Family tradition of winning scholarship
Winning the John Woodruff Scholarship is a tradition for the Mullaney family.
Ryan, Pat and Molly Mullaney are siblings and all are past winners of the scholarship.
Molly Mullaney, a 2005 graduate of Connellsville Area High School, is this year's winner, receiving $1,000. She lettered four years in track and field and graduated with a 3.8 grade-point average.
She plans to attend Penn State University in the fall.
"Performance in track and academics play a part in being selected for the scholarship," Molly Mullaney said. "The two probably weigh equally in the decision-making process."
Molly and Ryan Mullaney participated in the 23rd annual John Woodruff 5K Run and Walk Wednesday along with their mother, Cheri Mullaney.
Pat Mullaney, the 2003 scholarship winner, was unable to participate in the race this year.
Ryan Mullaney, who has been participating in the race for nine years, started running the race because of cross country. He won the scholarship in 2002.
"My first race was in 1996, and I have been running it since," Ryan Mullaney said. "Originally, I started running because it was a good pre-season race. Now I do it to remind myself why I quit running."
Molly Mullaney also became involved with the race because of high school sports.
"I got involved in the race because of cross country and track," Molly Mullaney said. "This year I ran it for fun though and wasn't competing."
Molly Mullaney does not plan to run competitively at Penn State, although she plans to continue running for fun and participating in the Woodruff race.
"This is our backyard race," Molly Mullaney said.
"The path of the race loops all the way around our house," Ryan Mullaney said.
This year Ryan Mullaney talked their mother, Cheri Mullaney, in to running the race for the first time.
"The race was a lot of fun," Cheri Mullaney said. "I was glad I did it."
Cheri Mullaney came in 107th overall with a time of 25 minutes, Molly Mullaney came in 61st overall with a time of 23 minutes and Ryan Mullaney came in 25th overall with a time of 20 minutes.