Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hammond and Miller swat the competition at Camilla's Gnat Days 5K

30th annual Gnat Days 5KThe fall line divides North from South Georgia, separating the coastal plain from the piedmont plateau. North of the fall line the terrain is hilly trending towards the mountains, the rivers are treacherous with shoals, and the soils is coarse and peppered with rocks and boulders. South of the fall line the terrain is nearly flat, the larger rivers are navigable to the sea, and the soil is fine-grained. Gnats can't breed in the soil north of the fall line; the texture and chemistry is wrong for them. The moist, sandy soil south of the fall line is perfect for the insects to breed, though, and the coastal plain is one big gnat nursery. For this reason, the fall line is often called the gnat line.

Camilla, Georgia is well south of the gnat line. No amount of swatting or spraying could ever rid Camilla of the insects, so the town celebrates them instead with an annual festival, Gnat Days. Since 1988 the festival has included a road race, the Gnat Days 5K.

Coming from Bonaire, Georgia, just south of the gnat line, Jared Hammond won the 30th annual Gnat Days 5K on Friday evening, 12 May 2017, running 18:22. Another south-of-the-gnat-line athlete, Ramsay Miller of Leesburg, Georgia, took the women's title, placing twelth overall in 21:30.

Jake Merritt, a junior on the Colquitt County High cross-country team, was runner-up in the race, going the 3.1-miles in 18:46. Trevor Boeckmann of Albany, Georgia was third in 19:29. Thomasville, Georgia's Chad Johnson was the first master runner and fourth overall in 19:40. Ben Phillips, a frosh on the Lee County High cross-country squad, grabbed fifth with a 19:54.

Women's champ Ramsay Miller also studies at Lee County High, where she is a junior on the cross-country team. Kimberly Dove of Byron, Georgia was second to Miller in the women's standings, placing fourteenth overall in 22:31. Caitlin Santiago, a frosh on the cross-country team at Westwood High in Camilla, was the third woman and seventeenth overall in 23:23. Albany's Karen McNally was the top woman master and fourth female finisher, nineteenth overall in 23:43.

145 athletes finished the 2017 Gnat Days 5K.

Top Ten Men, 2017 Gnat Days 5K
  1. 18:21.06, Jared Hammond (M, 36) Bonaire, GA
  2. 18:46.00, Jake Merritt (M, 17) Moultrie, GA
  3. 19:28.91, Trevor Boeckmann (M, 28) Albany, GA
  4. 19:39.50, Chad Johnson (M, 46) Thomasville, GA
  5. 19:53.64, Ben Phillips (M, 15) Leesburg, GA
  6. 20:01.94, John Kilpatrick (M, 46) Leesburg, GA
  7. 20:15.92, Ashton Donahue (M, 16) Baconton, GA
  8. 20:28.88, Justin Williams (M, 39) Cairo, GA
  9. 20:50.56, Jaques Jones (M, 13) Baconton, GA
  10. 21:18.81, Tyler Williams (M, 19) Cairo, GA

Top Ten Women, 2017 Gnat Days 5K
  1. 21:29.92, Ramsay Miller (F, 17) Leesburg, GA
  2. 22:30.71, Kimberly Dove (F, 29) Byron, GA
  3. 23:22.91, Caitlin Santiago (F, 15) Camilla, GA
  4. 23:42.52, Karen McNally (F, 53) Albany, GA
  5. 23:43.72, Donica Williams (F, 37) Cairo, GA
  6. 23:45.83, Arber Elan (F, 28) Columbus, GA
  7. 24:07.49, Emily Phillips (F, 12) Leesburg, GA
  8. 24:11.29, Jill Hope (F, 36) Camilla, GA
  9. 25:03.34, Kelli Kilpatrick (F, 49) Leesburg, GA
  10. 25:56.50, Elizabet Mentha (F, 15) Albany, GA

Gnat Days 5K Champions, 2005 - 2017
12 May 201718:22, Jared Hammond21:30, Ramsay Miller
13 May 201617:04, Chase Harris20:32, Melissa Thompson
1 May 201516:11, Patrick Whitehead22:13, Beverly Hamilton
2 May 201418:32, Arnoldo DeJesus18:50, Elena Oslund
3 May 201319:06, James Taylor24:33, Ashtin Banks
4 May 201217:51, Stephen Robbins19:47, Mary Anne Grayson
6 May 201117:35, Masked Avenger23:53, Jenna Willingham
30 April 201017:36, Kyle Harris19:59, Mary Anne Grayson
1 May 200917:39, Nathan Norton19:51, Mary Anne Grayson
2 May 200818:12, Todd Smoot22:35, Diane Johnson
4 May 200716:59, Todd Smoot22:49, Diane Johnson
5 May 200617:27, Clint Watkins22:02, Lori Rawlings
6 May 200517:06, Dr. Robert Feldman21:12, Debbie Wittmer
1 May 2004

3 May 2003

14 May 1994

12 June 1993

13 June 1992

8 June 199115:33, Louis Floyd18:20, Vikki Saga
9 June 1990

10 June 1989*

11 June 1988**14:14.7, John Tuttle16:28, Carla Borovicka


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