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Cardillo wins Switchback Scamper

  • Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Joe Cordillo, 51, of Dunmore, has a big lead in the Switchback Scamper as he runs on the Switchback trail in Summit Hill. Cordillo was the overall winner of the 40th annual event.
    Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Joe Cordillo, 51, of Dunmore, has a big lead in the Switchback Scamper as he runs on the Switchback trail in Summit Hill. Cordillo was the overall winner of the 40th annual event.
Published October 18. 2010 05:00PM

The 40th annual Switchback Scamper, held on the site of the historic Switchback Railroad in Summit Hill and Jim Thorpe, was won by a Dunmore man yesterday.

Joe Cardillo, 51, led for most of the race and appeared to be never seriously challenged by second-place finisher Jeremy Dormer, 39, of Hazle Township. The third place finisher was Steve Werley, 57, of Orefield.

The first-place female runner was Kayla Susko, 17, of Jim Thorpe, finishing just a step or two in front of her friend, Erin Bucci, 16, also of Jim Thorpe. The third-place finisher among the ladies was Lisa Lux of Jim Thorpe, who was overtaken by the teenagers in the second half of the race.

The running portion of the Scamper is a 10k run beginning at St. Joseph's Church in Jim Thrope and ending at the pavillion near the beach of Mauch Chunk Lake Park.

There also was a 5k race for walkers.

The event is sponsored by St. John's Lutheran Church of Jim Thorpe. The weather was some of the best in the history of the event, say long-time participants. Temperatures were in the low 70s and the foliage is still ablaze in color.

Walter Schlenner, president of St. John's Lutheran Church, said participation by both runners and walkers was higher than last year. A total of 67 runners and 15 walkers completed the respective courses.

"It was a beautiful day," said Schlenner. "We saw a lot of new faces."

Returning was a group of runners from Delaware. "The've been coming every year," said Schlenner. Several of these runners won in age group competition. In addition, Jenny Glenn, 15, of Wilmington, was the first female walker to complete the course.

One of the runners was accompanied by two dogs. John Heycock, formerly of Jim Thorpe who now resides in York Haven, York County, ran with Gulliver and Duncan, two Hungarian vizslas. He said he has been including the dogs in his runs for about the past five years.

Heycock, whose father Jack is a native of Summit Hill, said just yesterday he and Gulliver ran a half marathon in Carlisle. He said the course consisted of crossing an open-grate bridge twice. Gulliver wouldn't step on the bridge so Heycock had to carry the 70-pound dog across it both ways.

The Switchback Scamper was started by former TIMES NEWS employees Rich Benyo and Ed Gildea, who also were veteran long-distance runners. They learned of a plan to sell the land from Summit Hill to Jim Thorpe upon which the abandoned tracks of the Switchback Railroad, long abandoned, existed.

Benyo and Gildea both opposed the sale of the plan. To oppose it, they put together a race from the main street of Summit Hill, with the departure point being the rail cars loaded with coal, to the top of Mount Pisgah.

The first Switchback run was a relay form Summit Hill to the cross-over bridge. Gildea carried a golden spike which he passed after the downhill portion to Benyo, who ran up-hill to the top of Mount Pisgah.

The annual event continued, with various changes made, and it evolved into the present day event. There were 15 runners in the second race, competing in rain.

Today, the race is held as a fund-raiser for St. John's Lutheran Church, said Schlenner.

One of the planning members indicated an effort is being made to create a triple-crown racing event in the county.

Schlenner said there are plans to get more involvement next year, possibly students from local schools to participate.


Men overall

(first three get trophys)

1. Joe Cordillo, 51, Dunmore.

2. Jeremy Dormer, 39, Hazle Township.

3. Steve Werley, 51, Orefiled.

4. Zachary Nace, 15, Jim Thorpe.

5. Frank Brown, 54, Sciota.

6. John Guth, 35, Bethlehem.

7. David Horvath, 57, Walnutport.

8. Kim Hamm, 52, New Tripoli.

9. Larry Scheid, 58, Sparta, N.J.

10. Bob Leukulic, 49, Orwigsburg.

11. Rich Chase, 64, Larksville.

12. Christian Fields, 15, Lake Harmony.

13. Angelo Natale, 28, Jim Thorpe.

14. Ryan Bennick, 26, Jersey City, N.J.

15. Walt Muschlitz, 49, Easton.

Women overall (first three get trophys)

1. Kayla Susko, 17, Jim Thorpe.

2. Erin Bucci,16, Jim Thorpe.

3. Lisa Lux, Jim Thorpe.

4. Kathy Koberlein, 60, Albrightsville.

5. Adrea Birch, 19, Wilmington, Del.

6. Lizz Schneeberger Klotz, 18, Jim Thorpe.

7. Patty Campbell, 45, Wilmington, Del.

8. Marie O'Donnell, 60, Lansford.

9. Heather Bartex, 40, Nesquehoning.

10. Christine Rodrigues, 45, Palmerton.

11. Monique Hofford, 37, Lehighton.

12. Karen Shanton, 40, Lehighton.

13. Susan Birch, 50, Wilmington, Del.

14. Ann Keer, 35, Coaldale.

15. Angi Lager, 32, Alburtis.

Age groups (other than top 3 finishers):

Up to age 18: Male, Zachary Nace, 15, Jim Thorpe; female, Liz Schneeberger Klotz, 18, Jim Thorpe.

Age 19-24: Male, none; female, Andrea Birch, 19, Wilmington, Del.

Age 25-29: Male, Angleo Natale, 28, Jim Thorpe; female, none.

Age 30-34: Male, Eric Pruyne, Mansfield; female, Angi Lager, 32, Aburtis.

Age 35-39: Male, John Guth, 35, Bethlehem; female, Monique Hofford, 37, Lehighton.

Age 40-44: Male, none; female, Heather Bartex, 40, Nesquehoning.

Age 45-49: Male, Bob Leukulic, 49, Orwigsburg; female, Patty Campbell, 45, Wilmington, Del.

Age 50-59: Male, Frank Bonn, 54, Sciota; female, Susan Birch, 50, Wilmington, Del.

Age 60-69: Male, Rich Chase, 64, Larksville; female, Kathy Koberlein, 60, Albrightsville.

Age 70 and over: Male, John Schultz, 78, Wilmington, Del.


1. Tom Cheffin, 56, Anthem, Ariz.

2. James Hopper, 61, Bloomsburg.

3. Tom Lager, 61, Jim Thorpe.

4. Jenny Glenn, 15, Wilmington, Del.

5. Glenn Alicia, 13, Wilmington, Del.

6. Emily Rutta, 13, Lehighton.

7.Gianna Bucci, 13, Jim Thorpe.

8. Karen Schlenner, 28, Plymouth Meeting.

9. Linda Tenner, 49, Lehighton.

10. Erica Mocovitch, 31, Nesquehoning.

11. Michelle Audry, 62, Kutztown.

12. Sally Glenn, 48, Wilmington, Del.

13. Steve Frantz, 56, Allentown.

14. Sue Frantz, 47, Allentown.

15. Megan Rhoades, 34, Washington, N.J.

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