July 1, 2016

Mostly sunny

Twin Sizzler: Medina Countians win three of the five golds

Runners take off during the start of the 5K at the Twin Sizzler. Below, Buckeye graduate Joe Van Bolderen crosses the finish line first in the 5K. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY AARON JOSEFCZYK)

Matthew Doyle | The Gazette

MEDINA — The humid condition of the 38th annual Twin Sizzler made it difficult to compete on the Medina Public Square, but Thursday’s participants persevered to finish the 5K, 10K and bike races strongly.

Joe Van Bolderen, a graduate of Buckeye High School, completed the 5K first with a time of 16:08.1, which was 18 seconds in front of returning champion Brian Berling of Cincinnati.

Van Bolderen is a cross country runner at Bowling Green State University and competed in the 5K last year, but finished in second behind Berling. The 20-year-old enjoyed redeeming himself in this year’s competition of 669 runners.

“I wanted to (win this year),” Van Bolderen said. “Didn’t know what kind of competition it’d be with the road race.”

Cortney Staruch, a 23-year-old from Hinckley Township, was the top runner in the female 5K with a time of 17:49.8. Staruch has been running in the Twin Sizzler for more than 10 years and competed at Cincinnati in cross country and track.

After tweaking her hip flexor in May while running the Cleveland Marathon, Staruch was happy with her finish at the Twin Sizzler.

“I haven’t been running much lately. I was kind of joking with my sister (Kelly), ‘Pick me up on your way back,’” Staruch said. “I was pleasantly surprised. I always know that when I hit that red brick road down there, it’s like the home stretch starts.”

The highly competitive races had their first-place finishers competing until the very end, especially in the bike races, where the winner won by a split second.

There was some controversy following the bike races to determine who actually won. The bikes were timed from when they first crossed the starting line to the finish line, so the first person to come across was not guaranteed victory.

David Chernosky of Cuyahoga Falls was the recorded winner at 1:04:26, but there were questions from bikers following the race on how accurate the time was.

The 10K was the final event of the morning, and Jason Oswalt crossed the finish line first in 33:01.7.

Oswalt, a 28-year-old who ran at Ashland University, enjoyed his first time running in the Twin Sizzler after his friend suggested he run it.

“It (was) very humid (Thursday),” Oswalt said. “But all the people out — all the people throughout the course cheering you on — that helps.”

Montville Township’s Anna Boyert was the top female competitor of the 10K, which had 291 participants. Boyert will be running cross country at Oklahoma State after completing one year at Penn State.

“The Twin Sizzler is fun. It’s in Medina, like hometown,” the 19-year-old said. “You get to run with a bunch of Medina people. It’s a fun thing. It brings the community together.”

Contact Matthew Doyle at sports@medina-gazette.com.

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.