Saturday, June 10, 2017

O'Kelley and Molen were magnificent at Munson

Gulf Winds Track Club's Summer Trail Series opened south of Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday morning, 10 June 2017, with the six mile Munson Hills Trail Race. There, Chris O'Kelley and Emily Molen opened the four-race Series with wins. O'Kelley was the overall champ of the six-mile race, finishing 250 meters ahead of the next runner in 36:45. Emily Molen was the first woman in the race, placing tenth overall in 46:34.

Chris O'Kelley, Emily Molen
Chris O'Kelley and Emily Molen. Photos by Fred Deckert.

During the first four year of the Summer Trail Series, 2013 to 2016, all of the races on the circuit were either at Tom Brown Park or in Phipps Park. After sixteen runs divided between those two venues, the Munson Hills race broke new ground. Billed at six miles, it was the longest race in the history of Series. Additionally, it was Chris O'Kelley's debut on the circuit. Which isn't to say that O'Kelley was a neophyte. Just a month earlier, he had won the Tails & Trails 10K, running 38:54 on the paths of Tom Brown Park and the Lafayette Heritage Trail. During the autumn of 2016 O'Kelley had posted a posted a 36:23 win at the Run For Lawson 10K, 6.2 miles of tough cross-country running. If you were going through the resumes of the Munson Hills entries, looking for an athlete qualified to race six miles on trails, you'd pick O'Kelley.


The Lincoln High alumnus lived up to his record, winning in 36:45. Ryan Slyter was second in 37:45 and Charles Biberg third in 39:19. Gary Johnston was the fastest master runner in the race, placing fourth overall in 44:18.

Course map, 2017 Munson Hills Six-Mile Trail Race

It was the debut in the Summer Trail Series for O'Kelley, but not for Emily Molen. Three years earlier as a Deerlake Middle School cross-country runner, Molen had been the first female finisher in two of the Series races in 2014. The Munson Hills race was Molen's first run on the circuit since those wins, and it was quite a return. Now a rising sophomore on the Chiles High cross-country team, Molen won the women’s division in 46:34, placing tenth overall. Monica Judd was the first woman master and second female finisher, placing seventeenth overall in 49:05. Nazarae Rodriguez was third in the women's standings and 23rd overall in 50:02.


87 athletes finished the Munson Hills Trail Race. Gulf Winds Track Club timed the run. The 2017 Summer Trail Series continues with a four-and-a-half-mile race at Phipps Park on Saturday morning, 1 July 2017; a five-mile race at Phipps Park on Saturday morning, 15 July 2017; and concludes with a four-and-a-half-mile race at Tom Brown Park on Saturday evening, 5 August 2017.


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Munson Hills 6-Mile Trail Race
  1. 36:45, Chris O'Kelley (M, 24)
  2. 37:45, Ryan Slyter (M, 27)
  3. 39:19, Charles Biberg (M, 24)
  4. 44:18, Gary Johnston (M, 42)
  5. 44:40, James Wilkinson (M, 34)
  6. 45:13, Ryan Baumbach (M, 37)
  7. 45:35, Chad Johnson (M, 44)
  8. 46:01, Hal Fravel (M, 36)
  9. 46:33, Michael Kennett (M, 43)
  10. 47:14, Laryn Flikkema (M, 41)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Munson Hills 6-Mile Trail Race
  1. 46:34, Emily Molen (F, 15)
  2. 49:05, Monica Judd (F, 40)
  3. 50:02, Nazarae Rodriguez (F, 27)
  4. 50:25, Darcy Brinkmann (F, 36)
  5. 50:42, Mary Jane Hayden (F, 37)
  6. 51:44, Marien Dimacali (F, 55)
  7. 52:02, Deirdre McCarthy (F, 37)
  8. 53:21, Julie Duggins (F, 34)
  9. 54:37, Bridget Isenberg (F, 17)
  10. 56:45, Martha Guyas (F, 32)

Gulf Winds Track Club's Summer Trail Series race winners, 2013 - 2017
YearDateRaceTop MaleTop FemaleFinishers
2013June 22Cadillac Trail 5½M37:38, Kevin Sullivan45:07, Stephanie Liles-Weyant121
July 13Swamp Forest Trail 4½M30:19, Kevin Sullivan34:12, Micah Adriani124
July 27Magnolia Trail 3½M21:44, Kevin Sullivan24:45, Stephanie Liles-Weyant114
August 3Red Bug Trail 4½M33:31, Bryce Van Dam43:46, Stephanie Liles-Weyant92
2014June 21Red Bug Trail 4½M38:30, Charn McAllister42:02, Brook Pace114
July 12Swamp Forest Trail 4½M29:06, Charn McAllister33:13, Brook Pace109
July 26Magnolia Trail 3½M26:03, Charn McAllister30:16, Emily Molen108
August 2Cadillac Trail 5½M41:38, Brian Molen48:25, Emily Molen88
2015May 30Cadillac Trail 5½M39:15, Zach Deveau42:51, Alyson Churchill158
June 13Oak Hammock Trail 5M32:59, Zach Deveau35:10, Alyson Churchill129
July 18Coon Bottom Trail 4M28:42, Zach Deveau29:14, Alyson Churchill112
August 1Red Bug Trail 4½M35:14, Greg Bargo35:24, Alyson Churchill112
2016May 21Magnolia Trail 3½M25:18, Dan Baur27:05, Katie Gorman133
June 4Oak Hammock Trail 5½M42:53, Eric Godin45:24, Katie Gorman123
July 9Red Bug Trail 4½M33:14, Dan Baur35:04, Katie Gorman130
July 30Cadillac Trail 5½M43:06, Paul Guyas42:29, Alyson Churchill95
2017June 10Munson Hills 6M36:45, Chris O'Kelley46:34, Emily Molen87
July 1Phipps Park 4½M
July 15Phipps Park 5M
August 5Tom Brown Park 4½M


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