SWOYERSVILLE — Jeff Skwierz and Marina Orrson ran to victories in the Murphy’s Pub Mile, the final leg of the Valley’s Fastest Man and Woman Series, on Thursday evening.
It was the second year in a row that Skwierz won the series which features three 1-mile races. It was the third straight year that Orrson has won the series.
“The race didn’t go the way I wanted,” said Skwierz, 33, of Forty Fort, who crossed the finish line in 4 minutes and 32 seconds. “I got out too slow over the first quarter mile. I just couldn’t get into my usual rhythm. But I won the series. And I finished the series with better times than I scored last year. So that was good.
“And all in all, it was a good season considering that back in early January I was questioning whether or not I should give up running competitively. I decided to continue running competitively. And I’ve had a great season so far. So I believe I made the right decision.”
Skwierz, who was a standout runner for Hazleton Area High School and Lock Haven University, has won more local races this year than any other male runner.
Orrson, who won the female division with a third-place overall finish in 5:08, has won every local race she’s entered this season.
“It’s exciting, winning this series three years in a row,” said Orrson, 24, of Shavertown. “I think this is my best time of the three times winning this series.”
Orrson won all nine races in the series over the three years in wire-to-wire fashion. That’s saying something when you consider her closest competitor, Kelsey Cameron, 24, of Pringle, who finished second in the series, is known for getting out to fast starts.
Tony Korch, 55, of Nanticoke, won top male masters (40 and over) honors. And Jen Heck, 44, of West Wyoming, won top female masters honors. It’s significant to point out that Heck had never run short distance races — where sprinting is required — until this season.
Orrson Cameron and Kyle Suponcic 25, of Shavertown, who finished second in the series and John Martino, 31, of Dallas, who finished third in the series, all ran for Misericordia University under coach Chris Wadas.
Murphy’s Pub Mile
1. Jeff Skwierz, 33, Forty Fort, 4:32
2. Kyle Suponcic, 25, 4:52
3. Marina Orrson, 24, Shavertown, 5:08
4. John Martino, 31, Dallas, 5:14
5. Kelsey Cameron, 24, Pringle, 5:24
6. Tony Korch, 55, Nanticoke, 5:35
7. Eryn Milius, 30, Plymouth, 5:45
8. David Bass, 49, Hunlock Creek, 5:57
9. Bob Urban, 42, Wyoming, 5:58
10. Mike Kinney, 56, Wilkes-Barre, 5:59
11. Jen Heck, 44, W. Wyoming, 6:14
12. Jon Milius, 30, Plymouth, 6:23
13. Sherri Yelen, 43, Kingston, 6:24
14. John McGurk, 49, Dallas, 6:27
15. Scott Cresko, 49, Duryea, 6:27
Timing and results: Susquehanna River Runners Club.
Race director: Chris Wadas
Valley’s Fastest Man Series
1. Jeff Skwierz, 33, Forty Fort, Race No. 1. Elite Spine and Sport Physical Therapy Mile (on the track at Misericordia University), 4:23.14; Race No. 2. Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Mile, 6:55.9; Race No. 3. Murphy’s Pub Mile, 4:32.
2. Kyle Suponcic, 25, Shavertown, Race No. 1. 4:51.14; Race No. 2. 7:44.12; Race No. 3. Murphy’s Pub Mile, 4:52.
3. John Martino, 31, Dallas, Race No. 1. 5:07.34; Race No. 2. 8:02.27; Race No. 3. 5:14.
Valley’s Fastest Woman Series
1. Marina Orrson, 24, Shavertown, Race No. 1. 4:57.68; Race No. 2. 8:02.27; Race No. 3. 5:08.
2. Kelsey Cameron, 24, Pringle, Race No. 1. 5:20.68; Race No. 2. 9:00.55; Race No. 3. 5:24.
3. Eryn Milius, 30, Plymouth, Race No. 1. 5:55; Race No. 2. 9:26.26; Race No. 3. 5:45.
Masters (40 and over) winners
Male winner: Tony Korch, 55, Nanticoke, Race No. 1. 5:40.98; Race No. 2. 8:44.36; Race No. 3.
Female winner: Jen Heck, 44, W. Wyoming, Race No. 1. 6:03; Race No. 2. 10:47; Race No. 3. 6:14.
Saturday, Sept. 5: Wyoming Valley Striders 41st annual Cliff Robbins Sr. Memorial High School Invitational Cross Country Races at Letterkenny Fields, just off 42nd St., Dallas Twp.
Race No. 1. Junior High Girls 3K, 9;30 a.m.
Race No. 2. Junior High Boys 3K, 10:10
Race No. 3. Girls Varsity 5K, 10:45 a.m.
Race No. 4. Boys Varsity 5K, 11:35 a.m.
Awards ceremony, 12:25
Info: Vince Wojnar, 570-474-5363
Sunday, Sept. 13: Wilkes-Barre Triathlon (swim, bike, run) starting at Harveys Lakeat 7:30 a.m. And finishing at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Lehman Twp. Info: 570-270-4793.
Saturday, Sept. 19: Scranton Race for the Cure 5K Run/Walk starting on Wyoming Ave., one block over from Courthouse Square at 8:30 a.m. and finishing on the square. Info: Dolly Woody, 570-696-6072.
Reach Times Leader 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @tlsports.