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Camptown Races: Longer Course Proves Challenging
Tiger Peterson, race director for the Camptown Races, goes over the ground rules with competitors prior to Saturday's start. Changes to the course because of hazardous conditions made the pre-race instructions vital.
The racetrack was considerably longer than five miles this year, but the end result was a very competitive edition of the 38th Camptown Races.
Skylar Surra of Oswayo Valley High School won the race in a time of 45 minutes, 12 seconds, holding off Matthew Rosetti by 14 seconds.
Douglas Hegley was third with a time of 45:59.
The course for the race never was Stephen Foster's legendary five miles—in recent years it has been 6.328 miles, but it was lengthened this year to 7.1 miles for safety reasons, according to race director Karl Peterson, Jr.
"There were portions of the old course that were non-negotiable," Peterson explained. "It was treacherous for the runners. We decided to go a safer route.
"This addressed some issues for the EMT's."
The change drew a number of positive comments from the runners, Peterson noted.
There are a lot of high school cross country runners who compete, and Peterson explained that protecting them from injuries was a consideration.
The new course, while a grueling one with more hills for the runners, provided better visibility for spectators and enabled race organizers to set up more water stations along the route.
Peterson reported that there were no injuries during the race.
The new course layout apparently confused Rosetti and Hegley, who were leading the race but took a wrong turn, enabling Surra to take the lead for good.
There was a large field of 141 runners entered with 135 completing the course.
The first female to cross the line was Monika Schnee in 51 minutes, 39 seconds. Rebekah Schrader of Towanda was the second woman with a time of 52:31.
Led by Surra, Oswayo Valley won the high school boys' team title. They were followed by Northern Potter, Canton and Tunkhannock.
Canton captured the girls' high school title, edging Tunkhannock. Oswayo Valley was third, followed by Northern Potter.
In independent team competition, CraftMaster won the title, followed by Little Warriors and Bobcats.
The age-group winners were as follows: Boys 12-under, Wyatt Baxter; Boys 13-18, Andy Hildebrandt; Men 19-29, Matthew Rosetti; Men 30-39, Randy White; Men 40-49, Bob Moore; Men 50-over, Jerry Hildenbrant; Girls 13-18, Rebekah Schrader; Women 19-29, Heather Bacon; Women 30-39, Kara German; Women 40-49, Brenda Birdsall, and Women 50-over, Donna Yarasavage.