Race Into the New Year 5K draws record field

January 5, 2024

The final event of 2023 for the Seashore Striders was held at noon, Dec. 31, in the Nation’s Summer Capital of Rehoboth Beach, as the 19th annual Race Into the New Year 5K headed north on the Boardwalk for the out-and-back course. A new event record of 404 participants registered, with 385 finishing in front of a cheering crowd that filled the Boardwalk at Rehoboth Avenue. This year’s numbers shattered last year total of 255 participants. The event began with 40 young dashers under the age of 12 racing down the Boardwalk 200 meters and back to complete the quarter-mile kids’ dash. Finishing kids were presented with a medal by the Seashore Striders team.

The starting field then lined up as horns sounded, bells rang and shouts of Happy New Year filled the air.

First back across the finish line was Nicholas Sturm, 28, of Reading, Pa., in 16:59.6, a few ticks faster than his winning time at last spring’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K (17:04). Sturm broke several track & field records back in the day racing for Alvernia University. Andy Gorlich, 38, of Milton ran 17:33.6 for second. He was thrilled to be solidly in the 17s finally. “Welcome to the 17 Club,” said Striders friend Martin Rodriguez, who served as one of the lead bikers. Matt Sparacino, 46, of Harrington finished third and won the male masters title in 18:01.1. Mike Uelses, 57, of Stockertown, Pa., was fourth in 18:28.0. Uelses logged a time of 2:59:05 in September in Erie, Pa., at the Presque Isle Marathon. Rounding out the top five finishers was young Liam Steyn, 13, of Newtown, Pa., in 18:36.9. Steyn nearly had a two-minute improvement over one year, as he was 10th last year in 20:17.2.

On the female side of the action, 19-year-old Olivia Montini of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., defended her female title with a time of 19:36.7, while masters specialist Cindy Conant, 62, of Kensington, Md., was second in 20:06. Montini was second overall last year and won the female title in 18:52.6 with Conant also one place behind her in nearly the same time of 20:05. Melissa Wiley, 38, of Ocean City, Md., was third in 20:37.8, while Lauren Pels, 21, of Bethesda, Md., finished fourth in 21:30.3. Rounding out the top five was University of Delaware’s Katie K Kuhlman of Milton in 21:37.5, who ran with her coach Ben Bamforth of the UD coaching staff.

Finish chute

Isabel Clark, 12, of Selinsgrove, Pa., won the girls’ 10-13 division in 22:41.0, while Seashore Striders runner Ruby Leps, 9, of Lewes won the 9-and-under age group in 22:57.5. John Costello, 62, of Milton ran an impressive time of 19:32.1, while Paul Bousel of Alexandria, Va., turned 70 and went 26:09.8. Mackenzie Bean, 11, of Milton ran 28:33.8 to finish 20 seconds ahead of her mom, Teacher of the Year Connie Bean, who ran 28:51.2. Here are a few out-of-state racers and their times: Benjamin O’Donnell and Marissa O’Donnell of Franklin, Mass., in 22:32.9 and 27:30.2; JP Milot of Ridgefield, Conn., in 22:46.2; Russell Bulkley and Jose Padilla of Stamford, Conn., in 24:28.1 and 24:56.5; Elise Goldberg of New York, N.Y., in 26:27.6; and Tess Ward of Minneapolis, Minn., in 41:51.5.

Bayside League Meet 3

Cape traveled south to Snow Hill, Md., for the weekly indoor track & field meet, with most of the upper-class scoring athletes remaining in Lewes to train. Several young Vikings finished in the top five overall, led by a sweep in the triple jump with Isabel Mastrangelo winning in 28-feet-7-inches, Camilla Willis second in 28-1 and Adyson Kaufman third in 27-9. Kennedy Johnson won the long jump in a nice leap of 16-1 ½, while Anejah Grace was second in 15-6. Addison Bowman was second in the vault in 10-0, while Kiersten Smith was third in the 55 meters in 7.84. Lily Noonan was third in the 3,200 meters in 13:12.5.

Top-five finishers on the boys’ side include a win by the 800 relay team in 1:40.2. Jamar Beasley was third in the 800 meters in 2:14.2, while Emmett Wheatley was fourth in 2:14.6 and Mattox Rineer was fifth in 2:16.1. Brayden Redd was fifth in the 3,200 meters in 11:02.8. Stephen Hart finished fourth in the triple jump in 37-10, with Carter Gibbons fifth in 37-0. Bernard Jones was fifth in the 55-meter hurdles in 9.41. The Cape boys were fourth in 4:01.1 in the 1,600-meter relay. Caesar Rodney took the boys’ title with 87.5 points, while Cape was fifth with 40.5 points. Milford led the Henlopen Conference girls with 55.5 points for fourth at the meet, while Cape finished seventh with 31 points. A total of 19 teams participated in the meet.

Sussex Academy will take part in the Virginia Beach High School Relays Saturday, Jan. 6, while Cape will head back to Alvernia University in Pennsylvania for the Golden Wolves Challenge Sunday, Jan. 7.


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