Robinson coasts to win in Green Mile

WHEELING – When Cedric Robinson made the left turn onto 12th Street to begin the final leg of the annual Green Mile on Friday night it wasn’t a surprise.

The fact he came around the corner of Market Street alone wasn’t a surprise, either.

Robinson, quickly becoming the runner to beat in area road races, sprinted toward the finish line unchallenged and repeated as Men’s Open champion with a time of 4:38 at Heritage Port.

”I didn’t have anyone near me during the last portion,” said Robinson, the 23-year-old Martins Ferry High School graduate.

Robinson was coming off a victory in Shadyside Wednesday night. He’s also posted other wins this summer, including an event in Follansbee.

A familiar face on the area road racing scene, Robinson has been trying to expand his race itinerary this summer. He’s competed in events in Washington, Pa. and Grove City, among others.

”I’ve just been around everywhere trying to do as many races as possible,” he said. ”It’s nice to see new people and new courses.”

Kenadee Wayt also repeated.

The Linsly School eighth-grader-to-be edged her twin sister, Ireland, by 9 seconds (5:57 to 6:06) to claim the Women’s Open crown. The duo finished in a virtual tie a year ago.

”This was the first mile I did since track,” the talented 13-year-old confessed.

That’s because her mom, Heather, wanted it that way.

”I gave them the summer off,” said Wayt, the former Wheeling Central standout who’s now her daughters’ coach at Linsly. They did whatever they wanted. If they wanted to run, they ran.”

A former Green Mile winner herself, Heather Wayt knows the amount of stress running can place on a body. So, she decided it was best for her daughters to take a break before cross-country practice begins Monday.

The Wayt’s are a talented running family. Next in line is Brooklyn. The 8-year-old recorded a time of 8:12, taking first in her age group.

”They all push each other,” Heather Wayt said.

It was a banner day for the Purple City, as it boasted the top three Men’s Open finishers. Martins Ferry High School cross country runners Jacob Bishop and Jeffrey Lucas, both 15, were second (4:51) and third (5:03), respectively.

The youth movement continued in fourth place with 23-year-old Jason Bennett of Wheeling (5:17). Wheeling’s Devon Griffith, 13, was fifth (5:21), followed by the Bridgeport duo of Casey Morrison (5:21), 21, and 15-year-old Nick Simpson (5:29).

Tim Cook, of Glen Dale, was 10th (5:46).

Another 13-year-old – Wheeling’s Emily Cochran – followed the Wayt twins in third with a time of 6:26.

Summer Jenkins was third (6:32), followed by Wellsburg’s Bernie Hart (6:59), Seneca’s Tyler Moscato (7:08) and Ferry’s Alonna Ackerman (7:17).

Wheeling’s Brittany Stafileno was eighth (7:22), while Ferry’s Chloe Hill (7:29) and Bridgeport’s Hope Lewis (7:31) – both 12 – rounded out the top 10.

Moundsville’s Gary Bennett claimed the Men’s Open walk title with a time of 6:52. Barnesville’s Carl Kondrach was second (7:01), followed by Belmont’s John Fitzgerald (7:28).

The rest of the top 10 included – Richard Puskarich, Follansbee, 9:46; David Workman, Bellaire, 10:18; Ken Hissam, Benwood, 10:48; George Macek, Wheeling, 10:50; Thomas McCardle, Martins Ferry, 10:57; Terry Whitecotton, Wheeling, 11:00; and David Dailer, Wheeling, 11:23.

Lauren Sparachane, of Wheeling, topped the Women’s Open walkers with a time of 8:04. Wheeling’s Brenda Colvin was second (10:39), followed by Glen Dale’s Jenna Cook (10:43).

The remainder of the top 10 were – Karen Mercer, St. Clairsville, 11:23; Donella Hunt, Moundsville, 11:36; Susie Keefer, Wheeling, 11:44; Beth Ann Melko, 11:57; Christine Ward, Wheeling, 12:15; Amanda Cefus, Dillonvale, 12:25; Barbara Cefus, Dillonvale, 12:40.

Activities surrounding the Debbie Green 5K Run/Walk for Leukemia continue today at Heritage Port. Debbie’s Dash begins at 5 p.m., with the main event, starting at 7 p.m.

Thorp can be reached at rthorp@timesleaderonline.com