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NEW YORK RUNNER WINS CHARLOTTE OBSERVER MARATHON; PRESENTED BY NATIONSBANK WHILE 10K IS A SPLIT-SECOND DECISION

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Jim Nicholson of Oswego, N.Y., and Amy Kattwinkle of Charlotte cruised to victory in Saturday's Charlotte Observer Marathon Presented by NationsBank, while the Thor-Lo Open 10K companion event came down to a split-second finish that was decided under protest.
 Nicholson, a 22-year-old graduate student from the State University of New York at Oswego, won on a course he'd never even seen before, posting a time of 2:21:58 to defeat Doug Kurtis of Northville, Mich. (2:23:08), who last Sunday won a marathon in Hanoi, Vietnam.
 Kattwinkle, a 25-year-old bank officer, received a lift from spectators cheering her on in her hometown to post a time of 2:45:16, followed by Nancy Beiger of Stockton, N.J. (2:50:29) and Carol Virga of Boca Raton, Fla., (2:55:40).
 The 1,300 marathon runners faced the hilly course through Charlotte's streets on a wind-swept and rainy day with temperatures in the low 40s. The pace was well off the course record of 2:14:2.
 "I didn't even get a chance to see the course before I ran it," said Nicholson. "In a way I guess that helped me. I didn't make any stupid mistakes. A few guys went out very strong and I didn't even catch the leaders until after 10 miles."
 Race officials were forced to resolve protests from the top two finishers in the Open 10K after they made contact a number of times during the sprint to the finish line, which they crossed elbow-to-elbow. Ashley Johnson of Bowling Green, Ky., won the event with a time of 29:01, to defeat Peter Sherry of Washington, D.C., who posted a time of 29:02. Third place went to Riston Ulmala of Lynchburg, Va. (29:02).
 "We came down the finish line three in a pack," said Johnson. "It was a situation where we inadvertently locked arms. The contact occurred 10 yards from the finish line. Peter thought I elbowed him intentionally, but that wasn't the case. It was one of those things that happen in a hard-fought race."
 The women's 10K was won by Kristy Johnson of Eugene, Ore. (33:24), followed by Gwyn Coogan of Boulder, Colo. (33:48), and Danuta Bartoszek of Mississauga, Ontario (34:36).
 Finishing third in the marathon among the men was Gary Gargasz of Volant, Pa., with a time of 2:26:01, followed by Adam Pinskston of Asheville, N.C. (2:26:21) and Tim Schuler of Lancaster, S.C. (2:26:53).
 The men's masters 10K was won by Wilson Waigwa of El Paso, Texas (30:47), followed by Charles McMullen of Rochester, N.Y. (31:54) and Earl Jones of Dunwoody, Ga. (32:16).
 -0- 1/9/93
 /CONTACT: Don King of The Charlotte Observer, 704-358-5000/


CO: The Charlotte Observer ST: North Carolina IN: SU:

SH -- NYSA004 -- 3287 01/09/93 17:18 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 9, 1993
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