| Stars Come Out for Year 2001 End
A celebrity filled field brought year 2001 to a close on the 5 kilometer course, under sunny skies and cold temperatures. Whirlaway Racing Teams's Jon Corso, the overall course record holder at 15:10, came home for the holidays and the ex-Agawam High, UMass, and GSH star was the Las Vegas oddsmaker's choice despite a talent rich men's field. A quintuplet of young Harriers were ready for the challege including Carlos Rivera and Steve Byrne and college speedsters Tom Bousquet, Erich Fiedler, and Jason Reed. Toss in Southwick High's junior running sensation Andrew Pitts, fresh off a cross country season which included numerous course records, a Western Mass and a State title, and you've got yourself an old fashioned foot race.
It has been over a decade since Jon Corso made Snowstorm Classic history so a few of the betting public were touting the competition, but those Vegas guys aren't often wrong. At the sound of the gun Mr. Corso bolted off the starting line, raced up the hill, and by the first kilometer held a comfortable lead on route to a wire to wire victory
in 16:11. The race for silver was closer as Andrew Pitts (16:35) not only held off Carlos Rivera (16:43) and Tom Bousquet (16:51) but established the course record for sixteen year old boys, erasing the 16:40 standard set by another Dick Atkinson coached Southwick High standout, Tom Walsh, in 1989.
Division winners included senior Steve O'Neil (18:24) who also topped masters Tim Brown (18:29) and Joe Klejna (18:34) and veteran Charlie Towse (21:24) who out ran fellow Harrier Jim O'Toole (22:40).
Among the women it was master runners Sue Haryasz (19:32) and Carolyn Webber (20:17) showing the way with some quick times while Dawn Roberts was third (20:59). Mary Ryczek captured another senior blue ribbon in 23:02. By the way Sue is no stranger to fast times, she is co-holder of the 17:36 overall course record for women.