The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

Mickey Furfari

November 7, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: Ex-WVU runner now excelling as a professional

MORGANTOWN — Clara Grandt Santucci, who is an employee of Morgantown’s Health Works firm, continues to add honors to her already lengthy list of track and field superstardom at three different levels.

The 26-year-old West Union native first earned status as an All-State runner in both cross country and track at Doddridge County High School. Then she earned All-America status in the two sports at West Virginia University from 2006-07 through 2009-10.

After graduating with honors both athletically and academically from high school, Clara enrolled at WVU and was redshirted in the two sports in 2005-06.

An athlete who improved notably each of her four great years, she was a tough, determined runner with speed as a Mountaineer. She also received accolades in the classroom — not only from WVU but the Big East Conference.

Now the talented young lady, with the full support and encouragement of personnel at Health Works, is building on her distinguished reputation as one of America’s leading professional runners — if not the very best at her young age.

Highlighting Santucci’s numerous achievements are these:

• She was the first American and seventh-place finisher in the 2013 Chicago Marathon.

• First American to finish and ninth-place finisher in the 2013 Ottawa, Canada, Marathon.

• First-place winner in the 2013 City of Pittsburgh Great Race.

• Seventh-place finish in the 2012 Olympic team marathon trials.

• Third American to cross the finish line for 16th place in the 2011 Boston Marathon in her professional debut (in a field of over 40,000 runners).

• Fourth-place finish in the 2011 USA 15-K competition.

• Sixth place in the 2011 USA Half Marathon Championship event.

• First place in the 2010 Rothman Institute 8-K Road Race.

• Fifth place in the 2010 USA 10-K Road Championship.

• Fourth place in the 2010 USA 20-K Championship.

• Eighth place in the 2010 Outdoor Championship 10-K competition.

Clara and 33-year-old husband Jason Santucci have been married one year. They currently reside in the Mt. Morris, Pa., area. He also works here, and has taken up running “just for fun.”

Her proud parents are Tom and Diana Grandt, who still live in West Union where Clara grew up.

“I really enjoyed running for WVU in competition very much,” Clara declared. “I had a great five years there (including the redshirt sit-out).”

Her coach was Sean Cleary.

As a collegian, she was named All-American in cross country as a junior (2009) and then four times as an All-American for track — once indoors and three times in outdoor track meets.

Here are other significant feats Clara posted at the university:

• First place in the 2010 NCAA outdoor east regional preliminaries in the 10-K event.

• Fourth place in NCAA outdoor 2010 championship in 10-K.

• First place in the 2010 Big East Conference championship in the 10-K.

• Eleventh place in NCAA 2010 championship in 5-K.

• Fourteenth place in the 2009 NCAA cross country championships.

• Fourth place in the 2009 outdoor championships in 10-K.

• First place in the 2009 Big East outdoor championship in the 5-K.

Clara’s best performances time-wise, included these:

• Marathon — 2 hours, 29.34 minutes in the Boston Marathon.

• 20-K — 1:09:01 in 2010 20-K Championships.

• 15-K — 50:34 in the 2011 USA Championships.

• 10-K Road Race — 32:53 in the City of Pittsburgh Race.

• 10-K track meet—33:16.99 in the 2009 Stanford Invitational.

• Eight-K road meet — 26:23 in Philadelphia.

• 5,000-meter meet — 16:01 at Palo Alto, Calif.

“I love working hard to stay in running condition,” Clara Grandt Santucci said. “But I also enjoy my job of working with people in the Health Works exercise pool.”

Text Only
Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Blaney wins 100th Sprint Car race

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest to you:
    • Dale Blaney, the all-time great West Virginia University basketball star, has achieved another historic notch in his athletic career as a Sprint Car racer. He posted his 100th career riding in the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio last weekend.

    April 12, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- What a wonderful evening with Dr. Stanley ‘Coach’ Kandzari

    This column really is not about sports, per se. But, more importantly, it is about a widely known medical doctor whose nickname happens to be “Coach.”

    April 8, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Turnbull endured many tragedies growing up

    Coach Craig Turnbull, the latest head-coach victim of Oliver Luck’s shocking series of firings at West Virginia University, had generally enjoyed what many rate as an outstanding career not only in athletics but in life.
    Like the present, there also were some very difficult times for him as a youngster.

    April 6, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: All-time WVU great QB Bernie Galiffa dies at 63

    It was very sad to learn that Bernie Galiffa, one of the most outstanding quarterbacks in West Virginia University football history, had passed away.
    The three-year letterman for famed coach Bobby Bowden died last Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., at the age of 63.

    April 4, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Is $106 million in facilities updates really key to WVU sports success?

    You may have heard or read that West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is planning to spend $106 million for major projects.
    According to published reports, that is to improve athletic facilities, including Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium and the WVU Coliseum (yet to be named for a rich donor).

    April 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Who’s next on Oliver Luck’s hatchet list?

    Who’s going to be next on Oliver Luck’s sad house-cleaning list as West Virginia University’s athletic director?
    Craig Turnbull, the outstanding head coach and builder of the Mountaineers’ wrestling program for 36 years, was notified on Friday afternoon that Luck shockingly announced that his contract will not be renewed on June 30 for next year.

    March 30, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Herbie Brooks one of Catlett’s early standouts at WVU

    Herbie Brooks, a native of Beckley, was an All-Stater at Mullens High School and demonstrated his talents at West Virginia University from 1984-89 in men’s basketball.
    The 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard performed admirably under coach Gale Catlett’s direction.

    March 29, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU women’s team certainly has been special

    There’s lingering heartbreak in the wake of last Tuesday night’s 76-67 loss to LSU that ended the West Virginia University’s women’s basketball hopes to keep alive in the NCAA Tournament.
    The Mountaineers, seeded No. 2 and ranked as high as No. 5 nationally earlier this season, battled the seventh-seeded, home-standing Tigers toe-to-toe on even terms for 35 minutes on LSU’s own Pete Maravich Assembly Center floor.

    March 28, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads