Alumni Cross Country Run Returns After One-Year Pandemic Pause

By: Jamie Kimpton

After a one-year hiatus caused by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bill Markiewicz Memorial
Rockland County Alumni Cross Country Run returned to the hills and footpaths of Bear Mountain
State Park on Saturday, Nov. 27. The 38 th renewal of the event welcomed 125 alumni harriers from
throughout the New York metro area and beyond to re-enact a ritual many remember fondly from their
days as scholastic competitors. The race is co-sponsored by the Rockland Road Runners.
For many veteran Alumni Run participants, the silting of time has slowed the gait and magnified the
aches and pains. But it has not diminished their zeal for recapturing the feeling of exhilaration and
camaraderie intrinsic to the Bear Mountain running experience. For Mike Rogan, Clarkstown North
class of 1986, finishing the race intact was a moral victory after undergoing a partial knee replacement
in July. Rogan, the 1985
Rockland County schoolboy champion, finished 100 th in 36:23, a far cry from his speedy 15:05 winning
effort in '85. But he made the trek from his home in Evansville, Indiana not to draw comparisons to his
halcyon days of yore, but to reaffirm his vigor and Rockland loyalties after recent life-altering
tribulations.
Rogan suffered a traumatic brain injury in July 2013, having fallen down two flights of stairs at his
home and sustaining severe facial and skull fractures. Through strenuous rehabilitation he has
improved his mobility, although his injuries have left him unable to go back to work. He had been an
emergency room physician and medical researcher in Indiana.
In a Hall of Fame career at North, Rogan won the state indoor title at 1,000 meters, ran the third-fastest
time in the country in that event in 1986 (2:29.59), and swept the 5,000, 1,500 and 800-meter races at
the spring county championships. At Notre Dame, he set a still-standing school record for the indoor
1,500 meters (3:47.64) and ran the equivalent of a 4:02 mile.
Rogan was undoubtedly the most accomplished athlete coached by Bill Markiewicz, in whose memory
the race is named. Markiewicz, Albertus Magnus class of 1967, was head coach of the Clarkstown
North cross country team from 1978 to 1989, who died in 1991 from cancer. He endeared himself to
everyone with his vibrant personality and full-throttle devotion to his athletes and the cross
country/track community as a whole. This year's recipient of the Bill Markiewicz Award – bestowed
annually to a significant, longtime contributor to Rockland cross country – was Pat Driscoll,
Clarkstown North class of 1998. Driscoll competed for Clarkstown North and Marist College before
embarking on a highly successful 15-year coaching career at Tappan Zee High School. He has coached
girls' track/XC for 15 years and boys for 14 years. Pat ran in the Alumni race all but one year from
1998 to 2006.
“As a Clarkstown North alum, winning the Markiewicz Award means a lot to me,” said Driscoll, a
special education teacher at Tappan Zee for the past 18 years. “Even though I never ran for Mr.
Mark, my coach Bob Dillon along with Paul Duddy referenced him a lot. I am surrounded by
incredible coaches in our county past and present and to be given an award because of my
contributions to the sport, is incredibly humbling.  My coach Bob Dillon always spoke so highly
of the Alumni race and to be honored by the Rockland County Cross Country Alumni is so
cool.” Driscoll was presented with the award by Janet Markiewicz, Bill's widow, who makes the trip
each year from her home in Goshen, N.Y. to keep the Markiewicz flame burning brightly.

Another cross country veteran who has weathered health hardships to return to Bear Mountain is Mike
Secora, Albertus Magnus class of 1971. In the era before Albertus joined the RCPSAL, Secora was an
Albertus front-runner. He won the titanic dual-meet showdown with public-schools champ Clarkstown
at Bear Mountain in 1970, leading the Falcons to victory before what is believed to be the largest
crowd ever assembled for a dual cross country meet in Rockland. He also finished 11 th in the A race of
the highly competitive CHSAA Intersectionals at Van Cortlandt Park in 13:11, still an outstanding time
today.
Secora has struggled with health issues in recent years, contracting colon cancer in 2014 and 2015 and
having both hips replaced in 2017 and 2018. Now cancer-free, he has been walking regularly for the
past two years and set a goal of breaking 45 minutes at the race, which he did with a 44:20 effort. He
last participated in the Alumni Run in 2006 but has completed the race 16 times in total.
“I loved coming back,” said Secora, who has resided in Ormond Beach, Fla. for the past six years. “It is
always great to see former teammates and competitors. Bear Mountain was our home course so we
always liked running there. We felt we had an advantage being used to running the hills.” Back then
the course ascended the brutally steep ski slope incline twice over a 2.5-mile route, versus once on the
current 3-mile course.
The race was conducted in blustery, sunny 39-degree weather. Corey Calajoe, Pearl River class of
2004, outdistanced the field in traversing the challenging layout in 16:45.7. Calajoe was runner-up last
year. “I've run faster in previous years but due to the wind I just wanted to put myself up with the front
group and compete for the win,” said Calajoe, who ran all four years for Pearl River but did not
compete in college. He has completed seven marathons with a best of 2 hours 48 minutes. Calajoe lives
in Somers, N.Y., and works as an IT director in the insurance industry.
Patrick Castellano, Tappan Zee class of 2019 (a Pat Driscoll protégé), finished right behind Calajoe in
16:47.8. In the women's division, Jamie Lord, North Rockland class of 2014, clocked a personal-best
18:35.3 for a 300-yard margin of victory over runner-up Suzanne LaBurt, Monroe-Woodbury class of
1981, who ran 20:45.2. Lord improved on her high school best of 18:48 at Bear Mountain. Collegiately
she competed for RPI in Troy, N.Y., for four years and now runs for the Battle Road Track Club,
training for the 2022 Boston Marathon next April. Lord lives in Wakefield, Mass., and works as a
systems engineer for Raytheon Technologies.
Lord finished 14 th overall and LaBurt placed 29 th . LaBurt, the defending champion, has been a model of
consistency at the Alumni Run, having won the women's division twice, finished second eight times
and third four times since 2000.
Suffern laid claim to the men's team crown for the seventh time, tallying 90 points to shade runner-up
Pearl River's 96. The Monroe-Woodbury women re-entered the winner's circle after having their nine-
year victory skein snapped last year by Suffern. The Lady Crusaders rang up 64 points for their record
16 th team flag, while Monroe-Woodbury also secured the combined men's/women's participation title
for a record 18 th time (and 11 th consecutively) with 23 participants. Pearl River was second with 15.
The gender breakdown of the race was 98 males and 27 females. The oldest participants were Warren
Berbit of Suffern, Bayside class of 1960, and Tom Maile of the Taconic Road Runners Club and
Bloomfield Hills, Mich. class of 1960. Entrants' alma maters represented seven states – New York,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and California – as well as international

participants hailing from Great Britain, France and Thailand.
Past Rockland County scholastic champions who competed in this year's Alumni Run included Rogan
and Michael Colangelo, Albertus Magnus class of 1975, the 1974 NYS Class B individual champ and
leader of the Falcons' NYS and Eastern States champion Long Red Line. Past Alumni Run gold
medalists included Brian Crowley, Albertus class of 1982, the 1990 champ, who was 13 th in 18:31.5;
Kyle Collins, Suffern class of 2012, the 2014 titlist, who finished eighth in 17:59.6; Evan Ward,
Suffern 2012, the 2016 winner, who took third in 17:05.4; and LaBurt.
The family participation title was shared by the Collins family of dad Mike and sons Kyle, Wesley and
Dustin, and the Beckerle family of siblings Larry, Stephen, Michael and Matthew Beckerle. Larry
Beckerle, Albertus Magnus class of 1973, extended his unrivaled streak of having competed in all 38
editions of the Alumni Run.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
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. Suffern (Suf), 90; 2. Pearl River (PR), 96; 3. Warwick (War), 105; 4. Monroe-
Woodbury (MW), 123; 5. North Rockland (NR), 148; 6. Albertus Magnus (AM), 225; 7. Clarkstown
South (CS), 227; 8. Nanuet (Nan), 238; 9. Clarkstown North (CN), 286.
Women’s team scores: 1. Monroe-Woodbury (MW), 64; other teams incomplete.
Team participation (combined men/women): 1. Monroe-Woodbury, 23; 2. Pearl River, 15; 3.
Suffern, 11; 4. Tie, Albertus Magnus and Warwick, 9; 6. Tie, Clarkstown North, Clarkstown South,
Nanuet & North Rockland, 6; 10. Tappan Zee, 4.
Women’s top 10
1. Jaime Lord (NR '14), 18:35.3 ; 2. Suzanne LaBurt (MW '81), 20:45.2; 3. Meghan Donovan
(Cornwall '11), 21:12.8 ; 4. Amanda Wright (Lakeland-Panas '06), 21:16.1 ; 5. Sandra Wilson (PR '15),
21:58.1 ; 6. Masha Portiansky (Commonwealth, Boston, MA '97), 23:16.3 ; 7. Emily Casey (Cornwall
'12), 23:48.7 ; 8. Kerry Monahan (The Assisium, New York County, NY '81), 25:26.2 ; 9. Leslie
Ballantyne (Suf '92), 27:12.5 ; 10. Kathy List (PR '91), 27:23.2.
Overall Finishers
1. Corey Calajoe (PR '04), 16:45.7; 2. Patrick Castellano (TZ '19), 16:47.8; Daniel Raboin (St. John's
HS '10), 16:53; 4. Evan Ward (Suf '12), 17:05.4; 5. Liam Hehir (TZ), 17:16.9; 6. Michael Brockway
(Washingtonville '20), 17:34.9; 7. Sean Casey (Cornwall '11), 17:53.4; 8. Kyle Collins (Suf '12),
17:59.6; 9. Kajetan Leitner (MW '19), 18:04.1; 10. Adam Alshoubeki (MW '16), 18:23.9; 11. Ben
Nilsestuen (War '01), 18:26; 12. Tyler Perry (NR '12), 18:28.1; 13. Brian Crowley (AM '82), 18:31.5;
14. Jaime Lord (NR '14), 18:35.3; 15. Mike Bernstein (Suf '95), 18:56.3; 16. James Kessler (PR '03),
18:57.3; 17. Thomas Cobb (NR '17), 18:58.2; 18. Matt Borawski (PR '04), 19:05; 19. Chris Danyluk
(CS '19), 19:12.6; 20. Matt Lenihan (PR '03), 19:19.4; 21. Zachariah Price (War '06), 19:20.7; 22.
Adam Klein (CS '14), 19:26.3; 23. Jacob Laroe (War '04), 19:38.4; 24. Bryan Onody (NR '20), 19:49.2;

25. Arasu Jawe (Archbishop Molloy '92), 20:03.4; 26. Mike Lawrence (War '01), 20:10.8; 27. Andrew
Kolesar (NR '20), 20:24.5; 28. Anthony Campione (War '05), 20:25; 29. Suzanne LaBurt (MW '81),
20:45.2; 30. Zach Berbit (Suf '96), 21:05.9; 31. Meghan Donovan (Cornwall '11), 21:12.8; 32. Amanda
Wright (Lakeland-Panas '06), 21:16.1; 33. Tom McCarney (CN '93), 21:21.8; 34. John MacKenzie (TZ
'98), 21:41.2; 35. Sandra Wilson (PR '15), 21:58.1; 36. Ade Ellis (Nan '00), 22:03.3; 37. Douglas
Hauser (MW '02), 22:09.7; 38. Dan Markiewicz (Goshen '96), 22:20.3; 39. Kevin Leonard (AM '76),
22:28.4; 40. Paul Bisconti (MW '15), 22:38.7; 41. Richard Barbera (Suf '09), 22:48.4; 42. Daniel
Wanamaker (MW '18), 22:59.5; 43. A.J. Lawrence (War '04), 23:03.5; 44. Masha Portiansky
(Commonwealth, Boston, MA '97), 23:16.3; 45. Adam Borg (CN ''97), 23:23.7; 46. Mike Brockway
(Nan '87), 23:33.2; 47. Evan Ratnow (Suf '96), 23:35.3; 48. Michael Beckerle (Nan '79), 23:38; 49.
Aakash Dholakia (MW '18), 23:46.2; 50. Emily Casey (Cornwall '12), 23:48.7; 51. Jim Dugandzic (PR
'81), 23:52.4; 52. Dave Baker (Nan '79), 24:31.7; 53. Andry Prokopiv (MW '17), 24:33.9; 54. Tyler
Bassett (Suf '16), 24:52.1; 55. Tom List (PR '80), 25:07.2; 56. Doug Carter (Kimball Union Academy,
NH '71), 25:12.1; 57. Kerry Monahan (The Assisium, NY County, NY '81), 25:26.2; 58. Dan Pragdat
(CS '11), 25:39.9; 59. Rob Pasquale (Archbishop Molloy '77), 25:48.2; 60. Bruce Meyer (TZ '76),
25:53; 61. Keith Reilly (PR '90), 26:21.4; 62. Kyle Egan (MW '16), 26:32.6; 63. Michael Colangelo
(AM '75), 26:45.5; 64. Anthony Carpentieri (CS '17), 26:56.7; 65. Jimmy McGovern (PR '90), 27:06.8;
66. Leslie Ballantyne (Suf '92), 27:12.5; 67. Mike Moran (AM '83), 27:13.2; 68. Jeff Wilson (Auburn,
Rockport, Illinois '86), 27:19.7; 69. Kathy List (PR '91), 27:23.2; 70. Bertrand Ganee (Jules Vielte,
Montbeliard, France '01), 27:23.7; 71. Henry Smith (War '01), 27:41.9; 72. Ashley Veno
(Washingtonville '02), 27:48.7; 73. Pat Butler (PR '90), 27:51.7; 74. Hugh Brady (PR '80), 28:05.2; 75.
Catherine O'Hanlon (CS '03), 28:06.9; 76. Michael Marcotte (MW '17), 28:16; 77. Stephen Beckerle
(AM '74), 28:38.7; 78. Jason Friedman (CN '93), 28:49; 79. Ravi Dholakia (MW '16), 28:50.6; 80. Joe
Dolan (PR '90), 28:56.3; 81. Jason Lipman (CN '91), 28:58.6; 82. Ed Casey (PR '82), 29:49; 83. John
Darga (NR '85), 29:49.9; 84. Chuck Sommerlad (MW '85), 30:02; 85. Angela Iaccarino (MW '18),
30:14.6; 86. Tom Maile (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan '60), 30:38.1; 87. Thomas Cooper (MW '15),
30:54.5; 88. William Carpenter (Longsands, St. Neots, UK '77), 31:44.9; 89. Wes Collins (Suf '19),
31:47.9; 90. Kyle Sommerlad (MW '16), 32:26.4; 91. Harry Owens (Chaminade '76), 32:33.7; 92. Joe
Sarvis (AM '75), 32:53.1; 93. Elisabeth Tischler (MW '89), 33:12.4; 94. Krystal Weddell (War '01),
34:34.3; 95. Rob McNamara (Nan '86), 34:35.4; 96. Tiffanie Reilly (War '99), 34:39.6; 97. Larry
Beckerle (AM '73), 34:41.7; 98. Michael Danyluk (CS '16), 34:42.1; 99. Bob Hermesch (Hendrick
Hudson '68), 36:03.9; 100. Mike Rogan (CN '86), 36:23.2; 101. Justin Gumbs (MW '20), 36:50.9; 102.
Jena Sommerlad (MW '20), 36:51.3; 103. Brian Conlon (MW '85), 37:35.3; 104. Amber Crispino (MW
'85), 37:59.1; 105. Gerald Conlon (MW '84), 38:05.5; 106. Ed Meyer (Jesuit, Sacramento, Calif. '92),
38:36; 107. Niels Dua (Lowell, San Francisco, Calif. '83), 39:01.2; 108. Dustin Collins (Suf '16),
40:22.2; 109. Michael Collins (Mepham '78), 40:22.6; 110. unknown, 40:35.4; 111. Diane Iriarte (PR
'83), 40:35.8; 112. Stephanie Hanrahan (PR '83), 40:36.3; 113. Robin Schaber (Southridge, Indiana
'98), 40:46.6; 114. Lisa Iaccarino (MW '14), 41:18.3; 115. Michelle Iaccarino (MW '16), 41:19.5; 116.
Mike Secora (AM '71), 44:20.1; 117. Prama Mongkolthavorn (Bangkok, Thailand '92), 44:46; 118.
Suda Phadungtalesin, Bangkok, Thailand '92), 44:46.5; 119. Sherry Berbit (Ramapo '69), 46:24.1; 120.
Dan Hogan (Suf '99), 48:00.5; 121. Jamie Kempton (AM '76), 53:23.3; 122. Mike Coakley (CN '87),
53:28.8; 123. Matt Beckerle (Nan '83), 53:30.3; 124. Laura Leonard (Stuyvesant '84), 53:30.4; 125.
Warren Berbit (Bayside '60), 54:08.5.

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