John Scherer (Glenelg and Michigan) got ninth in the TAC cross country title run in New York; his time of 31:02 was 40 seconds behind winner Bob Kempainen's 30:22. The latter's effort ended a long streak of victories by Pat Porter and automatically qualifies him for the U.S. World Championship squad.
On the women's side, Lynn Jennings, the defending world champ, assured herself a return to the big meet in March in Antwerp, Belgium, by running 19:07 -- 26 seconds better than anyone else. A couple of area runners, Gina Procaccio and Cassie O'Neill, finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 8-K.
* That was an OK start the North Central Marathon, conducted by the Baltimore Road Runners, got on its maiden voyage the other day. A hundred runners showing up to hack out a marathon at about the time most are easing off for a couple of months is a tribute to their resolve.
Jim O'Keefe, the winner in 2:32:12, probably stumbled upon the ideal way to approach a marathon: relaxed. He actually didn't plan on doing the race, but showed up on a whim, needing a long training run, and breezed.
A total of 80 participants finished the romp over the recreational trail in northern Baltimore County with Tammy Villano, a master, posting the best women's time (3:27:05).
* Meghan McCarthy of Burke, Va., was the girls victor at the regional qualifier for the 12th Kinney high school cross country championships in Charlotte, N.C., last weekend. The national final goes in San Diego Dec. 8.
* Upon the occasion of running his 60th Boston Marathon next April, Johnny Kelley has been named the recipient of the Jimmy Fund athletic tribute award. Other Bostonians so honored are Ted Williams, Bobby Orr and Carl Yastrzemski, not bad company for an old runner. Kelley, 83, has completed 56 of 59 Beantown romps started.
* The Baltimore Road Runners Club is putting out a nifty little publication entitled "Blurbs" to keep members up to date between quarterly newsletters. The club will hold its annual election and business meeting next Tuesday (6:30 p.m.) at the Divinity Lutheran Church on Providence Road, just north of Beltway Exit 28.
* Don Forgione was among those battling the brisk 40-degree temperatures and stiff breezes in New York's Central Park at the National Biathlon Championships recently. "It was worth the trip, too," he reports, "since I finished fourth in my age group [35-39] and 41st among 350." The event included two 3-mile runs around an 18-mile bike ride.
Saturday: Sri Chinmoy 2-miler, Patterson Park, 467-3223.
* Sunday: BRRC Cross Country 6-miler, Herring Run, 9 a.m., 566-7862; Striders' Metric Marathon, Columbia, 8 a.m., 381-6385; Arthritis 8-K, Hunt Valley Mall, 8:30 a.m., 494-8649; RASAC Charity Run 5-K, Harford Mall, 9 a.m., 877-0539.