ONEONTA — It was locals only on top of the 2012 Pit Run.
Cooperstown’s Josh Edmonds became the first local 10-kilometer men’s champion since 1995 and fellow Otsego County resident Amanda LoPiccolo of Oneonta won her second women’s 10K title in three years during the 19th annual road race Sunday.
Delaware County swept the 5K titles as Eli Townsend of Delhi won his first men’s crown and Julie Hilson of Bovina Center earned her third at the Pit Run, named for Oneonta native Ricky “Pit” Parisian, a New York State Trooper who died while trying to stop an armed robbery in 1994.
“It is great to see,” LoPiccolo said of the first area sweep since the 5K became part of the Pit Run in 2006. “It is great for the local runners. Last year we both lost to the same group of runners.”
Cooperstown graduate Edmonds and Unatego graduate LoPiccolo finished second to Ethiopians Fikadu Lemma and Alemtsehay Misganaw, respectively, last year. Neither returned to defend their titles.
“You get to the starting line and you see they aren’t there and it helps a little,” said LoPiccolo, who won the 2010 women’s 10K. Misganaw won four straight titles (2006-09) but didn’t show up in 2010. “I think it lowers the pressure. Your nerves go down a little bit, you relax and you’re able to just go out there and run.”
The 2006 Daily Star Male Track Athlete of the Year,
Edmonds finished in 31 minutes, 57 seconds to beat Syracuse resident Patrick Geoghegan by 54 seconds. Edmonds was two seconds off his time in 2011, when he finished 30 seconds behind Lemma.
“Last year, (Lemma) made a move early and I wasn’t able to counter it,” Edmonds said. “This year, I was able to get ahead.”
Edmonds, 24, said the key to his victory came on Bugbee Hill, the steepest and most grueling part of the course.