Dalrymple, Liechty claim first race titles
Confusion reigned in the first mile of the 41st running of the annual five-kilometer First Bank of Berne Swiss Days Race Saturday morning as a lead pack of runners veered off course on Parr Road changing the complexion of the event.
The lead pack missed the turn back onto Jefferson Street, going east on Parr Road to the aid station before learning of their mistake and turning back. Two veterans of the race, however, stayed on course and wound up collecting their first wins.
Evan Liechty, 19, a two-time winner in the one-mile race for those 11 and under and perennially one of the top runners in the 5K, surged in the final mile to pull away for his first win in 17:30.9. Liechty was a standout athlete at South Adams, qualifying for the state cross country finals his junior season and collecting numerous conference championships, before illness basically wiped out his senior season. He said he has been steadily building his running back up and is currently training for the Fort 4 Fitness half-marathon later this fall. Liechty, a student at Purdue University, has spent his summer in West Lafayette attending classes.
Laurissa Dalrymple, 31, knows the course like the back of her hand, but when she turned onto Parr Road and saw the runners heading out east she started to question.
“I even said, ‘aren’t they supposed to turn?’ And everyone was like, ‘yeah, they’re going the wrong way,’ said Dalrymple, the first female finisher in 19:06.9. “It made me question. I could see them.”
Liechty stated that a set of pylons stretching across Jefferson Street probably confused the race leaders, but the lead moped had made the turn south. Jack Shoaf has led the race on a moped for years. After the initial confusion the pylons were moved out of the way.
Liechty’s margin of victory was about 15 seconds over 16-year old Chad Veal of Indianapolis. Bailey McIntire, 15, of Berne was third in 17:52.4. Dalrymple held a 67-second margin of victory over Olivia Von Gunten, 14, of Berne (20:13.0). Dianna Fox, 32, of Berne was the third female in 20:17.7.
“We met up during the first mile,” said Dalrymple, of the lead females. “I know (Von Gunten and Fox) are good runners so I was trying to go fast enough that they wouldn’t catch me.
“I thought I was going to die,” she continued. “I haven’t done a 5K in a while. I’ve been focusing on triathlons.”
The race was minus yearly contenders Justin and Melissa Gillette. The first time they have missed the event in ten years.
Age group winners in the five-kilometer race were: female 14 and under, Olivia Von Gunten of Berne; female 15 to 18, Kara Seffernick of Berne; female 19 to 29, Annie Boocher of Decatur; female 30 to 39, Laurissa Dalrymple of Minster, OH; female 40 to 49, Maureen Liechty of Chardon, OH; female 50 to 59, Marilyn Bradford of Warren; female 60 and over, Rebecca Pierce of Selma; male 14 and under, Tristan Anderson of Bluffton; male 15 to 18, Chad Veal of Indianapolis; male 19 to 29, Evan Liechty of Berne; male 30 to 39, Lance Yoder of Huntertown; male 40 to 49, Kent Liechty of Berne; male 50 to 59, Jerry Williams Jr of Fort Wayne; male 60 and over, Roger Tullis of Geneva.
Race Anderson, 10, of Berne overcame two runners on Sprunger Street and won the one-mile race in 6:15.5, besting Owen Wanner of Berne by seven seconds. Hannah Meek, 11, of Albuquerque, New Mexico was the first female finisher in the mile race in 6:39.9. She topped Sami Liechty of Chardon, Ohio by about 19 seconds.
Wanner won the boys 8 and under age group by a wide margin in 6:22.6. Josie Shoaf won the girls 8 and under age group in 7:30.1.
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