Perzanowski sisters race each other on opposing teams

For the first time in their long and highly successful running careers, the Sisters Perzanowski – Kelly and Jamie – were wearing different colored jerseys when they raced against each last week.

At last weekend’s Mountain Dew Invitational on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, the St. Clairsville High School products raced against each other, but Kelly was running for Florida Gulf Coast and Jamie was running for Central Florida.

“It was really weird being on different teams, especially at the starting line,” Kelly said via email.

The Perzanowski sisters hadn’t seen each other since they went their respective ways in August to begin preparations for the season, but this date was certainly circled on their calendars.

“We’d been looking forward to this meet since we found out we were both in it,” Kelly said.

Jamie is off to a blistering start with the Lady Knights. She’s been the team’s leader in each of its three meets this season and put forth her best effort last week.

The youngest Perzanowski finished the 5K race in 18:04.04 and placed 11th overall.

Not only did she lead her team, but for the first time in their CC running careers, Jamie defeated Kelly in head-to-head competition.

“She never beat me when we were in high school, but her times (last season) were consistently faster than mine,” Kelly continued.

Kelly finished the race in 38th place in a time of 19:18.19.

“Jamie is having a great season and has been working so hard,” Kelly said. “Her coach set high expectations for her and she is definitely living up to them. My family and I are very proud of her.”

The two got to talk briefly after the race before both had to go on their cool-down runs.

“It was weird when we had to go our separate ways to cool down,” Kelly said.

The two won’t have to wait nearly as long to see each other again. They’ll face off on Oct. 8 in the Disney Cross Country Classic in Lake Buenva Vista.

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ERICKA SKINNER – a 2010 graduate of Harrison Central High School – is continuing to shine on the Division II circuit for Barton College.

Skinner was recently named Conference Carolinas Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week.

She earned the honor after she captured the individual title at the UNC Wilmington Seahawk Invitational, which included numerous Division I runners.

Skinner dominated the race in posting a 18:12.09, which was 25 seconds better than her nearest competitor. This marked her first collegiate victory.

The honor marked the second time in her career that she’d been accorded the distinction.

Last weekend, Skinner and Barton College took part in the East Carolina University Pirate Invitational. She led the Lady Bulldogs by finishing eighth overall in 18:59.

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RIVER HIGH product Sarah Blatt is enjoying a splended running career at the United States Coast Guard Academy, which is located in New London, Conn.

Blatt is the Lady Bears’ consistent #2 runner as a junior. She was named her team’s MVP as a freshman.

The Coast Guard Academy is an NCAA Division III school and is currently ranked 10th in the USATF Cross Country Coaches Association Poll in the New England regional after a strong showing at the Smith College Invitational.

The USCGA also finished second in the UMass-Darthmouth Invitational, which was the school’s best finish.

At her most-recent meet, Blatt, who was a member of St. John Central’s 2008 state championship team before going back to River to conclude her career, finished 15th with a time of 19:14.

Blatt had an impressive summer of running as well. She took part in the annual Pittsburgh Marathon and finished in a solid time of 3 hours and 21 minutes, which earns her the right to run at the Boston Marathon.

Her time was the fastest among females who were 20 years old or younger. She finished tenth in the 20-24 age group.

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ST. CLAIRSVILLE product Alex Thornburg continues to be a solid contributor for the Loyola of Chicago squad.

Recently, the Ramblers took part in the Illinois Collegiate Championships where they won the university division.

Thornburg finished 76th overall, posting a time of 25:55.

This weekend, Loyola will compete in the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational at Montrose Beach.

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ST. JOHN Central product Luke Holubeck finished ninth in Wheeling Jesuit’s season-opening Miami of Ohio Open. He crossed the line in a time of 26:17, which is a personal best time. Another Irish product, Matt Riffle, was one of the scoring members of the Cardinals’ squad.

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FORMER Buckeye Local standout Sherry Borsos continues to shine at West Liberty University under the tuteledge of her former prep coach Eric Laughlin.

Borsos, who is the Lady Hilltoppers’ top runner, was recently named West Virginia Conference Cross Country Runner of the Week. She earned the honor after she ran away from the field at the Golden Eagle Invitational in Tornado, W.Va. She ran a solid time of 20:07, which was more than 15 seconds better than her nearest competitor.

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AT THE University of Illinois, Stephanie Morgan will be held out for the season from the Fighting Illini’s team after suffering an injury.

Morgan was hurt late in the outdoor track season and has yet to fully recover, so Illinois opted to hold her out this season.

Staskey can be reached at