2012 USATF SOUTH CAROLINA LONG DISTANCE RUNNERS OF THE YEAR



Source:  Bill Marable, USATF State Record Keeper
http://www.usatfsc.org/

Eric Ashton and Amy McDonaugh have been chosen South Carolina Long Distance Runners of the Year by USA Track and Field for 2012. Also chosen were outstanding masters competitors Marc Embler and Ruth Marie Embler.

At 44 years old, Eric Ashton uses competing against younger runners as his motivation to keep running at an age when others are slowing down. Racing in 20 events he won half of them to capture the award for a 15th time in the last 20 years. His best race was at the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K running 32:16 finishing as the top South Carolina runner in 19th place. Other outstanding performances were a runner-up finish at the Governor’s Cup Half Marathon in 1:11:41, third at the Rice Run 5K in 15:29 and eighth at the Reedy River Run 10K in 32:25. The Columbia resident placed fourth in the very competitive Turkey Day Run 5K and Reindeer Run 5K in times of 15:37 and 15:32 respectively. His best win came at the Get to the Green 5K in 15:49. Working a very busy schedule as an orthopedic physician assistant he credits much support from his wife, Kathryn, who herself is one of the top runners in the state. Those runners he won this award over were Josh Cashman, Brian Johnson, Jay Upchurch and Karl Walsh.

Being legally blind since age eleven, Amy McDonaugh started running eight years ago in Ohio after the birth of her third child to lose baby weight and just to get out of the house. With no sight in her right eye and only tunnel vision in her left she is unable to drive or hold a regular job. Since moving to Irmo five years ago she has become a fixture at Columbia area races. For the year the Strictly Running sponsored athlete won 12 of 19 South Carolina races she entered. The best victories came at the Columbia Marathon in 3:04:17 despite going a couple of blocks off course and at the Palmetto Half Marathon in 1:23:31. At the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K she was the third state finisher in 17th place with a time of 38:52. Another outstanding time was a 18:56 for 5K at the Race for the Place. Outside of South Carolina she ran 2:52:59 at the Philadelphia Marathon. Her inspiration comes from another legally blind athlete, Marla Runyan, who ran in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The 36 year old Columbia Running Club member contributes her best competitive year to the support of the local running community. In winning this award she was selected over Kristi Arledge, Kathryn Ashton, Rives Poe and Kenzie Riddle.

As a runner for 40 years, Marc Embler was a track and cross country standout at Berea High School in Greenville and at the Baptist College (Charleston Southern University). In 1981 he won the Cooper River Bridge Run. At age 55 he finally wins this first runner of the year award taking home the masters prize. In 17 state events the Strictly Running competitor won three outright, seven master’s titles and the age group award in all but one. He set his very first state group record in the 55-59 division in the half marathon with a time of 1:20:15 at Kiawah Island. Earlier in the year he ran 1:20:22 at the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon and 1:20:01 at the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in a younger age group. Other outstanding performances were at the Turkey Day Run 5K in 17:19 and at the Red, White and Blue Shoes 5K in 17:28. Outside of South Carolina he managed to finish the Boston Marathon on a very hot day. A retired federal probation he now is a criminal justice professor at his alma mater. He credits his wife of two years, Ruth Marie, for her inspiration and guidance as a coach. They moved from Folly Beach to North Charleston during the year. The other contenders for this award were Eric Ashton, John Charlton, Jim Coombs and George Luke.

Crediting her husband, Marc, for getting her back into racing after a long absence from competing, Ruth Marie Embler returned with a bang. Turning 55 during the year she set three state age group records running 8K in 35:18 at the Carolina Children’s Charity Run, 10K in 44:08 at the James Island Connector and half marathon in 1:34:30 at Kiawah Island. The commercial real estate broker had outstanding times at the Flowertown Festival 5K in 20:26 and at the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in 1:31:53. Overall in state races she won her age group in 13 0f 15 events taking the masters title in seven. In other races she completed the Boston Marathon in a heat slowed time of 3:43:23. Her running background includes the 2003 Marathon Des Sables, a 152 mile 7 day stage race across the Sahara desert finishing second among 59 women. Her other claim to fame was appearing as a contestant on the television show Survivor in 2006. She and Marc have two children each with one grandchild. They become the first married couple to win the awards. The other runners she beat out for this honor were Sarah Allers, Kristi Arledge, Dian Ford 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.


VOTING RESULTS

MALE

Eric Ashton 83
Josh Cashman 12
Karl Walsh 7
Jay Upchurch 4
Brian Johnson 1

FEMALE

Amy McDonaugh 44
Rives Poe 37
Kristi Arledge 17
Kathryn Ashton 5
Kenzie Riddle 3

MALE MASTERS

Marc Embler 40
Eric Ashton 35
George Luke 19
Jim Coombs 9
John Charlton 4


FEMALE MASTERS

Ruth Marie Embler 40
Susi Smith 26
Kristi Arledge 18
Dian Ford 12
Sarah Allers 9


SOUTH CAROLINA RUNNERS OF THE YEAR

MALE

1986 - David Branch, Travelers Rest
1987 - Jeff Wentworth, Columbia
1988 - Dave Geer, Clemson
1989 - Rob Devlin, Columbia
1990 - Rob Devlin, Columbia
1991 - Steve Kartlalia, Pendleton
1992 - Steve Kartlalia, 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
2012 - Eric Ashton, Columbia


FEMALE

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
2012 - Amy McDonaugh, Irmo

MALE MASTERS

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
2012 - Marc Embler, Folly Beach



FEMALE MASTERS

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
2012 - Ruth Marie Embler, Folly Beach