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Top American finisher got more than he bargained for

by Danny Carpenter

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

CLARKSBURG -- Running with the elite runners early in the Greater Clarksburg 10K for Athens' Mikey Cox was no problem.

It was the finish which was the former Virginia Tech star's worst nightmare.

He finished as the top American male finisher with a time of 31:43, 11th overall, but after crossing the finish line, dehydration set in.

The race crew rushed him over the medical tent where he was giving the first of six intravenous bags of fluid. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures.

"They saved my life," Cox said.

But two-and-a-half hours later, he arrived at the awards ceremony to pick up his prize money.

However, he was surprised by his time. He had ran a 31:23 three years ago.

"I wanted to run 4:30s (miles) at the beginning, but I guess I started slowing down," Cox said. "But I wasn't really worried about my time because it was so hot. I was just worried about finishing as the top American because I knew I wasn't catching those guys up front.

"Hey, I won $1,000, and I'm just happy to be alive."

Maryland's Darrell General (31:47) and Cincinnati's Thomas Lentz (32:13) followed Cox across the finish line in 12th and 13th places.

The American females also fared as well as their male counterparts.

Stephanie Doeringer, a three-time All-American at Indiana, won the top women's prize with a time of 35:41.

It was Doeringer's first Greater Clarksburg 10K run.

"The course -- I liked it," she said. "I don't train on hills, but it wasn't so hilly to be unbearable.

"This was nice. I kept my concentration because I was always either going up or down. I couldn't get in a zone and fall off the pace."

She was followed by Morgantown's Heather Bury (37:11) and Terry Mahr (40:18).

n WEST VIRGINIA'S TOP FINISHERS: West Virginia also had a good showing in the Greater Clarksburg 10K.

The state also had an early race leader in Morgantown's James Lander.

The former WVU standout held the lead for most of the first mile.

"I was kind of surprised how pedestrian the pace was," said Lander, who was the top West Virginia finisher with a time of 32:14. "I went out pretty relaxed, and even Mikey Cox turned around to me and said, 'This is really easy.'"

But then the humidity started playing a factor.

Lander slowed and finished 3:34 behind winner John Korir.

"I probably should have held back a little, but I was going on how my legs felt," he said. "It came back and got me at the end, but that was all right."

Terra Alta's Scott Smith (33:57) and Morgantown's Vinnie Monseau (35:47) followed Lander.

In the women's division, Morgantown's Karin Lockhart-Gould claimed the top spot with a time of 42:02 and was pleased with the finishes of the West Virginia women's runners.

"It's great representation," Lockhart-Gould said. "It shows that West Virginia women are able to place.

"Although it's an international race, it's just not international women winning the money."

She was followed by the Stonewood's Jessica Huff (44:07) and Vienna's Leslie Molinaro Craven (47:16).

n NO. 911 RETIRED: Since the terrorist attacks lastSeptember, individuals and groups have been honoring 9-11 throughout the United States.

The Greater Clarksburg 10K was no different.

Race organizers retired the No. 911 on Saturday.

"The main purpose was the remembrance," race chairman Larry Mazza said. "We had Victor Saylor, who is a New York City fireman, come in, and he's been a part of this race for the past six years."

The No. 911 was placed on Clarksburg Fire Department fire engine and was taken around the 10K course one time with a police escort.

"We'll now frame that number and present it to the city," Mazza said.

n TEAM WINNERS: Dominion Transmission Team 1 won the corporate team division of the Greater Clarksburg 10K.

Team members are Jim Cummings, Ron Huffman, Jay Taylor, Mike Allman and Scott Summers.

Merrill Lynch came in second, followed by Dominion Transmission Team 2.

In the open division, the Queen City Striders won the title. Team members are Brian Hopkins, Jaron Hawkins, Jason Griffith, Tony Yurko and Matthew Barnes.

Fly-by-U finished second, and West Virginia Physicians were third.

Assistant sports editor Danny Carpenter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at dcarpenter@exponent-telegram.com.