Rives Poe and Eric Ashton Named SC USATF Runners of the Year


                                    Bill Marable, USATF State Record Keeper

Eric Ashton and Rives Poe have been chosen South Carolina Long Distance Runners of the Year by USA Track and Field for 2011.  Ashton was also chosen as the outstanding masters competitor along with Kristi Arledge.

Coming back from ankle surgery in 2010 the 43 year old Eric Ashton competed in 23 races in the state winning 12 while taking the masters title in all but one.  This makes the 14th time in the last 19 years for him to capture the open award and second time in four years as the top over 40 runner.  His best win came at the Governor’s Cup Half Marathon with a time of 1:11:21 in his hometown of Columbia.  In the state’s most competitive race he ran 32:07 at the Cooper River Bridge Run10K finishing 23rd and placing fourth in the masters division.  In other top events he was 11th at the Reedy River Run 10K in 32:13,  sixth at the Turkey Day 5K in 15:30 and third at the Reindeer Run 5K in 15:34.  The highlight of the year came at the Kiawah Island Half Marathon, where he set a state 40-44 age group record running 1:09:33 placing fifth.  The best 10K for him was 31:30 at the Dam Run from Lake Murray to Saluda Shoals.  He works as an orthopedic physician assistant and credits much of his support from his wife, Kathryn, who herself is one of the  top runners in the state.  Those runners he won this award over were Brian Johnson, Neville Miller, Jay Upchurch and Karl Walsh.  The other contenders for the masters award were Irv Batten, Larry Brock, George Luke and Tom Mather.      

Finally recovering from a stress fracture after two years Rives Poe dominated the Lowcountry running scene winning 10 of 14 races.  The 34 year old  school teacher scored her best victories at Firecracker 5000 at Hilton Head in 17:44 and at Charleston’s Race for the Cure 5K in 18:11.  In the highly competitive Turkey Day 5K and Reindeer Run 5K she finished  third in both with times of 17.30 and 17:37 respectively. The Charleston resident placed 16th at the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in 37:57 winning the Marcus Newberry Award as the top area finisher.  Her best 10K time was 36:59 at the Hell Hole Swamp Gator Run.  Moving to Charleston in 2004 after growing up in the Atlanta area she got serious about her running upon joining a local training group.  A middle school math teacher and test coordinator at the Charleston Collegiate School she also coaches the school’s cross country team.  She gives much of the credit for improvement to her coach Irv Batten.  In winning this award she beat out Kristi Arledge, Kathryn Ashton, Amy McDonaugh and Julie Seymour.        

Setting a goal for the year of running all four of South Carolina marathon races in under 3 hours Kristi Arledge came within a minute of pulling it off.   The 41 year old from Simpsonville started in January by winning the overall title at the Charleston Marathon in 2:57:32.  The next month she was the masters winner at Myrtle Beach running a 40-44 age group state record time of 2:55:34.  She followed that up in March by winning the over 40 division at the Reedy River Run 10K in 38:29.  An injury at this point caused her to lay low for three months threatening her goal.  In October she came back at the Spinx Runfest Marathon where she was the overall winner but came up just short of the time she wanted on the hilly Greenville course in 3:00:53.  The mother of two teenage athletes finished off the year by taking the masters win at Kiawah Island in 2:59:24.  She teaches group exercise classes at the local YMCA along with corrective exercise and personal training on the side mainly for young female cross country runners.  She credits the support of her husband, Dwayne, for her accomplishments.  This is her first masters award having won the open winner last year.  The other contenders for the masters award were Sarah Allers, Dian Ford, Julie Seymour and Susi Smith.

A runner must be a resident of the state and a United States citizen to be eligible for this award.  Only distance events in South Carolina from 5 kilometers to the marathon are considered.



Eric Ashton                51

Jay Upchurch             18

Neville Miller              8

Brian Johnson              6

Karl Walsh                   2


Rives Poe                    42

Amy McDonaugh       30

Kristi Arledge               9

Kathryn Ashton            4

Julie Seymour               1


Eric Ashton                 44

George Luke               36

Tom Mather                  3

Irv Batten                      2

Larry Brock                   2


Kristi Arledge              35

Sarah Allers                 17

Julie Seymour              12

Susi Smith                    12

Dian Ford                     11



1986 -   David Branch, Travelers Rest

1987  -  Jeff Wentworth, Columbia

1988  -  Dave Geer, Clemson

1989  -  Rob Devlin, Columbia

1990  -  Rob Devlin, Columbia

1991  -  Steve Kartalia, Pendleton

1992  -  Steve Kartalia, Pendleton

1993  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

1994  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

1995  -  Selwyn Blake, Columbia

1996  -  Selwyn Blake, Columbia

1997  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

1998  -  Eric Ashton, Mt. Pleasant

1999  -  Eric Ashton, Mt. Pleasant

2000  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2001  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2002  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2003  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2004  -  Orinthal Striggles, Columbia

2005  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2006  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2007  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2008  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2009  -  Orinthal Striggles, Elgin

2010  -  Neville Miller, Mt. Pleasant

2011  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia


1986  -  Marcia Mansur, Columbia

1987  -  Nancy Grayson, Columbia

1988  -  Nancy Grayson, Columbia

1989  -  Nancy Grayson, Columbia

1990  -  Nancy Grayson, Columbia

1991  -  Maggie Kraft, Columbia

1992  -  Maggie Kraft, Columbia

1993  -  Kathy Kanes, Charleston

1994  -  Kathy Kanes, Columbia

1995  -  Mary Ellen Kelly, Columbia

1996  -  Mary Ellen Kelly, Columbia

1997  -  Mary Ellen Kelly, Columbia

1998  -  Tracy Center, Greenville

1999  -  Janice Addison, Columbia

2000  -  Janice Addison, Columbia

2001  -  Janice Addison, Columbia

2002  -  Janice Addison, Columbia

2003  -  Janice Addison, Columbia

2004  -  Anne Wyman Cipolla, Charleston

2005  -  Donna Anderson, Pawleys Island

2006  -  Maggie Chan-Roper, Shaw AFB

2007  -  Amanda Cannon, Fountain Inn

2008  -  Maggie Chan-Roper, Shaw AFB

2009  -  Sopagna Eap, Johns Island

2010  -  Kristi Arledge, Simpsonville

2011  -  Rives Poe, Charleston


1986  -  Michael McGuiness, West Columbia

1987  -  Lansing Brewer, Camden

1988  -  Bob Schlau, Charleston

1989  -  Lansing Brewer, Camden

1990  -  Bob Schlau, Charleston

1991  -  Gerry Carner, Clemson

1992  -  Bob Schlau, Charleston

1993  -  Bob Schlau, Charleston

1994  -  Bob Schlau, Charleston

1995  -  Dave Geer, Clemson

1996  -  Mark Friedrich, Isle of Palms

1997  -  Lansing Brewer, Camden

1998  -  Gerry Carner, Clemson

1999  -  Dave Geer, Clemson

2000  -  Ervin Reid, Campobello

2001  -  Avery Goode, Jr., Rock Hill

2002  -  Ervin Reid, Campobello

2003  -  Steve Annan, Mt. Pleasant

2004  -  Selwyn Blake, Columbia

2005  -  Gerry Carner, Clemson

2006  -  Tom Mather, Mt. Pleasant

2007  -  Steve Annan, Mt. Pleasant

2008  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia

2009  -  Ed Hughes, Greenville

2010  -  George Luke, Greenville

2011  -  Eric Ashton, Columbia


1986  -  Margaret Wright, Folly Beach

1987  -  Margaret Wright, Folly Beach

1988  -  Gail Bailey, Charleston

1989  -  Libby Neely, Fort Mill

1990  -  Pat Rhode, Walterboro

1991  -  Nancy Grayson, Columbia

1992  -  Catherine Lempesis, Columbia

1993  -  Catherine Lempesis, Columbia

1994  -  Nonie Hudnall, Spartanburg

1995  -  Dian Ford, Piedmont

1996  -  Catherine Lempesis, Columbia

1997  -  Nonie Hudnall, Spartanburg

1998  -  Betty Ryberg, Aiken

1999  -  Marge Hoffman, Salem

2000  -  Dian Ford, Piedmont

2001  -  Marge Hoffman, Salem

2002  -  Marge Hoffman, Salem

2003  -  Janice Addison, Columbia

2004  -  Janice Addison, Columbia

2005  -  Dian Ford, Piedmont

2006  -  Dian Ford, Piedmont

2007  -  Donna Anderson, Pawleys Island

2008  -  Lisa Tolley, Seneca

2009  -  Dian Ford, Piedmont

2010  -  Susi Smith, Greenville

2011  -  Kristi Arledge, Simpsonville


Nancy Anderson, Spartanburg

Steve Annan, Mt. Pleasant

Eric Ashton, Columbia

Kathryn Ashton, Columbia

Vincent Avitabile, Myrtle Beach

Irv Batten, Summerville

Bill Beckwith, Central

Mark Bedenbaugh, West Columbia

Alan Blackwell, Moore

Selwyn Blake, Columbia

Anne Boone, Hollywood

William Boulter, Charleston

Anne Brooks, Salem

Gerry Carner, Clemson

Bobby Chandler, Greenville

Mike Chodnicki, Summerville

Lonnie Collins, Gilbert

Steve Comer, Charleston

Adrian Craven, Greenville

Tami Dennis, Isle of Palms

Pam Drafts, Beaufort

William Ebeling, Salem

Pete Edge, Simpsonville

Ann Elish, Mt. Pleasant

Marc Embler, Folly Beach

Ruth Marie Embler, Folly Beach

Nicholas Fleming, Spartanburg

Arnold Floyd, Hartsville

Mike Foley, Greer

Dian Ford, Piedmont

Mark Friedrich, Isle of Palms

Guenter Full, Simpsonville

Dennis Funk, Greer

Philippe Giguere, Simpsonville

Joe Hammond, Travelers Rest

Sandra Hardaway, Greenville

Jan Hardwick, Dillon

Iris Hill, Goose Creek

Angela Hicks, Simpsonville

Marge Hoffman, Greenwood

Betty Holmes, Hilton Head Island

Henry Holt, Lexington

Nonie Hudnall, Spartanburg

Colleen Hujus, Greenwood

Earl Jackson, Rock Hill

Cedric Jaggers, Rock Hill

Brian Johnson, Mt. Pleasant

Jim Johnson, Orangeburg

Karl Johnson, Spartanburg

Cherry Kent, Belton

Carl Klein, Lexington

Catherine Lempesis, Irmo

Bill Linder, Columbia

Ken Lowden, Columbia

George Luke, Greenville

Terrie-Marie Mahoney, Okatie

Franklin Mason, Mullins

Tommy McAfee, Greenville

Amy McDonaugh, Irmo

George Meyer, Wellford

Clyde Mizzell, Charleston

Lennie Moore, Mt. Pleasant

Kevin Mosteller, Greenville

Joan Mulvihill, Charleston

Shawn Nettles, Walterboro

Rives Poe, Charleston

Lisa Powell, Columbia

Beth Puckett, Kiawah Island

Susan Rogers, Spartanburg

Bob Schlau, Charleston

Mike Seekings, Charleston

Jana Seppala, Greer

Kerrie Sijon, Greer

Lyn Smith, Charleston

Shirley Smith, Easley

Susi Smith, Greenville

Daniel Smoak, Greenville

John Sneed, Mt. Pleasant

Julie Spitzer, Greenville

George Sykes, Spartanburg

Stephen Sykes, Spartanburg

Andy Tedesco, Mt. Pleasant

Billy Tisdale, Sumter

Jack Todd, Spartanburg

Evelyn Tripp, Piedmont

Jay Upchurch, James Island

Judy Walls, Piedmont

Karl Walsh, Mt. Pleasant

Brian Welcome, Greenville

Matthew Whitis, Columbia