Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sixth Annual Browning Ross Bob Kupcha Run

The 6th annual Browning Ross Bob Kupcha 5k run and 1 mile was held May 14 in National Park, NJ. The race is held in memory of two men who were devoted to Gloucester Catholic High School Dr. Bob Kupcha, Gloucester Catholic High School class of 1977 and Browning Ross, two time Olympian and a long time track and cross country coach at Gloucester Catholic High School.

The 5k race passes through historic Red Bank Battlefield along the Delaware River, and was won by Tom Campo Jr of Woodbury (20:38) and Kris Gallagher of Mullica Hill (21:47).

Dave McCollum (class of 1975) 22:00 and Lauren Wilson (class of 2014) 24:48 each won the Dave Williams award for first GCHS male and female finishers. Williams was a great GCHS runner from the 1940’s and 1950’s who was profiled in Runners Gazette: http://ramscrosscountry.blogspot.com/2008/04/dave-williams-gloucester-catholics.html

Both the 5k and 1-mile races featured runners from both ends of the competitive spectrum.

The 5k featured some of the top masters runners in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, including a number of runners who were regulars at Browning Ross’s races in the 1990’s who today are Boston Marathon and Broad Street Run age group winners, including Jim Flanagan winner of the over 70 age group in 22:12. Joe Hoffman of National Park second over-all and the first over 60 finisher in 21:09, long time South Jersey great Ken Kling second in 22:08, Tom Osler second over 70 finisher and Walt Pierson 3rd over 70. While male masters runners took 9 of the first 10 places in the 5k race, the first 6 finishers in the one mile run were parochial grammar school girls, which bodes well for the GCHS girls cross country team in 2013 and beyond.

Other top finishers in the 5k include Lauren Wilson first under 18 in 24:48 (14th overall), Vicki Lutz Feehan, first in the 19-29 age group and 16th overall in 25:11 and Emily Malfitano second in the under 18 division, and 19th overall in 25:41. Linda Kupcha finished first in the 50-59 female age group in 31:56.
The race featured bagels, fruit and Melitta Coffee. Besides trophies and medals, “Browning Ross style prizes” such as tomato plants, cookies, pickles, running clothes, food coupons from Chick Fil-A and Duffy’s chocolates were awarded to finishers in both events.
Packs of shredded $100 bills also among the random prizes quickly scooped up by the many young runners in attendance without fear of losing their “amateur status”. Proceeds from the race went to the Bob Kupcha Alumni Scholarship, and to a new initiative to raise funds for athletic fields for Gloucester Catholic’s teams (Gloucester Catholic has not had any athletic fields of its own since its founding in 1928 and has recently started a fund to develop land in Deptford, NJ).

There is a possibility that the next Browning Ross Bob Kupcha 5k run will take place on those new fields.
Previous Ross Kupcha Race Winners:

2005 Male: Dave Welsh 16:29 Female: Emily Ward 19:09

2006 Male: Michael McGowan 17:38 Female: Shannon McGowan 22:35

2007 Male: Tom Campo, Jr. 19:44 Female: Meghan McGowan 22:27

2008 Male: Dave Welsh 16:53    Female: Patricia Addis Hudson 21:49

2009 Male: Tony Tartaglia  19:25    Female: Taylor Mickle 22:28

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