30th Turkey Trot raises $1,500 for scholarship


Daniel Nickerson

The AACC Turkey Trot starts on Siegert Field, crosses the foot bridge, winds around West Campus and finishes back at Siegert Field.

Ashley Sokolowski, Associate Editor

AACC students and community members raced to raise scholarship money at this year’s Turkey Trot on Nov. 21.

AACC’s 30th Annual Turkey Trot on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving raised $1,500 for the college’s Health, Fitness and Exercise Department’s scholarship fund.

“It is pretty popular to do 5Ks on the morning of Thanksgiving,” Dr. Wally Bixby, a professor in the Health, Fitness and Exercise Department, said. “So, a lot of races are on the morning of Thanksgiving but because we are not here that day we wanted to try and do it [the day before] as kind of a ‘raise awareness for health and fitness.’”

This year’s winner, Martin Shpuntoff, also won the Turkey Trot in 2013. He hit the finish line this year in 17 minutes and 25 seconds.

The men’s and women’s AACC faculty winners were Senior Graphic Designer Ben Pierce and Trish Eyerly, production manager for Wingspan Magazine, which is published by the Public Relations and Marketing Department. Pierce finished the race in 21 minutes and 56 seconds and Eyerly crossed the line with a time of 25 minutes and four seconds.

Faculty weren’t the only Riverhawks in the race.

The male and female student winners were Grant Berkley and Rebecca White. Berkley came in at 23 minutes and 35 seconds, while White finished in at 26 minutes and 46 seconds.

More than 160 students, faculty, staff and community members participated in the event.

Maxwell Garufi, a first-year computer networking student, participated in the Turkey Trot for the first time this year.

“So, one reason was my teacher offered 30 extra-credit points for it but … I have been getting into fitness lately so I kind of just wanted to test where I was at,” Garufi said. “So, I just decided, OK, well, I’m getting 30 extra-credit points for this anyway [so] this will be a good time to do it.”

Garufi also said he enjoyed the encouraging atmosphere of the event.

“I know towards the end there was this one guy who was running slightly in front of me and he kept turning back and waving me on like telling me to keep going,” Garufi said. “So that was cool, that was a good experience. … For my first 5K, I enjoyed it.”