Beating the heat: Balouris, Sunderland win

07/04/18 Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski / The start of the Angie Gioiosa Memorial Race 15k race on Chestnut Avenue in Altoona.

An unrelenting sun scorched over the 44th annual Angie Gioiosa Fourth of July Memorial Race, but that didn’t slow down Anna Balouris.

A former special education teacher in Hollidaysburg, who is moving to Pittsburgh for the same position with North Allegheny School District, won the women’s 15K championship on a clear-skied Wednesday morning in downtown Altoona.

Sponsored by the Blair Regional YMCA, the annual competition started in front of the Mishler Theater, running through the downtown Altoona streets before concluding in the Heritage Plaza on 11th Avenue.

Balouris, who also finished second in Cleveland’s marathon just six weeks ago, won the 15K race in 1:02:29.75 and outpaced her running partner Stephanie Strittmatter by just more than one second.

“We pretty much knew we were running one and two,” said Balouris, 29, a Saint Francis University grad. “I just feel really good that I can still run like this at my age.

“Especially after coming off of just having a baby recently, I am proud of myself. It’s always a rush to win, and it’s something that never gets old,” Balouris said.

Balouris said she’s run in four marathons now with a long history of running that goes back to her cross country and track and field days with SFU. She typically runs about 70 miles a week, but said she has cut that down to 30 miles a week following her placement in the Cleveland Marathon just a month before. Balouris also plans to run another race in the fall, but is unsure of which she will run.

The men’s champion in the 15K was Jerrod Sunderland, a 20-year-old Computer Science and Cyber Security double major senior at Seton Hill University.

Sunderland, of Altoona, finished in 56:20.84 while last year’s 5K winner, Dom Stroh, crossed the finish line at 57:46.59.

“This was actually my first race like this since a 3K when I ran in high school,” Sunderland said. “I was able to stick with the leaders until the 5K mark then I noticed that a lot started to fall off, and I was able to get ahead.”

“Dom was catching me,” Sunderland explained. “Then I stayed with him until we started going uphill towards 58th street and I was able to take the lead.

“I knew Dom was pretty close behind me at the very end, but I was able to keep ahead of him after we passed each other one last time.”

Sunderland hopes to work for Google in the programming department, or find an opportunity in North Carolina.

The results:

Men’s 15K: 1, Jerrod Sundrerland, Altoona, 56:20.84; 2, Dom Stroh, Altoona, 57:46.59; 3, AJ Kelly, Altoona, 58:06.34; 4, Rob Crossman, Altoona, 58:10.69; 5, Lee Strappello, James Creek, 1:00:43.66; 6, Jamey Rimmey, Tyrone, 1:01:41.96; 7, Luke Ruggery, Duncansville, 1:01:41.96; 8, Edward Morrissey, Tyrone, 1:03:25.87; 9, Craig Hymes, Yorktown, 1:04:11.31; 10, Joe Schnaubelt, Altoona, 1:04:38.83.

Women’s 15K: 1, Anna Balouris, Hollidaysburg, 1:02:29.75; 2, Stephanie Strittmatter, Ebensburg, 1:02:30.97; 3, Regina Ruggery, Duncansville, 1:04:30.77; 4, Krista McCrum, Alexandria, 1:07:10.94; 5, Edann Brady-Etters, Coopersburg, 1:08:35.31; 6, Becky Wittrig, Port Matilda, 1:10:01.96; 7, Jayme Rhodes, 1:11:51.58; 9, Alyssa Pagano, Elmora, 1:13:49.19; 10, Jennifer Bonin, Duncansville, 1:15:19.76.

Men’s 5K: 1, Garrett Sutton, Gallitzin, 17:18.12; 2, Ian Sherlock, Hopewell, 17:28.35; 3, Tylaer Napora, Windber, 17:30.22; 4, Ian Zimmerman, Hopewell, 17:42.60; 5, Jonathan Makoczy, Portage, 17:51.10; 6, Issac Mills, Tyrone, 17:59.10; 7, Gabe Ebersole, Altoona, 18:19.35; 8, Jeremy Jones, 18:40; 9, Brayden Henninger, Altoona, 18:44.50; 10, Rich Love, Altoona, 18:51.60.

Women’s 5K: 1, Morgan Hess, Huntingdon, 21:56.67; 2, Ella McCrum, Alexandria, 22:17.87; 3, Colleen Kelly, Altoona, 22:21.73; 4, Karlee Noel, 22:29.35; 5, Gianna Marasco, Altoona, 22:46.76; 6, Laincy Farabaugh, 23:04.85; 7, Amy O’Donnell, Ebensburg, 23:34.82; 8, Marci Zacherl, Fredericksburg, 23:35.23; 9, Abbie Herncane, Altoona, 23:47.85; 10, Jaden Quinn, Altoona, 23:54.57.

2-mile walk: 1, Donna Stoltz, Altoona, 20:58.37; 2, Emma Sliver, Spruce Creek, 21:58.35; 3, Lou Pincherri, Altoona,23:14.35; 4, Lisa Appleby, Everett, 23:24.10; 5, Stewart McClelland, Hollidaysburg, 23:29.46; 6, Scott Harding Jr, Altoona, 23:44.97; 7, Sherry Obert, Bedford, 23:50.10; 8, Paul Dillon, Cresson, 24:01.95; 9, Susan Oswald, Altoona, 24:54.68; 10, Maurie Querry, 24:54.85.

Editor’s note: For a complete list of every result from Wednesday’s race, go to and look for the 2018 Angie Gioiosa Fourth of July race.