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Korir rallies for second men's title

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- By the first lap, John Korir felt he had a pretty good read on the rest of the field. At the final stretch he made his move and by the finish, he made history.

The 27-year old Kenyan became the first

two-time winner of the Greater Clarksburg 10K Saturday, crossing the finish line first with a time of 29:07. Korir won the race in 1998.

"I was very tired today," Korir said. "I didn't expect this. It was so humid. I was really exhausted. The conditions were much tougher this year. That's why the times weren't as good."

In the women's division, Gladys Asiba won with a time of 34:22.

Both winning times were well off the course records. Tem-

peratures were in the low 70s at the start, but high humidity kept times off record pace.

"It was very hard running today," Asiba said. "Usually when temperatures aren't as high, the humidity is very bad. It was like that today. It really got to you."

Asiba finished second in last year's event and finished just one second ahead of Teresa Wanjiku. Edna Kiplagat was third (35:03). Romania's Elena Fidatov (35:37) and Stephanie Doeringer (35:41), a former runner for Indiana University, rounded out the top five finishers. Morgantown's Heather Bury finished sixth with a time of 37:11.

"I was much more comfortable with the course this time," Asiba said. "Last year I don't think I was ready to go around twice.

"This year I knew what was coming."

Unlike Asiba, Korir had to come from behind to win his second title. Trailing most of the race, Korir, ranked No. 2 in the world in road racing this season, took the lead for good in the final stretch near the parking lot of the BB&T bank parking lot on Main Street.

"I wanted to wait until I made my move," Korir said. "I didn't know if I could go out in front.

"I was comfortable, so I wanted to wait until I was sure I was ready to go. I knew it was going to be tough and I was already tired."

The finish was reminiscent of last season when less than :06 seconds separated the top seven runners. Korir overtook Tom Nyariki, who finished second at 29:09. Gilbert Koech was third at 29:10, and James Kwambai (29:12) and William Kiptum (29:14) rounded out the men's top five.

The race also serves as the state's official 10K championship. Former West Virginia University standout James Lander won the West Virginia title. However, Athens native and current Concord coach Mikey Cox was the first American to cross the finish line with a time of 31:43, good enough for 11th overall.

"Three years ago I ran a 31:28," Cox said. "I was kind of stunned how slow I ran (today), but the heat really took it's toll."

Stephanie Doeringer, a former three-time All-American at Indiana University, was the top American runner at 35:41 and 25th overall. Doeringer held off Morgantown's Heather Bury (37:11).

Karin Lockhart-Gould won the West Virginia state champion (42:02). Fayetteville's Larry Taylor, the current Clarksburg Area Racing Series men's leader, won the Master's Division with a time of 35:48. Sherry Carr-Smith (46:54) won the women's Master's Division, while Terry McClusky (37:29) and Sandra Adams (45:59) were the 50- and over Master's Division winners. Crisiforo Hernandez (41:12) and Jessica Huffman (44:07) were Harrison's County's top finishers.

Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at mnutter@exponent-telegram.com