Thursday, January 1, 2015

New year, new records for Elam and Page

“Ring out the old, ring in the new.” At the Valdosta, Georgia, New Year's Eve 5K on Wednesday evening, 31 December 2014, this meant ringing out the defending champion, Ryan Kelly, and ringing in a new winner, Lowndes High junior Andrew Elam. It meant ringing out the old course record of 17:58 for the two loops around Lowndes High and ringing in Andrew Elam's new record of 16:59. It also meant ringing in a lot of new runners, as six of the top seven athletes in the third annual event were high school harriers.

Joining Andrew Elam in the youth brigade was runner-up Dylan Rogers, another Lowndes High junior, who ran 17:04. A third Lowndes High junior, Chance Roe, placed third in 17:32. The wave of youngsters was interrupted by Valdosta High coach Ryan Kelly, who took fourth in 17:38. It was a brief interruption, though, as Lowndes High senior Nathan Crews followed in fifth at 18:33, Lowndes High junior Daniel Swilley placed sixth in 18:52, and Valdosta High frosh Quin McGlamery came in seventh at 19:55. Only after all those prep athletes had crossed the line did the first master runners appear--in eight and ninth place, race director Todd Smoot edged Rick Mazurkiewicz for the top master spot, 20:03 to 20:10.

There was a new course record of 20:52 to ring in on the women's side, but no new record holder and no new champion. Instead, 2013 winner Makenzee Page lowered her own record by more than a minute and a half while finishing on top of the New Year's Eve 5K women's standings for the second year in a row. Page placed tenth overall. Women's runner-up Melanie Ellis was the first woman master in the race, finishing 13th overall in 22:32.

69 athletes finished the third annual Valdosta, Georgia, New Year's Eve 5K.

Top Ten Men, Valdosta's 2014 New Year's Eve 5K
  1. 16:58.1 ~ Andrew Elam (M, 16) Valdosta, GA
  2. 17:03.4 ~ Dylan Rogers (M, 16) Valdosta, GA
  3. 17:32.0 ~ Chance Roe (M, 16) Valdosta, GA
  4. 17:37.7 ~ Ryan Kelly (M, 36) Lake Park, GA
  5. 18:32.6 ~ Nathan Crews (M, 17) Valdosta, GA
  6. 18:51.5 ~ Daniel Swilley (M, 16) Valdosta, GA
  7. 19:55.0 ~ Quin McGlamery (M, 14) Valdosta, GA
  8. 20:02.5 ~ Todd Smoot (M, 52) Valdosta, GA
  9. 20:09.1 ~ Rick Mazurkiewicz (M, 47) Valdosta, GA
  10. 21:11.6 ~ Milo Mirate (M, 19) Valdosta, GA

Top Ten Women, Valdosta's 2014 New Year's Eve 5K
  1. 20:51.8 ~ Makenzee Page (F, 15) Ray City, GA
  2. 22:31.5 ~ Melanie Ellis (F, 41) Valdosta, GA
  3. 22:39.7 ~ Amber Elam (F, 25) Birmingham, AL
  4. 22:50.2 ~ Debbie Green (F, 48) Valdosta, GA
  5. 23:53.2 ~ Brandi Al-Taher (F, 38) Valdosta, GA
  6. 24:18.1 ~ Melissa Roe (F, 36) Valdosta, GA
  7. 24:31.9 ~ Destiny Roe (F, 15) Valdosta, GA
  8. 24:53.6 ~ Joi Jones (F, 19) Valdosta, GA
  9. 24:59.7 ~ Nancy Elam (F, 51) Valdosta, GA
  10. 25:02.7 ~ Lauren Bewley (F, 33) Valdosta, GA

Valdosta, Georgia, New Year's Eve 5K winners, 2012 - 2014
31 December 201217:58, Mark McLeod24:56, Martha Mazurkiewicz50
31 December 201318:04, Ryan Kelly22:30, Makenzee Page75
31 December 201416:59, Andrew Elam20:52, Makenzee Page69