Plattsburgh Harriers host Race Against Cancer'

PLATTSBURGH When John Lynch, Plattsburgh States head cross country coach and assistant track coach, sets a goal, he generally accomplishes it. When he was in the seventh grade, he made becoming a collegiate distance running coach his goal. Just a few months after graduating from Cortland in 2005, with a degree in kinesiology and sports studies, the Clifton Park native made his goal a reality by accepting the position at Plattsburgh. Last year, Coach Lynch made hosting a benefit race to raise awareness and funding for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life one of his latest goals. My family has been stricken by cancer, Coach Lynch explained. My grandfather, grandmother and several aunts have had it. The team was definitely for it when I told them about my idea. Coach Lynch chose Alumni Weekend as the ideal date for what he plans to make an annual event, and Oct. 13, his goal was attained. Thanks to Coach Lynchs dedication and hard work and the faithful support of head track and field coach Brett Wilmott, the cross country and track and field athletes, Aimee Chauvot and Kara Strang, co-chairs for the Plattsburgh State Relay for Life, and American Cancer Societys Joan Brown, the inaugural event was a success. The 5k race began at 10 a.m., as weather cooperated with sunshine and cool temperatures for the runners. The fall foliage along the wooded cross country trails behind the fieldhouse added beauty and inspiration. The first to cross the finish line was team alumni Bob Asher, who is well into his training for the Disney Marathon in January. Four-time All American senior Toni Wisowtay was the first female across the line. After the race, the runners enjoyed a spread of fruit, bagels and cream cheese, provided by the campus dining service, and apples donated by Rulfs Orchards. A colorful Vitamin Water truck made an appearance with free refreshments for all. The truck was manned by 2007 Plattsburgh graduates Steven Aguglia and Will Brownell, who are employed by the company. The awards began with Coach Lynchs announcement $1,450 had been raised for the American Cancer Society. The first 50 participants who registered for the race received event T-shirts, as did the first three to finish in each division. There were divisions for collegiate male and female (non-cross country/track), alumni male/female, open male/female and masters male/female. There was an abundance of donated items for the raffle drawing. Participants went home with athletic bags, sweatshirts, long sleeve T-shirts, water bottles, boxes of Powerbars and Powerbar Gel, or teddy bears. The grand drawing for the $75 gift certificate to Dicks Sporting Goods was even preceded by a drum roll. Coach Lynch was pleased with the outcome, but has already set new goals for next years event. We ended up raising $1,450, he said. I was hoping to eclipse the $2,000 mark, but you never know how an inaugural event like this will pan out. I am still very proud of what the team did today along with the help of the community, alumni and campus. Hopefully we get some college teams in next year and make it into a bigger meet. Knowing Coach Lynch, it likely will be. For complete results from the race, visit http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/john.lynch/racresults.htm .

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