Last years winner Anthony Meo went out fast and held the lead for the first mile, at which point he was clocked at 5:20, with Munoz right behind. Then the Jackson Heights resident made a move and surged to the front of the race, which started outside of MacNeil Park and finished within the park itself,
Munoz drew away and crossed the finish line in 16:59.95 far ahead of Meos 17:35.75, Rounding out the top five finishers were John Paul Montes in 18:15.88, Cesar Estebez in 18:16.55 and Javier Palma in 18:42.30.
Munoz, a member of the College Point Road Runners Club, which coordinated the 3.1-mile two loop course event, thus won his first race of the season and the Vitale race for the first time. This season he has been always has been among the top three finishers in his outings. His next race is one in Staten Island on June 15.
The Vitale race is the third leg in the five race Grand Prix Series, which continues Sunday with the Quantum Feet 5K in Fresh Meadows and the Hellgate 5K in Astoria June 14. Many of the same competitors are pointing toward one of both of the upcoming events.
Mary Bogle of Astoria led all the way and won the female portion of the Vitale 5K in 21:32 for the 16th place overall.
Overall, there were 125 finishers, an increase of 40 from last year. The last male to finish was 52- year-old College Point Resident Vin Livoti, who was timed in 40:55.
We had a great turnout, said Marc Vitale, 44, the son of the late Gabriel, who was killed in line of duty while apprehending a burglar in December, 1980, while assigned to the 109th Precinct in Flushing.
We are satisfied with the turnout, said Race Director Leo Nicholas. The main reason for the turnout was because its part of the Grand Prix Series. We had a lot of runners from different clubs in Queens. The day was beautiful and everything went well.
©2003 Community News Group
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