USATF National Club Cross Country Championships

The Wolf Creek Track Club is looking to take a team to compete at the 2017 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, which will take place on December 9th in Lexington, Kentucky.

The race is a 10K and will be held at Masterson State Park. We would like to take a men’s and women’s team to compete. Each team will need at least 5 members to be eligible. In order to qualify for USATF Club Nationals, the Wolf Creek Track Club must win the USATF Three Rivers Association Championship, which will be held on November 12th in Youngwood, PA. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us.

McDonnell 10th, Erickson 17th at Steelers 5k

Pittsburgh, PA

The 2017 Gatorade Steelers 5k began this morning at 8am. At the start of the race, the temperature was in the low 60s. Wolf Creek Track Club members, Sean McDonnell and Jack Erickson, competed in the race. The course which traveled along the North Side and finished on Heinz Field was incorrectly measured and ended up being at least 200 meters too long.

McDonnell and Erickson went out at a swift pace clocking 5:01 and 5:05 first miles respectively. McDonnell, 23, of Cranberry Township placed 10th overall out of thousands of runners in the race. McDonnell’s finishing time was 17:18 (5:33/mile), however his true 5k time was about 16:38 when factoring in the long course. Erickson, 23, of Victor, New York claimed 17th place overall in a time of 17:45 (5:42/mile) – more like a 17:03 when adjusted for the long course. McDonnell took 1st place in his age division (20-24), while Erickson was 2nd. This is the first time that McDonnell and Erickson have competed in the Steelers 5k.

Jed Christiansen, 30, of Greenville, PA finished 1st overall in a time of 15:31 (4:59/mile). However, his time would have been about 14:57 if the course had not been long. The top female finisher was Jennifer Bigham, 36, of Pittsburgh who completed the course in a time of 17:41 (5:41/mile) – about a 16:59 adjusted.

Upcoming Wolf Creek Track Club Events: 2nd Annual Premium Outlets 5k


Wise Wins Buhl Half Marathon

Sharon, PA

For the first time in 20 years, the Buhl Half Marathon was held this morning in Sharon, PA. The race started at the 300-acre Buhl Farm Park and then traveled along the Trout Island Trail over the Shenango Valley Dam and eventually into downtown Sharon and then back to Buhl Farm Park for the finishing stretch. The race started at 7am and the temperature was in the mid-50s.

Brandon Wise was in third place through the first mile of the race, but at the 5.5 mile mark he separated from the field and never looked back. Wise averaged 5:48 pace through the 10k mark, split 59:30 through the 10 mile, and finished the race in a time of 1:17:55 (5:57/mile). Wise’s time set a new Wolf Creek Track Club record in the half marathon and is the 2nd best half marathon time of his career. His best time came at the Cleveland Half in 2014 when he ran 1:16:56.

The top female finisher was Danielle Pepe, 27, in a time of 1:26:56 (6:38/mile). There were 107 total participants in the half marathon.

Upcoming WCTC events: 2nd Annual Premium Outlets 5k on September 16th


WCTC Runs at Liberty Mile

Pictured above from left to right: Brandon Wise, Andrew Medure, Kyle Merber (pro runner), Andrew Mascio

Pittsburgh, PA

A couple of Wolf Creek Track Club runners, Brandon Wise and Andrew Mascio, competed in the “Unstoppable” heat of the GNC Liberty Mile tonight. To qualify for the Unstoppbale heat, runners must have run under a 6 minute mile. At the start of the race, under cloudy skies, there was a slight drizzle, and temperatures were in the mid 70s. The first half mile of the course is slightly uphill on Penn Avenue, while the second half turns onto Liberty Avenue and is all downhill. The GNC Liberty Mile is part of the Bring Back The Mile Grand Prix race series.

In the Unstoppable heat, Andrew Mascio placed 12th out of the field of 67 runners in a time of 4:44, while Brandon Wise finished 15th in 4:54. The winner of the heat was Juris Silenieks in 4:19. Juris, a former Syracuse University runner,  is also widely known in running lore for holding the world record for running a half marathon in dress shoes. The first overall female finisher was Point Park University standout, Anna Shields, who finished in 4:47 good for 13th overall.

In the Pro heat, 2016 Olympian, Ben Blankenship representing the Oregon Track Club claimed the GNC Liberty Mile crown for the second consecutive year by out-kicking the field in a time of 4:05. Kyle Merber, representing Hoka One One and a member of the United States’ world record distance medley relay team, finished 2nd overall in 4:06, edging out Riley Masters who also ran 4:06. The first female was Emily Lipari in a time of 4:35. Lauren Johnson was 2nd in 4:36, while Hannah Fields was 3rd also in a time of 4:36. Last year’s female champion, Heather Kampf, finished 4th overall.

In the Masters heat, Charles Novak claimed the men’s title in 4:45, while Renee Tolan bested the female field in 5:21.

The Wolf Creek Track Club’s next competition will be the St. Barnabas 5k on Saturday, August 5th.


WCTC Competes At Presque Isle


The Presque Isle Half Marathon kicked off this morning at 6:45. At the start of the race, the weather was near perfect for a mid-summer half marathon with the temperature in the upper 60s.

Ryan Budnik placed 8th overall in a time of 1:19:24.1 (6:03/mile), an improvement of over 1.5 minutes from last year’s finishing time and a new personal best in the half marathon. Budnik was also 3rd in the 20-24 age category. Brandon Wise finished 10th in 1:19:56.8 (6:06/mile), marking his 4th consecutive year of placing in the top 10 at this event. Theo Reynolds finished 11th overall and 2nd in his age group of 25-29 with a time of 1:20:09.2 (6:07/mile).

Simon DeAngelo, racing his first half marathon, finished 19th overall, completing the course in 1:23:27.4 (6:22/mile), while Andrew Mascio was 21st in 1:24:00.0 (6:24/mile).

On the women’s side, Rachel Martin finished 238th overall in 1:48:06.7, while Hannah Steele took 382nd in a time of 1:56:16.3.

There were 1,498 runners registered for the race and 1,279 total finishers. The 1st overall finisher was Matt McWilliams in 1:08.56.7 (5:15/mile) and the first female finisher was Jennifer Picot in 1:22:14.5 (6:16/mile) good for 16th overall.

The Wolf Creek Track Club’s next competition will be the GNC Liberty Mile on Friday, July 28th.

WCTC Represented at Butler Road Race

Butler, PA

The 42nd Annual Butler Road Race took place this morning at Diamond Park in downtown Butler. The 5 mile race began at 9:00 followed by the 2k race which started at 9:05. The 2k course is downhill for the first 1k and then uphill for the last 1k. The 5 mile course has some rolling hills.

The Wolf Creek Track Club’s Andrew Mascio set out to defend his 2k title from last year. Mascio was battling it out with Seth Ketler, a member of Seneca Valley High School’s WPIAL Cross Country & Track Champion teams. Ketler led the race through the 1k by a few seconds then Mascio surged to catch up and took the lead for a brief period. Mascio and Ketler were running side-by-side until the last 200 meters when Ketler separated from Mascio, taking the 2k title. Ketler ran 6:19 (5:05/mile), while Mascio finished in 6:26 (5:11/mile). Mascio improved on his 6:35 finishing time from last year’s event by nine seconds. CJ Singleton took third place in the 2k with a time of 7:15 (5:50/mile).

In the premier event of the day, the 5 mile race, Nick Edinger, a 2013 Geneva College graduate and representing Up- N-Running finished 1st overall for the second consecutive year. Edinger, who is just getting back into training after running a 2:21 at the Pittsburgh Marathon, posted a time of 26:20. Edinger was followed by Noah Beveridge, a Butler High School Cross Country and Track athlete, who placed 5th at the PIAA State Championship meet in the 2 mile running a 9:07. Beveridge completed the 5-mile course in 27:11. Third overall in the 5 mile was Cody Cornell from Conneaut Lake (27:49).

The Wolf Creek Track Club had a booth set up at the event and will have another booth at the St. Barnabas 5k on August 5th.

Restore the Shore Race Recap

The 2nd Annual Restore the Shore 5k kicked off this morning at 9:00am! The race was held at the Sunken Garden Trail on the South Shore of Moraine State Park. At the start of the race, the temperature was in the low 70s.

Ryan Budnik, 20, from Grove City finished first out of the field of 57 runners in a time of 18:05.49 (5:49/mile) setting the course record in the process. Budnik was followed by Greg Powell, 44, of Wexford who finished in a time of 19:34.41. The third overall finisher was David Voland, 41, from Portersville (21:49.69).

The first female finisher was Lily Atwood, 12,  from Kitanning in a time of 23:25.06. Lily was followed by Karla Durnell, 40, from Ellwood City (23:39.48). The third overall female finisher was Nikki Sothoron, 37, of Wexford in a time of 23:45.10.

Last year’s winner, Brent Collins, 55, of Evans City finished 5th overall and 1st in the male 50-59 age category in a time of 22:43.28.

Restore the Shore had participants from all over the world including three from Colorado and the club’s first ever international finisher from Okayama, Japan in Ryosuke Yamammato who finished 6th overall.

All participants got to take in the stunning finish with the water of Lake Arthur glistening in the background. After the race there were chocolate chip cookies, Nature Valley bars, Einstein Bros Bagels, bananas, and coffee for all participants to enjoy. There was also a gift basket raffle and awards ceremony.

Restore the Shore supports the Moraine Preservation Fund. Thanks to all those who participated! We hope to see you back at Restore the Shore next year! Full Results

The Wolf Creek Track Club’s next club race is the Grove City Premium Outlets 5k on Saturday, September 9th. The race is part of the club’s Fall 5k Series, which consists of four races in Mercer county. An overall male and female series champion will be crowned. To register for the series click the links below:

9/9 Premium Outlets 5k
10/14 Leaves N Lake 5k
11/23 Grateful Gallop 5k
12/31 Resolution Run 5k

Wise Wins Mercer Memorial 5k


Brandon Wise coming down the finishing stretch of the Mercer Memorial Day 5k.

This morning, the Wolf Creek Track Club’s Brandon Wise competed in the Pizza Joe’s Mercer Memorial Day 5k Freedom Fun Run. The race began in downtown Mercer and kicked off Mercer’s Memorial Day festivities, which included a post-race parade. The race started at 8:30 AM with temperatures in the low 60s. The first mile of the course is all downhill followed by some gently rolling hills and then an extended, gradual uphill to the finish. Wise won the event for the 2nd consecutive year with a time of 16:34.5 besting last year’s finishing time by three seconds. Over 150 runners participated in the race.

Overall, this was Wise’s 8th consecutive year of participating in the event with his best finishing time of 16:03 coming in 2015. The course record is held by Ryan Budnik who ran a 15:33 in 2014 at the age of 17.


Upcoming club events: Restore the Shore Trail 5k (Sunken Garden Trail, Moraine State Park, June 17th, 9:00 AM)

Nelson 26th at Johnstown Half

Johnstown, PA

Yesterday morning Wolf Creek Track Club member, Bryce Nelson, competed in the 4th Annual Johnstown Path of the Flood Half Marathon. This was Bryce’s first appearance for the club since helping lead the team to victory in the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon Relay. When asked about his absence, Nelson said “It was good to be back in the WCTC singlet representing the club. I really missed the feeling of racing for a team.”

The Johnstown Path of the Flood Half Marathon is held in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in remembrance of the great Johnstown Flood of 1889. Despite its being based on a historical event, the race itself is quite new, with the inaugural event being held in 2014. There were over 800 runners registered for all three races, with 342 runners competing in the half marathon field. The point-to-point course travels mainly on the scenic Path of the Flood trail, with short portions at the start, and last 5k, traveling through the streets of Johnstown. While the course is a strong net downhill, there are several climbs that can prove challenging to any level runner. Overall the course is very fast with every uphill being soon complimented with a long downhill.

The race started at 8:00 am and the temperature was in the low 50s. When asked about the event itself Bryce said “It was a good event for a newer race with so many people. Everything ran smoothly. It was clear however that they just needed more volunteers to man water stations and direct intersections.” Bryce finished the half marathon in a time of of 1:37:43 – good for 26th place overall in the 342 runner field. He broke it down saying:

“It was a moderate effort. I was there first and foremost to help a friend of mine beat his long-standing goal time of 1:40:00 and second have my first good feeling long run in a while. We started the race conservatively, picking up some strangers who also had similar goals, and we worked our way down to below pace as we hit the more downhill portions of the trail. I really enjoyed the Path of the Flood trail, as it reminded me of my home trail in Saltsburg. There were some surprise uphills in the middle of the course that broke up the monotony and made it challenging. We closed strongly despite the last 5k being kind of poorly marked, and crowded with cars. By the end of the race it was just Kevin and I in our group so that was a confidence booster for Kevin as well. I gotta say my favorite part was running with strangers and talking to them about their training. Bumping into strangers and running with them is an aspect of these kind of races I always hear about but haven’t ever gotten to experience.”

Wolf Creek Track Club is happy to see Bryce back on the results sheets and wishes him luck in his summer training season. Bryce wanted to wish his fellow Wolf Creek Track Club members “Good luck, fast times, and healthy bodies throughout the summer.”

For full race results click here.

WCTC 3rd at Pittsburgh Marathon Relay

Pittsburgh, PA

This morning the Pittsburgh Marathon began at 7:17 am. It was a chilly, damp morning at the start with the temperature in the low 40s. The Wolf Creek Track Club set out to defend their Marathon Relay title from last year.

The team comprised of Sean McDonnell, Brandon Wise, Theo Reynolds, Ryan Budnik, and Moses Greenspan placed 3rd overall in 2:28:45 – an average pace of 5:41 per mile. McDonnell ran the 5.3 mile leg in 29:28 (5:34/mile). Wise finished the 3.8 mile section in 21:20 (5:37/mile). Theo ran the 6.4 mile leg through the hills of Oakland in 35:38 (5:35/mile), while Budnik completed the 6.5 mile leg in 37:57 (5:51/mile). Budnik handed off to the closer, Moses Greenspan, who finished out the last 4.2 miles in 24:24 (5:47/mile). The team set a new Wolf Creek Track Club record for the marathon relay, besting the previous club record of 2:31:22 by 2 minutes and 37 seconds. 

As Moses Greenspan stated, “We went out there. We ran hard. We didn’t get the results we wanted but we gave it our all.”

The winning relay team, out of the 1,045 teams in the field, was Goon Squad finishing in a time of 2:25:27. The 2nd place overall relay, SuperSmashGang, captained by Nick McClure finished with a time of 2:27:05.

The overall male winner of the marathon was Jacob Chemtai with a time of 2:15:25, while the overall female winner was Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam in a time of 2:36:20.

Congratulations to all the participants!