- The Washington Times - Monday, August 29, 2005

A year ago, Susannah Kvasnicka had a long drive home to Great Falls after the Annapolis Ten Mile Run. She led nearly the entire race but fell to a disappointing second in the last mile.

It wasn’t so bad yesterday after notching her second triumph in three years and completing her fifth consecutive Annapolis race.

“Last year I got robbed,” said Kvasnicka, 33. “Last year I was coming off an injury. But this year, I’m training for a marathon [Oct. 2 Twin Cities in Minneapolis].”

Kvasnicka led from start to finish, comfortably ending 2 minutes ahead of her competition in 59:23, one of the few times in the 30-year history of the race a woman has broken 60 minutes.

The men’s race, however, was not settled until the last couple of miles. Jeff Olenick of Newport News, Va., outlasted local favorite Michael Wardian of Arlington for the title in his first 10-mile race. Olenick finished in 51:29, 44 seconds ahead of Wardian.

“This is going way up in distance,” said Olenick, 26. “I usually do 5Ks. The last couple of weeks I did some longer tempo runs.”

He never would have been among the field of 3,982 starters, the fewest in years, had it not been for his girlfriend, Sarah Maffei, and her father, both Annapolis residents who persuaded him to run. Maffei was 77th among the women in 1:18:25.

“I wanted to break 54 [minutes], but after three miles, I knew I’d do that,” said Olenick, a standout cross country runner who graduated from Centennial High in Ellicott City, Md., in 1997 after winning the state 3,200-meter title. He also placed ninth at the 2000 NCAA Division III cross country championships in Spokane, Wash., considered one of the crowning achievements in the history of Goucher College’s cross country program.

“Then I wanted to just hang on as long as I could,” he said. “When I pulled away after seven miles, I felt like I had just started running.”

Hanging on to Wardian is no easy task. The ultra-marathoner and former winner of nearly every race in town had perused the previous years of results and figured he could win his debut at Annapolis.

“I felt good,” said the disappointed 31-year-old Arlington resident, who took Olenick through five miles in 25:48 with nobody in sight behind them. “That’s the time I wanted to run. That guy’s legit. I thought I’d drop him by five miles.”

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