Sports for Sunday, July 25
1999 Greater Clarksburg
Ndereba, Korir are Greater Clarksburg 10K winners
By Chris Errington
Kenya's Catherine Ndereba thought she had won the 1998 Greater Clarksburg
10K only to be disqualified because she didn't make it to the starting
line prior to the beginning of the race. Saturday, Ndereba said she simply
wanted a top-five finish and had no need to redeem herself by winning the
She did it anyway - but only by the slimmest of margins.
On a morning when 70-degree temperatures combined with humid conditions
to make any chance of breaking a race or 10K record moot, Ndereba outkicked
fellow Kenyan Marguret Okato to the finish line to win in a time of 33:31,
one second ahead of Okato.
"I only passed (Okato) right at the end and I didn't know if I could
outkick her," the 26-year-old Ndereba said. "It feels great to win and
I had hoped I would win, but what happened last year was not a problem.
It didn't bother me because as a competitor you need to forget about that
stuff. You can't run if you're thinking about what happened last year."
It was a fitting end to a third straight satisfying race for race director
"We're really happy because our numbers were up, we had a lot of compliments
and we were well organized," he said. "That can only happen through the
hard work of the volunteers.
"Because of them and the elite field of runners we have, I really think
we'll be ranked the No. 1 10K in the United States when the rankings come
out at the end of the year."
John Korir of Kenya broke away from the lead pack and outdistanced
countryman David Markori to win the men's field. Korir finished in a time
of 29:00, more than enough to top Markori's 29:03.
For Ndereba, Saturday's win was a case of being there, done that.
"The experience of running here last year really helped me," she said.
"It's like repetition. You know where the hills are and where the flat
parts are and it makes it much easier to run."
Delilah Asiago, winner of last year's 10K following Ndereba's disqualification,
finished a distant seventh on Saturday.
A field of 760 took to the downtown Clarksburg, 6.2-mile double-loop
course in what began as near ideal conditions. Temperatures hovered in
the low 70s and a cool breeze and thick clouds that blocked the sun for
the first half of the race. It didn't remain that way for long.
Once the sun broke through, the temperature and humidity quickly rose
and in the process quickly slowed the pace. Many of the elite runners said
they were hampered by the sudden change and Hatfield said at that moment
he knew the $1,000 cash prize for breaking the race record was safe for
"I knew by the time the runners got to the first mile and their times
were 20 seconds slower than last year that the course record wouldn't be
broken," Hatfield said. "With the hills and the heat and humidity, it was
too much to expect from the elite runners."
Race chairman Larry Mazza agreed.
"The heat changed immediately when the sun broke out," he said. "It
was pleasant for one loop, but the second loop was really tough. That was
the difference in breaking the record."
While the conditions hurt the elite runners, it did allow many U.S.
runners to close the ever-widening gap between them and their African counterparts.
Terrence Mahon, 28 of Haverford, Pa., was the first American runner
to finish, completing the race in 30:20, good for 14th place. Vicki Mitchell
of Snyder, N.Y. was the first American woman finisher. She ended up in
45th place with a time of 36:00.
Ronald Weist of Clarksburg was the first Harrison County male finisher,
while Susan Verona of Shinnston led all Harrison County females. Weist
finished in a time of 37:08, while Verona completed the course in 43:57.
For Okato, who said the conditions kept her from winning, her fellow
Kenyans' performances were up to standard.
"I thought we ran very well as a group," she said. She and Ndereba
"kicked the last 200 meters and I was surprised she outkicked me."
"But I'm not disappointed at all. I'm very happy for Catherine. She
While Ndereba said she wasn't sure if she would return to defend her
title, Korir was adamant about returning, and possibly having a shot at
the race record.
No matter what transpires in the 2000 race, Saturday clearly belonged
"I was really pleased that Catherine came back and won the title we
took away from her last year," he said.
Elkins rallies to tie Harrison County Nationals in seventh
Elkins erased a 7-0 deficit by capitalizing on seven Harrison County Nationals
walks and two errors in the top of the sixth inning and another run in
the seventh to tie the score at 7-7 in their opening game of the 14-Year-Old
West Virginia Babe Ruth State Championship on Saturday night.
The game was not completed at press time.
Trailing by seven and with two outs, Dom Mucilli singled to left to
score Justin Rozich with the first Elkins run.
Following a walk to load the bases, Seth Hormick, Aaron Giles, Eric
Terry, Steve Harvey and Ryan Wegman drew consecutive run scoring walks
to pull Elkins within 7-5.
Rey Linger's pop up to the third base side of the pitcher's mound was
then misplayed for a run-scoring error to close the sixth-inning comeback.
The Nationals, the defending state champions and tournament hosts,
playing their first game in two weeks, took a first-inning 2-0 lead when
Branden Belloni singled to right scoring Brandon Brumage and Brian Kemmerer.
Harrison County pushed the lead to 3-0 an inning later when Scotty
Gonzalez scored on Ford Green's groundout.
Three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Kemmerer's bloop single to
right that scored two runs, put the Nationals ahead 6-0 and seemingly ended
A run in the sixth increased the irlead to 7-0 when Brian Huffman hit
a two-out single up the middle to score Green.
Kemmerer was in complete control, getting a crucial inning-ending double
play with a runner on third in the fifth, before things fell apart for
the Harrison County Nationals in the fateful sixth.
He pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven
before Danny Sowers relieved. Sowers walked his only three batters before
being pulled for Chris Lake, who finally ended the inning by getting a
flyout to center.
The winner of this game plays Mid-Ohio Valley today at 8 p.m. Beckley
plays Huntington South East in the 5:30 p.m. game.
Sports comment by Danny Carpenter
Consider 10K goals achieved
My 10K mission that is.
Heading into Saturday's third annual Greater Clarksburg 10K run, I
had three goals -- finish in under an hour, not get lapped by the elite
runners and to have fun.
I accomplished all three, and the one I thought would be the easiest
was the hardest.
Finishing in under an hour was a tremendous challenge.
I should have known it when I reached the Harrison County Courthouse
on the start and the elite runners were halfway up the Main St. hill.
On the first loop, there was no walking and the Pike St. 'monster'
was a laugher (plus I had Smash mouth's "All Star" playing in my head).
I struggled on the second loop as the humidity started to kick in after
an overcast start. The sun beating down seemed to add 20 degrees to the
After finishing my first loop in a time of 27:19 (no elite runners
in sight, one down, two to go), the under-an-hour goal was in reach, especially
with the cool breeze I felt as I came up Main St.
Then I hit my first wall at the top of the Main St. hill.
My calves were starting to hurt, and I had to walk for the first time
when I reached the top of hill.
After about 20 yards, I was good to go again.
Then I had an awful feeling in my stomach after drinking too much water
on the first loop. Everyone told me to drink plenty of water. Exactly how
much is plenty?
After refusing a drink at the next water station, I started to feel
better, but the calves started hurting again.
With the next water station in sight, I told myself to grab a quick
drink and walk up part of the gradual rise past the Red Caboose.
At this point, I was passed by several runners. As they went past,
the thoughts of my father-in-law telling me to shave my legs to help with
aerodynamics started to sound logical.
After another 20-yard walk, I struggled to get up the rise. But relief
was on the way, and I was rejuvenated by the casual descent toward the
Pike St. hill.
I was excited to reach the dreaded nemesis -- the Pike St. hill --
for a second time. Well, my head and heart were thrilled. My calves, however,
I had to walk about a quarter of the way up before hitting the straightaway
toward the Federal Building, where my co-workers at the newspaper had their
I was in full-stride, or should I say short-stride, as I passed them.
With new strength from their cheers, I was able to finish under the
hour mark at 57:57.
Not a bad day of running.
But I doubt I'll feel this good when I get out of bed this morning.
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Copyright © Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999