Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sykes and Braswell run away with the Africa Day 5K

Leaving the next runner more than 600 meters behind, Martinique Sykes won Tallahassee, Florida's sixth annual Africa Day 5K on Sunday evening, 28 May 2017. Sykes covered the 3.1-mile course through Tom Brown Park in 17:43. Amber Braswell of Bainbridge, Georgia won the women's title, placing fourth overall in 22:44. 30 athletes finished the race, with another seven completing a one-mile fun run.

Martinique Sykes
Martinique Sykes

The race started in Tom Brown Park on the Goose Pond Trail just after 6:00 PM. Donalsonville, Georgia master runner Myles Gibson set the pace for much of the first mile, but Martinique Sykes was tucked right behind him. During the second mile Sykes, a former all-conference cross-country runner at the University of West Florida, took command of the race. Sykes removed his T-shirt to better deal with the heat and humidity, then got down to business, opening up a big gap on Gibson. After that it was a time trial for Sykes. He ran the second half of the race alone, going on to finish first in 17:43. Haydn Griffin, a rising senior on the Bainbridge High cross-country team, was second in 20:17. Richard Reesor was the first master runner in the race, coming in third overall in 22:12. Gibson was forced out of the race during the second mile by a sore hamstring.

Amber Braswell
Amber Braswell

An athlete whose running resume includes stints on the cross-country teams of Bainbridge High, Darton College, and Columbus State University, Amber Braswell led the women's field for nearly the entire race, ultimately crossing the finish line in a winning 22:44. Blessing Nkembo, recently graduated from Rickards High, was second in the women's standings and tenth overall in 25:19. Mary Burr was the third woman and thirteenth overall in 27:18. Suzanne Angell was the first woman master and fifth female finisher, eighteenth overall in 30:04.


Top Ten Men, 2017 Tallahassee Africa Day 5K
  1. 17:42.45, Martinique Sykes (M, 26)
  2. 20:16.55, Haydn Griffin (M, 17)
  3. 22:11.50, Richard Reesor (M, 55)
  4. 22:55.38, Gary Johnston (M, 42)
  5. 23:13.99, Julio Miranda (M, 25)
  6. 23:36.65, Nicholas Samuel (M, 14)
  7. 24:16.22, Robert Steinmetz (M, 61)
  8. 24:25.32, Jean-Baptiste Lamango (M, 14)
  9. 26:25.96, Dan Oronje (M, 51)
  10. 27:07.10, Didi Lamango (M, 16)

Top Ten Women, 2017 Tallahassee Africa Day 5K
  1. 22:43.01, Amber Braswell (F, 22)
  2. 25:18.05, Mezindia Blessing Nkembo (F, 17)
  3. 27:17.37, Mary Burr (F, 29)
  4. 28:34.61, Dionne Wilson (F, 28)
  5. 30:03.45, Suzanne Angell (F, 51)
  6. 34:39.01, Patricia Scarboro (F, 33)
  7. 37:23.99, Sylvia Gavin (F, 37)
  8. 43:54.93, Elizabeth Ntantie (F, )
  9. 49:48.85, LaTosha Haynes (F, 35)
  10. 49:49.51, Madison Hynes (F, 8)

Tallahassee Africa Day 5K winners, 2012 - 2017
DateMenWomenFinishers
26 May 201219:3325:23, Alli Clarke15
25 May 201321:42, David Mkoji24:38, Sheryl Rosen15
24 May 201419:29, Frankie Lapiana22:06, Laura McDermott48
23 May 201517:04, Gary Droze20:30, Alise Autore46
28 May 201617:48, Geb Kiros23:19, Paula O'Neill30
28 May 201717:43, Martinique Sykes22:44, Amber Braswell30


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