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For duo, demanding winter workouts pay off

Paul Leonard and Ellen Krantz-Buskovitz earn titles in Winter’s End 4.5-miler.

A field of 141 is off and running in the 29th annual Winter’s End 4.5 Mile Foot Race in Lehman Township. Paul Leonard was the overall winner, completing the course in 25:44.

Fred adams/for the times leader

LEHMAN TWP. – Lots of hard training during the winter resulted in big victories for Paul Leonard and Ellen Krantz-Buskovitz in the Wyoming Valley Striders’ 29th annual Winter’s End 4.5-Mile Foot Race on Sunday.

Leonard, 46, of Forty Fort, jumped in front early en route to an easy win in 25 minutes and 44 seconds at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus. He outran second-place finisher, Steve Templin, 36, of Milton, by 53 seconds. Nick Wadas, 27, of Dallas, finished third in 27:10.

“I was in the lead at the first turn (very early in the race),” said Leonard. “And when we reached the turnaround (about 2-1/2 miles into the race), I could see I had about a 50-yard lead. So I felt comfortable. I felt pretty good on the hills (just after the turnaround). That made me feel confident.”

Leonard said that during the winter he trained mostly over “a good portion” of the Old Fort 5-Miler (Memorial Day race) course in his hometown of Forty Fort, running the circuit two and sometimes three times over. He usually logs about 50 miles a week.

“It’s a good course to train on in the winter,” he said. “Murray Street is always plowed. And there isn’t much traffic, so you can run on the street a good deal of the way. And Wyoming Avenue is well lit, so it’s easy to see any bad spots on the sidewalks.”

Krantz-Buskovitz, 36, won the female division in 30:02, finishing 18th overall. Jen Heck, 37, of West Wyoming, placed second and 23rd overall, 35 seconds behind.

Krantz-Buskovitz, who only started running seriously three years ago while training for the Steamtown Marathon, logs about 60 miles a week. And this past winter, she ran in no less than three snowstorms over the hills in her hometown of Mayfield.

In fact, it was on the hills over the second mile, on Sunday, when Krantz-Buskovitz secured the win after breaking away from the other female runners in the lead pack.

“I’m used to the hills,” she said. “So that’s when I pushed. I didn’t want to push too hard earlier in the race, because I didn’t want to tire out.”

The Winter’s End 4.5-Mile Foot Race was the first leg of the Striders running club’s Triple Crown. The second leg will be the Cherry Blossom 5-Miler on May 3. The final leg will be the Summer 10Km Run on July 26.


Top 10

1. Paul Leonard, 46, Forty Fort, 25:44

2. Steve Templin, 36, Milton, 26:37

3. Nick Wadas, 27, Dallas, 27:10

4. Sean Robbins, 39, Shavertown, 27:16

5. Chris Pszeniczny, 38, Benton, 27:40

6. Bill Urbanski, 42, Kingston, 27:48

7. Chris Plominski, 28, Lansdale, 28:03

8. Brian Thomas, 39, Tunkhannock, 28:13

9. Tony Korch, 49, Nanticoke, 28:20

10. Matt Walsh, 27, Lake Ariel, 28:33

Male award winners: Overall: Leonard. Age group winners: 19 & under: 1. Chris Ehret, Dallas, 30:32; 2. Darian McGovern, Ashley, 31:39; 3. Corey Ehret, Dallas, 32:04. 20-29: 1. Nick Wadas, Dallas, 27:10; 2. Chris Plominski, Lansdale, 28:03; 3. Matt Walsh, Lake Ariel, 28:33. 30-39: 1. Steve Templin, Milton, 26:37; 2. Sean Robbins, Shavertown, 27:16; 3. Chris Pszeniczny, Benton, 27:40. Masters Division: 40-44: 1. Bill Urbanski, Kingston, 27:48; 2. Keith Austin, Sweet Valley, 29:26; 3. John McGurk, Dallas, 32:34. 45-49: 1. Tony Korch, Nanticoke, 28:20; 2. Tim Clark, Mountain Top, 31:28; 3. Joe Kichilinsky, Wyoming, 32:12. 50-54: 1. Mike Rawls, Mountain Top, 29:17; 2. Greg Bassham, Mountain Top, 29:21; 3. Joe Walsh, Lake Ariel, 30:30. 55-59: 1. Tom Ducatte, E. Stroudsburg, 29:51; 2. Dave Jiunta, Pittston, 30:14; 3. Paul Oliver, Great Bend, 34:25. 60-64: 1. Steve Mardyniak, Hazleton, 34:23; 2. Vince Fedor, Scranton, 35:09; 3. George Joseph, Binghamton, N.Y., 36:32. 65 & over: 1. Tony Cerminaro, Jermyn, 31:34; 2. Mike Fay, Hazleton, 38:24; 3. Rich Hause, Berwick, 39:57.

Top Five Females

1. Ellen Krantz-Buskovitz, 36, Mayfield, 30:02

2. Jen Heck, 37, W. Wyoming, 30:37

3. Shani Steward, 38, Bloomsburg, 30:40

4. Emily Bilbow, 28, Forty Fort, 31:09

5. Kerry Potter, 35, Wyoming, 31:50

Female award winners: Overall: Krantz-Buskovitz. Age group winners: 19 & under: 1. Katie Levandoski, Dallas, 32:15; 2. Meg Pietraccini, 17, Dallas, 33:41. 20-29: 1. Emily Bilbow, Forty Fort, 31:09; 2. Erin Moreck, Forty Fort, 33:30. 30-34: 1. Karen McLaughlin, Luzerne, 33:00; 2. Kerry Zawadski, Plymouth, 34:02. 35-39: 1. Jen Heck, W. Wyoming, 30:37; 2. Shani Steward, Bloomsburg, 30:40. Masters Division: 40-44: 1. Lynn Dolan, W. Wyoming, 32:48; 2. Chris Fazzi, Bear Creek Twp., 38:12. 45-49: 1. Diane Levandoski, Dallas, 36:06; 2. Marsha Pulz, Vestal, N.Y., 38:13. 50 & over: 1. Nancy Werthmuller, Scranton, 32:50; 2. Sharon Davies, Mountain Top, 35:37.

Field: 141 entered. Pace bikers: Nate Jacoby and John Fisher. Official starter and timing: Vince P. Wojnar. Results: Wyoming Valley Striders. Race director: Jim Jackiewicz.


Sunday, April 5: Inaugural running of Colonels (cross country) Run for Kids at 10 a.m. at Kirby Park. The race is presented by Wilkes University. Info: 574-9771.

Sunday, April 26: Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley’s River Street 3-Mile Run/Walk at 10:30 a.m. at the JCC, S. River St., Wilkes-Barre. Info: 824-4646.

Sunday, May 3: Wyoming Valley Striders’ 35th annual Cherry Blossom 5-Mile Foot Race (second leg of Striders Triple Crown) and One Mile Fun Walk (6th annual Tim Thomas Memorial) at 10 a.m. at Kirby Park. Info: Vince Wojnar, 474-5363.

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