Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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May 7, 2013

McDaniel sets new course record in Roth

ATHENS —  Lance McDaniel smashed a 5-year-old course record in the David S. Roth Memorial 5K Run by 29 seconds on Tuesday evening.

Typically, he downplayed the accomplishment afterward.

“Just to see what I could do, really, is my goal,” he said with a smile. “I’m just blessed to be out here running. About a year ago, I was running this and coming back from all these injuries, so I’m just blessed to be able to do it.”

The Concord University alumnus and current staff member broke Ryan Kent’s record of 16:37 when he crossed the finish line at the CU track 16 minutes and 8 seconds after taking off. In his second Roth Run, he led the field almost from the start.

Vivian Ruiz, a Concord freshman from Charles Town, was the first female to finish the 5K run. Mark Rooper was again first among the 5K walkers. There were about 52 participants in this year’s event.

Ruiz, a member of the CU cross country and track teams, said, “I was injured during track season, and I stopped running for a month. I really missed running, so I figured I’d come out here and do the Roth Run.”

“I’m a little out of shape, but I felt like I did pretty good for taking a month off of the season.”

A rainy day turned sunny in Athens during the early evening, bringing relief to most of the runners.

Ruiz said, “I was kind of dreading it a little bit, and then I saw it cleared up, and it was fine.”

McDaniel said, “It was raining this morning, and I thought it was going to be rough weather (but) it was really nice today.” He added, “The course isn’t bad. I mean, it’s hilly and it’s a tough course, but it’s fun.”

Race coordinator Tom Davis said the weather turned out “fantastic — perfect running conditions.”

Mike Cox, Concord’s cross country and track and field coach, joined McDaniel in setting a fast pace. A record-setting runner at Athens High School and Virginia Tech, Cox dropped out after awhile, and was at the finish line to congratulate the runners.

McDaniel remembered running with Cox in a race during the fall of 2005, McDaniel’s freshman year. McDaniel said, “He whipped up on us pretty good in that race. It was fun to be back in a race with him, and the other Concord guys.”

The run and walk are held each May in memory of the late David S. Roth, who taught English and journalism at Concord from 1969-86 and was an active in his support of athletics.

Money raised from the event is used for the Roth memorial scholarship at Concord.

“That’s a good cause,” McDaniel said. “I was happy to donate my money for the cause. And scholarships for education are really important. If it wasn’t for scholarships here, I wouldn’t have been able to have the opportunity to run and compete here, and do something I love doing.”

Ruiz said, “I think it’s for a good cause. I love doing what I do, and doing it for a good cause makes it a lot better.”

Roth’s wife Liz, an English professor at Concord, was present before, during and after the race, helping with the awarding of door prizes prior to the race award presentations.

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

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