Sunday, March 24, 2002 -- Morgantown, WV
Cooper's Rock Challenge 2002 (MAGP #1)
(iPO Event Id#: 4834)
Story and photos by Don Parks
[Results by Class]
Great day for a run at Cooper's
The mid-week forecasts on Sunday's weather had the outlook for
Cooper's Rock 10K pretty nasty. But if you haven't figured out by
now, long range weather forecasting is not a very exact science.
There was a slight chill in the air and the skies were cloudy,
actually perfect weather for a scenic run through Cooper's Rock State
Park. And a great way to start off the 2002 Morgantown
Area Grand Prix
Heading over from Western Maryland was 20-year-old Frostburg State University student
Jaron Hawkins who we last saw back in January winning the UNO's
Snowflake Chase at Deep Creek Lake. Hawkins' competition on this
afternoon would come from Grafton, WV's John Riffle. The
16-year-old high school runner was coming off a strong third overall
finish from last week's Grafton 5
72-year-old Maurice Miller, now there's a rock!
The constant rolling hills of Coopers Rock's out-and-back course
always takes its toll. The trip back always seems more brutal than
the trip out, and a long hill at the end of the sixth mile does not
help. Other than the beautiful scenery and traffic free road, the run
does also feature a nice downhill finish, even if it is just the last
It was no surprise to see Hawkins and Riffle quickly gap the rest of
the field. The pair kept it close through the first half of the race,
but Hawkins pace was too much after the turnaround. Hawkins was able
to put a minute on Riffle (35:50) by the time he reached the finish in
Breaking out the spring colors
Another local high school runner, Morgantown's Jesse Vernon
held a grip on third place well into the race. But 31-year-old
from Ridgeley, WV, was pacing himself well in
pursuit. Vernon had no answer for a strong finish on the final hill
by Giffith who pulled ahead and surged to the finish in 36:18.
Vernon finished alone in fourth at 36:48.
In the women's field Karin Lockhart, a recent West Virginia
University track alumnus, was dominant. Not only did she finish first
for the women, she crossed the line an impressive fifth overall at
37:26. Her closest rival was WVU track team senior, Johanna Fisher
who found the line in 12th overall at 38:47. Rounding out the top
three women was Maureen Hall with a time of 41:33.
And Cooper's Rock gets 2 enthusiastic thumbs-up
Among those participating in the 5K walk, it was Oakland, MD's
who easily out-paced the rest of the crowd.
She took the overall win by almost two full minutes with a finishing
time of 36:35. For the men it was Elkins' Jeff Goodman
crossed the line first at 40:32.
After the race everyone enjoyed hot and cold beverages along with the
usual staggering array of cookies. For the lucky (and just plain
good) runners and walkers, there were custom trophies crafted by race
director Bob Baker. Each award come complete with their own
small version of "The Rock".