Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 21, 2013

Lollar and Roark win White 5K

BLUEFIELD — Jerolee White was a nursing instructor at Bluefield State College. In her 60s, White went back to college to obtain her master’s degree in nursing and she became a family nurse practitioner at age 70.

Saturday morning in her memory, nearly 200 runners, walkers and a few four-legged friends participated in the third Jerolee White 5K, an event where the proceeds go to students in the BSC nursing program.

With temperatures in the mid 30s participants observed a moment of silence in honor of those killed and injured at the Boston Marathon on Monday and after a stirring rendition of the national anthem, BSC cross country coach Vonda Wilson set the runners on their way, through campus, down Pulaski Street, across the Martin Luther King Jr., Bridge, down Bluefield Avenue to Swope Construction where the course reversed itself and finished in the lower parking lot of the student center.

First to cross the finish line was Brent Roark of Princeton. Roark a student at Concord University and a former runner there, ran the course in 19:37.

“The course is the same as the Brian Delp 5K, so I know the course pretty well,” Roark said. “It’s still a hard course no matter what. No matter where you go, it’s always a hard course.”

Roark, a athletic training student at CU, used to run on the Concord cross country team, but left the squad to focus on his studies. The Princeton native admitted that he had not run since October 2012.

“I actually got talked into running in this race,” Roark said. “I try to run here and there to stay in shape.”

Amanda Lollar was the first female to finish the race, completing the course in 21:08. It was the second straight year Lollar finished as the first lady.

“It (the course) was good,” Lollar said. “The last mile-and-a-half was slightly uphill, so that’s a little challenging, but it was good.”

Lollar said she runs in five or six races a year. The Princeton resident, originally from Cookeville, Tenn., works at Appalachian Teen Challenge. She said the race is a good one and she enjoys it.

“It did it last year and my friend is doing her first 5K, so I wanted her to do this one.”

In total there were 137 walkers and 57 runners and six dogs.

Sandra Wynn is the director of the associate degree nursing program at Bluefield State.

“The race started three years ago to honor the memory of Jerolee White, who was one of our nursing faculty,” Wynn said. “Her family had started a scholarship fund upon her death approximately four years ago. We were wanting to do something to promote health and wellness with our students and the community, so we thought what a fitting way to promote health and wellness and at the same time raise money for scholarships. This is our third year and we have record numbers every year. It’s increased every year and we have raised almost $10,000 in scholarship money the last three years.”

Wynn added that all nursing students are asked to volunteer, walk, or run in the race and she added that a lot of those who have graduated from the program come back to participate.

Julie Orr, assistant professor of nursing was this year’s event coordinator and she ran in the race.

“This race benefits the scholarship fund,” Orr commented. “It is now endowed and in the fall of 2013 we are going to be able to start awarding some of those scholarships to nursing students.”

Orr added that the college and community strongly back the race.

“We have had tremendous support,” Orr said. “We have had local hospital support, local donations. Our school has supported us. We’ve had tremendous community support.

“All throughout the community BSC nursing alumni are taking care of ill people in Mercer County. We just want the community to know that we’re not just about  ourselves, we’re not just about nurses, we are about the community.”

Top finishers


Brent Roark (19:37), Jeromy Connor (20:16), Paul Pennington (20:58)


Amanda Lollar (21:08), Kristy French (22:15), Trigh Galligher (23:44)


Lonnie Bailey, Erika Vance, Dr. Alisha Anderson

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