MEDINA — He might be from Akron, but Verrelle Wyatt feels like one of Medina County’s own.
Employed by Second Sole in Medina and racing for the same organization out of Akron, Wyatt won both the 5 and 10K runs at the 36th annual Twin Sizzler on Monday.
Not that the result was anything new as Wyatt has staked claim to the 5K three of the last four years after missing the race in 2009.
Wyatt outdistanced Ashtabula’s Jason Headman by 16 seconds to win the first race in 14:59. His 10K win over Medina’s Donny Roys was 51 seconds faster at 33:08 for the double-dip win.
It also came with a sense of relief as Wyatt, 24, felt the heat to repeat.
“It’s actually fun,” he said. “When I started racing here, I was kind of the unknown. Now, I know all these people. Everybody was telling me I’d better not lose the race, so there was a little pressure.”
Wyatt blistered the course so fast that a cameraman snapping photos from his bicycle was having a hard time keeping up as the Akron resident pushed up the hill and closer to the square where the finish line waited.
The photographer barely beat Wyatt to the line, which was more than could be said for his competition.
“I wanted to stay under 15 (minutes) and I did that,” Wyatt said. “It’s humbling to go from being that unknown to being accepted. But I didn’t win this race for me. I did it for the community that took me in.”
That community watched as he bettered Roys in the 10K as well. Running side by side virtually the entire race, the friends stayed neck and neck before Wyatt kicked things into gear at the end.
“I was definitely surprised to win this one,” Wyatt said. “We wanted to go out and run 5:20 (miles). Since we were running 5:40, I was able to recover quicker. It’s kind of shocking, but kind of fun.”
There was more fun ahead for Selena Pasadyn as the 15-year-old Brunswick senior ran a 19:11 to win the 5K, outdistancing Lyndhurst’s Andi Cribari by 10 seconds.
Cribari didn’t go home without something as the 18-year-old was able to win the 10K in 43:09 — 36 seconds faster than Brunswick’s Taylor Whistler.
For Pasadyn, it was a perfect bookend to a season that saw her qualify and finish 14th at the state meet in cross country.
“It was pretty exciting,” the Hinckley Township resident said. “I came in not knowing what to expect.
“I’ve been training pretty hard for cross country so this was pretty good for me. It’s pretty special to take first on the girls side.”
Cribari looked at the 10K as training for a half ironman at Cedar Point on Sept. 11.
“It was a good steppingstone,” Cribari said. “I feel like all the hard work is finally starting to pay off. I feel like I’m peaking at the right time.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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