Connor & Cappello Win Bobby Doyle Summer Classic

by kevbalance Comments (0) Articles, Racing

by Steve Mazzone

Men’s champion Ben Connor. Photo by Scott Mason.

For Ben Connor and Heather Cappello, the first time was the charm.

Making his debut at the seventh annual Bobby Doyle Summer Classic on Sunday morning, Connor captured the five-mile event with a winning time of 24 minutes, 9 seconds. The Providence College senior was comfortably ahead of runner-up and defending titlist Sam Alexander, who was timed in 24:16.

Cappello, a 2002 PC grad, was a convincing winner in the women’s race, touring the scenic Narragansett course on her inaugural visit in 27:20.

After sticking with a tight pack of six runners in the early stages of the race, Connor made his move for the title with about a mile remaining.

“My plan was just to stay with the leaders. This was my first race since the NCAA regionals, which didn’t go so well,” said the PC runner, about a DNF at the national meet back in May. “I didn’t know how I would feel. I just wanted to stay with the leaders and see how I felt with a couple of miles to go.”

Two-time winner Matt Pelletier of Exeter (third, 24:22) did most of the pace-setting the first few miles of the race. A pack that included PC grad student Julian Saad (fourth, 24:27), Louis Serafini (fifth, 24:59) and Brian Doyle (sixth, 25:34) hit the opening mile at 4:43 and was 9:32 at two miles.

Shortly after hitting the third mile in 14:18, Connor and Alexander broke away and made it into a two-man battle to the finish. The eventual champion made his move for the crown with about a mile left on Gibson Avenue.

“It was really quick to begin with. But obviously it was downhill so it’s going to be a little bit quicker,” Connor said. “I felt really good. I was just hanging on. At two miles, Julian started to make a little move, but I still felt good then. At four, I made a big move to try and win it.”

Women's champion Heather Cappello. Photo by Scott Mason.

Women’s champion Heather Cappello. Photo by Scott Mason.

In the women’s race, Cappello was never challenged. Finishing a distant second was former PC standout Katie Moulton in 29:45. She was 35th overall.

“It was good,” Cappello said. “(The course) was pretty fast. It had some inclines. It was really hot. I thought the sun was pretty hot.”

The top masters were a pair of familiar faces. Cumberland’s Chris Magill, 41, captured the men’s title, finishing 11th overall in 26:44.  Forty-seven-year-old Trish Hillery of Smithfield won the women’s race, placing 71st among the 463 finishers in 31:53.

 

 

 

 

 

If you ran the Bobby Doyle Summer Classic, keep your momentum going by registering for the LVL10K. The race is this Sunday. Only a few slots remain!

LVL10K animated gif 5.26.14

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