Heather Gardiner Wins Again
Last year Heather Gardiner set the 10 K course record, tied the 5K
course record, and, while doing so, became the first woman to
win a Snowstorm Classic outright. Yet todayís race may have topped
even those impressive accomplishments.
On a decidedly less then perfect course, with numerous stretches of
rutted snow, slush, and ice, the Hartford, Connecticut, speedster
clocked a 37:36. Thatís the fourth fastest womenís time ever, a
new record for 24 year old women (handily beating the 38:14 set by
fellow CMSer Sue Haryasz seventeen years ago) and once again fast
enough to top all competitors, men or women.
Harrier Peter Fratini forced the early pace, with Heather tagging
along, after the opening hill separated the two leaders from the
rest of the field. As they approached the 5K mark and headed
back into Forest Park, Heather forged ahead, quickly building a
commanding lead. After navigating a slippery Washington Boulevard,
she cruised down the hill, flew past a few startled ducks in their
ponds, and sprinted across the line before an astonished Harrier
finish line crew. Surely one of those races which will be
talked about in the Forest Park Skate House for many years.
Fratini strode home 2nd in 38:38, comfortably in front of
master and senior winner Steve OíNeil (40:39). Maureen Burns was
second among the women and first master in 41:59, while Mary
Misiaszek placed third in 47:10.
Meanwhile Zofia Turosz quietly claimed her seventh age record on the
10K course. The 64 year old Hartford Track Club dynamo recorded a
51:39, a minute and a half better then the 53:08 standard set by
Connie Bills twelve years ago.