm the crowd of runners packed Memorial Drive on a spectacular summer evening waiting to get the starting signal. Lined up on the front row was the newly formed Rolling Rock Racing Team made up of Mike Scaffardi, the defending race champion, along with Steve Ohler and John Urban. With plenty of competition in the field, it was apparent that Scaffardi and his team would need a good race to defend his title.

The five-mile course is relatively flat for the first and last miles as it races through the streets of Latrobe. However, the hills in the middle miles provide a definite challenge for everyone.

Macey & McCarthy
Kim Macey & Heather McCarthy enjoy an evening run in Latrobe
The anticipation was over as the racers tore off the start and into the evening sun. It didn't take long for Scaffardi to take control at the front as he ripped through the first mile in 4:56. But, he still wasn't shaking Daniel Princic or Ohler who were both right on his heels.

Soon Princic and Scaffardi began to gap Ohler who would go on to finish alone in third place at 26:07. Ohler, the 1998 champion, was still satisfied with his performance, "I'm happy with my time, I won it two years ago and I was faster this year."

Battling at the front it was Scaffardi who finally surged around the midpoint of the race to grab an advantage. "I pulled away on the hills... just worked the hills," he said. His strong finish kept Princic in check as he went on to an impressive win in 25:22, taking almost 30 seconds off his previous year's time. Princic finished second in 25:51 and when Scaffardi was asked what it took to stay ahead of him, "I ran hard, it hurt today," was his response.

Devon Halley
Devon Halley sprints for a top 10 finish
In the women's race it didn't take quite as long for Colleen Harrison to take a strong hold on the first place position. She took the overall female win in a time of 29:35. The fight for second place waged for just the first mile before Jill Knesh (30:18) powered to an advantage as she went on to take second ahead of Gina McGee (31:07) who took third.

After Rebecca Buchheit (31:36) took fourth place honors among the women, some of the evening's most exciting competition was taking place in the race for fifth. As they came around the stadium track for the final 200 meters, it was a sprint to the finish for Sarah Vanderelli, Angela Heineman and Kayla Matrunick. At the line it was Vanderelli (34:53) getting the edge over Heineman (34:54) and Matrunick (35:55) for fifth place.

Working up a thirst for some Rolling Rock
As hundreds more crossed the finish to cheers of friends, family and other racers, it was time for the awards. But this ceremony is just the party before the party. One of the major attractions for this event is the Rolling Rock Party at the Latrobe American Legion that goes from 9:00pm to 1:00am. With a D.J., more prizes, free food, and free drinks provided by Rolling Rock (hint, you must be 21 years of age to attend), this party simply Rocks!

With over 75 local volunteers and community members helping out, including many brewery employees and their friends and family, the race is always well organized. Special thanks goes to the Latrobe Brewing Company Rolling Rock Run Committee Members; Annette Couch, Bea Conn, Steve Tulenko, Tammy Kornides, Ed Maher, Marcia Salandro and Nick Carota. Also deserving of praise are the following folks who help to make it all possible: Carol & Gary Greenawalt and Beth Howell from the Latrobe 4th of July Celebration Committee, Latrobe & Lloydsville volunteer fireman, Civil Air Patrol, Latrobe Police Department, Mutual Aid Ambulance, Latrobe Public Works, Rheinhart Foods and Latrobe City Manager, Rick Stadler.