Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sullivan and Slekis take Tannenbaum for Capital City Runners

2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K Cross-Country Race championsAt Leon County's Apalachee Regional Park, Capital City Runners athletes owned the Tannenbaum Trail 6K Cross-Country Race. Four-time Canadian Olympian Kevin Sullivan set a new record in the event, winning the 3.73-mile cross-country race in 19:35. Also wearing Capital City Runners colors, Stefanie Slekis, a former Syracuse University distance runner (c/o 2011), established a new Tannenbaum 6K women's mark, finishing as first female in 21:56. 182 athletes finished the race, a second-annual event produced by Tallahassee's Gulf Winds Track Club.

Stanley Linton and Kevin SullivanThe starting siren sounded at 9:00 am, sending nearly 200 runners thundering across the grass of Apalachee Regional Park. Florida State University freshman Stanley Linton charged out ahead of the crowd. It was Linton's ninth race at Apalachee Regional Park, including a fourth-place finish at the inaugural Tannenbaum 6K, where he ran 20:35. But while few runners have Linton's racing experience at the ARP, not many have logged as many miles there as Kevin Sullivan. The ARP is the Florida State University's home cross-country course, and as a volunteer assistant coach to the FSU women's cross-country team, Sullivan has run the ARP often enough to know every tree by its first name. Not incidentally, Sullivan made seven trips to the World Cross-Country Championships on the Canadian national team, and won four straight Big Ten cross-country titles while running for the University of Michigan.

Kevin Sullivan and Stanley LintonBut Sullivan was also nursing a calf injury which had already forced him to drop out of the Tallahassee Turkey Trot three weeks earlier. While Linton led the race, Sullivan ran cautiously in third, tucked behind Vince Molosky. Midway through the second mile, Sullivan left Molosky behind and set his sights on Linton.At the race's halfway point Sullivan trailed Linton by just a few steps. With a mile and a half to go, Sullivan moved ahead. He continued to widen his lead after that, ultimately running home in 19:35, 14 seconds better than Chris Lake's 2011 course record of 19:49. Linton finished second in 19:50. Vince Molosky took third, holding off Nate Kaiser 20:36 to 20:43. Bryan Koon was the top master, finishing fifth in 21:13.

Stefanie SlekisIn eighth place overall, Stefanie Slekis was the top woman finisher, her 21:56 shattering Katie Showman's 2011 Tannenbaum 6K women's record of 25:33. The female runner-up, Stefanie Kurgatt, also ran well under the old record, putting up a 23:55. A senior-year distance runner at Maclay School, Kurgatt will get more experience with the 6K distance next fall when she starts running with the Georgetown women's cross-country team. 6K is, after all, the NCAA championship cross-country distance for women.

Apalachee Regional Park Cross-Country CourseThe Tannenbaum 6K concluded the fourth year of racing at the Apalachee Regional Park cross-country course. The facility first opened in 2009, and this was its biggest year--eight separate events were held there this year, including the NCAA South Region championship and the FHSAA State Cross-Country Finals. Yet anyone can go out there and run, any day of the year. In most sports, that's the kind of access you can only dream about. Typically, a high school football player couldn't step on the field at Campbell Stadium and run a few patterns or kick a few balls. But his buddy on the cross-country team can head out to the course at Apalachee Regional Park and run a few hills or put in some miles. And maybe dream about being Kevin Sullivan.

Top Ten Males, 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
  1. Nate Kaiser and Vince Molosky19:35 ~ Kevin Sullivan (M, 38) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 19:50 ~ Stanley Linton (M, 18) Crawfordville, FL
  3. 20:36 ~ Vince Molosky (M, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 20:43 ~ Nate Kaiser (M, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 21:13 ~ Bryan Koon (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 21:35 ~ Jay Wallace (M, 48) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 21:46 ~ Tony Guillen (M, 43) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 22:17 ~ Jack Rutledge (M, 17) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 22:17 ~ Chase Harris (M, 15) Bainbridge, GA
  10. 22:54 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 28) Tallahassee, FL

Top Ten Females, 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
  1. Stefanie Kurgatt21:56 ~ Stefanie Slekis (F, 24) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 23:55 ~ Stefanie Kurgatt (F, 17) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 26:25 ~ Brook Pace (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 26:29 ~ Paige Braswell (F, 16) Bainbridge, GA
  5. 27:25 ~ Kate Chunka (F, 29) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 28:25 ~ Zoe Sheldon (F, 13) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 28:26 ~ Stephanie Liles-Weyant (F, 40) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 28:37 ~ Hanna Gordon (F, 29) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 29:06 ~ Nikky Manausa (F, 31) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 29:25 ~ Julie Clark (F, 51) Tallahassee, FL

Tannenbaum Trail 6K Champions, 2011-2012
17 DEC 201119:49, Chris Lake25:33, Katie Showman
15 DEC 201219:35, Kevin Sullivan21:56, Stefanie Slekis


1 comment:

  1. Fabulous story, Herb! Love the reference of dreaming of being Kevin Sullivan. How fortunate we are to have so many talented runners in Tallahassee!