Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baker Wildcats net Redfish honors in half marathon

Baker University cross-country runner Aaron Caldwell turned in a 74:07 half-marathon to win the third annual Run For The Redfish in Panama City Beach on Saturday morning, 3 December 2011. Caldwell's time was a new course record for the event, and put him a good 1300 meters ahead of the runner up, Eric Larson (2nd, 78:52), another Baker University runner. In all, the visiting Baker University Wildcats accounted for 12 of the top 15 men's places. Panama City's Aaron Scrimager (6th, 82:21) was in fact the first non-Wildcat in the race. But the college men were too young to qualify as masters, and the first master in the half marathon was Jimmy Railey of McHenry, Maryland, who placed 11th overall in 88:14.

Line Lauritsen of McHenry, Maryland took top female honors in the half marathon, finishing 12th overall in 88:14. Lynn Haven's Kristin Petersen was the women's runner-up, posting a 94:11 to finish 19th overall. The next two women were more Baker University athletes, Ashley McBride (24th, 96:48) and Kerry Kurta (25th, 97:15). Diane Morris (56th, 1:46:43) was the first woman master and the 12th woman finisher.

So why were all those Baker University runners doing so far from their campus in Baldwin City, Kansas? Well, the NAIA cross-country championships were two weeks before the Run For The Redfish, and Panama City Beach has to look like an attractive destination for a post-season trip, especially from Kansas. But the half-marathon also opens the track-and-field season for the Wildcats. The marathon is one of the events contested in the NAIA track-and-field championships, and athletes can qualify for the NAIA marathon with a fast enough half-marathon time. Aaron Caldwell's 74:07 was under the NAIA provisional standard of 75:00, but not quite fast enough to make the automatic qualifying standard of 73:00. In addition to competing in the Run For The Redfish, the Wildcats also completed a service project during their sojourn in Florida.

The third annual Run For The Redfish half marathon was the largest yet, with 350 finishers.

Top Ten Men
  1. 1:14:07 ~ Aaron Caldwell (M, 20) Overland Park, KS
  2. 1:18:52 ~ Eric Larson (M, 21) Overland Park, KS
  3. 1:19:40 ~ Christopher Scheideman (M, 22) Baldwin City, KS
  4. 1:21:08 ~ Cooper Clark (M, 20) Haysville, KS
  5. 1:21:28 ~ Justin Hill (M, 23) Lenexa, KS
  6. 1:22:21 ~ Aaron Scrimager (M, 36) Panama City Beach, FL
  7. 1:23:42 ~ Parker Bryant (M, 21) Parkville, MO
  8. 1:24:27 ~ Ian Hankins (M, 24) Baldwin City, KS
  9. 1:25:06 ~ Cedric Gillette (M, 30) Marianna, FL
  10. 1:27:18 ~ Corey Clark (M, 21) Paris, France

Top Ten Women
  1. 1:28:14 ~ Line Lauritsen (F, 29) McHenry, MD
  2. 1:34:11 ~ Kristin Petersen (F, 37) Lynn Haven, FL
  3. 1:36:48 ~ Ashley McBride (F, 19) Olathe, KS
  4. 1:37:15 ~ Kerry Kurta (F, 18) Overland Park, KS
  5. 1:40:55 ~ Peggy Warner (F, 21) Panama City, FL
  6. 1:41:29 ~ Michele Patterson (F, 26) Dothan, AL
  7. 1:42:01 ~ Amy Mann (F, 34) Panama City Beach, FL
  8. 1:43:40 ~ Anna Dagar (F, 26) Lynn Haven, FL
  9. 1:45:19 ~ Tiffany Roddenberry (F, 27) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 1:45:43 ~ Margaret Hawker (F, 34) Dothan, AL

Run For The Redfish Half-Marathon winners, 2009-2011
5 DEC 2009
78:52, Kristoffer Chacon
87:37, Hadley Nyquist
4 DEC 2010
79:18, Andrew Norton
86:59, Hadley Nyquist
3 DEC 2011
74:07, Aaron Caldwell88:14, Line Lauritsen



  1. Very cool, Herb! How in the world did you find out about the service project? Very nice story...too bad Aaron didn't make the auto qualify.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Judy,

    I had a source:


    I can't say for sure if qualifying for the NAIA marathon was a consideration. It's a tough double if any of those runners also want to run the 5,000, the 10,000, or the steeple. But Baker did have an athlete in the 2011 NAIA women's marathon--Megan Rosa placed ninth in 3:06:09.