Saturday, June 20, 2015

Schmidt and Ristow shine in Melon Run debut

Roger Schmidt, Teresa RistowIn sports the cast is constantly renewed. Athletes arrive, rise in their chosen sport, then retire. New athletes arrive to replace them. It's just another way that sports reflect life. Running isn't any different. So at the 37th annual Melon Run 5K in Monticello, Florida, it didn't matter that Chris Lake, the race's winner in 2014 wasn't there. The 2013 champ, Stanley Linton wasn't there either, nor was 2012's winner Stephen Cox. The past champions move on, and new champions arise. On Saturday morning, 20 June 2015, the new champion of the Melon Run 5K was Roger Schmidt, running 18:03 in his first try at the Monticello race. Likewise, there was a new women's winner in Monticello, as Teresa Ristow finished atop the women's standings in 20:49, finishing twelfth overall.

The race started The race started at 8:15 AM on West Washington Street with the Jefferson County Courthouse looming behind the runners. As a new Melon Runner, Roger Schmidt didn't bolt right into the lead. For the first three kilometers of the five kilometer race the Capital City Runners athlete stayed tucked into the field with the other runners, including Peter Kaus of Tallahassee, a veteran of the 2012 Melon Run.

Teresa Ristow"I wasn't sure where the course was so I hung back," explained Schmidt. "Pete and I were together till we got on to the bike trail."

On the Monticello Bike Trail, with two kilometers left in the race, Schmidt left Kaus and the rest of the runners behind. He wasn't entirely alone for the remainder of the run, though.

"At the corner where we turned off of the bike trail, a dog jumped out and ran with me," said Schmidt.

The dog wasn't an official entry, though, and it only managed to keep pace with Schmidt for a few blocks. After that the Melon Run was all Schmidt as he made it to the finish line in 18:03. Kaus took second in 18:30. Tallahassee's Michael Martinez was the top master runner in the race, placing third overall in 18:45. In a battle for fourth, Lane Williams, a recent graduate of Wakulla High, edged out Lincoln High cross-country runner Donovan Duchene, 19:14 to 19:15.

Peter KausSchmidt ended the Melon Run with a lead of well over 100 meters, but in the women's competition Teresa Ristow of Capital City Runners finished nearly 300 meters ahead of the second runner. Ristow recently finished her final track season with the Seminoles of Florida State University. Like Schmidt, it was her first Melon Run.

"I wasn't going to run today but I just jumped in," said Ristow. "It was fun! It was the first time I had run the course and I liked it. It's always good to get in some hills."

Emily Molen, a rising eighth-grader on the cross country team at Deerlake Middle School, was second in the women's standings, placing 18th overall in 22:07. Beverly Hamilton of Thomasville, Georgia, was the third female finisher, 24th overall in 23:06. Tallahassee's Birgit Maier-Katkin was the first woman master, the eighth female finisher and 45th overall in 25:26.

232 athletes finished the 2015 Melon Run 5K, which was hosted once again by the Monticello Kiwanis. Few of the finishers were as enthusiastic about the hills as Teresa Ristow, especially the huge climb on Water Street right before the end of the race. The slices of watermelon at the top of the hill were popular, though--possibly popular enough to lure runners back to Monticello for the 38th annual Melon Run 5K in 2016.

Top Ten Men, 2015 Melon Run 5K
  1. 18:03 ~ Roger Schmidt (M, 24) Tallahassee, FLMichael Martinez
  2. 18:30 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 31) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 18:45 ~ Michael Martinez (M, 49) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 19:14 ~ Lane Williams (M, 19) Crawfordville, FL
  5. 19:15 ~ Donovan Duchene (M, 15) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 19:18 ~ Joel Piotrowski (M, 45) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 19:21 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 37) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 20:23 ~ David Harrell (M, 30) Monticello, FL
  9. 20:33 ~ Tim Unger (M, 55) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 20:34 ~ Mark Tombrink (M, 27) Tallahassee, FL

Top Ten Women, 2015 Melon Run 5K
  1. 20:49 ~ Teresa Ristow (F, 22) Tallahassee, FLEmily Molen
  2. 22:07 ~ Emily Molen (F, 13) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 23:06 ~ Beverly Hamilton (F, 37) Thomasville, GA
  4. 23:25 ~ Michelle Claycomb (F, 28) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 24:26 ~ Fumiko Hedlund (F, 26) Valdosta, GA
  6. 24:26 ~ Jena Mickel (F, 30) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 24:39 ~ Melanie Leitman (F, 31) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 25:18 ~ Kaitlyn Jackson (F, 22) Monticello, FL
  9. 25:26 ~ Birgit Maier-Katkin (F, 52) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 25:30 ~ Martha Bademan (F, 31) Tallahassee, FL
  11. 25:34 ~ Anna Lee Trest (F, 12) Monticello, FL

Known winners of the Monticello Melon Run 5K, 1979 - 2015
23 June 197915:39, Gary Slayton20:36, Carolyn Crochet
28 June 198015:28, Gary Slayton19:49, Debbie Dickson

19 June 198215:10, Andy Whitener17:38, Laura Ledbetter
18 June 1983
23 June 198415:37, Gary Slayton19:45, Cindy Walker
22 June 198516:09, Felton Wright19:12, Barbara Balzer
21 June 198615:55, Bill Crooks18:32, Karen MacHarg
20 June 1987

25 June 198815:47, Bill Crooks18:18, Karen MacHarg
24 June 198915:02, Jeff Pigg19:05, Vikki Saga
23 June 199015:20, Jessie Close18:06, Karen MacHarg
22 June 199115:23, Phillip Rowan19:34, Vikki Saga
20 June 199215:10, Jessie Close18:35, Lynda Nilges
26 June 199316:07, Bill Crooks19:37, Sue Kany
29 June 199416:13, Gary Droze18:49, Sarah Heeb
24 June 199514:57, John Charlton19:54, Sissi Carroll
22 June 1996

28 June 1997

27 June 199816:33, Tommy Kunish17:51, Sarah Docter-Williams
26 June 199916:23, Tommy Kunish21:05, Peggy Simpson193
17 June 200017:08, Tim Simpkins18:32, Kim Winn141
16 June 200116:29, Ryan Deak17:54, Sarah Docter-Williams238
22 June 200217:54, Doug Gorton21:41, Laura Atlee139
21 June 2003

19 June 200417:18, Tim Unger20:30, Kate Remillard121
18 June 200518:31, Jack McDermott18:07, Sarah Docter-Williams123
17 June 200617:36, Nathan Haskins22:35, Loranne Ausley170
16 June 200716:28, Nathan Haskins18:50, Sarah Docter-Williams261
21 June 200816:08, Nathan Haskins20:16, Deb Jones194
20 June 200916:54, Charlie Johnson23:49, Sandy Holt267
19 June 201018:07, Gabriel Leitz19:59, Micah Adriani283
18 June 201116:38, Sammy Palmer19:28, Katie Showman258
16 June 201216:28, Stephen Cox18:59, Seeley Gutierrez379
15 June 201316:42, Stanley Linton18:49, Sheryl Rosen284
21 June 201416:17, Chris Lake19:08, Seeley Gutierrez244
20 June 201518:03, Roger Schmidt20:49, Teresa Ristow232


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