the greatest running event in the history of the world...ever.
Top Ten Runners
The Top 10 Men and Women Runners in Alumni History
Much like the disclaimer on my Top 10 Teams page, I will note that this is a very subjective list, and while I try to be as objective and scientific as possible, there is an element of bias that enters into any undertaking of this nature. Personally, I'm biased towards longevity and consistency, and these rankings reflect that bias in some ways. I am recognizing my own personal bias, but that doesn't mean I've done anything to correct it. So, please feel free to let me know where I screwed up.
Rankings are loosely based on a few criteria: wins, top 10 and top 30 finishes, highest place achieved, a runner's best time (PR), and whether or not the runner scored for any winning teams. (I did not include top 30 finishes as a criteria for women, due to lack of participation and results in some of the early years of the race.) I also included another category for "intangibles," which I basically used as a plus/minus thing: either you have it or you don't. It has nothing to do with the type of person or runner you are; rather, it simply reflects whether the runner has made a lasting impact on the history of the Alumni Run. In all, six men and six women got checks for "intangibles," though two of the men so designated failed to make the list anyway, and two of the women have been bumped in recent years.
Men's Top 10
10. Tim Cox (Suff '91)
The erstwhile Mounties star has seven top 10s and nine top 30s to his credit, and scored for the winning 1995 team. His win in 2006 capped a string of four consecutive top 3 finishes.
9. Pat Chambers (AM '76)
After running the fist thirty editions of the Alumni run, Chambers missed the 2013 race due to family illness. He won the inaugural race in 1983 and added six other top 10 finishes among his ten top 30s. Also, he was a scoring member for all eight of Albertus' championship teams.
8. Todd Sinclair (NR '80)
A two-time race winner, Sinclair placed in the top 10 five times, and broke 15 minutes twice, including a PR of 14:44, the fifth-fastest time in race history.
7. Paul Sklar (CS '89)
Another two-time champion, Sklar amassed an impressive seven top 10s, and headlined both of South's winning teams. His 15:00 in winning the 1993 race is tenth-fastest ever.
6. Nick Roosa (TZ '03)
The two-time race winner (2005, 2011) already has ten top-10 finishes in his first thirteen years of eligibility (tied for third most all-time), and could climb higher on this list when all is said and done.
5. Brian Crowley (AM '82)
A vital cog in the Magnus machine, Crowley scored for six of the eight Albertus winners. His 15:09 PR won him the 1990 edition. He ranks second all-time with 12 top-10 and 26 top-30 finishes.
4. John Trautmann (MW '86)
The former national champion won three times and led the Crusaders to their first team title in 1988. No one has come within 25 seconds of his course record of 14:08, set back in 1994. He counts seven top-10s among his nine top-30s.
3. George Buckheit (AM '75)
The race's first two-time winner, Buckheit has twice cracked the 15-minute barrier, including his 14:36 in 1985 that stands as the second-fastest time in race history. In addition to scoring for all eight of Albertus' title teams, his ten top 10s and 15 top 30s are T-third and eighth, respectively, all-time.
2. Jamie Kempton (AM '76)
An individual title is all that is missing from his amazing resume. He has run 33 of the 34 Alumni races to date and finished in the top 10 an incredible 23 times, scoring for seven of Albertus' eight titles. He has three second-place finishes and five third-place finishes. He has nearly twice as many top 10s as second place on the list, and his 14:54 PR makes him the seventh-fastest Alumni runner ever.
1. Art Gunther (TZ '89)
His claim to the top spot cannot be denied any longer. He holds Alumni records for wins (seven), consecutive wins (three), and sub-15:00 performances (four). He also counts two seconds (to Trautmann) among his ten top 10s, and has totaled twelve top 30 finishes.
Andy Kohlbrenner (PR '81): Never won, but finished second an amazing four times, and has racked up eight top 10s (T-sixth) and 17 top 30s (fifth) to go with a sparkling 14:46 PR, making him one of only seven men to have run under 15 minutes.
Larry Beckerle (AM '73): The only runner to complete all 34 Alumni Races. He has eight top 30s and finished as high as fifth in 1983; he scored for two winning teams.
Dave Dominguez (NR '93): The 2002 winner has three top 10s and an impressive 15:03 to his credit.
Mike Morris (CN '96): Eight top 10s (T-sixth) and sixteen top 30s (seventh), he has finished third twice while leading the Rams to six titles; his PR is 15:22.
Mike Kohlbrenner (PR '76): Seven top 10s and twelve top 30s; he finished fifth overall in 1988.
Tom McCarney (CN '93): Eight top 10s (T-sixth), including a third and two fourths; seventeen top 30s (sixth), and eight team titles.
Jim Trautmann (MW '90): He doesn't get the same recognition as his older brother, but the numbers don't lie: six top 10 finishes, ten times in the top 30, and a PR of 15:09. Finished second overall in 1998.
Bert Rodriguez (Ny '97): Four top 10s (all top 3, actually), including the 2009 crown, among six top 30s. Carlos Jamieson (NR '05): A member of the Rockland All-Decade team, his three top-10s include consective wins in 2012 and 2013.
Women's Top 10
10. Dawn Newsome (CS '86)
A three-time team champion, the eldest Newsome sibling has ten top 10 finishes to her credit, including two third-place showings.
9. Linda Pederson-Higgins (Nan '80)
Twelve top 10 finishes (fourth-most all time), four team titles, and an impressive 18:40 to finish third in 1995.
8. Kim Newsome (CS '89)
Her eighteen top 10s tie her with Julianne Littman for most all-time. She has finished as high as third three times and scored for three team champions.
7. Nancy Sayre (NR '86)
The Red Raiders standout counts two individual titles among her three top 10 finishes; her 19:03 in 1986 was, at the time, a race record.
6. Debbie Grant-Marshall (Ram '83)
The former Olympic Trials finalist has her ranking hurt by running only two races. However, she did win them both, including a course-record 17:03 in 1995.
5. Patti Zoda (Nan '88)
Her eight top 10s rank her seventh all-time; she has an impressive five second-place finishes and a PR of 18:42 in 1990, during one of her four team titles.
4. Suzanne LaBurt (MW '81)
A late comer to the Alumni scene, in the past seventeen years she has reeled off a record seventeen consecutive top 10 finishes--including six seconds and five thirds--and has helped the Lady Crusaders to twelve of their record thirteen team titles.
3. Rita Keahon (Nan '83)
The first woman under 19 minutes in 1989, she became the first under 18 minutes a year later. In addition to her two course records, she boasts four titles, nine top 10s, and two team victories.
2. Caile Kohlbrenner (TZ '11)
She counts five consecutive wins among her six top-3 finishes. Her sterling 18:46 placed her 28th overall in 2013, the first woman ever to crack the top 30. In 2014 she bettered that, placing 19th overall, at that time highest ever by a woman. Her 18:49 in 2015 was good for her third consecutive top-30 finish.
1. Julianne Littmann-Viscardo (MW '95)
In her nineteen Alumni finishes, she has never placed lower than eleventh. Her eight individual titles and five consecutive wins are both all-gender records. Her 18 top 10s are a women's record as well. Her 17:17 in 2001 is the second-fastest ever. She has led the Lady Crusaders to eleven team wins.
Sue (Gulla) Lanoce (PR '83): She has run a women's record 32 of the 33 Alumni races to date. Her four top 10's include a third in 1985, and she scored in two of the Pirates' team victories.
Meghan Howell (Suff '99): Seven top 10s, including a second and two thirds. Aileen O'Shea (PR '83): The only female in the 1983 race, she repeated with a win in 1984 in leading the Lady Pirates to the first-ever women's title.
Bethany Crenshaw (Wayne Valley '95): One of only two women to break 18 minutes twice.
Katie Baloga (NFA '92): Two top 10s, including an individual title, and an impressive 18:03 PR.
Diane Iriarte (PR '83): Three top 10s for two championship teams.
Lauren Tuchband-Cullen (Nan '98): The 2002 champion has six top 10s and scored for the winning team in 1998.