Community gathers again for George Nasuti Novans Pride 5K

Community gathers again for George Nasuti Novans Pride 5K

And they’re off! Runners make their way up Diamond Hill Road for Monday morning’s George Nasuti Novans Pride 5K, which saw 385 participants sign up for the 5th annual event. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
NP’s Coogan, Cranston’s Horn capture race; NSHS sophomore Dube leads local finishers

WOONSOCKET – Adam Coogan experienced no problems at all in winning Monday morning’s George Nasuti Novans Pride 5K, as the 2011 graduate of North Providence High and former standout runner for the Cougars led from start to finish and sprinted across the finish line in the parking lot of The Gym LCC with a winning time of 16:58 that topped the next fastest finisher by more than 2½ minutes.

“I was hoping there would be somebody to run with,” said Coogan, whose time was tied for the third-fastest clocking in the brief five-year history of the 3.1-mile race. Woonsocket’s Roland Lavallee recorded the two best times – 15:42 in 2013 and 16:25 in ‘14 – and Mount Saint Charles Academy senior C.J. Berg duplicated Coogan’s time three years ago.

Taking second place in a time of 19:31 was Mark Capparella, of Bellingham, Mass., a road racing veteran who runs for the Tri-Valley Front Runners. North Smithfield High sophomore Jarrod Dube, a member of the Northmen’s indoor track and field team, placed third in 19:53, and Woonsocket’s Jon Martley, another TVFR runner who finished sixth in last year’s race, ended up in fourth this time in 19:57.

The women’s winner was Cranston’s Megan Horn, a sophomore distance runner on the Vassar College cross country and track and field squads and a former standout runner at Moses Brown, who placed seventh overall in a time of 20:08. Horn, who was joined at the race by her father, Ken Horn, who took 11th in 21:17, broke the women’s course record, which was set by Cumberland’s Michaela Morgan in 2014, by six seconds.

Mount Saint Charles Academy girls’ outdoor track and field coach Amy Noecker was the next female finisher, finishing 10th overall in a time of 21:01 (and marking the second time in the last four years that she was the runner-up), and Scituate’s Joy Younkin was the third female finisher, as she was 12th overall in 21:32.

The race, which began on Diamond Hill Road next to The Gym LCC entrance and toured the neighborhoods of Bound Road, Elder Ballou Meeting House Road, and Mendon Road before jumping back onto Diamond Hill Road and returning to the gym, saw 385 runners and walkers sign up.

The event was held in the memory of Nasuti, a North Smithfield resident who wore several hats at Woonsocket High, serving as a coach, teacher, administrator, and athletic director. He helped create the event in the fall of 2013 to raise funds for the Woonsocket Athletic Department, but when he unexpectedly passed away the following February, the race organizers decided to switch the date of the race to Memorial Day Monday and rename it in his memory.

Adam Coogan is followed by a police cruiser and no other runners on the final mile on Woonsocket’s Diamond Hill Road as he handily captured the George Nasuti Novans Pride 5K on Monday morning. Coogan, a 2011 graduate of North Providence High and a former standout runner for the Cougars, led from start to finish and won the race in a time of 16:58 that topped the runner-up finisher by more than 2 1/2 minutes.
North Smithfield High sophomore Jarrod Dube gives it his all as he approaches the finish line during Monday morning’s George Nasuti Novans Pride 5K. Dube, who is a member of the Northmen’s indoor track and field team, took third place in 19:53.