Accardo wins Marcus Jones 100 Black Men of St. Mary Parish 5K
By: Staff Reports
Native sons and a daughter joined revelers in ignoring Tropical Storm Lee’s brush over the Shrimp Festival, by participating in the 2011 Marcus Jones 100 Black Men of St Mary Parish 5k Fun Run/Walk.
Franklin native Nick Accardo, who won the event, brought his entire Cross Country Track Team, for a training exercise and a fun experience.
Accardo wears many hats as a teacher and coach at Holy Rosary High School in New Orleans. He finished the race at 16:28. His performance nabbed him a $250 check from the 100 Black Men, as their first prize winner.
“In no way was the weather going to ruin my plans,” said Accardo, whose team practiced the night before by running through a few cane fields in Franklin.
Kim Mendoza, also felt the same way. “Storm or not, I was coming home. I wanted to run just like I ran so often as a kid, through the streets of my home town.”
Mendoza, who now lives in San Diego, clocked in at 19:55. She was the first female to finish the race, and also claimed a $250 check from the organization.
Jerome Allen was so excited he finished the race, he forgot his time. Allen, a United States Naval Officer, said he was “coming home to celebrate, period.”
Allen is stationed at Camp Pendleton. “Family, friends, those are enough reasons for celebration.”
Anthony Dunn of Patterson said he looks forward to the race every year. “I’ve been living here for quite awhile now, but I am originally from Virginia. Still, there is no place like St Mary Parish, I’ve ever known.”
“I thought the course was going to be easy because of the rain, but it was actually a little tough this year. But it’s still a good race,” Dunn said.
Clarence Robinson Jr., president of the 100 Black Men, said he and other members of the organization were pleased and surprised by all of the enthusiasm.
“We didn’t’ cancel, because we only had one person call to say they weren’t going to make it,” Robinson said. “We all had a lot of fun.”
Robinson said anyone wishing to purchase a souvenir T-shirt from the 2011 5K can do so, for only $10. The shirt features a running shoe, designed with a shoe sole that features the names of all of the parish’s high schools. The shirt color is lav-ender with white and dark purple artwork.
“Our goal for this race is to raise money to award one scholarship at each St. Mary Parish High School.”
Anyone wishing to purchase a souvenir T-shirt can do so for only $10, by calling Robinson at 255-9775 or 312-2552.
Also, for one reason or another, he said that should anyone like to receive information about the scholarships, they may do so by calling him as well.
“We enjoy blessing our youth, and look forward to continuing this tradition,” said Rev. Donald Grimm, another member of the organization.
In 2009, the 100 Black Men added the name of an avid 70 year old runner to the race, to honor his health goals and pursuits. The official race name is now the Marcus Jones 100 Black Men of St. Mary, 5K Fun Run/Walk.
“I appreciate everything that everyone has been doing with this race in the past, as well as in the present,” Jones said. “I did not think at this time of my life I would get this type of prestige. I have been running for 40 plus years now, and it’s a blessing. And best of all is that I still don’t have any aches and pains.”
Jones also participated in this year’s event, and clocked in at 23:22.
Complete race results:
Overall male, first, Nick Accardo, 16:23; second, Austin Luke, 17:24; third, Michael Alphonso, 18:08
Overall female, first, Kim Mendoza, 19:55; second, Denee Rocasco, 24:42; third, Abbie Paradee, 27:59
Accardo and Mendoza each won $250 in cash.
Male 13 & Under: Joshua Luke, 23:27; Logan Fontenot, 32:45; Kobi Lipari, 39:20
Female 13 & Under: Maria Blanco, 45:54
Male 14-24: J.J. Templet, 18:40; Jonathan Jeffcoat, 20:12; Thomas Richard 23:40
Female 14-24: Chelsea Scott, 42:07
Male 25-34: Bryan Landry, 29:45
Female 25-34: Carole Pinell, 32:25; Michele McCrary 34:38; Amy Patureau, 35:58
Male 35-44: Richard Parker, 18:25; David Theriot, 18:26; Anthony Dunn, 22:03
Amy Isham, 31:47; Maria Izaguiere, 40:44; Leda Lipari, 45:56
Male 45-54: Steve Rosasco, 22:09; Patrick Wiggins, 25:23; John Farias, 43:33
Female 45-54: Melina Michel, 32:29; Diane Fears, 36:29; Rosalina Mendoza, 46:28
Male 55-64: Sherwin Landry, 25:08; Bruce Pickering, 29:23; Jim Koontz, 30:04
Male 65-74: Marcus Jones, 23:22; Conrad Poe, 39:22
Female 65-74: Donna Poe, 45:24