Butler's best

The Butler Road Race has been a June staple in the county for nearly four decades.

Danica Snyder is making an impressive tradition of her own.
The 21-year-old
Butler native captured her third straight women's 5-mile event Saturday morning with a time of 32 minutes, 32 seconds.
“I already had two (5-mile) wins behind me,” said Snyder, who also won the women's 2K race in 2011. “This is becoming a tradition for me. I live in
Pittsburgh now and it's nice to come back and be involved in this with my family. There were seven or eight of us today. My sister Mia (12 years old), dad (Dan, 51) and grandma (Lydia Emrick, 83) all placed third in their age group.”
It was also the third straight year that Snyder placed one spot ahead of Tammy Slusser, a 49-year-old resident of Monroeville who has previously won the 5-mile race seven times. Slusser finished 18 seconds behind Snyder on Saturday.
“I thought she would be right there today,” Snyder said. “Despite the age difference, I look at her as a competitor. I give that woman a lot of credit.”
The weather for Saturday's event was warm and humid, but it didn't bother Snyder.
“Because of my work schedule, I'm used to running at mid-day when it's hot,” she said. “It was a bit breezy today and that helped.”
Snyder will be a senior at Duquesne University this fall. She competes in indoor and outdoor track, as well as cross country for the Dukes.
“Last year, we won the Atlantic 10 title in cross country,” she said. “I was able to be a contributing member for that. I love it there and it's been a great three years. I'm looking forward to my senior year.”
Justin Weaver was a newcomer to the Butler Road Race, but he made quite an impression.


Click To Enlarge





Jay Palmer of Gibsonia runs with his son Anderson who gets a high five from a volunteer as they reach the finish in the 2k portion of the Butler Road Race on Main Street Butler.

The 23-year-old from Greensburg won the men's 5-mile race in 27:05, a healthy 31 seconds ahead of Victor Flemming of Carrollton, Virginia.
“I used to get stuff in the mail about this race when I was a kid, but I figured five miles was too long,” Weaver said. “But this year, I wanted to try something new. It's exciting to win and I can definitely see myself coming back here.”
Weaver, a graduate student at
Seton Hill University, often competes in similar races in and around Pittsburgh. He planned his strategy before Saturday's event.
“I was told that there are some rolling hills on the course. I took the lead about a mile and a half in and every time I came to a hill, I tried to push it to widen the gap. The most difficult part was the last mile. You know you're so close to being done, but there is still a way to go.”
Note: Snyder and Chris Grooms of Butler both received the Donnie Bayne Memorial Award, given to the top women's and men's finisher from
Butler County. Grooms, 21, finished third overall.