WELCOME GUEST  |  LOG IN
porsche, luxury, Southampton
27east.com

Sports Center

Jul 2, 2017 6:48 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Jeff Ares Comes From Behind To Win The 27th Annual Firecracker 8K

Gustavo Morastitla takes an early lead in the race. DANIELA DETORE
Jul 4, 2017 11:38 AM

In a battle between an experienced runner and an up-and-comer, experience won out.

Marathon runner Jeff Ares, 33, of Manhattan, came from behind to defeat Gustavo Morastitla, 17, a standout distance runner on the Southampton High School varsity cross country and track teams, to win the 27th annual Southampton Rotary Firecracker 8K. Ares completed the race in 27:06.31, a mile pace of 5:28, while Morastitla crossed the finish line in 27:54.76.

Last year’s runner-up, Morastitla actually finished ahead of Ares at last year’s Firecracker by 14 seconds; last year’s champion, Jonathan Laurie, did not return for this year’s race. And early on, it looked like Morastitla was going to repeat by finishing ahead of Ares.

But Ares, the Central Park Track Club member, closed the gap about two-and-a-half miles into the race, then pushed past Morastitla and secured his lead in the last two miles of the race. “We were together the first half mile, then he took off,” Ares said of Morastitla’s early lead. “We were yo-yo-ing for the first two miles.”

“I slowed down to hopefully stay close to him, and he broke away,” Morastitla replied.

Ares began running after college when he had a goal of completing a marathon. He wasn’t pleased with the results of his first marathon and that led him to run another one.

Ares ran his ninth marathon in Chicago in the fall of 2016. There he set a personal record of 2 hours and 31 minutes. Next, Ares will travel to Berlin in September to run in the BMW Berlin Marathon.

Morastitla will be a senior at Southampton High School this fall. He explained that he lost his early lead due to his recent switch in training. On the track team, Morastitla competes in the 3,200-meter, or 2-mile, race. However, focusing on his mile time, Morastitla wasn’t as prepared for the 4.97 miles as he would have hoped.

“[My goal] is to be the number one runner in the county,” the upcoming 2018 graduate claimed.

There were more than 300 participants in this year’s race. Louis Volle, 33, of Remsenburg, finished third overall in 31:04.02, J.D. Hilburn, 40, of Brooklyn, finished fourth in 31:40.67, and Rob Clemens, 36, of Chatham, New Jersey, placed fifth in 32:10.95.

Danielle Opatovsky, 24, was the first woman (sixth overall) to finish the 8K race at 32:11.20. Tara Farrell, 38, of East Quogue, finished in 32:34.46; Kelly Wickstrom, 40, of New York City, finished in 32:34.79; Hannah Connolly-Sporing, 20, of Southampton, crossed the finish line in 32:44.86; and Shanna Heaney, 22, of Hampton Bays, was the fifth female to come in at 33:14.53.

There was also a 3-mile race and 11-year-old Paige Mattingly of Southampton tore through the winner’s tape as the victor in 31:02.28.

Full results are at elitefeats.com.

The course records still stand. Larry Barthlow’s time of 24:24, set in 1992, remains as the top men’s mark, as does Caroline Bierbaum’s time of 28:34, set in 2008, as the top female time.

Proceeds from the race benefit the Southampton Rotary Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for Southampton High School students each year. Sponsors of this year’s race included: Storms Motors, who once again provided this year’s pace car, John David Rose, Architect, Bridgehampton National Bank, Dermot Dolan, State Farm Agency, Despatch of Southampton, Emil Norsic & Sons, Inc., Gubbins Running Ahead, Hamptons Employment Agency, Hamptons Pest Management, Roy Wines, Bellringer Security, Herrick Hardware, The Luss Group, Kalbacher’s Auto & Marine Service, Karen A. Langone DPM, Markowitz, Fenelon & Bank LLP, Tim Blenk Tree Service, Maryanne Robinson Douglas Elliman, PBA Southampton, People’s United Bank, Riverhead Building Supply, Sabel & Oplinger CPAs, LLP, Southampton Publick House, The Southampton Press and 27east.com.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

While this is a nice event, there was NO need to entirely close off all surrounding roads. This is extremely selfish and inconsiderate. I plan to boycott all sponsers.
By zeke (35), southampton on Jul 3, 17 6:49 AM
Thats just lovely! The proceeds from this race are important!! I think we can all handle one lousy day of road closures for money to be raised for scholarships for the youth of our community!
Shameful of you to say you will boycott the local business' zeke. Go find a summer home somewhere else plz!

To All the local business who contributed to making our youths future brighter, THANK YOU !!
By toes in the water (839), southampton on Jul 3, 17 6:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
No one wants your money anyway.
By tenn tom (234), remsenburg on Jul 3, 17 7:37 AM
I'm going to contact the Southampton Rotary club to tell them of the benefit they have provided to the community by keeping your rude attitude out of several popular local businesses.
By even flow (831), East Hampton on Jul 3, 17 7:56 AM
Zeke, you sound like a real community-minded individual.
By gusef (39), Southampton on Jul 3, 17 8:41 AM
Testy aren't we, all I did was express an opinion, an opinion, nothing more.
By zeke (35), southampton on Jul 3, 17 5:43 PM
Same with everyone else? Why so sensitive?
By SlimeAlive (1180), Southampton on Jul 3, 17 5:55 PM
Yes , testy. You did more than express an opinion. Think about it DA
By toes in the water (839), southampton on Jul 9, 17 7:45 AM