Stellar Takes Control At Arnold Mills Four-Miler

Arnold Mills champion Ian Stellar just a half mile from the finish line of Tuesday's race.


Ian Stellar had a simple plan prior to Tuesday's 49th annual Arnold Mills Road Race.

"I didn't have any expectations," he admitted. "I just wanted to run a hard four-miler, and see what happens."

Stellar accomplished his goal of a hard four-miler in the historic Cumberland race.

As far as what happened?

On a hot and sunny day for racing, that strong effort turned into a victory for the 20-year-old runner. Steller covered the scenic four-mile event in a winning time of 19 minutes, 49.76 seconds. The former Wheeler High standout took control before hitting the mile mark and posted a nearly 20-second win over runner-up and 2008 winner Bronson Venable, who crossed the line near the North Cumberland fire station in 20:08.40.

In the women's race, elite marathoner and multiple champion Hilary Dionne was the first to break the tape. The 31-year-old, onetime Cumberland High all-stater was 18th overall in a time of 22:25.80.  Ashley Glenn of Cumberland was second and 55th overall in 26:26.89.

Venable and Steller did the early pace-setting in Tuesday's race, holding a slight edge over Bishop Hendricken alum Nick Celico and the chase pack at the mile, which was passed in 4:55. Steller was able to make his decisive move just passed two miles and never looked back. 

Hilary Dionne, the 2014 and 2015 winner, was all alone again as she came down the final downhill.

"We were kind of all together at the mile," he said. "I was pushing a little because it wasn't quite as fast as I had wanted. Through two mile we [Venable and Steller] were kind of together, trading the lead. We came through two miles in like 9:55. At that point, I just decided to go and see who would go with me. Luckily for me, it was a good break and I just kept going." 

"He made a move on me (at two miles) and kind of closed the door a little," said Venable, a 2008 grad of Bishop Hendricken. "I thought I was going to be able to close on him. He took a look back and gapped on me again by another eight seconds and that was kind of the distance there. Overall it was a great race."
Celica, who is coming off a solid sophomore campaign at the University of Rhode Island, finished third overall with a time of time of 20:28.68. Westerly's John Davis was fourth in 20:54.36. He was followed closely by Avery Ingeneri in fifth with a time of 20:57.90. 
Rounding out the top 10 was Cumberland's Jason Reilly (sixth, 21:03.56), Scituate's Ken Vinacco (seventh, 21:29.61), Cumberland's Ben Drezek (eighth, 21:37.85), East Greenwich's Ben Meehan (ninth, 21:39.42) and six-time winner Chris Magill, 44, who claimed his fifth straight Master's title by taking tenth (21:42.17).