Andrew Mulvaney top local runner in Holyoke St. Patrick's Road Race
March 29, 2009
South Hadley's Andrew Mulvaney says he's in the best shape of his life.
At the region's biggest race, which he was running for the sixth time, it showed.
Mulvaney, 20, was the top local finisher in a record field of 3,705 runners at the Holyoke St. Patrick's Road Race on March 21, placing 11th in 31 minutes, 42 seconds.
"I was pretty surprised," the 2006 South Hadley High School graduate said. "I haven't run that time, so anytime you make a jump in terms of a race performance, you don't expect it."
Mulvaney ran the race every year in high school, as well as his freshman year at the University of Massachusetts before skipping the 2008 event.
"I had the most fun this year out of all the times I've been there," the 5-foot-7, 130-pounder said. "It was sweet to have 4,000 people, and everyone is so spirited. One of my teammates broke 33 minutes and he ran as a leprechaun, which is kind of crazy, but he did it and it shows the spirit."
Mulvaney gave a spirited run on the challenging 10K course last weekend, knocking off three minutes from his previous best time. He was never with the leaders, but he sure was one of the elite runners near the front of the field.
At the 4-mile mark, and with the toughest part of the course behind him, Mulvaney thought, "I was still in the game and figured I better hold on. I figured I better not let it slip."
He didn't, as he ran his fastest 10K time, which was particularly encouraging since he will be focusing on the same event this upcoming track and field season for UMass.
"I think right now I'm where I need to be," said Mulvaney, a junior, who helped the Minutemen to the Atlantic 10 cross country title in the fall. "I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in.
"I really like running under coach (Ken) O'Brien. I think he's a really good coach. And, this year, we've really increased the mileage, so I think that's the main reason for the improvement."
Mulvaney, a communications major, attended the race with teammates Sonny Gamble, Robert Deegan, Jason Ayr, and Kevin and David Johnson.
WESTFIELD COLLEENS: The Westfield Colleen and two of her court members ran the St. Pat's Road Race in 1:15. It was first time on the tough 10K course for Lindsey Hewins, Megan Moltenbrey and Emily Wagner.
"It was fun to do," Wagner said.
"Awesome," added Moltenbrey.
The trio was dressed in white T-shirts, touched up with their names and a shamrock in green airbrush paint. They also wore eye black and commando bandannas.
"We wanted to represent Westfield in a different way this year," said Hewins, with a laugh.
ST. PAT'S NOTES: Women's winner Alemtsehay Misganaw of Ethiopia became the third woman to win three times, joining Nancy Conz and Leslie Lehane. ... Tarpy's winning performance of 29:18 was the fourth-best time on the course, while Misganaw's was the 10th-fastest among the women. ... Joseph Koech set a new master's record with a 30:07, smashing Bill Marshall's 1986 mark of 31:25. ... Westhampton's Martha Grinnell (40-49) and Longmeadow's Mary Ryczek (60-69) repeated as champions in their respective age groups. ... Holyoke Catholic's Kristen Veit, of Easthampton, ran the third-best time for a high schooler in the history of the race in 39:13.
RESULTS: Amherst's Matt Clark was the top local finisher March 13 at the New Bedford Half Marathon, placing 49th in a field of 1,951 runners in 1:12:21. Springfield's Joe Hegarty was 73rd in 1:14:02. Former Holyoke Catholic standout Jennifer Campbell, of Newmarket, N.H., took fifth among the women in 1:19:31, while West Springfield's Meaghan Mathews was 19th in 1:23:52. ... Leigh Schmitt of Conway (27:03) and Chelynn Tetrault of Ashfield (37:01) crossed first March 14 at the Massachusetts State Snowshoe Championship, a 4.03-mile race held at Northfield Mountain. ... Paul Curley (2:31) and Emily Curley (3:53) were first up the 48 flights of stairs at One Monarch Place March 14 at Climb Springfield, which was a fund-raiser for the American Lung Association. ... Paul Fratini (17:01) and Kate Queeny (21:23) won close finishes March 7 at the WAMDA Fitness 5K in Northampton. Ninety-year-old George Whitney finished in 47:50.