Doneski, Zablocki win Luti 5-Miler in Concord
Hopkinton's Christin Doneski grabbed her second Bill Luti 5-Miler win Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Chris Labocki of Essex Conn. wins the Bill Luti 5-Miler in Concord, on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
CONCORD — Hopkinton's Christin Doneski grabbed her second Bill Luti 5-Miler win on a warm Saturday morning.
So did Chris Zablocki of Essex, Conn.
The only thing missing from the 45th running of the race was the namesake. Luti, the legendary cross country coach at Concord High School, rarely misses the event but was attending a family wedding on Saturday. He turned 90 in November.
Doneski makes the Luti a regular stop on her racing calendar as well.
This year there was a field of about 330 runners.
“This is where you see everyone from the community,” said Doneski, an occupational therapist in the Hopkinton School District. “This one's a hard one to miss.”
Doneski has an added personal tie to the race, too.
“My son took his first steps at this race, while we were hanging around after it,” Doneski said. “Eleven years ago today. We have a framed picture of it hanging up.”
On Saturday, Simon Doneski, 12, ran his second Luti race and finished with a time of 40 minutes and seven seconds.
Up ahead, his mother moved in front of Abbey Gosling, 26, of Laconia going up the Clinton Street hill in the second mile of the race and pulled away.
Doneski finished in 31:01 and Gosling was second in 31:55. McKenzie Henry, 18, of Penacook was third in 32:15.
Doneski won her first Luti race in 2008.
“I'm usually the bridesmaid,” Donseki said. “I've been second many times. You never know who's going to show up. Today's a very happy day. I guess 41 isn't a bad age at all.”
Heidi Westover of Walpole, who won the last two years and set a course record of 28:21 last year, did not compete.
Zablocki is becoming a Luti regular, too, and won for the second time in three years. Last year, he finished second.
A former Dartmouth runner now making plans for dental school, Zablocki clocked a time of 25:10, exactly a minute in front of Antoine Gisore, a 2010 graduate of Concord High School. A couple of other Concord High grads, Connor Jennings in 27:07 and Makopa Rugabirwa in 27:27, were fourth and fifth.
Gisore and Rugabirwa, who graduated in 2011, plan to run cross country at Franklin Pierce University this fall.
Lex Williams, who was running out of Hanover, set the course record of 24:34 last year.
“I was pushing it the whole way,” said Zablocki, who left home in Essex (Conn.) at 5 a.m. to make the race. “I thought I might have a shot at it.”
Click here for complete race results from www.coolrunning.com.
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Allen Lessels may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.