Mike Beebe (2012)
John Beishline (2011)
Gloria Brown (2012)
Bob Carroll (2012)
John Chew (2013)
Mike Diggins (2014)
Tom Donnelly (2015)
Jim Dunlop Jr. (2012)
Mark Finucane (2011)
Emery Fisher (2011)
Matt Hellerer (2016)
Edna Hyer (2016)
Bob Ivory (2011)
Charlie Kern (2013)
Jesse Kregal (2016)
Bill Mangan (2012)
Jennifer Colgove-Martin (2011)
Nancy Mieszczak (2011)
Don Mitchell (2011)
Vicki Mitchell (2013)
Sue Schaefer-Morgan (2017)
Jackie Murzynowski (2014)
Jim Nowicki (2017)
David O’Keeffe (2011)
Bernie Prabucki (2013)
Carl Roesch (2013)
Richard Sullivan (2014)
Henry Sypniewski (2014)
Alex Trammell (2017)
John Tuttle (2011)
Mary Wittenberg (2014)
Ralph Zimmermann (2011)
Mike Beebe (2012)
Thank God for first the typewriter, and then the computer, or I never would have made it into the Western New York Running Hall of Fame. Nor would I have had the chance to run with Grete Waitz, Bill Rodgers, Mark Finucane and a lot of other runners who would have left me in the dust had I not been writing about them.
As anyone knows who saw me run, I am a runner in a linebacker’s body. I ran five marathons: Skylon, NYC, Chicago, Buffalo Marathon(my only DNF, I bonked trying yet again to break three hours), and the Buffalo Niagara Marathon. I always insisted the last one was indeed the last one. My best was a 3:18 in New York. Never did I break three hours.
I could break the six-minute mile pace occasionally in the 5K, I broke 70 minutes for the Flint 10-miler, and could sometimes win an age group award when the better runners were off elsewhere.
As a runner, I was a better rower, first for the Syracuse University varsity while in college, then as a master’s rower at West Side Rowing Club. And now I’m a better bicyclist than I ever was a runner.
As a running columnist, I’m proudest of starting the Buffalo News Runner of the Year series. It gets poked at a lot, but before that, there was no way to recognize local runners’ accomplishments once they left school.
I’ll also take credit for reviving fellow Hall of Famer Bob Carroll’s running career. The year I ignored him in the Turkey Trot forecasts, he came blazing first across the finish line and shouted something along the lines of “Take that Mike Beebe.” I took it. Nice race, nice career Bob.
I covered two Olympic Marathon trials from the back of a rickety truck. In the 1984 trials, the biggest story of the day was nearly the entire press corps almost getting thrown off the back of the truck when the rails collapsed. I also got a bird’s eye view of the greatest race finish ever, Peter Pfitzinger outlegging Alberto Salazar.
I took great pride in turning out weekly columns, and was often puzzled why people never knew that my day job was being a reporter for The Buffalo News. One day I was interviewing line workers at the Trico plant in Matamoros, Mexico, when a guy said, “Hey you’re the running columnist!” Turns out he was a management guy from the Buffalo plant.
When I first approached a former sports editor of The News about writing a running column, he looked at me and laughed, “But what would you write about the second week?” When he was replaced, Howard Smith saw the merit and 21 years later, it was I who got the last laugh.
John Beishline (2011)
John Beishline has served with and operated Western New York Finish Line Services for more than 30 years and provides timing for more than 85 races per year. As race consultant, he has provided free consulting services to new races for 25 years. He is also a certified race official for road races.
He helped resurrect the Buffalo Marathon in 2000 and, as race director, has seen the race grow in terms of registered participants each year.
In 1989, John organized the Bullfeathers/Nickel City Run and has been race director for the Engineering Run since 1986.
When the World University Games came to Buffalo in 1993, John was there as marathon race director. He also served as race director for the World Veterans Games.
John was president of USATF Niagara Region from 1991 to 1996.
In his running days, John participated in local, regional, sectional, national and international races, and once completed the Boston Marathon in 3:20.
Gloria Brown (2012)
This amazing woman didn’t start running until she was 46. Encouraged by Grand Island’s Pat Bessel, her times improved greatly.
By the age of 50, she was winning 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, 20Ks, 25Ks, and half marathons. She even won a marathon for good measure.
She traveled throughout the country to run. In addition to competing in New York, she ran in Pennsylvania, Virginia Beach, Florida, Alaska, Washington D.C., New Hampshire, Maine, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, and Canada.
She became one of the nation’s best in her age group. Her greatest accomplishments include:
- the Boilermaker in Utica
- the Detroit Free Press Marathon, which she finished in 3:27 at the age of 53
- the Bobby Crim Festival of Races in Michigan
- and the Gasparilla 15K in Tampa — to name just a few
She set several records along the way, and still has the age 60 to 64 national record for the 25K — 1:58:24 — which she set in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1994.
Over the years, she ran 475 races, including 56 events in indoor and outdoor tracks.
She piled up awards in bunches over the years, capturing her age group 14 times in the national championships. She also received awards in race-walking.
A 2005 USA Track and Field Masters Hall of Fame inductee, she gives a great deal of credit to her husband, Jim, who guided her to the races and who sent in her results to running headquarters.
As she likes to say, “Once a runner, always a runner, and I still have hope!”
Bob Carroll (2012)
Runner. Coach. Motivator. Consultant.
He was an All-American at Fredonia State College, where his records in the 1500 and 3000 meters still stand.
He also holds the State University of New York Athletic Conference indoor 1500-meter record – 3:49.8 in 1979.
He’s a two-time SUNY cross-country champion and the winner of the 1988 Delaware YMCA Turkey Trot.
He mentored many an appreciative runner during his tenure as track coach for Checkers Athletic Club.
John Chew (2013)
John Chew has been one of the strongest advocates for the sport of running for the past 30 years in the Buffalo, NY region. John was the 1980 race director for the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials. This was so successful that Buffalo/Niagara Falls was awarded the 1984 Olympic Trials.
In the 1960s, John coached Russ Pate; the Pfiel brothers (All-Americans at Buffalo State); Don Howieson (2:12 marathoner for the Canadian Olympic team); Jennifer Colgrove-Martin (three-time 2:34 marathoner, represented USA World Cup Marathon and World Cup 15K Stavanger, Norway); and Dr. David O’Keeffe (USA World Cup Marathon San Sebastian, Spain and World Cross Country Championships In New Zealand).
John formed the Lockport Track Club in 1966 as a registered AAU Club to develop distance running. A difficult thing to do in days when anyone outside the school system was restricted from working with runners outside the school year. In 1968, he put a team of eight high school runners together to make a record attempt on the 100 mile relay. Their record of 7:27:55.6 still stands.
John put together the first canal relay in 1974 to commemorate Erie Barge Canal’s 150th anniversary, and involved organizing track clubs from Tonawanda to Albany running all along the towpath.
John’s first International assignment was being appointed coach of the USA Junior team for the World Cross Country Championships in Paris, France 1980. Then, the 1984 World cross country team in New Jersey. He served as assistant coach to the track and field hall of famer Dr, Joe Vigil.
He then served as head coach at the Men and Juniors World Cross Country Championships in 1985 in Lisbon, Portugal, and was also responsible for managing the women’s team. After Lisbon, John took the teams to Italy for the famous cross country Cinque Mulini in Milan.
John also managed the USA team for the 10K de La Sante in Montreal, Canada and managed Matt Hellerer, the sole representative in the Tokyo marathon 1985.
Also in 1985, John organized the Torch Run from New York City to Buffalo to signal the start of the Empire State Games.
Mayor Jimmy Griffin presented John the Community Services Award and the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Outstanding Leadership Award.
Mike Diggins (2014)
He starred at Bishop Timon High School in the late 1950s, where he ran both track and cross country all four years. He would move on to Mississippi State helping to lead the Bulldogs to two Southern Conference championships in 1961 and 1962. He was also a part of Mississippi State’s only track team to win a SEC title, which came in 1962.
In 1965, he was honored with the Outstanding Senior Award for his contributions to the cross country and track programs at Mississippi State.
After college, he returned to Buffalo where he began the next chapter of his life, coaching. His focus changed from that of a competitive runner to sharing his knowledge, love, and discipline for the sport with young athletes.
He began his coaching career at Bishop Fallon before beginning a 14-year stay at Bishop Turner in 1969. In 1972, Turner defeated St. Joe’s, breaking Bob Ivory’s 56-meet winning streak.
He took over as coach of St. Joe’s cross country in 1982. His teams won 16 regular season titles, had 16 undefeated seasons, earned 16 All-Catholic crowns, and won 108 meets during his tenure. As an assistant track coach at St. Joe’s, he helped guide the teams to 13 regular season titles, with 12 undefeated seasons and 15 All-Catholic championships. His St. Joe’s track teams won 107 meets and lost only 15.
He received two community service awards, the Judge Hillary Award and Jack’s 5K, a former South Buffalo road race. In 2009, he was the honorary starter for the Bishop Timon-St. Jude road race and was inducted into the St. Joe’s Hall of Fame. The Shamrock Run Committee honored him in 2014, where his family served as honorary starters, in memory of his accomplishments and contributions to the running community.
His greatest legacy is the life lessons that he taught the young men he coached through his genuine character, conduct, and humility.
Tom Donnelly (2015)
He was born the day after Christmas in 1952, and was the seventh of nine children. His father was a former miler and cross country runner at Notre Dame in the late 1930s. His mother was a star tennis player in Queens, New York. Surprisingly, Tom Donnelly never did a lick of physical or athletic activity until he was 25 years old. That’s when, during the summer of 1976, he took up running in order to lose weight and to get some focus in his life.
Tom ran his first marathon in 1977, finishing the Skylon Marathon in 2:59:45, thus qualifying for the Boston Marathon by a mere 15 seconds. He never looked back, eventually running more than 30 marathons, including Boston a dozen or more times.
Although Tom would be the first to tell you that back in the day he considered himself a middle of the pack runner, his PR of 2:35:10 on a windy Skylon course, and his being a consistent 32-minute 10k runner, belies his claim. He was good enough to win the Run For Your Life 20K in 1981 with a time of 1:09, beating more than 400 runners in the process—or more than 600 if you count the 50-plus relay teams he also beat.
From 1987 until 1999, Tom was president of the Greater Buffalo Track Club. He soon discovered he had the ability to be quite an organizer and leader in the local running community. His unique sense of humor and his ready laughter, combined with his completely unselfish encouragement that he gave to any runner no matter their ability, endeared him to all who got to know him. Throughout his running career, which spanned nearly 40 years, he always took the time to listen to and offer advice to anyone who sought him out.
In 2004, Tom became race director for Buffalo’s Turkey Trot, the oldest continuously run road race in North America. Being the tireless promoter of Buffalo, and with his innovative ideas, Tom quickly grew the race from 5,000 participants. The race is now a “must-do event” to start Thanksgiving for many runners and non-runners alike, so much so that the race has to be capped at 14,000.
In 2009, Tom became the much loved president of Checkers Athletic Club, the largest running club in Western New York. In 2010, he led the way in forming the Western New York Running Hall of Fame, of which he became president and the race director of its annual 5k race. Still, apparently with time on his hands, Tom became Hall of Fame member John Beishline’s right hand man in handling the Buffalo Marathon. After John’s death in December 2013, Tom took over as race director and the race prospered under his leadership.
Tom was a man who truly loved his four children; Paul, Alison, Patrick, and Rebecca, as well as his wife, Julie, his brothers and sisters, his friends, and all things Buffalo. After Tom died so unexpectedly on November 15, 2014, most who knew him cried when they learned of his untimely passing. They had all lost a beautiful friend.
Jim Dunlop Jr. (2012)
This man is a three-time Buffalo News Runner of the Year. He won the award in 1993, 1996, and 1999.
He’s a six-time Buffalo Corporate Challenge champion. He won that race every year between 1997 and 2002.
While attending the University of Rochester, he earned NCAA All-American honors in cross country and track nine times.
He was a member of 1989 United States Junior National Track and Field Team and competed in the 10,000 meters.
He was a gold medalist in the 1989 United States vs. Canada Track and Field Meet in St. John, New Brunswick.
Mark Finucane (2011)
St. Francis of Athol Springs High School served as the starting line of Mark Finucane’s extraordinary running career, where he consistently earned All-Catholic honors in cross-country and track. After he graduated high school, he became a three-time All-American at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.
Mark bested some of the area’s top runners while winning four consecutive Turkey Trots down Buffalo’s Delaware Avenue between 1980 and 1983. He ran 23:40 in 1980 to shatter the course record held by Jeff Kumm (24:45). In 1981, he beat Mike Franklin and lowered the course record to 23:34. The following year he ran 23:49 and in 1983 ran 24:03 to beat Bernie Pabrucki by 27 seconds.
Mark frequented the winner’s circle at the Conners-Kait-Harrity Four Mile Race too, as he took first place in 1980, 1981, and 1983. His 1983 time of 18:19 is the course record.
He has been equally as successful running marathons, finishing third in the 1984 Houston Marathon with a time of 2:11:55. He finished 74th in the 1984 Olympic Trials in Niagara Falls with a time of 2:28:39. He was member of two USA Cross Country teams in the early 1980s and a member of the U.S. World Cup Marathon Team in 1985.
Mark has run professionally for the New Balance and Roos shoe companies. Today, Mark is a member of four Halls of Fame: the St. Francis High School Hall of Fame, the East Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, and now the Western New York Running Hall of Fame.
Mark and his wife, Mary, live in Johnson City, TN, where he is an assistant chief with the Johnson City Fire Department.
U.S. International Teams:
- 1975 USA Junior Track and Field Team Alternate, 10k
- 1979 USA World Cross-Country Team, Ireland
- 1981 USA International Cross-Country Team, France
- 1986 USA World Cup Marathon Team, Japan
U.S. National Individual and Team Championships:
- The Athletics Congress (TAC) National 10km Individual Road Race Champion, Buffalo, NY – 1984
- United States Track and Field Federation (USTAFF) National 10k Cross-Country Team Championship (East Tennessee State University), Charleston, WV – 1975
- AAU National 10k Cross-Country Team Championship (Mason-Dixon Track Club), Seattle, WA – 1978
- TAC National 12k Cross-Country Team Championship (Victory Athletic Club), Louisville, KY – 1982
- 3 miles, 7th World Junior List (T&F News), 13:39 (Dogwood Relays) – 1975
- 10k, 6th World Junior List (T&F News), 29:23 (National U.S. Jr. T&F Champs) – 1975
- Marathon Top 50 (T&F News) 2:11:55 (Houston Marathon) – 1984
U.S. National Rankings:
- 3 miles, 14th High School (T&F News) 14:22 – 1974
- 3 miles, 6th USA Junior List (T&F News) 13:38 – 1975
- 10k, 3rd USA Junior List (T&F News) 29:23 – 1975
- 10k, 1st 19 and under Age Group Best Road Racing (Runners World) 30:19 – 1976
- Marathon, 6th USA List (T&F News and Running Times) 2:11:55 – 1984
St. Francis High School Cross-Country, 1970-1974:
- Monsignor Martin Athletic Association (MMAA) Smith League All-Catholic Cross-Country Champion – 1971, 1972, 1973
- All-Western New York – 1972 and 1973
- All-New York State – 1973
St. Francis High School Track and Field, 1970-1974:
- MMAA Smith League All-Catholic Champion – 1972 (two-mile) and 1973-74 (one-mile)
East Tennessee State University Cross Country, 1974-1979:
- All-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) – 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
- OVC Individual Cross-Country Champion – 1977
- OVC Cross-Country Runner of the Year – 1977
- OVC Team Champions (East Tennessee State University) – 1977
- All-State (Tennessee Intercollegiate) – 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
- Tennessee State Intercollegiate Individual Cross-Country Champion – 1975
- All-NCAA Region III – 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
- NCAA Region III Team Champions (ETSU) – 1977 (ETSU set an NCAA Region III record for the lowest team score in 1977 with 29 points)
- Track and Field News ranked ETSU as the fourth-best Division I Cross-Country program in the nation of the 1970s
- NCAA All-American – 1975
- AAU All-American – 1976
- USTFF All-American – 1975
- USTFF National Cross-Country Team Champions (ETSU) – 1975
- Cross-Country Team Selected as Athletic Team of the Decade at ETSU (1970-1979)
East Tennessee State University Track and Field, 1974-1979:
- All-OVC – 1975 (indoor 3 mile), 1976 (indoor/outdoor 3 mile), 1977 (indoor/outdoor 3 mile, 1978 (indoor 3 mile)
- Indiana Invitational Champion 3 mile – 1975
- Illinois Invitational Champion 3 mile – 1976
- NCAA Championship Qualifier – 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979 – 6 mile/10k
AAU/TAC and Niagara District Track and Field/Cross-Country/LDR:
- AAU National Junior 10k Cross Country Championships – 8th, Buffalo, NY – 1972
- AAU National Junior 10k Cross Country Championships – 5th, Buffalo, NY – 1973
- AAU Eastern Regional Track and Field Meet Most Outstanding Performer – 1974
- AAU National Junior Track and Field Championships 10k – 3rd, Knoxville, TN – 1975
- AAU National Cross-Country Championships – 6th, Philadelphia, PA – 1976
- Niagara District AAU (All-Sports) Male Athlete of the Year – 1976
- AAU National 10km Cross-Country Team Champion – Mason-Dixon Athletic Club, Seattle, WA – 1978
- AAU National 12km Cross-Country Championship – 3rd, Atlanta, GA – 1979
- TAC National 12km Cross-Country Team Champion – Member Victory Athletic Club, Louisville, KY – 1981
- TAC National 10Km Road Race Champion, Buffalo, NY – 1984
- Fredonia Farm Festival 10k – 30:19 Runners World U.S. Age Group Best for 1976
- Conners-Kait-Harrity Road Race – 1980, 1981, 1983
- Buffalo Turkey Trot Champion – 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
- Peachtree Road Race – 1978 (12th) and 1979 (7th)
- Peachtree Road Race Team Championship (Mason-Dixon Athletic Club) – 1979
- Houston Marathon – 3rd Place 2:11:55 (at the time it was the 8th fastest time debut marathon, 3rd fastest debut by an American) – 1984
- 1984 Olympic Marathon Trials
- 1984 TAC National 10k Road Race Champion, Buffalo, NY
- NCAA Cross-Country – 1975
- USTFF Cross-Country – 1975
- AAU Cross-Country – 1976, 1978, 1981
- USTFF Cross-Country – 1979
- Road Runners Club of America – 1984
Awards and Honors:
- Niagara District AAU Male Athlete of the Year (all sports) – 1976
- St. Francis High School Athletic Hall of Fame – 1979
- Johnson City, Tennessee selected as the #1 Running City in the United States by Runners World Magazine – 1985.
- East Tennessee State University Athletic Hall of Fame – 1997
- Conners-Kait-Harrity Road Race Hall of Fame – 1998
- Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame – 2001
- Western New York Running Hall of Fame – 2011
Emery Fisher (2011)
Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Emery Fisher graduated from Bennett High School in 1945. He was a member of Bennett’s track team and was inducted into the Bennett High School Sports Hall of Fame.
After high school, Emery joined the Army and served as a recreation instructor in post-war Germany. He also ran on the Army track team.
He then attended and ran track at the University of Buffalo from 1947-51 and then became the track and cross country coach there in 1952, a post he held for 21 years. He retired from U.B. in 1977.
Emery’s best 100-yard dash time was a respectable 10.1 seconds.
He helped lead thousands of local youngsters to track by bringing the Jesse Owens Games to Buffalo in 1967. He served as Northeastern regional director for the event until 1985.
Emery was recreation supervisor for the City of Buffalo Parks Department until 1987 and served as race official for the 1980 and 1984 Olympic marathon trials.
In later years, he was instrumental in running Western New York Finish Line Services.
Matt Hellerer (2016)
He was the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association cross country champion in 1974. He won the Rochester Marathon in 1982 in a time of 2:25:58. He finished second in the 1982 Skylon Marathon. He was the first American finisher in the 1984 Tokyo Marathon.
Also in 1984, he ran one of the fastest marathons ever by a Western New Yorker in the Boston Marathon, 2:18.11. That earned him a trip to the Olympic marathon trials, where he finished 85th in a time of 2:31.53. He went on to become the overall Buffalo News Runner of the Year in 1988 and 2008 Runner of the Year in his age group.
Though he’s retired from racing, he’s still heavily involved with running and serving as a teacher, leader, and coach at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, filling the sneakers of legendary coach Bob Ivory.
He’s been head track coach at St. Joe’s since 1990. He began coaching the cross country team in 2006 and his teams registered MMAA championships in 2012-15..
She is a true trailblazer among area women runners. She’s competed at all distances throughout the country — from 50 meters to the marathon.
As a competitor in the USA Track & Field Niagara Association’s Women’s long-distance running division for many years, she created many opportunities for women to compete at races around the state, including the USATF championships.
She served as the USATF Women’s Long Distance Chairperson for five years. She was in attendance in Louisville when the USATF was formed and has a T-shirt to prove it.
She edited the USATF Niagara Association newsletter for several years before the advent of the computer. For several years, she authored a column entitled, From the Back of the Pack.
She continues to collect first-place medals in her age group. Since 2001, she has earned five first-place finishes in Buffalo News Runner of the Year competition.
In 2014, she received honorable mention recognition by Runner’s World magazine as one of its top Masters Long Distance Runners of the Year.
In 2015, she completed her 2,000th race.
In April 2016, she won a national championship in her age group at the USATF National Championship 10 kilometers.
And, she is showing no signs of slowing down. In the past 10 years, she has averaged 59 races annually (she ran 72 races in 2014 alone).
She is regarded by many as one of the most inspirational runners in the area.
Bob Ivory (2011)
The accomplishments of Bob Ivory and his St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Marauders, who left a legacy of winning streaks, victorious meet results, and individual accomplishments have gone untouched for over 30 years.
Bob, a St. Joe’s graduate, was teaching math at North Tonawanda High School when his alma mater tapped him to coach cross-country and track in 1965. His first squad was undefeated (9-0), and set a demanding pace for its successors to match.
From 1969-75, St. Joe’s captured five more regular season titles and six consecutive All-Catholic meet championships (among seven overall). The run was punctuated by a 34 dual-meet winning streak, and by individual performances such as a Delaware Park Lake course record run by senior Alex Trammell in 1971 (12.00 for 2.5 miles), a record not challenged by the thousands of runners who have (and still do) run the course.
Ivory’s cross-country teams constantly sought challenges at invitationals all over the East. Bob’s runners brought home 20 invitational trophies to Kenmore Avenue; six by the 1971 squad (including the prestigious Eastern States Championship), perhaps the finest ever assembled in Western New York. At the Christian Brothers Academy Invitational in Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, that team set a record for fastest team time (12.52 per man) that still stands.
His track and field resume is even more impressive; it features eight league titles and nine straight All-Catholic Championships. From 1966-72, the Marauders set a Western New York record with 56 consecutive meet victories. Bishop Turner ended the run with a one-point win in May 1972, and claimed Coach Ivory’s maroon baseball cap for its trophy case. That loss is the only blemish on Ivory’s track and field record from mid-1966 to his retirement in 1975.
Bob’s track teams also achieved success in top-rank invitationals, with the highlight being the Marauder’s performance at the Penn Relays in 1972. The key members of the legendary 1971 cross-country team became the first Buffalo entry in the 78-year history of the event to win both the distance medley and the two-mile relay, missing national records in the two events by six tenths of a second and 11 seconds, respectively. Ivory left St. Joe’s in 1975, but he still had one trick up his sleeve, coaching former Villanova star Dick Buerkle to a world indoor mile record in 1978.
After leaving St. Joe’s Bob went on to work as a WNY Track and Field Official (until 2006), Empire State Games Official, AAU Junior Olympics, WNY Finish Line Team member and perhaps what he is most proud of, working with the Games for the Physically Challenged. He has also been a longtime staff member of Blue Mountain Cross Country camp, where he helped local high school and college runners such as Aileen Hoak, Bridget Niland and Amy Donner (All-American, Buffalo State 1994).
There are no doubt more WNY runners out there who Bob has helped get stronger and faster, though he won’t take credit for it.
Charlie Kern (2013)
Charlie ran for Sweet Home High School in the 1980s. He coached at Sweet Home High School in 1991, Morton Junior College in Illinois in 1994, Plainfield Middle School and High School in Illinois 1995-98, and York High School in Elmhurst, IL 1999-2008. He presently coaches individuals and conducts a running camp during the summers, which more than 250 middle school and high school kids attend.
Sweet Home High School (1984-86)
Nine-time all-state honors.
Captain of Class A (large school) Cross Country State Championship team (1986).
Cross Country State Championships finishes: 1984 – 8th, 1985 – 3rd, 1986 – 2nd.
Kinney (Foot Locker) finalist -17th place (1986).
1600m state champion outdoor track – 4:13.07 (1987).
3200m indoor record holder – 9:15.89 (1987 to present).
University of Kentucky (1987-1991)
Five-time All-SEC (XC, indoor and outdoor track).
1500m – 3:44.
3000m – 8:12.
Nine-time USA masters age group champion.
2009 World Masters Outdoor Champion – 1500m (40-44 age group).
2011 World Masters Outdoor Silver Medalist – 1500m (40-44 age group).
7 all-state relays.
19 individual all-state athletes.
4 state champions.
8 state runners-up.
8 All-American relays.
1 national champion – 2006 outdoor distance medley relay – 10:00.37.
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He arrived in Western New York from Oregon in 1970 to join the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Timpanist. During his career, he also performed solo and ensemble engagements in more than 30 countries around the world.
And music wasn’t his only gift.
He was an accomplished runner as well. In 1971, he formed the Buffalo Philharmonic Athletic Club. He then organized the Skylon International Marathon, the first race of its kind to cross an international boundary. The first race took place on October 26, 1974. There were 400 runners in this first year. By 1976, the field had grown to more than 3,000 runners, making it the second largest marathon in the country, behind Boston. In 1980 and 1984, the Skylon course was host to the U.S. men’s Olympic marathon trials.
In 1978, he arranged a week-long symposium to promote running and the City of Buffalo. Prominent international guests included Sir Roger Bannister and Dr. George Sheehan.
In 1982, he formed the Scajaquada Pathway Committee, which led to the construction of the 2.5-mile running and biking path connecting Delaware Park with the Riverwalk. In 2007, it was renamed in his honor.
His efforts have been recognized by many, including the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, the Niagara Falls City Council, and the Erie/Niagara Chapter of the National Society of Engineers. In 1980, he was named a Buffalo News Outstanding Citizen of the Year for his work on the Skylon International Marathon.
And he did more than organize. He ran more than 60 marathons, including several Boston Marathons during his career. His personal best was under 3 hours.
He went the distance to make running a Western New York staple.
Bill Mangan (2012)
He led Niagara Falls High School to a State Federation Meet title in 1982. He was a two-time All-American at the University of New Mexico. He ran 13:47 in the 5K on track twice, once at the Penn Relays.
He ran for the U.S. World Cross Country team.
At the Olympic trials qualifier in 1992, he ran sub-14 minutes in 5,000 three times.
He was a member of the U.S. World Junior Cross Country Team in 1985 and the U.S. World Senior Cross Country Team in 1990.
He was an NCAA Division I All-American in the 5000 meters in 1987.
He was Western Athletic Conference 5000-meter and 10,000-meter Outdoor Track Champion. He was also Western Athletic Conference Track Athlete of the Year.
He won the 5000-meter event at the Penn Relays.
- Track PRs: 800m, 1:49.4; 1,500m, 3:44.5; 3,000m, 7:56.5; 5,000m, 13:42.6; 10,000m, 28:26.3.
- Road PRs: 1 mile, 4:01.5, 5km, 14:01.3; 8.5km, 23:58.0 (NZ Round the Bays); 10km, 28:10.
- Led Niagara Falls High School to a State federation meet title in 1983.
- Two-time All-American at the University of New Mexico.
- Ran 13:47 for 5K on track twice; won Penn Relays 5K – 13:47
- Ran on the U.S. World Cross Country team.
- Olympic Trials qualifier – ran sub-14 minutes in 5,000 three times.
- U.S. World Jr. Cross Country Team (1985).
- U.S. World Sr. Cross Country Team (1990).
- All American 5000m NCAA Div I (1987).
- Western Athletic Conference (WAC) 10,000m Outdoor Track Champion.
- 9th Mt. Sac Relays 5,000m Invitational (13:51.1).
- All American 5000m NCAA Div I (1989).
- Penn Relays 5000m Champion.
- Western Athletic Conference (WAC) – 10,000m Outdoor Track Champion, 5,000m Outdoor Track Champion.
- WAC Track Athlete of the Year.
- 9th Mt. Sac Relays 5,000m Invitational (13:49.7).
- All-American Honorable Mention – Cross Country (1989).
- U.S. 12km Championship – 5th place (34:05, 4:36/mile).
- U.S. 8km Road Championship – 3rd place (Portland, OR).
- 9th Cinque Mulini – Milano, Italy.
- 2nd Santa Monica Invitational 5,000m (13:50.1).
- 6th Boston Twilight 5,000m – 13:47.2.
- Qualified U.S. Olympic Trials 1992.
- 3rd Round the Bays, Auckland, New Zealand (1992).
- U.S. World Road Relays Team (5km leg), Madeira, Portugal.
Jennifer Colgove-Martin (2011)
Jennifer Colgrove-Martin is a native of South Wales. She was a three-time NCAA qualifier at Allegheny College, where she was a two-time women’s athlete of the year (1981-82 and 1982-83). She continued running after graduation. Martin is one of the few people in history to qualify for four straight Olympic marathon trials. Her highlight at that distance probably was finishing second in the Pan-American Games in 1995, finishing in 2:44:16 and helping the U.S. to a 1-2 finish. After moving to Erie, Pa., she still was a frequent visitor to Western New York to compete in races. Martin won the Turkey Trot in 1984 and 1987, and took the Subaru Four-Mile Chase three different times. She did all this despite having exercise-induced asthma, and also had a case of Lyme disease that at one point simulated a heart attack and left her weak for several months.
- Four-time Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996). (One of only five U.S. women)
- United States Team Member for four World Championships (Half-Marathon)
- World Cup Marathon and Pan Am (2nd, Silver Medal)
- Nike Team athlete (1989-1997)
- Olympic Marathon Trials, Columbia, South Carolina – 12th (2:36:19) – 1996
- Pan American Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina – 2nd (2:41:03) – 1995
- Columbus Marathon – 2nd (2:38:30) – 1995
- California International Marathon – 1st (2:36:13) – 1994
- Columbus Marathon – 1st (2:37:05) – 1993
- Olympic Marathon Trials – 14th (2:39) – 1992
- New England Mile Champion – 1992
- Columbus Marathon – 2nd (2:39) – 1990
- Olympic Marathon Trials – 14th (2:39:06) – 1988
- Pittsburgh Marathon – 4th (2:36:11) – 1987
- Olympic Marathon Trials – (2:45)- 1984
- Team member for World Championships: Half-Marathon in 1995 (Oslo, Norway), 1994; (Brussels, Belgium), 1993; (15k-The Netherlands); and 1989 (5 mile-Stavanger, Norway)
- Member of 1991 World Cup Marathon Team (London) and 1984 Osaka International Marathon (Osaka, Japan)
- Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, 1996
- Allegheny College Hall of Fame, 1993 (still holds 10K collegiate record at Allegheny College)
- Iroquois High School Hall of Fame, Elma, NY, 2001
- Five-time Collegiate All-American Runner in cross-country and track and field.
- Personal Bests: Marathon, 2:36:13; Half Marathon, 1:14:02; 15k, 51:06; 10k, 32:10; 8k, 26:44 (at Turkey Trot in Buffalo- course record); 4 mile, 21:56; 5k, 16:13; 3k, 9:13; 1,500m, 4:36
Nancy Mieszczak (2011)
Nancy Mieszczak scored her first win in her first race, the 1977 J.Y. Cameron Turkey Trot. Eighteen years and 261 races later, she won her last race, this time as a Master, in the 1995 J.Y. Cameron Turkey Trot. In between, she collected 141 firsts, including at least 112 wins in Open competition
She won open titles at the Skylon, Miller Lite and Charlotte Marathons, the last twice; and won the Rocket City marathon as a Master. She finished 10th at the Boston Marathon, and was invited to compete in the first-ever Women’s Olympic marathon trials in 1984.
Although Nancy started her racing career before the advent of prize money, she earned more than $26,000 before retiring from competition. She was for a long time sponsored by both Moving Comfort clothing and Etonic shoes.
Nancy recorded 10K PR in 1983, running nearly identical races back-to-back. Later that year, she won eight consecutive races in three months.
- 3/14/82: Cherry Hill New Jersey 10m, 57:46 (6:18 pace), 2nd place
- 5/22/83: CTFA National Senior 10k, 34:00 (5:47), 3rd place
- 7/24/83: Kenmore Mercy Hospital 5k, 16:58 (5:46), 1st place
- 9/25/83: WBEN Run for Your Life 20k, 1:11:54 (6:19), 1st place
- 10/09/83: Miller Lite Marathon, 2:39:15 (6:07), 1st place
- 3/03/84: Avon Washington 15k, 53:33 (6:15), 3rd place
- 3/18/84: Road Runners Club of America 30k, 1:50:24 (6:32), 6th place
Don Mitchell (2011)
Don Mitchell was an accomplished runner back in the late ’70s and early ’80s before he was a timer. His marathon best is 2:51. His 5K PR is under 17 minutes, his best track mile was 5-flat, best 10k 35:20, and best Turkey Trot in the low 28-minute range. He also has a 7:24 50-miler. He is still running marathons, half-marathons, and shorter distances, but considerably more slowly.
He succeeded Dick Kendall as the area’s course measurer/certifier and for some time was the only person doing that work. He helped John Felix and John Grandits learn the craft. He measured dozens of race courses, including the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Marathon Trials courses. He never charged a fee.
Don was a member of the Delaware Park Steering Committee in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and was instrumental in creating the running lane and keeping car traffic out of much of the Ring Road.
He was the treasurer of the Skylon Marathon committee for several years in the ’70s and early ’80s and, with David Tarbet and Diane Melillo, organized Skylon’s first computer results system in 1980.
He started Runtime Services in 1981. At that time, worldwide, there were very few race computing operations. Only a handful were using machine-readable tags; when the 1981 Skylon Marathon was scored using barcode tags, only New York and Boston were using them. He and his programming partner developed all their own software.
By 1984, he was handling races in the 10,000+ range and had developed his own computer timing device using early laptops that stored and downloaded times from the finish line into his server. (See Bob Ivory’s picture – he’s using one of them.) This meant no more manual typing of times into the computer, and increased accuracy.
He handled races from very small (100-200 finishers) to “extreme” events, most notably the 2002 Pittsburgh Race for the Cure 5k, with 37,700 entrants (1,200 on race day) and 23,500 finishers, which he scored using barcode technology and traditional timing with 15 simultaneous finish lines. His group produced complete race-day results in time for the awards ceremony and for posting on the Internet by mid-afternoon.
He was the first to chip-time a race in the Buffalo area and, in partnership with Leone Timing and Results, brought Upstate New York – from Utica to Buffalo – into the chip-timing era.
He prepared yearly summaries and recommendations not just for his own clients, but for all races who sent representatives to the annual race directors’ meeting.
He developed a “your running history” application that produced a listing of any runner’s complete history, with statistics for every race entered.
He developed a great historical database of performances – electronic copies of results going back to his first event in 1981. The database has nearly a million performances in it. He has archived many results at polymorphs.net.
He was a pioneer of using the World Wide Web for posting race results and a Western New York racing calendar. His Runtime Services website went online in 1997, and material taken from it, especially his “for the runner” description of how traditional scoring works, can be found all over the web.
Vicki Mitchell (2013)
Vicki Mitchell is now in her 14th year with the UB program and has been the head men’s and women’s cross country coach and women’s track and field coach since 2002. Mitchell directly coaches the men’s and women’s middle distance runners and oversees the women’s track and field student-athletes.
Mitchell’s highlights at UB include the highest women’s team placing at the MAC Outdoor Championships in 2010 and her men’s cross country team attaining its highest finishes at the 2011 MAC and Northeast Regional Championships. The 2010 season produced UB’s first All-American (Kristy Woods) in over 10 years, as well as several MAC champions and NCAA qualifiers. Under Mitchell’s tutelage, 2009 graduate Mary Veith became the first UB cross country runner to earn first-team All-MAC honors three years in a row. UB produced the MAC indoor distance medley relay champion foursome and 2006 MAC mile champion Jennifer Jezorski. In 2004, Jennifer Koeppel became the first UB woman to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Koeppel also won the MAC Cross Country and 10,000-meter titles. Middle distance standout Allison Laske competed in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships and competed at the 2004 United States Olympic Trials. In 2001, Jerimie Slick became the first UB runner in over 30 years to compete at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships. In addition, Mitchell has had several athletes qualify for the USATF Junior National Championships every year.
Prior to arriving at UB in 1999, Mitchell served as the assistant cross country and track and field coach at William Jewell College in Kansas City, Missouri. Mitchell also spent five years at Holy Angels Academy in Buffalo where she taught physical education and was the head cross country and track and field coach. A native Western New Yorker, she is a 1987 graduate of Amherst Central School.
A distinguished athlete and international competitor, Mitchell competed in the 1996 U.S. Olympic 10,000-meter Trials. She made her marathon debut at the 1999 Hong Kong Marathon, where she qualified for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. In 2001, she was invited to join the Fila Discovery USA training program, a program designed to develop American distance runners into elite marathon athletes able to compete with the best in the world. She has been a member of five USA national teams, including the 1993 World University Games and 1998 IAAF World Road Race Championship in Manaus, Brazil.
Mitchell is the current Northeast NCAA Cross Country Rep and has been an instrumental committee member in establishing the Buffalo Chapter of Girls on the Run, a national program for pre-teen girls that focuses on developing self-esteem, self-respect and healthy living through fitness and running. Mitchell also presented at the 2010 Illinois State Track Clinic, is a panel member of the Buffalo Medical Runner’s Forum and is a regular speaker at several running camps each year.
Mitchell received her B.S.E. in physical education from Cortland State in 1991 and a master’s in exercise physiology from North Carolina-Greensboro in 1994. While at Cortland State, Mitchell was a seven-time NCAA champion and 10-time All-American in leading the Red Dragons to NCAA Division III national championships in cross country and track. In 2003, she was named Cortland’s Western New York Alum of the Year, and in 2004 she was inducted to the Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame. In 2010, she was named to the Division III Track and Field Athlete Hall of Fame.
Personal Best times:
- 1500m – 4:29
- 3000m – 9:20
- 5000m – 15:54
- 8k (Road) – 26:20
- 10k (road) – 32:23
- Marathon – 2:41:05
Athletic Awards and Honors
- Professional Athlete, 1993-2001
- Two-time USA Olympic Trials Qualifier: 1996 10,000m and 2000 Marathon
- Six-time USA Track and Field National Championship Qualifier, 10,000m (’93, ’94 ’95,’96,’98,’99)
- 1991 Hanes Her Way Athlete of the Year recipient
- 1991 GTE Academic All-American
- 1991 SUNY Athlete of the Year Award
- 1991 New York State Athlete of the Year Award
- 1991 SUNY Cortland Outstanding Athlete Award
- 2003 WNY SUNY Cortland Alumni of the Year
- 2004 Inducted into SUNY Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame
- 2011 Inducted into the NCAA Division III Track and Field Hall of Fame
- 2013 Inducted into the Western New York Running Hall of Fame
- MAC Conference Champions: 2004 Women’s 10k Champ, 2004 Women’s XC Champ, 2011
- Men’s Steeple Chase Champion, 800m Women’s Champion 2013
- MAC All-Conference Athletes: 32
- NCAA Qualifiers: 13 Track and Field, 2 Cross Country
- Olympic Trials Qualifiers: 2004 USA Women’s 800m qualifier, 2012 Jamaican Women’s 800m qualifier
- National Master’s Records: Mile, 3000m
- 2004 Central Collegiate Coach of the Year
Clinics, Presentations, Camps
- U.S. All-Star Track and Field and Cross Country Coaching Clinic, December 2012
- Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association (ITCCCA) Clinic, 2010
- Ohio Association of Track and Field Coaches (OATCCC) Clinic, Jan. 2012
- University at Buffalo Track and Field Summer Camp: Director and Coach/presenter
- University at Buffalo Track and Field Winter Clinic Series: Director and coach/presenter
- Aim High Running Camp (1997 – present): Annual presentation ranging in topics from principles of training, cross country training, nutrition, goal setting
- Blue Mountain Running Camp (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012): Nutrition for better performance presentation
- Roswell’s Team Cure: Nutrition presentation (2008)
- Buffalo Medical Runner’s Forum Panel Speaker and Presenter (’05, ’06, ’08, ’09, ’10): topics including lactate threshold training, running economy, VO2 max training
- Awards Celebrations Guest Speaker (Amherst HS, Churchville-Chili HS, Niagara Running Association, other various sites)
- National Girls and Women’s in Sports Day (UB Celebration event – panel speaker, 2008, 2013)
- 2006 Emerging Elite Coaching Symposium – invited as an emerging elite coach
- USATF Podium Education Project Distance Symposium: 2005, 2006, 2008
Additional Community Involvement
- Board Member: Girls on the Run, Buffalo (2010–present)
- Board Member: Western New York Running Hall of Fame (2011–present)
Sue Schaefer-Morgan (2017)
A pioneer in the area of local women’s running, she ran track and cross country at Clarence Central High School in the 1970s. In her senior year, she set the national two-mile record for high school girls and was the state champion in both the mile and two-mile.
In 1977, she received All-American honors and was named Clarence’s Female Athlete of the Year.
After graduating from Clarence, she won the 3,000-meter run at the AAU Nationals at UCLA in June 1977 in a time of 9:28.77.
She attended Olympic training camp in Squaw Valley in 1977 and 1978 before earning a full athletic scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University.
She was a four-time AIAW All-American (cross country in 1977, 3,000 meters in 1978, 5000 meters in 1978 and 1981). She was also a six-time Ohio Valley Conference Champion (cross country in 1977 and 1981, 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters in 1981, and 5,000 meters in 1978 and 1981).
She set two school records in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters in 1978. The outdoor 5,000-meter record of 16:05 at Eastern Kentucky University stood for 36 years. She also set two Ohio Valley Conference track records in 1981 in those distances.
After college, she became a teacher at East Richland Christian School and an assistant track coach at Barnesville High School in Ohio. She recently retired from track duties, but still lives in Barnesville with her husband, Bill. They have four grown daughters, each of whom had successful running careers.
Welcome to the Western New York Running Hall of Fame, Sue Schaefer-Morgan.
Jackie Murzynowski (2014)
She’s won a Western New York-record eight Corporate Challenges. She finished second in the Corporate Challenge World Championship in New York City. She’s a two-time Buffalo News Runner of the Year winner.
She has set many school and meet records in the 1500-meter, 3000-meter, and cross country while attending Kentucky’s Murray State University.
During her racing career, she ran the Checkers 8K in 27:26, a 5K in 16:30 while in college, and a 10K in 34:35.
She’s won 78 races in all, including the East Aurora Toy Fest 10K, the Police Chase, the J.P. Bullfeathers 5K, the Louis J. Billittier Memorial 5K, and the Buffalo State Bengal Run.
In 2008, she was first overall in a race at Erie Community College.
Today, she coaches varsity cross country and modified outdoor track at Frontier High School and at Frontier Middle School.
In her spare time, she coaches and trains several area runners and helps with the summer track program.
Jim Nowicki (2017)
He organized Casey’s Nickelodeon Champagne Chase in 1981. Black Tower wine became the title sponsor in 1982. In 1985, the race became the first in the area to offer prize money, and has featured Olympians and world champions over the years.
The parade of top runners continues to this day. John Campbell set male masters 4-mile world record in the race in 1990, which has attracted runners from 30 foreign countries and all 50 states.
In 1986, Subaru became the major sponsor and — along with Northtown and West Herr — has remained the major sponsor for 32 consecutive years.
He continues to dedicate himself to organizing this event, with Subaru as the major sponsor. The race has become a Buffalo summertime tradition that top area runners and recreational runners circle on their calendars in January.
The race was recognized by Buffalo Spree magazine as “a world-class race and Western New York’s premier international sporting event.”
Former Buffalo News running columnist and fellow Hall of Fame member Mike Beebe called the race “the jewel among area road races.”
The race has received coverage in Running Times, Runners World, USA Today, and Sports Illustrated.
And all of this race’s success can be attributed to one man.
Welcome to the Western New York Running Hall of Fame, Jim Nowicki.
David O’Keeffe (2011)
Dave began competitive running at Manhattan College as a freshman in February 1977, walking on to a Division I team without any high school training. He progressed to become a scholarship athlete and team captain. In 1979 he was the 5th scorer on the 17th place team at the NCAA Cross Country Nationals. For the 1980 season, he was named 1st Team Cross Country, Metropolitan Athletic Conference. While in Medical School he achieved a national caliber performance time of 45:38 at the BMW Westchester 15K, September 1983.
During his Family Medicine Residency, he represented the U.S. at the World Cross Country Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, March 1988. He became the 43rd fastest American of all time with a 63:39 at the Toronto Half Marathon, September 1991. He qualified for the 1992 Olympic Trials Marathon, finishing 8th in the Chicago Marathon, October 1991.
He represented the US again in the World Cup Marathon Championships in San Sebastian, October 1993.
Highlights from national road races include an 18th place at the Falmouth Road Race in 1988, a 19th place at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in 1989, a 6th place at the Toronto Half Marathon in 1989, a 13th place at the International Peace Race 10K in 1991, an 8th place at the Chicago Marathon in 1991, a victory at the Round The Bay 30K in 1993, a 20th place at the Boilermaker 15K in 1993, a 2nd place at the Virginia 10 Miler in 1993, a 20th place overall in the USA/Reebok Cross Country Grand Prix Series in 1994 and a victory at the Canadian International Marathon in 1995.
His career in Western New York running extended 27 years. He won the Turkey Trot twice, set two course records and achieved ten top 5 finishes. His 23:13 course record from 1989 still stands and his 23:23 from 1987 is the second fastest time ever recorded at the oldest continually held road race in North America. He also holds the current masters course record, achieved in 1999 when he finished 2nd overall. His Shamrock 8K history includes four victories, four 2nd place finishes, a 3rd place finish, the current course record of 23:41 and the current masters course record as a result of an overall victory in 1999. His Corporate Challenge victories span 20 years. He won the Buffalo Marathon twice, once as a master.
Dave was the first Buffalo News Runner of the Year in 1987. He achieved the honor for the second time in 1989 and again in 2007 at the age of 48.
Dave was a notable masters competitor, earning seven individual national championships and leading three national champion teams. In 7 of 16 National Championships he finished first or second in overall performance. He never placed out of the top 10 in age-graded results at masters national events. Dave was awarded the title of USA Masters Harrier of the Year in 2005 and 2006. Running Times ranked him as the 3rd best 45 to 49 year old road racer in the nation in 2004 and extended an honorable mention for his age group in 2001 and 2007. He was the 2nd master in the 1999 London Marathon, 3rd master in the 1999 Parkersburg Half Marathon National Championship, 2nd master in the 2000 Houston Marathon, 2nd master in the 2001 Philadelphia Half Marathon, 1st master in the 2004 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and 1st master in the 2004 Broad Street Run. He was the masters champion in the Mayor’s Cup 8K 2001, 2002 and 2006. He was also the GVH Upstate Cross Country Masters Champion in 2003 and 2006.
- 1988 World Cross Country Championship
- 1993 World Cup Marathon Championship
- 1988 Winter National Cross Country Championship – 9th Place
- 1989 Winter National Cross Country Championship – 12th Place
- 1992 Winter National Cross Country Championship – 18th Place
- 1993 20K National Championship – 6th Place
Masters National Championships:
- Masters Marathon National Champion 10/99 Twin Cities
- 5K Age-Graded Cross Country National Champion 10/05 Saratoga Springs
- 5K Age-Graded Cross Country National Champion 10/06 Saratoga Springs
- 8K Age-Graded Cross Country National Champion 2/07 Boulder
- 6K 45-49 Year Old Cross Country National Champion 2/04 Indianapolis
- 5K 45-49 Year Old Cross Country National Champion 10/05 Saratoga Springs
- 8K 45-49 Year Old Cross Country National Champion 2/06 Van Cortlandt Park
- 2nd Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 11/00 Holmdel
- 2nd Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 2/04 Indianapolis
- 2nd Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 11/05 Rochester
- 3rd Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 11/03 Rochester
- 4th Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 2/06 Van Cortland
- 4th Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 12/07 West Chester
- 5th Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 12/03 Greensboro
- 6th Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 2/08 Mission Bay
- 7th Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 2/05 Vancouver
- 7th Overall Age-Graded 10K Road Championship 9/07 Paso Robles
- 8th Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 12/07 San Francisco
- 10th Overall Age-Graded Cross Country Championship 10/07 Saratoga Springs
Masters Team Championships:
- Team Champion Cross Country 8K 11/03 Rochester
- Team Champion Cross Country 5K 10/05 Saratoga Springs
- Team Champion Cross Country 5K 10/07 Saratoga Springs
- 2nd Place Team Cross Country Championship 10K 11/05 Rochester
- 2nd Place Team Cross Country Championship 8K 2/06 Van Cortlandt Park
- 2nd Place Team Cross Country Championship 5K 11/06 Saratoga Springs
- 3rd Team Cross Country Championship 8K 2/05 Vancouver
- 1600m – 4:12 – Penn Relays 4/81
- 3000m – 8:15 York University 1/91 Indoors
- 5000m – 14:20 College Dual Meet 5/81
- 5K – 14:31 Police Chase 9/93
- 8K – 23:13 Turkey Trot 11/89
- 10000m – 29:45 Rutgers Relays 5/81
- 10K – 28:57 Youngstown International Peace Race 9/91
- 15K – 45:38 Westchester 15K 9/83
- 10 Mile – 48:48 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 4/89
- 20K – 62:33 WBEN Run For Your Life 20K 9/86
- Half Marathon – 1:03:39 Toronto Half 9/91
- 30K – 1:35:16 Hamilton Around The Bay 3/91
- Marathon – 2:16:22 World Cup 10/93
- 5K – 15:00 (Age-Graded Conversion – 14:14) Syracuse Festival Of Races 9/01
- 8K – 24:21 (Age-Graded Conversion – 23:31) Turkey Trot 11/99
- 10K – 33:12 (Age-Graded Conversion – 29:30) Heritage Oaks 10K 9/07
- 10 Mile – 54:16 (Age-Graded Conversion – 50:53) Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 4/04
- Half Marathon – 1:09:09 (Age-Graded Conversion – 1:06:22) Philadelphia Half Marathon 9/01
- Marathon – 2:23:09 (Age-Graded Conversion – 2:19:47) Rocket City Marathon 12/99
Bernie Prabucki (2013)
From 1975 to 1979, Bernie Prabucki was a five-time all-high in cross country and track for Seneca Vocational High School in Buffalo, New York. He was the school record holder in the mile, two mile, and the Delaware Park cross country course. Bernie is also a member of the Seneca Vocational Wall of Fame.
Bernie graduated from Fredonia State University in 1983 with a bachelor’s in economics. He moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1985. He received his masters in accounting and tax law from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1989. He’s currently the owner and president of Bernard Prabucki, CPA, PA, a tax and accounting firm in Durham, North Carolina.
- Four-time NCAA All-American at Fredonia State University in Cross Country and Track, 1979-83.
- Individual national champion in the 5000 meters, 1982.
- Nine-time individual SUNYAC champion in 1500 through 5000 meters.
- Two-time Individual SUNYAC cross country champion.
- Seven-time New York State track champion.
- Two-time New York State cross country champion.
- Fredonia State outdoor track record holder in 5000 and 10000 meters.
- Fredonia State cross country course record holder.
- Member, Fredonia Hall of Fame.
- Member, SUNYAC Hall of Fame.
- Fredonia State Student Athlete of the Year, 1983.
- Member of Fredonia State cross country and track teams that won 21 SUNYAC and New York State championships. 1979-83.
- Member, New York State Empire 5000 Meters Team, 1984.
- Nationally ranked in the top 25 in the United States for the 5000 meters, 1985-88
- Competed in the National Track and Field Championships, 1986.
- Competed in the 5000 meters at the 1988 Olympic Trails in Indianapolis, 1988 (14:32.32).
- Volunteer track, basketball, soccer and softball coach for Orange County Special Olympics in Chapel Hill, NC, 1994-present.
- North Carolina track coach for the National Special Olympics Summer Games held in Lincoln, Nebraska, 2010.
- Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for the Year, 2011.
- North Carolina Special Olympics Coach of the Year, 2012.
Notable road race wins:
- 1983 Skylon Marathon (2:21:28).
- 1983 Lancaster Turkey Day Run.
- 1983 Broadway-Fillmore Turkey Day Race.
- 1983 Last Race of the Year.
- 1984 Orlando Festival Marathon (2:20:01).
- 1984 Cole’s Run on Elmwood Avenue.
- 1984 Connors-Kait-Harrity Run.
- 1984 St. Patrick Day’s Race.
- 1984 Buffalo Police Chase 5k (14:32).
- 1984 Delaware YMCA Turkey Trot (23:32).
- 1984 Lancaster Turkey Day Run.
- 1984 Last Race of the Year.
- 1984 Broadway-Fillmore Turkey Day Race.
- 1985 Buffalo Police Chase 5k (14:45).
- 1986 Lilac 10k in Rochester, New York (29:44).
- 1987 Lancaster Turkey Day Run.
- 1500 meters: 3:45.
- 3000 meters: 8:11.
- 5000 meters: 13:46.
- 10000 meters: 28:47.
- 10 miles: 47:57.
- Marathon: 2:21:28.
“It brings a smile to my face as to how lucky and fortunate I was to obtain such a level of success in the world of distance running. But I say this with the utmost sincerity and honesty that each and every one of those personal accomplishments pale in comparison to my coaching in Special Olympics. There has been no greater joy and level of satisfaction in my life then working with and coaching all my athletes over these past 20 years. To work with an athlete that no one thought could even walk 100 yards and training them so by the end of the season they are racing the 800 meters brings to meaning what life is all about. The term “priceless” does not do this justice.”
Carl Roesch (2013)
During Carl J. Roesch’s lifetime, he served as an official in volleyball, softball, basketball, swimming, and, track and field, but his passion was always running. Due to his extensive commitment and evolvement, he was affectionately given the title, “Mr. Track and Field.” Carl competed and went on to facilitating track and field as well as cross country events with such career highlights as:
- 1968: Served as assistant manager to the U.S. Olympic track and field team in Mexico City.
- 1969: Elected Secretary of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Committee.
- 1948-1973: Coached both cross country and track at Canisius College.
Carl’s running career included such notable achievements as:
- 1928-30: All-High champion in the mile.
- 1929 and 1930: All-High champion in the 880-yard run.
- 1933 and 1934: Named “Outstanding Track Performer of the Year.”
- 1935: National AAU Indoor Championship in the 600 meters (record still stands as event is no longer contested).
Carl brought new exposure to the sport on a local and international level.
- 1941-1950s: Appointed Games Director for the Buffalo Fire Department Track and Field Meets. Carl pioneered these meets, attracting many international athletes to Buffalo to compete.
- 1950s-1960s: Was founding and former president and made life member of the Niagara region AAU Association. Conducted the first AAU Olympic Development Meets in Buffalo, NY.
- 1950s: Began 30 years of service to the Niagara Frontier Track and Field Officials Association.
- 1962: Outstanding Sports Promoter Award by the Western New York Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Received the Ralph C. Hubbell Award for Sportsman of the Year.
- 1964: Appointed Director of the City of Buffalo Recreation Department by Mayor, Chester Kowal – Inducted into the National Federation of State High Schools Assoc. Hall of Fame.
- 1965: Instituted for the first time in the Recreation Department history, track and field coaching clinics for young athletes. Initiated playground physical fitness tests for area youngsters.
- 1966: Men’s manager of the United States Track Team at the International Games in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
- 1960s-1970s: Officiated at the Wanamaker-Millrose games in Madison Square Garden, New York City.
- 1970: Manager of the Men’s United States Olympic Track and Field Team that competed against the USSR in Leningrad, as well as teams in Paris and Stuttgart.
- 1974: Served as a handicapper until 1974 for the J.Y. Cameron Memorial Thanksgiving Day Run (The Turkey Trot). Received the Niagara Frontier recreation and Parks Society Volunteer Service Award.
- 1975: Manager of the United States Men’s Track and Field Team vs. Russia Indoor Meet in Richmond, Virginia.
- 1980: Instrumental in bringing the Olympic Marathon trials to Buffalo for the first time.
- 1982: Inducted into the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame.
- 1984: Inducted into the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials as the Outstanding Official in New York State.
Carl passed away in 1987, but his legacy to the sport of running is ever present. He was posthumously inducted into the Niagara Track and Field Hall of Fame 1998, Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame 2010 and the Western New York Invitational Track Classic is now known as The Carl. J. Roesch Memorial Classic.
Richard Sullivan (2014)
His running career began in 1969, or thereabouts. But don’t let this guesstiment fool you. Since 1969, this man has kept very meticulous records of his running endeavors.
He can tell you that he’s run 1,569 races, including 82 marathons and 31 Boston Marathons. He’s also competed in 32 Utica Boilermakers, 40 Lockport Y-10s, and 44 Turkey Trots.
He’s a seven-time age-group winner in Buffalo News Runner of the Year series and he’s won 15 medals at Empire State Games.
He ran a 17:48 5K at age 52 and a 2:54:09 marathon at Presque Isle.
He was the founder of the Belle Watling Athletic Club, which he calls, “The most prestigious running club in Western New York.” He’s also been informally crowned “The Father of Western New York Road Running,” which given the number of races he runs each year, is a suitable title.
Henry Sypniewski (2014)
By age 70, many runners are at least thinking about hanging up their racing flats. This man was just getting started.
Before he took up running, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and later worked as a machinist. He was also a boxer.
After he retired, he was looking for an activity to keep him busy. He chose running. And he ran well.
He set American records in the 90-94 age bracket. He completed a half marathon in 3:03:56. He ran a 15K in 57:33 (in the 85-89 age bracket). He was an eight-time USA Track and Field runner of the year in his age group.
At the national Masters 5K championship in Syracuse in October 2011, he finished in 47:38. The old record was 1:01:07.
He went one better about a month later, completing the Bob Ivory 5K in 45:47. It was his last race. He passed away on April Fool’s Day 2012.
He did an admirable job securing recognition for elder runners. He wrote letters to area race directors saying that it wasn’t fair for him to compete against “youngsters” in an 80-and-above age-group..
Alex Trammell (2017)
He is one of the best runners in the history of St. Joe’s Collegiate Institute. He was a member of the 1971 Eastern States championship team that was ranked #3 in the U.S.
Also in 1971, he set the Delaware Park Lake course record by running 2.5 miles in 12 minutes flat — a record that has yet to be broken.
He was first-team all-state in cross country in 1971, and was all-state in the 880 in 1972. He also set a Western New York mile record in 1972. That St. Joe’s squad set a record in the distance medley at the 1972 Penn Relays that stands today.
He was All-Catholic every year he ran at St. Joe’s, cross country All-Catholic champion in 1971, and still holds multiple school records in the 1-mile, 2-mile, distance medley relay, and the 800-meter run, and was also a two-time Penn Relays champion.
After receiving a full athletic scholarship to Fordham University, he became a two-time Division I All-American.
He founded the Greater Buffalo Track Club, was an original member of Checkers Athletic Club, and was the founding race director of what is now known as the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge.
In 1975, he was a member of the two-mile relay team that recorded the world time of 7:27.2 at the IC4A Indoor Championship at Princeton.
He was inducted into the Fordham University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. He was also inducted into the St. Joe’s Sports Hall of Fame on four occasions: as part of the 1971 cross country team, the Penn Relays Distance Medley team, the 1972 2-mile relay team, and in 2016 for his many individual contributions.
Welcome to the Western New York Running Hall of Fame, Alex Trammell.
John Tuttle (2011)
John Tuttle is one of the most accomplished runners in Western New York history. Born in Alfred in 1958, he was a New York State Class C cross country champion in 1976. He won the 1977 New York State indoor mile and 1000-yard runs, singlehandedly leading Alfred-Almond to a state championship.
John went on to become a five-time Southeast Conference champion in track and field and a four-time All-SEC selection in cross-country at Auburn.
After graduating from Auburn, John set his sights on longer distances. He placed fourth in the 1983 New York Marathon in 2:10:51. The next year, he placed third in the 1984 Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:11:50 in Buffalo/Niagara Falls and represented the United States in the 1984 Summer Olympics.
John was the 1999 Runners World Masters runner of the year, and was named USATF Masters Age Division Runner of the Year in 1999, 2000, 2005 and 2006.
His 8k time of 23:25 is the current American masters record (40-44 age group).
He was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame in 2000 and USATF Niagara Hall of Fame in 2002.
Now living in Georgia, John returns to Western New York on occasion to run races such as the Subaru Four-Mile Chase.
She was born in Buffalo, grew up in the South Buffalo/West Seneca area.
Her father coached baseball, basketball and softball—and she played all three. Unfortunately in her estimation, she was the worst athlete of her seven siblings. That inspired her to keep looking for sports she could do. She fell in love with rowing and became a star for the West Side Rowing Club. At Canisius College, she navigated the men’s crew team to a small college championship.
Then came running. She took up the sport in her senior year in college and went on to finish 16th in the 1984 Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:46. She then won the 1987 Marine Corps Marathon in a time of 2:44:34. She qualified for the 1988 Olympic marathon trials, but she was sidelined with back and knee injuries.
She came to New York City in 1994. She worked for a law firm and was eventually promoted to partner. In October 1998, she joined New York Road Runners as vice president and chief operating officer. In 2005, she was promoted to president and chief executive.
She’s now one of the top female sports administrators in the country. As leader of New York Road Runners, she coordinates the TCS New York City Marathon and several other races that collectively draw more than 200,000 participants each year.
Under her leadership, the New York Road Runners has helped develop the World Marathon Majors Series and several community programs that have introduced running to underprivileged children.
In 2013, she returned to marathon running after a 19-year hiatus. She was inspired to qualify for and support the 2014 Boston Marathon. She finished in 3:32:55.
“I was inspired and moved by Boston and the survivors and champions of that city every step.”
Ralph Zimmermann (2011)
Ralph Zimmermann began road racing when he was well into his 30s, and he never looked back, unless it was to see his nearest competitor. Of course I exaggerate, but once he hit his stride, there were few in his age group who could beat him, and not many younger than him could catch him either.
Ralph ended up picking the marathon as his race of choice, as he felt the longer the race, the stronger he ran. When he ran his first marathon, however, he did it in 3:11, and he didn’t think he would ever want to run another. Fortunately, that feeling passed, as it does with so many of us runners, and he became one of the best.
He did come into his own at the 1978 Boston Marathon, when he was almost 37 years old. The day before the race, while doing a warm up with fellow Belle Watling Dave Bogdan, Dave gave Ralph his metal wrist band that had a stop watch on it (This was in the days before we had Iron Man watches of any kind to wear, plus Boston didn’t have many mile markers anyway), and told him he may need it. Dave had a premonition it would be a big day for Ralph, and, boy, was he right. In one of the most competitive Bostons until recently, Ralph surprised himself with a 2:18:55, good for 28th place and a national record for his age. After he realized what he had done, Ralph sat on a curb and cried for joy and amazement. But wait, things got better, and when he was 38 he beat that time at the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Marathon with a 2:17:16, which is his PR and was a national record for his age again. This was a race that had 25 miles of it run on a single bridge that had recently been built. It boggles the mind, and to this day, Ralph himself is amazed at his pace of 5:15 per mile.
Ralph figures he ran 33 marathons, with most under 2:30, and three under 2:20. He ran the Grandma Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:21, which qualified him for the 1980 US Olympic Marathon Trials, which was held in Buffalo on the old Skylon course. He knew this course well, as he ran most of the Skylons, and placed as high as second place there. Ralph was the oldest runner in the 1980 Olympic Trials, but that never stopped him. In what turned out to be the most competitive trials for US men until perhaps the last trials, and with 225 runners, 56 of whom broke 2:20, Ralph placed 61st with a 2:20 and some change.
Other marathons he ran and is proud of include Presque Isle, where he placed first once and third; Lake Champlain which he won; and Pittsburgh where he was the first master, as he was in the Miami Marathon. Ralph also set national records for his age in the 30K in Albany, the 15K in Utica, and his PR of 30:59 was also a national age record in the 10K. His best 5K was 15:31, and though he does not remember how old he was for this, my guess would be over 40 as the 5K was not around as a race in the 1970s.
Ralph lived to run, and to race once he discovered the joy of it, and he was always willing to share his knowledge and strategies for training with others. Until just a few years ago, he still competed for Runner of the Year in his age group, but health issues the last couple years have brought his running to an end. He misses it, and would be happy to be able to just get out there to walk a few miles, yet he still mentors younger runners, and helps with local track meets.