- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2002

Casey Smith graduated from Roanoke College in Salem, Va., and moved to Arlington last August.
So forgive the area's top women road racers at yesterday's St. Patrick's Day 10K in Washington if they did not recognize her.
The 22-year-old hung behind a pack of four well-known competitors for the first four miles before charging to the lead and winning in 35:57.
It was the second-fastest time in the 14-year history of the race. (The race was canceled by blizzard in 1993 and by lack of sponsorship in 1995). Only the 35:42 by Susanne Augustauskas in 1989 was faster.
"I had no idea I would win," said Smith, an auditor. "I didn't come into this race thinking place or time. I was just looking to have some fun."
The men's winner, Chris Banks of Springfield, had fun, too. He matched strides with three-time winner Edmund Burke until the five-mile mark, where the course turned left from Independence onto First Street near the Capitol.
Banks glided the last mile and change with his long, smooth stride to finish in 30:55. Burke, the Irishman who won here in from 1996 to 1998 and was second last year, finished 10 seconds behind in 31:05.
The raw weather temperatures in the 40s with rain and wind deterred many of the record 4,980 entrants. Some 3,738 runners finished, second only to last year's 4,182.
But it did not seem to bother most of the faithful who showed up.
In fact, the women's field was the deepest in race history, with 16 women breaking 40 minutes (in the past two years, it was eight each year). While Smith had the second-fastest time ever, Kristin Pierce Barry (35:58) of Arlington and Marjan Huizing (36:03) of Montgomery Village recorded the third- and fourth-fastest times.
Smith watched from behind for the first half of the race as Barry, Huizing, Desiree Ficker and Sharon Servidio jockeyed for position.
Smith said she finally caught the pack between 4 and 5 miles. Once she passed Barry, she led for good.
"She passed me right before Mile 5," said Barry, a 28-year-old attorney who knocked more than a minute off her winning time at the George Washington Birthday 10K last month. "I said, 'Where'd she come from?' I surged and stayed with her a bit. I didn't know who Casey was until after the race."
Smith had run two other area 10Ks, finishing fourth ahead of Barry and Servidio at the Georgetown 10K in October and placing second at the Jingle Bell 10K in Washington in December, almost a minute ahead of Servidio.
Banks, however, is well-known in area circles, winning almost every race he runs.
Both Banks and Burke, who run for the Georgetown Running Company, got out fast from the start, and only Ethiopian Araya Haregot could match them.
After about 2 miles, Haregot, who won last year's Run vs. Row 10K under the name Araya Birhane, dropped off the pace. He ended third in 32:13.
Banks, 24, and Burke, 32, reached five kilometers in 15:38 and headed home past the outgoing runners who cheered them. Then he dropped Burke for another win.
"I was pretty appreciative of the crowd," said Banks, who conceded his Irish connection, his middle name Patrick.



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