Share This Page

Greenville man sprints to St. Barnabas 5K win

| Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, 5:24 p.m.
Runners and walkers take off for the St. Barnabas 5K Run/Walk Saturday, August 2, 2014.

Jed Christiansen couldn't quite hang with the leaders in the Liberty Mile road race Downtown. A day later, he learned all he needed was a little more distance, even if he still was in sprint mode.

Christiansen made his break in the first 50 meters of the 23rd annual St. Barnabas 5K on Saturday and never looked back, crossing the finish line in 14 minutes, 54 seconds — 39 seconds ahead of runner-up Evan Gomez.

“I ran the first mile a little fast,” said Christiansen, 27, of Greenville, Mercer County. “I didn't take my gears back, and I was still running a little fast to start the race.”

Christiansen, a former Division III cross-country All-American from Calvin College, started running the St. Barnabas 5K as a kid and returned in 2010 to win it in 14:51. Christiansen defended his title twice before losing to course record-holder Josh Simpson of Morgantown, W.Va., a year ago.

Simpson was unable to defend his title due to injury, giving Christiansen an opportunity to reclaim his title.

“I expected to be in contention, but you never know who is going to show up,” said Christiansen, who finished the Liberty Mile in 4 minutes, 15 seconds — about 13 seconds behind the winner. “There are some fast people in the area.”

One of the fastest runners on the out-and-back Meridian Road course was Aubrey Moskal, 24, of Morgantown. The former WVU cross-country runner and steeple-chaser overtook women's open division second-place finisher Elaina Balouris, 22, in Mile 2, setting the women's course record with a time of 16:26.

Moskal said she entered the race as a “fun tune-up” for a half-marathon — her favorite distance — in two weeks, adding that the majority of her recent training has not been for shorter, sprint-heavy races.

“I don't wear a Garmin or GPS watch, so I was just aware of what the splits were and I knew what I was doing,” said Moskal, who already has qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon with a second-place finish at the Marshall University-St. Mary's Marathon in November. “(My coach and I) just talked about running hard, and that was my hard today.”

In all, 898 runners registered for the St. Barnabas 5K, with proceeds going to the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund, which provides funding for local nursing home patients who are unable to afford their medical care.

“We're raising money for those that can't support themselves,” said Debbie Panei, executive director of St. Barnabas Charities. “We never turn anybody away, so that's what we're raising money for.”

Panei said she has been pleased to see the event's growth from an original field of just more than 200 in 1992.

“We're well supported by everyone who lives along the course,” Panei said. “It's wonderful to see that grow and the support for those patients continue to grow.”

Andrew Erickson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at aerickson@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.