Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Elyria 74°


Bement takes the third


BAY VILLAGE — It was a different kind of victory at Bay Days for three-time winner Rick Bement. The 1999 Olmsted Falls graduate led from wire-to-wire to capture the 33rd installment of the
5-mile race.
It’s rare that anyone leads the event for the entire stretch but the 27-year-old Columbia Station resident proved to be up to the task, winning for the third straight year.
He held on at the finish to defeat Lorain’s Dave Leonard, 28.
Bement clocked 25 minutes, 42 seconds — a second better than Leonard, an Amherst High math teacher and former Clearview cross country coach. Westlake’s Kevin Michalske, 33, was third with a time of 25:57.
Last year, Bement won by less than two seconds, beating Tim Budic, 25:01.5 to 25:03.4.
“I didn’t know (Leonard) was that close until the last 150 meters,” said Bement, a B-W grad student and Olmsted Falls assistant track and cross country coach. “I went out pretty conservatively, then really picked it up the second and third miles. I was probably at sub 5-minute (per mile) pace up to three miles.”
That’s where Bement had a meltdown. He developed side cramps, letting Leonard back into the race.
“I was suffering and he was just reeling me in,” said Bement.
Leonard did reel Bement in, but Bement staved off self-destruction — his pride wouldn’t allow it.
“I like coming out here every year,” said Bement. “There’s always a big crowd. I don’t mind the attention. It’s fun.”
The finish had a twist this year. Due to construction inside Bay’s football stadium, the race finished on a sidewalk between the stadium and the high school building instead of on the track.
“I like the track finish. It’s one of the big reasons I love this race so much,” said Bement. “Still, it was a lot fun. Hopefully, I’ll do it again next year.”
Leonard was 11th at last year’s Bay Days event with a time of 27:22. Wednesday’s race was his first since last October.
“This was my fastest 5-miler since I graduated college in 2001,” said Leonard. “Maybe if the race finished on the track I might have had a shot at catching him.”
Bement and Leonard haven’t faced each other since 2001. They competed against each other in several distance relays in high school — mostly as anchors for the 3,200-meter relay — Bement for Falls and Leonard for Midpark. They also met a few times in college, Bement for Ashland and Leonard for Malone.
“It was going to be a last-minute thing,” said Leonard. “If I was going to have a chance at the end, it was going to have to be a sneak attack. I’m quiet.”
Several runners have won multiple titles at Bay Days, but it’s believed Bement is the first to win three straight.
The men’s field was loaded with past champions: Michalske (1997-98, 2001), Frank Pattison (1999) and Rob Juergens (1995). Four-time winner John Nakel, 39, and two-time winner Pellegrino Ciccarello, 43, also competed.
Juergens, a 43-year-old Avon Lake resident, won his third masters title in four years as he placed fourth overall (26:04). Ciccarello, the defending champ, was second in masters and 12th overall (26:57).
Lauren Gustafson, 24, of Middleburg Heights, was the class of the women’s field. She won easily with a time of 29:20. Avon Lake’s Katie Nowak, 20, outkicked Avon’s Jessica Wieber, 30, for second. Both clocked 31:23.
“I’ve been battling tendonitis and a stress fracture in my left foot off and on since freshman year,” said Nowak, a Bradley University junior. “Today was my first-ever 5-miler, so I’m very pleased. My dad (Tim) has done this race before. Actually, our whole family ran in it today.”
Nowak’s last mile was her fastest. Her 5:55 split carried her from fourth to second.
A total of 520 runners competed at the event, which included 42 in the children’s mile fun run. Race times for age group winners were incomplete. Complete results are available online at cwrrc.org.
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7136 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Overall — 1. Rick Bement, 25:42; 2. Dave Leonard, 25:43; 3. Kevin Michalske, 25:57; 14 and younger — 1. Nick Brajdic; 2. Nick Banks; 3. Sean Williamson; 15-19 — 1. Tim Haglund, 26:26; 2. Ken Sullivan, 26:49; 3. Dezmond Douglas, 28:20; 20-24 — 1. Leandro Schultz, 26:19; 2. Richie Krupar, 26:45; 3. Andrew Bush; 25-29 — 1. Leonard; 2. Steve Benesh, 26:14; 3. Todd Forsgren; 30-34 — 1. Michalske; 2. Chris Snyder, 27:19; 3. Pat Hopkins; 35-39 — 1. Mike McKenna; 2. Frank Pattison, 28:32; 3. Blaize O’Brien; Masters — 1. Rob Juergens, 26:04; 40-44 — 1. Pellegrino Ciccarello, 26:57; 2. Steve Stahl, 27:38; 3. Ben Szpurek; 45-49 — 1. Mike Boyer, 28:58; 2. Scott Zubricky, 29:12; 3. Tom Pritchard; 50-54 — 1. Steve Holecko, 31:06; 2. Mike Hackett; 3. Andy Belaska; 55-59 — 1. Phillip Kremm; 2, Tom Hayes; 3. Charles Bush; 60-64 — 1. Kim Mahall; 2. Dave Dye; 3. Bill Owens; 65-69 — 1. Bill Curtin; 2. Angel Rivera; 3. Vince Marchiona; 70 and older — 1. Bill Shaffstall; 2. Charles Farrell; 3. Matt Norris.
Overall — 1. Lauren Gustafson, 29:20; 2. Katie Nowak, 31:23; 3. Jessica Wieber, 31:23; 14 and younger — 1. Anne Bowlus; 2. Katie Link; 3. Megan Mohney; 15-19 — 1. Jessica Zangmeister; 2. Hannah Farver; 3. Paige Nagy; 20-24 — 1. Nowak; 2. Patricia Moran; 3. Kathy Pell; 25-29 — 1. Jennifer Petkovsek; 2. Colleen Grossner; 3. Beth Guzowski; 30-34 — 1. Wieber; 2. Marissa Cajalla; 3. Kelly McCrone; 35-39 — 1. Katie Anders; 2. Laura Crabb; 3. May Roni; Masters — 1. Jennie Geise; 40-44 — 1. Marlene Broomfield; 2. Shawn Lurch; 3. Jennifer Hanrahan; 45-49 — 1. Maureen Scullin; 2. Beth Tomoff; 3. Patti Sunagel; 50-54 — 1. Caryn McKeehan; 2. Diane Bosky; 3. Wendy Eldridge; 55-59 — 1. Pati Habenicht; 2. Paula Baranuk; 3. Denise Macker; 60-64 — 1. Nancy Testa-Westerber; 2. Jeannie Sikorski; 65-69 — 1. Judi Whitman; 2. Sally Coughlin; 3. Sherry Mack; 70 and older — 1. Marilyn Olsen; 2. Jean Toith.

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