GRAFTON—On a cold and overcast Sunday afternoon in Grafton, former Grafton High School cross country standout, P.J. Louzy, crossed the finish line with a time of 22:10.
This time was good enough to give him a first place finish in the 42nd Annual Grafton Five Mile Run.
The top female finisher again this year is another former GHS standout, and AB University Hall of Fame honoree, Heather (McDaniel) Cleary. Heather turned in a time of 29:16.
“Winning this race in my hometown means a lot to me,” said race winner, PJ Louzy. “I get to see a lot of people when I am home running over the summer, so it’s nice to show everyone in town how much the hard work has paid off,” he added.
Currently, Louzy is attending Davis and Elkins College, where he is a four year member of the cross country team, and he will be graduating this spring.
This year’s race saw 53 competitors running through the streets of Grafton, with the start finish line being at the GHS track at McKinney Field.
Also this year’s 5 Mile Run featured an all kids race, so that Taylor County’s youth could be introduced to this sport.
The race awards the first place overall finisher, as well as being divided into different age categories in a men’s and women’s division.
In the women’s division, Emily Maddow finished first in the 18 and under, while Heather (McDaniel) Cleary claimed the top spot in the 30 to 39. Ginger Delawder won the 40 to 44 category. In the 45 to 49 age category, Blanca Skaggs claimed the top prize and Jenna Connor won the 55 to 59 division.
In the men’s division of the 5 mile run, Ward Ries took top honors in the 18 and under division. P.J. Louzy was the top finisher in the 19 to 29 year old category while Matt Bright won the 30 to 39. Scott Austin crossed the line first in the 40 to 44 category and Kermitt Melvin finished first in the 50 to 54 category. Jim Cummings finished first in the 55 to 59 division. In the 60 to 69 age category the winner was Duane Keener, but a special shout out goes to second place finisher in this category, Carl Hatfield.
This is a very familiar name to anyone that has followed this race over the years.
Carl has won this race numerous times, but his most notable accomplishment is that he has competed in all 42 races that have been held in Grafton, and he has ran in over 1100 road races in his life.
Thank you Carl for your support over the years and the great memories you have left during your 42 years of racing in Grafton.
To round out the race, Joe Biola finished in first place in the over 70 division.