Piper, Lewis Earn 5K Championships

WHEELING – There was no photo finish when it came to the Ogden Classic 5K on Saturday in Wheeling.

Heath Piper of Eighty Four, Pa., won by a margin of nearly 70 seconds with a time of 17:54.5

”After about a half mile, I surged into the lead and I just tried to keep the pace steady,” Piper said. ”I prefer running with a pack of guys to help me pull through and run a better time at the end of the race, but I’ll take it. It’s fun to win.”

The win is the first for the 31-year-old.

”This is my first time running the 5K,” he said. ”I ran what used to be the 20K … but this is my first time running the 5K here.”

Kevin Simpson, 14, of Bridgeport finished second with a time of 19:18.4, while Wayne McCracken, 54 of Rayland placed third with a time of 19:26.3.

This year’s women’s winner was Martins Ferry’s Christine Lewis, 36, with a winning time of 20:06.9. Sherri Martin, 51 of West Alexander, Pa., was second with a 20:34.7 while 12-year-old Ireland Wayt of Wheeling finished third at 20:42.6

Donna Graham of Lowell, Ohio, saw her string of consecutive 5K walk victories continue as she finished the race first overall.

The retired Fort Frye high school teacher finished with a winning time of 31:59.

”I’ve been here every year since 2006 except the one year there wasn’t a walk division,” she said. ”I’ve won it every time, so that’s why I come back. I didn’t think I’d do it this year because I was a little slow, but I put everything I had into it. This is one of my favorite races.”

The race served in preparation for the 63-year-old’s upcoming trip to South America.

”I usually do 30″ races a year,” she said. ”I’m going to Brazil in October to compete for the U.S.A. team in the World Masters.”

The men’s winner was Ryan Hudak-Hill, 29 of Bethesda with a time of 32:26, while Wheeling’s Tony Purpura (33:18.2), 63, was second.

Wheeling’s Kathy Shapell was the second woman to finish as she walked the 5K in 33:54.2