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Saturday, July 13, 2002 -- Somerset, PA
Daily American 10K (iPO Event Id#: 4824)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Run Overall] [Run by Class] [Walk Overall] [Walk by Class]
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] [Set 13] [Set 14] [Set 15] [Set 16] [Set 17] [Set 18] [Set 19] [Set 20] [Set 21] [Set 22] [Set 23]
[2001 Event Coverage]

Race Pic
Off to a fast start on the stadium track
The 16th Annual Daily American 10K took the streets of Somerset, PA under ideal Saturday morning conditions, the temperature was mild and the mostly cloudy skies kept the July sun at bay. But out on the challenging 10K course the competition was heating up as a crowd of almost 800 contested both a running and walking race.

The racing begins with a speedy trip around the Somerset High School track before existing the stadium and heading out onto the streets. The most challenging hill does not arrive until the final mile, but then it's a fast race back into the stadium for another lap to the finish.

The first to enter the stadium was Curtis Houser, a 23-year-old Blairsville native who ran for Duquesne University, with no one close behind. Houser hit the line at 32:40, almost a minute ahead of the rest of the field. His 5:15 mile pace also shattered the previous course record of 33:22 set by Dave Patterson back in 1989.

Race Pic
Racing through the streets of Somerset
Behind Houser a battle between to young teenagers was waged. Dave Mock (33:28), a 16-year-old from Johnstown, pushed his way up and over the last hill and pulled away from 15-year-old Jed Christiansen (33:46) to earn second place honors. While Jed may have settled for third, his sisters where making sure a Christiansen would find the top spot on the podium.

Dominating the women's competition in the 10K run were the girls from Greenville, Jesi, Jeni and Jacy Christiansen. The win went to 17-year-old Jesi with a time of 39:33, a minute off her 2000 course record time of 38:30. Next was 21-year-old Jeni at 41:32 followed by the youngest sister, 9-year-old Jacy, at 41:51.

The 10K walk started just after the runners, but their numbers swelled to more than twice the number of runners. It seems that everyone in Somerset and the surrounding communities comes out for a little (or a lot of) exercise at the Daily American 10K.

Race Pic
Just our for a Saturday morning stroll
It was certainly no bunch of teenagers who came striding to the finish to determine the fastest walker, rather it was a trio of 50-somethings. Grabbing the win was 53-year-old Ken James from Trafford, Pennsylvania.

Chasing James, and going toe-to-toe down the back stretch, were Wayne Yoder and Al Kurtz. Yoder, a 52-year-old from Boswell, took the tape for second at 59:23. The Somerset native, 53-year-old Kurtz, arrived just seconds behind for third at 59:30.

It was some younger ladies taking home top honors in the women's walk. Markleton's 38-year-old Sally Miller (1:07:58) took the win followed by Johnstown's 51-year-old Diane Rugh (1:08:23). Once again third place went to a Somerset in 42-year-old Tamara Sandor (1:10:56).

Race Pic
"The Generators" display that team spirit
As more and more finishers streamed into the stadium, many dressed in T-shirts representing their respective corporate or club teams, the crowds lounged in the grassy infield a cheered on the finishers. Everyone was provided with an abundance of refreshments as all sorts of random prizes were distributed. Even the awards were in abundance as the overall prizes go ten deep.

As all the race festivities wrapped up, it was obvious that Guy Berkebile had once again pulled off a terrific event. He certainly could not have done it without a huge helping hand from so many in the community. And benefitting from this year's success were the local non-profits, S.T.A.R. and Birthright of Somerset. A big thanks goes out to all that participated and to those that helped make it all happen. We sure hope to see you all again next year!