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USF grad takes title in Unicorn

Muchapiwa Mazano finishes the 5K road race in 15:58 for the win.

By DAVE THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 18, 2002


LARGO -- South Florida graduate Muchapiwa Mazano ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Kenyan Lawrence Mboga during the early stages of the Unicorn Classic 5K before pulling away for the win in 15 minutes, 58 seconds.

The two-loop road-race victory at Central Park gave Mazano, 29, the Road Runners Club of America's Southern Region title and $500.

The 23rd annual event was sponsored by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and conducted by the West Florida Y Runners Club.

Mazano covered the first mile on the unseasonably warm Sunday morning in 4:52 with Mboga six seconds back.

"That was my strategy, to break away early," Mazano said. "That builds my confidence and motivates me to keep running hard."

Mboga tried to pressure but felt the effects of the heat. He is from Minnesota and ran for Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

"I wanted to test him in the third mile but the heat got to me," said Mboga, 29. "It's just too warm for me; it wasn't my day."

Bradenton's Mickey Hooke finished third (16:26), followed by Cape Coral's Perry Small (16:53), South Pasadena's Tom Adamich (17:09) and Palm Harbor's Jeff Delie (17:23).

Though the women's winner, Heather Gollnick, is from Wisconsin, she welcomed the warm weather.

Gollnick, 32, let local favorite Judy Maguire, 43, of Clearwater's Dianetics Running Team take the early lead, then took charge on the second mile to win in 18:14 by .08.

"I love the heat," said Gollnick, a national-class triathlete from Hartford. "It's great to win here this morning."

Clearwater's Vicki Stum was third (18:26), followed by St. Pete Beach's Carol Glasscock (19:13), St. Petersburg's Amy McClenathan (19:23) and Palm Harbor's Kit Van Allan (19:25).

Gollnick finished 14th in the field of 194 men and 186 women.

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