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Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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In memoriam

Nearly 200 runners met at Baird Point Sunday morning for the Nicholas Orrange Memorial Scholarship 5K run in memory of a University at Buffalo student who died in a car crash on Jan. 14.
The event was put on by the Student Association, of which Orrange was the special interest service and hobbies coordinator before his death.
According to Katherine Ruiz Meneses, the assistant race director and SA sports club coordinator-elect, the event was a huge success.
"We raised over $2,500 in admissions," Meneses said. "There are also a lot of donations which [as of press time] have not been counted yet."
Race participants paid $20 until April 9 and $22 on the day of the event. The fee included a T-shirt and admission to a post-race party, where there was food, beverages and raffle prizes. Supporters who did not race were asked to donate $5 to attend.
All proceeds will be sent to the Nick Orrange Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was set up by his family at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.
"It was a nice mix of students and outside runners," said Shervin Stoney, the race director, current SA sports club coordinator and vice president-elect. "On Friday, there were only about 50 people signed up, but we got about 70 people [on Saturday] and then about 75 more people showed up [on that day]."
Stoney says that there were approximately 300 runners, volunteers and supporters on Sunday.
The course started at Baird Point, went around Alumni Arena, looped through the Academic Spine and finished at Baird Point. Along the way, there were over 70 volunteers with water and cheers for the runners as they went by.
"Having those extra voices [of encouragement] really helped," said Kathy Fretthold, 49, a winner of the 46-55 age group. "And the fact that they had water [and aid stations] was [helpful]."
The run was open to not only UB students, but any other interested parties. Medals were awarded to the top three winners in each age group – 17 and under, 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56-65 and 65 and over.
The first runner to complete the course was John French, with a time of 15:56.00, while the first female runner to complete the course was Caitlyn Curry, with a time of 20:17.00.
Other runners included Thomas and Wendy Zuch, who estimate that they run in 30 races a year. The Zuchs admitted that they did not know Nick, but Thomas worked with a member of Nick's family, who he saw at the run.
In addition, many members of Nick's family ran for their age groups. David Orrange, Nick's biological father, won third place in his age group.
"This was a very nice outcome," David said. "[I'm so glad] that Nick has a legacy [at UB]."
David hopes that the race will be come an annual event for people to compete in and hopes to be in better shape next year so that he can get a higher position.
"The family was very touched by the event," Meneses said. "They seemed happy because there was such a huge [amount of support]."
According to Meneses, the Buffalo-native rock band the Goo Goo Dolls will be playing at Darien Lake this summer and plan to donate over $100,000 to the Nicholas Orrange Memorial Scholarship Fund.
"We're excited about that; it's a big deal," Meneses said.
She also stressed the importance of continuing the tradition in the coming years. As the sports club coordinator for next year, Meneses expects to make the 5K an annual event.
"Nick wasn't a show-horse; he was a very humble guy," Stoney said. "I think that he would have found [the event] amusing, more than anything."




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