Bluefield University in the News

RECORD NUMBERS RUN IN BC’S ELSWICK 5K

by | Sep 16, 2011

A misty morning fog greeted the 89 participants of Bluefield College’s Fourth Annual Jason Elswick Memorial Scholarship 5K Challenge, Saturday, September 10. Though the sun was not shining, spirits were bright as the runners took to the course to win awards, but also to honor the memory of a former BC student.

A Bluefield College teacher education student, Jason Elswick died in a car accident in October 2005. After his death, his parents, David and Pam Elswick of Tazewell, Virginia, created a scholarship designed to preserve his memory and to continue his legacy by providing scholarship assistance to other teacher education students at BC.

The annual Elswick 5K Challenge helps increase awareness and raise funds to support the scholarship, which provides vital assistance to BC students seeking a degree in math education and whose goals are similar to Jason’s.

“It is our desire that many students with the same goals and wonderful characteristics as Jason be helped through this scholarship,” said David and Pam Elswick. “It is also our wish that Jason’s memory live on through the lives of the students receiving the scholarship awards.”

This year, more participants than ever before competed in the memorial 5K. The turnout, said coordinator Josh Cline, BC’s director of alumni relations, is a direct result of the course and the cause.

“We have built a solid race over the past four years,” said Cline. “The race is relatively flat for the area, making it a speed course. Many runners make their best times here, and they enjoy that. And, the race has a great purpose. The money goes to help students continue a Southwestern Virginia boy’s dream to become a teacher. Thanks to the foresight of his parents, David and Pam, Jason will touch more lives, through students at Bluefield College who benefit from this scholarship, than he ever could have imagined.”

Earning this year’s fastest time and first place overall award was Abdul Shattory of Rocky Gap, Virginia, with a time of 19:14. Running second place overall was Michael Collins of Bluefield, West Virginia, with a time of 19:47, followed by Kharles Mwalo, from Bluefield, West Virginia, whose time of 20:05 earned him third place overall.

In the women’s division, first place overall went to Keri Quesenberry of Bluefield, Virginia, with a time of 21:26. Placing second among the women was Erica Morgan, from Princeton, West Virginia, with a time of 22:08, trailed by third place overall, Vonda Wilson of Bluefield, West Virginia, with a time of 23:08.

Male participants who received awards for the fastest times in their specific age groups were:
— Ages 14 and younger: Abdul Shattory of Rocky Gap, Virginia (first place), Scott Tyson of Bluefield, Virginia (second place), and Will Olive of Bluefield, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 15-19: Ryan Thomas of Tazewell, Virginia (first place), and Justin Sammons of Logan, West Virginia (second place)
— Ages 20-24: Donald Bailey of Bluefield, West Virginia (first place), William Lambert of North Tazewell, Virginia (second place), and Cody Childress of Tazewell, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 25-29: Kharles Mwalo of Bluefield, West Virginia (first place), Trey Brown of Beckley, West Virginia (second place), and Greg DeGray of Bluefield, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 30-34: Justin Hall of Bluefield, Virginia (first place)
— Ages 35-39: Michael Collins of Bluefield, West Virginia (first place)
— Ages 40-44: Paul Pennington of Athens, West Virginia (first place), Steve Lester of Bluefield, Virginia (second place), and Jim Childress of Tazewell, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 45-49: Bruce Hopler of Bluefield, Virginia (first place), Kurt Varney of Tucker, Georgia (second place), and David Olive of Bluefield, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 50-54: Tom Kaylor of Bland, Virginia (first place), David Gates of Bluefield, West Virginia (second place), and Desi McClung of Princeton, West Virginia (third place)
— Ages 55-59: Larry Fitzwater of Princeton, West Virginia (first place), Randy Lester of Princeton, West Virginia (second place), and Tom Gordon of Bluefield, West Virginia (third place)
— Ages 60-64: Tom Davis of Athens, West Virginia (first place), King Boyce of Tazewell, Virginia (second place), and Cameron Forrester of Tazewell, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 65 and older: no entries

Women who achieved awards for the fastest time in their specific age groups were:
— Ages 14 and younger: no entries
— Ages 15-19: Molly Dove of Bluefield, Virginia (first place), and Tara Hazelwood of Bluefield, West Virginia (second place)
— Ages 20-24: Keri Quesenberry of Bluefield, Virginia (first place), Tabitha Robins of North Tazewell, Virginia (second place), and Julie Austin of Richmond, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 25-29: Erica Morgan of Princeton, West Virginia (first place), Sharde Hardy of Bluefield, West Virginia (second place), and Allison Greenstein of Bluefield, West Virginia (third place)
— Ages 30-34: Heather Howell of Bluefield, West Virginia (first place), Keisha Riley of Princeton, West Virginia (second place)
— Ages 35-39: Becky Blevins of Bluefield, West Virginia (first place)
— Ages 40-44: Vonda Wilson of Bluefield, West Virginia (first place)
— Ages 45-49: Glenda Scott of Bluefield, West Virginia (first place), Helen Chaffins of Bluefield, West Virginia (second place), and Colleen Ferrell of Cedar Bluff, Virginia (third place)
— Ages 50-54: Anita Wagner of Wytheville, Virginia (first place), Pam Elswick of North Tazewell, Virginia (second place), and Carol Fitzwater of Princeton, West Virginia (third place)
— Ages 55-59: Nancy Blevins of Tazewell, Virginia (first place)
— Ages 60-64: Cookie Johnson of Bluefield, Virginia (first place)
— Ages 65 and older: Jenny Hagy of Richlands, Virginia (first place)

With 89 competitors participating, the attendance nearly doubled from last year’s 49 participants, and the race helped raise more $2,300 of scholarship funding for BC teacher education majors.

“We cannot express the extent of our gratitude and appreciation for the thoughtfulness, compassion and generosity of everyone who has helped keep our son’s spirit alive,” said David and Pam Elswick. “Helping those in need was a large part of Jason’s personality, and we are asking the community to help us do the same.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Jason Elswick Memorial Scholarship Fund may do so by sending a gift to Bluefield College, c/o The Elswick Scholarship Challenge, 3000 College Drive, Bluefield, Virginia, 24605.

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