Islanders win in weekend 5K’s

Charlie Porterfield, Alexa Pil, Gideon Pil, and Sydney Brown sprinted to the finish in the Vineyard Haven Library fun run. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard was the site for two road races last weekend. In a tale of two Chops, the 12th annual NAACP George V. Tankard Memorial 5K Run unfolded Saturday on East Chop, while the 15th annual Vineyard Haven Public Library Run to the Chop (West, in this case) took place on Sunday morning.

In each race, Island runners, both from Vineyard Haven, came out on top. Paul Vertefeuille won the Tankard in 20:25 and Rene Da Silva won the Library run in 18:31.

The top woman, in both races, was Gia DiDonato-Sroczenski of Webster, who finished second overall on Saturday and third on Sunday.

She ran both races in 20:45.

Local runners dominated the field of 88 in the West Chop run. In fact, four of the top five and six of the top ten hailed from Vineyard Haven.

Reaan Steenkamp (18:36) was the runner-up. Brian Garrison, V.H., was fourth (21:26) and David Mercaldo, V.H., took fifth (21:59).

Edgartonian J. Halperin was sixth (22:24); 10-year-old Peter Burke, V.H., placed seventh (22:31); Chris Porterfield, V.H., was eighth (23:02); Owen Porterfield, V.H., ninth (23:10); and Jeff Boughton, O.B., tenth (23:12).

Coming in behind Gia DiDonato-Sroczenski, the next seven women were all Islanders: 15th, Katherine Stackpole, West Tisbury, 24:13; 17. Katie Brown, V.H., 25:13; 19. Donna Creighton, V.H., 25:19; 22. Karen Casper, V.H., 25:52; 27. Ellen Fitzpatrick, W.T., 26:23; 28. Beth Kostman, V.H., 26:30; and 30. Diane Nolan, V.H., 26:41.

Unlike in the West Chop run, the Tankard 5K had a healthy dose of visitors in the field of 70 runners.

Places three through five belonged to Salem residents Kimberly Talarcyzk, 21:53, Brian Talarcyzk, 21:58, and Christopher Scacher, 22:02.

Rounding out the top ten were: Kevin McGettigan, Belmont, 22:10; Patrick Parker, Vineyard Haven, 22:31; Howie Leonard, Palmyra, Penn., 23:42; Jill Zamarro, Oak Bluffs, 24:18; and Patrick Mills, New York, N.Y., 25:30.

The next five Islanders were: 11th Gary Stockman, O.B., 25:46; 20. Jenny Swift, O.B., 30:27; 21. John Murray, Edg., 30:41; 22. Nicole Jackson, V.H., 30:46; and 32. Sydney Mullen, Edg., 37:57.

For complete results of both races, visit