Sprinting In Honor Of A Soldier

Gordon M. Grant
Independent/Gordon M. Grant

United States Marine Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter was in the hearts of many Sunday, July 28, as they crossed the finish line of his memorial race.

Jordan’s Run, the third annual 5K run/walk around Sag Harbor, is in honor of the solider who was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq in 2008. At 19, the Sag Harbor native was the first lost on the battlefield from the village since World War II.

Haerter was deployed to Joint Security Station Nasser in the Sophia District of Ramadi, which at one point was the center of insurgency in that city. He was standing guard at the entry of the control point with Marine Corporal Jonathan Yale when a large truck accelerated toward them, ignoring signals and flares to stop. When the truck failed to do so, the two men opened fire until a 2000-pound blast claimed their lives. Both were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, and North Haven-Sag Harbor Bridge was renamed in Haerter’s honor.

Paige Duca, 21, of Rockville Centre, was first to cross the finish line in 17 minutes, 24.48 seconds; Oscar Lorenzo, 30, of Amityville, clocked in second with a time of 17:33.01, and in third was Ben Mac, 16, of Sag Harbor, who completed the course in 17:39.32.

But none elicited more cheers than 39-year-old wheelchair competitor Mike Roesch, who finished fifth overall just seconds behind Princeton Junction’s George Gochuico (18:10.11), with a time of 18:23.87. Clinton Thompson, 21, of East Hampton, finished sixth (18:33.71). Tara Farrell, 40, of East Quogue, who placed first in multiple Firecracker 8Ks in Southampton, rounded out the Top 10 (19:43.28).

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