Seech, Geery Earn 5K Run Titles

9:53 am Sunday, May 26, 2019

By KIM NORTH
For the News-Register
WHEELING — Youth ruled the day in the 43rd annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic 5K Male Run, but experience proved valuable in the Female 5K Run.
Tina Seech is no stranger to running the streets in the “Friendly City.” After all, she has been doing it for years.
The 57-year-old Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, resident captured her third 5K Female Run title Saturday morning during the 43rd annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic. She also won in 2016 and 2017, and has finished second and third on multiple occasions. Her time this year was 20:54.
“It was hot. There was only one water stop and it only had Gatorade. I can’t drink Gatorade, so I had no water,” she said.
So why does she come to Wheeling to run?
“I enjoy the camaraderie, the race atmosphere and the prizes,” she said with a smile.
Finishing a distant second among the women in 23:37 was Alexandra Waker from Washington, D.C. Taking third in 24:41 was Erin Hagan of Hillsboro, Ky., while the Wheeling duo of Lacey Wright and Shanna Gardner were fourth and fifth, respectively, in 24:44 and 24:48.
Meanwhile, the top two finishers among the men only recently concluded their high school careers.
Bridgeport’s Justin Geery broke the tape in 18:19, giving himself an early graduation present. He will graduate from Martins Ferry High School today.
St. Clairsville’s Jason Panas, who graduated Friday night with his Red Devil class, was second in 18:51.
Geery said he led from the get-go.
“I was out there in front with a kid that runs from St. Clairsville (Panas). We led for the first mile-and-a-half and then I pulled away,” Geery said of the race. It’s pretty exciting to win this race, but it’s not as big as actually competing in high school.
“It’s still a nice feeling, though.”
During this past high school cross country season, Geery claimed three first-place finishes and was 8th in the OVAC meet. He will be going to NCAA Division I St. Francis College (Pennsylvania) to continue his running and academic careers.
Panas, meanwhile, will be headed to college as well. He will be attending Marietta College to continue his pursuit of athletic and academic accomplishments.
Rayland’s Nathanial Jarrell was third in 19:26, which was 21 seconds faster than St. Clairsville’s Jeremy Ullom. Bridgeport’s Kyle Cash finished fifth in 20:10.
Due to a course route error, the 5K event was cut slightly short for all competitors.

Race News

Mortakis Keeping Up Family Tradition

By JOSH STROPE Sports Editor WHEELING — The Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic is a tradition for the Mortakis family. Sue Mortakis was a runner for a number of years and despite being no longer able to compete, her daughter, Kelley, is taking up the mantle. Kelley Mortakis crossed the finish line in a time of 1:29:45.03, becoming the first female to finish the race. The Wheeling native was 11th overall. “Awesome,” Mortakis ...

Johnny Haught Crosses Finish Line Backward

WHEELING — Johnny Haught of Bethlehem did not have the finish line in his sights when he completed the Ogden Newspapers 5K Run/Walk for Health, but he had a goal in mind as he ran the entire course backward. Haught has made a name for himself in past races by running in unique ways. Last year he ran the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic barefoot to benefit the the Lace Up for Kids program, which is conducted through the United Way to ...

Sisters Run for Special Needs Organization

By CARRI GRAHAM For the News-Register WHEELING — Sisters Jill Connolly and Tina Oleary traveled a long distance to participate in the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic. Sarah Tipton resides in Wheeling, but her sisters came from North Carolina and Massachusetts to join her in the race Saturday. The siblings are not running for themselves; instead they are running for the “I Run 4” organization, as stated on their matching ...

MORE RACE NEWS