Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kelly and Bewley reign over the Azalea Fest 5K

Azalea BlossomAccording to the Azalea Society of America and other enthusiasts of the many species of Rhododendron Pentanthera and Rhododendron Tsutsuji, the azalea is known as "the royalty of the garden." At the 14th annual Valdosta, Georgia, Azalea Festival, the crown in the Azalea 5K Road Race went to Lake Park's Ryan Kelly, a cross-country coach at Valdosta Middle School. Kelly's winning time in the 8 March 2014 race was 18:21. Not quite 200 meters back at 19:01 was the runner-up, Will Smith, a sophomore at Lowndes High School. Another Viking, freshman cross-country runner Daniel Swilley, was third in 20:53. Anthony Sauger edged Cody Pezent for fourth, 21:49 to 21:53. Valdosta, Georgia, athlete Kenneth Smith was the first master runner in the race, placing sixth overall in 21:59.


Lauren Bewley captured the women's crown in the Azalea Festival 5K, crossing the finish line just a step or two ahead of Sylvia Ellis. Bewley was 14th overall in 25:02 and Ellis 15th overall in 25:04. Ellis was the first woman master in the race.


Nearly 70 athletes finished the annual 3.1-mile race. A Course/Line, LLC, of Valdosta, Georgia, provided finish line and timing services.


Top Ten Men, 2014 Valdosta Azalea Festival 5K
  1. 18:20.9 ~ Ryan Kelly (M, 35) Lake Park, GARyan Kelly
  2. 19:00.7 ~ Will Smith (M, 15) Valdosta, GA
  3. 20:53.0 ~ Daniel Swilley (M, 15) Valdosta, GA
  4. 21:48.8 ~ Anthony Sauger (M, 13) Valdosta, GA
  5. 21:52.3 ~ Cody Pezent (M, 13) Adel, GA
  6. 21:58.9 ~ Kenneth Smith (M, 49) Valdosta, GA
  7. 22:00.0 ~ Thom Amiot (M, 26) Valdosta, GA
  8. 22:49.4 ~ Gavin Benbow (M, 14) Valdosta, GA
  9. 22:58.6 ~ Jeff Keaushaar (M, 44) Valdosta, GA
  10. 23:05.9 ~ Coby Kent (M, 12) Valdosta, GA

Top Ten Women, 2014 Valdosta Azalea Festival 5K
  1. 25:01.7 ~ Lauren Bewley (F, 32) Valdosta, GA
  2. 25:03.1 ~ Sylvia Ellis (F, 44) Valdosta, GA
  3. 25:33.0 ~ Sheena Parrish (F, 30) Valdosta, GA
  4. 27:04.1 ~ Ansley Harrison (F, 19) Valdosta, GA
  5. 27:33.9 ~ Katherine Brown (F, 34) Valdosta, GA
  6. 28:33.8 ~ Angela Pezent (F, 40) Adel, GA
  7. 28:29.1 ~ Lisa Walker (F, 48) Lake Park, GA
  8. 29:57.3 ~ Anastasia Lewandowski (F, 28) Valdosta, GA
  9. 29:57.7 ~ Ryan Springer (F, 34) Valdosta, GA
  10. 30:43.6 ~ Megan Register (F, 25) Naylor, GA

Valdosta Azalea Festival 5K champions, 2001-2014
DateMenWomenFinishers
17 March 2001
16 March 2002
15 March 2003
13 March 2004
12 March 2005
11 March 200616:51 ~ Andrew Minnicks20:34 ~ Susan Fischer123
10 March 200717:17 ~ Todd Smoot19:33 ~ Melissa Daugherty152
15 March 200816:56 ~ John Seppala21:46 ~ Brandi Faircloth143
14 March 200918:16 ~ Chris Gaither20:40 ~ Mary Anne Grayson155
13 March 201016:46 ~ Brandon Skiles20:54 ~ Brandi Faircloth126
12 March 201117:39 ~ James Marino20:39 ~ Alice Smoot131
10 March 201220:33 ~ Toby Wilkey22:10 ~ Christie Kingsbury109
 9 March 201316:17 ~ Jesse Prince20:10 ~ Danielle Jarnagin125
 8 March 201418:21 ~ Ryan Kelly25:02 ~ Lauren Bewley67


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