Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Linton and Dorris revise the record books at the Bainbridge Memorial Day 5K

Monday, 30 May 2016, was a day for records at Bainbridge, Georgia's tenth annual Memorial Day 5K Night Race. Posting a winning 15:39, Stan Linton set a new record for the event, bettering the old standard of 15:46 that Linton himself had run in 2013. Rachel Dorris became the first woman to break 20:00 minutes in the race, placing ninth overall in 19:38.

For Linton, recently commissioned as a US Navy Ensign, it was the fourth road race win in a row and his second during the Memorial Day weekend. It was also his fourth win in the Memorial Day 5K. He hadn't made it a secret that he would be chasing a fast time in Bainbridge. "Course record is in danger," Linton announced a week before the race. "Calling on all runners to help take it down."

Stan Linton
Stan Linton

Any help that Linton got during the race came from Poncherella Leonard, a rising senior on the Bainbridge High cross country team. Leonard shadowed Linton early in the race, encouraging a strong pace.

"I thought he was right behind me," said Linton, speaking about the two-kilometer mark of the 5K.

By then, though, Leonard had fallen back, giving up nearly nine seconds to Linton. Whether or not he was aware that he had dropped Leonard, Linton was charged up at that point of the race, calling out his mile split to a spectator.

Poncherella Leonard
Poncherella Leonard

"4:56!" he shouted. Usually coaches call splits to their athletes.

Excitement alone won't get you to the finish line, but Linton also had experience and hundreds of miles of training on his side. Continuing to leave the rest of the field behind, he ran home first in 15:39.

"The last mile was hard," said Linton. "But I got it."

Bryce Cole
Bryce Cole

Leonard was second in 16:17, and Wakulla High rising senior Bryce Cole third in 17:23. Tallahassee, Florida's Paul Guyas took fourth in 18:12. Chase Harris, the 2014 Memorial Day Night Race champion, took fifth in 18:42. Myles Gibson of Donalsonville, Georgia was the fastest master runner in the race, placing sixth overall in 18:47.

A month earlier Stan Linton had graduated from Florida State University. Likewise, Rachel Dorris had just graduated from Berry College. Dorris was a Berry Viking distance runner from 2012-2016, a sequel to her years of running on the teams at Creekview High in Canton, Georgia. On a visit to Bainbridge, she decided to run the Memorial Day Night Race, an event where no woman had ever broken 20:00. In fact, no woman had ever gone under 21:00 at the race.

Rachel Dorris (9th, 19:38)
Rachel Dorris

In 2016, though, two women went sub-20:00. Columbus State University distance runner Amber Braswell, a Bainbridge native, also beat that standard. While Dorris led the ladies early, Braswell wasn't far behind. Braswell was also familiar with the event, having raced it in 2010 as a Bainbridge High cross country runner.

"I thought I might be able to catch her," said Braswell.

Dorris' margin only widened, though, as she ran to the finish line in 19:38 for the women's title. Braswell took second in the women's standings, placing twelfth overall in 19:58. Truett-McConnell College cross country runner Margaret Wiedeman was the third woman, nineteenth overall in 22:06. Paula O'Neill of Tallahassee was the first woman master and fourth female finisher, placing 22nd overall in 23:50.

Amber Braswell
Amber Braswell

The Bainbridge Memorial Day 5K Night Race has been hosted each year since 2007 by the Bainbridge High cross country team. The race is a fundraiser for the program.

Chase HarrisTop Ten Men, 2016 Bainbridge Memorial Day 5K Night Race
  1. 15:38.24 ~ Stan Linton (M, 22)
  2. 16:16.16 ~ Poncherella Leonard (M, 18)
  3. 17:22.03 ~ Bryce Cole (M, 17)
  4. 18:11.65 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 38)
  5. 18:41.59 ~ Chase Harris (M, 19)
  6. 18:46.84 ~ Myles Gibson (M, 49)
  7. 19:12.75 ~ Travis Parks (M, 20)
  8. 19:20.55 ~ Greg Waddell (M, 50)
  9. 19:38.32 ~ Kyle Harris (M, 22)
  10. 19:53.36 ~ Lane Williams (M, 20)

Margaret WiedemanTop Ten Women, 2016 Bainbridge Memorial Day 5K Night Race
  1. 19:37.78 ~ Rachel Dorris (F, 22)
  2. 19:57.89 ~ Amber Braswell (F, 21)
  3. 22:05.23 ~ Margaret Wiedeman (F, 20)
  4. 23:49.27 ~ Paula O'Neill (F, 54)
  5. 25:18.97 ~ Martha Guyas (F, 31)
  6. 25:26.40 ~ Julie Genovar (F, 30)
  7. 25:35.22 ~ Viviana Schuyler (F, 13)
  8. 25:59.86 ~ Camry Fillingame (F, 16)
  9. 26:48.42 ~ Suzanne Angell (F, 50)
  10. 27:08.45 ~ Julie Harris (F, 50)

Bainbridge Memorial Day 5K Night Run
Champions, 2007 - 2016
28 May 2007??????
26 May 200818:36, Caleb Bergon23:05, Rachel Willis
25 May 200916:11, Tyler Price23:16, Erica Pemberton
31 May 201017:35, Gabriel Leitz23:12, Perra Harrell
30 May 201117:06, Stanley Linton22:02, Paula O'Neill
28 May 201216:17, Stanley Linton21:46, Tiffany Roddenberry
27 May 201315:46, Stanley Linton25:41, Emily Jensenius
26 May 201417:30, Chase Harris22:57, Cora Atkinson
25 May 201517:46, Michael Martinez21:33, Haleigh Martin
30 May 201615:39, Stan Linton19:38, Rachel Dorris


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