Monday, May 29, 2017

Elam, Chandler race to victory in Valdosta on Memorial Day

American FlagsMonday morning, 29 May 2017, was the occasion of Valdosta, Georgia's ninth annual Memorial Day 5K road race. Valdosta runner Andrew Elam was no stranger to the event. As a junior on the Lowndes High cross-country team, Elam run the event in 2014, placing third in 17:37. He was back in 2017, now running for Valdosta State University. This time Elam went 17:31, good enough to win the race by 180 meters. Rebecca Chandler, a rising sophomore on the Berrien County High cross-country team, took the women's title, placing eleventh overall in 20:23.

Michael Rhodes of Perry, Florida was the top master runner in the race, finishing second overall in 18:11. Colin Prinsloo of Hahira, Georgia was third overall in 18:18. Brishen House, a rising senior on the Lowndes High cross-country team, was fourth in 18:31. A few steps behind House, another high school cross-country runner, Berrien County rising sophomore Morgan Bolmer, placed fifth in 18:34.

136 athletes finished the race, the largest field in the nine-year history of Valdosta's Memorial Day 5K. The number of runners wasn't the only record that was set that morning, though. Rebecca Chandler's 20:23 was new women's record for the Memorial Day 5K, bettering the old mark of 20:47 established by Ashley McGee in 2009, the race's inaugural year. Following Chandler across the finish line, Gracie Woods of Broxton, Georgia was second in the women's standings. Woods, a cross-country runner a few months away from her frosh year at Coffee County High, placed twentieth overall in 21:54. Sandra Griffin of Valdosta was the first woman master and third female finisher, 22nd overall in 22:09. Valdosta's Kelly Davis was the fourth woman and 26th overall in 22:31. Tallahassee, Florida master runner Paula O'Neill was the fifth woman and 32nd overall in 23:01.

A Course/Line, LLC, of Valdosta, Georgia timed the 2017 Memorial Day 5K and provided finish line services.

Top Ten Men, Valdosta's 2017 Memorial Day 5K
  1. 17:30.8, Andrew Elam (M, 19) Valdosta, GA
  2. 18:10.8, Michael Rhodes (M, 48) Perry, FL
  3. 18:17.4, Colin Prinsloo (M, 31) Hahira, GA
  4. 18:30.4, Brishen House (M, 17) Valdosta, GA
  5. 18:33.6, Morgan Bolmer (M, 15) Nashville, GA
  6. 18:53.8, Ryan Kelly (M, 38) Lake Park, GA
  7. 19:32.1, Yotzen H Bruno (M, 25) Norman Park, GA
  8. 19:37.0, Brian Rohrbach (M, 40) Valdosta, GA
  9. 20:10.2, Mitchell Kallam (M, 15) Nashville, GA
  10. 20:16.3, Juan Garcia (M, 23) Valdosta, GA

Top Ten Women, Valdosta's 2017 Memorial Day 5K
  1. 20:22.3, Rebecca Chandler (F, 16) Nashville, GA
  2. 21:53.5, Gracie Woods (F, 14) Broxton, GA
  3. 22:08.8, Sandra Griffin (F, 50) Valdosta, GA
  4. 22:30.1, Kelly Davis (F, 27) Valdosta, GA
  5. 23:00.1, Paula O'Neill (F, 55) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 23:16.3, Vanessa Spry (F, 32) Valdosta, GA
  7. 23:36.3, Pollyanna Bass (F, 45) Pavo, GA
  8. 24:48.0, Lauren Bewley (F, 35) Valdosta, GA
  9. 25:03.2, Gina Purvis (F, 59) Tifton, GA
  10. 26:03.4, Stacey Duvall (F, 37) Valdosta, GA

Valdosta Memorial Day 5K Champions, 2009 - 2017
25 May 200916:34, Chris Rice20:47, Ashley McGee86
31 May 201016:50, Chris Rice21:38, Jordan Helton79
30 May 201117:10, Chris Rice21:06, Alice Smoot102
28 May 201218:33, Masked Avenger21:38, Alison Peters53
27 May 201318:05, Ryan Kelly23:21, Debbie Green87
26 May 201417:26, Dylan Rogers22:01, Makenzee Page92
25 May 201517:54, Ryan Kelly22:44, Debbie Green73
30 May 201618:05, Matthew Baun22:25, Debbie Green99
29 May 201717:31, Andrew Elam20:23, Rebecca Chandler136