One winner came down to the wire, while another was the benefactor of a pair of errors during this year’s precursor to the Peachtree Road Race wheelchair contest.
The Cedartown Wheelchair 5K took over the streets of the Polk County city on Tuesday, with the start/finish line on College Street near Peek Park.
Daniel Romanchuk, 20, took first in the men’s division once again, only 11 seconds slower than his 2018 record-breaking time, ahead of Thursday’s Peachtree Road Race.
Romanchuk, a native of Maryland, finished this year’s race with a time of 9 minutes, 51.83 seconds, just ahead of Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, who came in at 9:53.85. The finish marks Romanchuk’s third win in a row at Cedartown.
Hug, a native of Nottwil, Switzerland, was in the lead at one point in the race, as was third-place finisher Josh Cassidy of Guelph, Canada. Cassidy came in with a time of 10:11.47. Rome’s Krige Schabort finished in ninth place for the 2019 race at a time of 11:16.17.
Romanchuk’s move to take the lead in the final stretch, however, wasn’t the end of the dramatics Tuesday evening.
With a strong lead for much of the women’s race, Paralympian and past Cedartown 5K champion Tatyana McFadden was on pace to finish 20 seconds ahead of the competition until the veteran turned too soon onto North College Street off of West John Hand Drive.
Susannah Scaroni, who won last year’s 5K and held second place up to that point, followed suit, taking the path around Mundy’s Lake. The pair were disqualified from the race, which left Eliza Ault-Connell of Albury, Australia, in the lead and finishing first with a time of 12:04.75.
Despite the mishap, both McFadden and Scaroni were in good spirits following the race.
The Rev. Dave Grove, Cedartown 5K Committee chair, said despite the errors he believed the Tuesday races were some “of the best we’ve ever had here.”
Cedartown’s Wheelchair 5K Road Race wrapped up the annual Peachtree Road Race training camp, which included a new track meet event at Barron Stadium in Rome on Monday and was named The America Series.
Athletes left Cedartown on Wednesday to head to Atlanta to prepare for the annual Peachtree wheelchair division race, which is set for Thursday morning at 6:25 a.m.