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Saturday, August 14, 1999 -- Morgantown
Links to Lake 5K Run & Walk
Story and photos by Karen Jones

[Coverage/Recap] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]
Results: [Run Overall] [Run by Class] [Walk Overall] [Walk by Class]

Race Start
See you at the lake!
Watch out world here they come! Saturday morning at the Links to Lake 5K race held in Morgantown, it was a young crowd bringing home the gold with the top three males and females of the race all younger than 24 years old.

Saturday morning brought more much needed rain to the Morgantown area, but the skies cleared long enough for over 260 racers who came out to try their turn on the Links to Lake infamous point to point course. The course is well known (and a favorite among the local runners) because of how fast the course is. It stretches from the rolling hills of the Lakeview Golf Resort through the neighborhoods of Cheat Lake to finish along a scenic stretch of road along Morgantown's own Cheat Lake.

1st Female
Jesi Christiansen grabs 1st overall among the ladies
Fast is what the course promised, and fast is what it delivered as Aaron Nichols (21) of West Union raced the course in a fast 15:37. Meanwhile, the next two runners, Kevin Williams (23) and Robert Casteel (19), battled it out for second and third with Kevin emerging victorious to capture the second place title. They finished with times of 16:03 and 16:13 respectively.

In the women's race, it was 14-year-old Jesi Christiansen of Greenville, PA, who captured first place with a time of 18:02 finishing 16th overall. Rebecca Stallwood (20) quickly raced along the final scenic straightaway to finish second place with a time of 18:02. Not to be outdone by her younger sister, Jil Christiansen took home the third place overall title with a time of 18:52.

The View
Cheat Lake is the backdrop for the race finish
If you weren't up for running this scenic course on Saturday, Links to Lake also held a 5K walk for those who wished to take in the scenery at a little slower pace. However, one would hardly believe, with the top walker John Mike Nichols finishing the course in 29:52, that this racer was stopping to enjoy the scenery. Likewise, we can conclude that George Macek finishing in 29:58 and taking the second place title did not stop to take in any views. In the women's walk, Irene Fominko of Jane Lew took home first with a time of 38:10, and Margaret Liotta grabbed second place with a time of 39:52.

The race was sponsored the Lakeview Fitness and Sports Center with the awards courtesy of the Mountaineer Corner.

Whether you walked or ran the course, everyone went home with a better understanding of the beauty and brawn that the Cheat Lake area and the competition of West Virginia offers.