Ex-Dutchmen Take Men’s, Women’s Crowns; Monroe-Woodbury Team Champ

By Jamie Kempton

The homecoming known as the Bill Markiewicz Memorial Rockland Alumni Cross Country Run re-enacted its 33rd annual encore at Bear Mountain on Nov. 28, uniting local harriers spanning more than six decades in an autumn ritual as timeless as the changing of the foliage and shortening of daylight hours.

After last year’s snow-induced course change disrupted the natural rhythms of the tradition-laden event, this year’s drizzly, relatively balmy mid-50s temperatures proved no hindrance whatsoever to the 206 runners who completed the 3-mile trek, which includes a bracing jaunt around Hessian Lake and a steep, mid-race ascent of the famed ski-jump hill.

The race, co-sponsored by the Rockland Road Runners, is named for the former Clarkstown North cross country and track coach (1978-89) who epitomized the sport’s all-for-one/one-for-all spirit. Markiewicz enthusiastically supported everyone who accepted the challenge of running over hill and dale in pursuit of a personal best and the contribution to a team effort.

A pair of Tappan Zee High School alumni conquered that challenge best on a day to revel in retracing the footpaths of their scholastic harrier days. Luke Gavigan, Tappan Zee class of 2015, took control of the race on the ski-slope hill and forged ahead to victory in 15 minutes 52 seconds. The triumph completed a difficult victory double for the ex-Dutchmen ace, after he captured the Turkey Trot 5-Mile at Rockland Lake on Thanksgiving Day. Only Carlos Jamieson, North Rockland class of 2005, had previously accomplished the feat.

Gavigan was a three-time New York State mile champion for the Flying Dutchmen, won Millrose Games and Penn Relays mile crowns, and ranks No. 2 on the all-time Rockland milers’ list at 4:07.82. Currently attending Rockland Community College, he is set to enroll at Penn State in the spring 2016 semester. Runner-up Jake Jibb, Monroe-Woodbury class of 2015, finished 50 yards back in 16:01 after going out hard and leading the first half of the race. Jibb was the 2015 state 3,000-meter steeplechase champion in 8:57.34, third-fastest ever by a New York schoolboy.

Cailé Kohlbrenner, a 2011 Tappan Zee alumna, rolled to her fifth consecutive women’s championship and placed 25th overall, clocking 18:49 to win by 250 yards. Kohlbrenner started clicking off Alumni Run titles the first year she was eligible and has not lost since. She graduated in 2015 from Providence College, a traditional cross country power, and now serves as Assistant Coach/Recruiting at Dominican College in Orangeburg. That coaching position was formerly held by her dad, Andy Kohlbrenner, Pearl River class of 1981, a four-time Alumni runner-up and 2008 Rockland Track & Field Hall of Fame inductee. Finishing second in the Alumni Run women’s division was Meaghan Ventarola, Monroe-Woodbury class of 2012, in 19:38. Ventarola was the one of the top two runners for the St. Thomas Aquinas College women’s team that qualified for, and competed in, the 2015 NCAA Division II national championships, a first in program history.

Monroe-Woodbury of Orange County swept the team titles. The Crusader men won their fifth crown, outdistancing runner-up and nine-time team champ Clarkstown North, 70 to 94. The Crusader women captured their record 12th team title with 36 points, followed by Pearl River with 50. Monroe-Woodbury also claimed team participation honors with 32 runners, ahead of runner-up Clarkstown South (22) and third-place Suffern (21).

Entrants’ ages ranged from 18 to 85. The oldest participant was Pete Beckerle, age 85, Spring Valley class of 1948, who finished the race in 57:22 for 204th place. He was one of seven Beckerle family members to complete the course, including eldest son Larry, Albertus Magnus class of 1973, who holds the distinction of being the only individual to have participated in all 33 editions of the race. Runner-up in the family participation category was the Newsome clan representing Clarkstown South – Dawn, Kim, Jennifer and George.

The Alumni Run was renamed in memory of Markiewicz in 1991 and an annual award was established to recognize those who have rendered distinguished service to the sport. This year’s Bill Markiewicz Award recipient was Jim Glover, Suffern class of 1977, the longtime boys’ cross country and track coach at Monroe-Woodbury, logistics co-coordinator at the Alumni Run, and meet director of the recent New York State scholastic cross country championships at his host school. The award was presented to Glover by Janet Markiewicz, Bill’s widow, who was joined at the event by several Markiewicz family members, including three who participated in the run.

Past Alumni Run champions who participated this year include Nick Roosa, Tappan Zee class of 2003, a two-time winner who placed sixth in 16:49; Brian Crowley, Albertus Magnus class of 1982, 12th in 17:24 (at age 51); Kristin Schiesswohl White, Monroe-Woodbury class of 1989, fourth in the women’s division in 20:26; and eight-time champion Julianne Littmann Viscardo, Monroe-Woodbury class of 1995, 11th in 22:16.

Besides Gavigan, other former Rockland County scholastic meet titleholders who took part were Jim Dinan, Nanuet class of 1987, and Brendan Fennell, Pearl River class of 2003, a three-time County meet champ and two-time state titlist who was voted Male Runner of the Decade for Rockland from 2000-2009.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain, N.Y.
Course: 3.0 miles
Meet records: 14:08, John Trautmann (Monroe-Woodbury ’86), 1994
17:04, Debbie Grant (Ramapo ’83), 1995

Men’s team scores: 1. Monroe-Woodbury (MW), 70; 2. Clarkstown North (CN), 94; 3. Suffern, 100; 4. Pearl River (PR), 107; 5. Clarkstown South (CS), 129; 6. Monroe-Woodbury ‘B’, 155; 7. Tappan Zee (TZ), 207; 8. Albertus Magnus (AM), 219; 9. Nanuet (Nan), 239; other teams incomplete.

Women’s team scores: 1. Monroe-Woodbury (MW), 36; 2. Pearl River (PR), 50; 3. Clarkstown South (CS), 88; 4. Nanuet (Nan), 136; 5. Suffern (Suf), 183; other teams incomplete.

Team participation (combined): 1. Monroe-Woodbury, 32; 2. Clarkstown South, 22; 3. Suffern, 21; 4. Pearl River, 18; 5. Albertus Magnus, 17; 6. Clarkstown North, 16; 7. Nanuet, 13.

Women’s top 10

1. Cailé Kohlbrenner (TZ ’11), 18:49; 2. Meaghan Ventarola (MW ’12), 19:38 ; 3. Erika Duthiers (PR ’90), 19:47 ; 4. Kristin Schiesswohl White (MW ’89), 20:26 ; 5. Linda Giardina Ludwikowski (PR ’89), 20:57; 6. Katie Healy (AM ’95), 21:03; 7. Eileen McDonagh Valerio (PR ’91), 21:06; 8. Kim Newsome Chalfin (CS ’88), 21:19; 9. Suzanne LaBurt (MW ’81), 21:43; 10. Chrissy Clarkin (MW ’11), 21:49.

Top 100 Overall

Luke Gavigan (TZ ’15), 15:52; 2. Jack Jibb (MW ’15), 16:01; 3. Kyle Collins (Suf ’12), 16:04; 4. Greg Laraia (Newburgh FA ’08), 16:19; 5. Evan Ward (Suf ’12), 16:47; 6. Nick Roosa (TZ ’03), 16:49; 7. Shawn Vettom (Suf ’12), 16:56; 8. Dom Fortino (PR ’15), 17:10; 9. Jason Friedman (CN ’93), 17:17; 10. Ben Nilsestuen (Warwick ’01), 17:20; 11. Corey Calajoe (PR ’04), 17:22; 12. Brian Crowley (AM ’82), 17:24; 13. Chris Burrill (CS ’14), 17:31; 14. Peter Viscardo (MW ’95), 17:33; 15. Jim Trautmann (MW ’90), 17:38; 16. Michael Guglielmo (CS ’13), 17:52; 17. Matt McKenna (CN ’03), 18:06; 18. Tom McCarney (CN ’93), 18:09; 19. Jeremy Shriber (MW ’12), 18:14; 20. Ed Ackerly (MW ’86), 18:15; 21. Pat Driscoll (CN ’98), 18:28; 22. J.T. McEntyre (MW ’13), 18:37; 23. Frank Visingardi (Nan ’86), 18:40; 24. Bryan Lasky (MW ’05), 18:44; 25. Cailé Kohlbrenner (TZ ’11), 18:49; 26. Bryan Herbst (PR ’07), 18:50; 27. Douglas Hauser Jr. (MW ’02), 18:54; 28. Adam Klein (CS ’14), 19:02; 29. James Kessler (PR ’03), 19:03; 30. Devon White (CN ’86), 19:12; 31. Jim Sommer (MW ’97), 19:17; 32. Alexander Sanso (MW ’13), 19:24; 33. David Blumel (MW ’75), 19:27; 34. Jim Dinan (Nan ’87), 19:32; 35. Dan Pragdat (CS ’11), 19:37; 36. Meaghan Ventarola (MW ’12), 19:38; 37. Brendan Fennell (PR ’03), 19:42; 38. James O’Donnell (MW ’90), 19:43; 39. John MacKenzie (TZ ’98), 19:44; 40. Erika Duthiers (PR ’90), 19:47; 41. Michael Sklar (CS ’93), 19:49; 42. Logan Scott (Highland ’79), 19:51; 43. Zack Berbit (Suf ’96), 19:57; 44. Chris Craig (AM ’82), 20:02; 45. Mike Kessler (PR ’07), 20:04; 46. Jason Flach (Suf ’12), 20:06; 47. Doug Sklar (CS ’91), 20:15; 48. John Fenton (St. Enda’s School, Limerick, Ireland), 20:19; 49. Kristin Schiesswohl White (MW ’89), 20:26; 50. Keith Lasky (MW ’10), 20:34.

51. Patrick Reimer (Xavier, CT ’84), 20:42; 52. Nicholas Aleles (TZ ’11), 20:44; 53. Connor Gulick (Suf ’13), 20:45; 54. Matt Lenihan (PR ’03), 20:53; 55. George Newsome (CS ’92), 20:54; 56. Tom List (PR ’80), 20:55; 57. Mike Bernstein (Suf ’95), 20:56; 58. Linda Giardina Ludwikowski (PR ’89), 20:57; 59. John Leonick (MW ’11), 21:00; 60. Jim Dugandzic (PR ’81), 21:01; 61. Katie Healy (AM ’95), 21:03; 62. Eileen McDonagh Valerio (PR ’91), 21:06; 63. Kim Newsome Chalfin (CS ’88), 21:19; 64. Adam Borg (CN ’97), 21:23; 65. Patrick Markiewicz (Burke Catholic ’06), 21:36; 66. Mike Kiernan (PR ’97), 21:37; 67. Mike Beckerle (Nan ’79), 21:38; 68. Steven Estremera (Millbrook ’08), 21:41; 69. Suzanne LaBurt (MW ’81), 21:43; 70. Chrissy Clarkin (MW ’11), 21:49; 71. Dan Brabander (Nan ’83), 21:59; 72. Matt Walker (CS ’12), 22:00; 73. Gregory Mooney (Nan ’10), 22:06; 74. Jordan Levine (Suf ’11), 22:07; 75. Chris Guglielmo (CS ’13), 22:09; 76. Harry Carle (Bergen Catholic ’85), 22:13; 77. Julianne Littmann Viscardo (MW ’95), 22:16; 78. Dan Markiewicz (Goshen ’96), 22:18; 79. Doug Carter (Kimball Union Academy, NH), 22:24; 80. Robert Rossen (Great Neck South ’83), 22:27; 81. Dawn Newsome-Marinaccio (CS ’86), 22:30; 82. Cathy Mulligan Clinton (PR ’91), 22:34; 83. Kevin Leonard (AM ’76), 22:35; 84. James Alexander (PR ’07), 22:42; 85. Ross Edelman (Suf ’06), 22:43; 86. Caitlin Holahan (MW ’11), 22:44; 87. Matt Ammer (Suf ’94), 22:51; 88. Kevin Chanowsky (MW ’94), 22:56; 89. Tim Waples (Suf ’00), 23:08; 90. Robert Pasqual (Archbishop Molloy ’77), 23:09; 91. Evan Ratnow (Suf ’96), 23:10; 92. Melissa Brady (AM ’95), 23:17; 93. Dave Baker (Nan ’79), 23:18; 94. Kyle Bakowski (MW ’12), 23:19; 95. John Garvey (Deerfield, IL ’03), 23:35; 96. Kim Benard (Nan ’95), 23:49; 97. Woo Young Choi (CS ’12), 23:50; 98. Mark Kelly (PR ’84), 23:53; 99. Greg Mooney (Nan ’79), 23:53; 100. Jason Lipman (CN ’91), 23:56.

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