Saturday, August 26, 2017

Chris Haynes blazes 16:32 in hilly Phipps Park

Godby High Cougar Cross-Country Challenge, held on the trail of Phipps Park on Saturday morning, 26 August 2017, featured high school races and middle school races. If you stayed late enough on Saturday, there was a one-mile elementary school race, and at the Friday evening session there was even a college race. Why, though, should students have all the fun? So for athletes whose school days were in the past, Saturday at the Cougar Challenge opened at 7:30 AM ET with the Community 5K.

Chris Haynes
Chris Haynes

From the starting gun, Chris Haynes and Jeff Oliver charged into the lead. But after the first mile Haynes dropped Oliver hard, going on to win the race in 16:32--the fastest time ever run on the rugged Cougar Challenge 5K course. Even state champions Sukhi Khosla and Michael Phillips never ran faster in their Cougar Challenge wins. Trailing Haynes, Oliver was second in 18:20. Gary Droze was the top master runner in the race, placing third overall in 19:22. Droze had won the race in 2016. Each of the top three athletes coached teams that raced later in the day at the Cougar Challenge--Haynes is a Leon High assistant coach, Oliver a West Florida coach, and Droze a Maclay coach.

Katie Lancaster was the top woman in the race, placing fourth overall in 24:53. Michelle Stephens edged Kelly Golden for the second spot in the women's standings, 29:37 to 29:39. Stephens and Golden placed ninth and tenth overall.

Katie Lancaster
Katie Lancaster

Miles and Minutes, LLC, of Tallahassee, Florida timed and scored the 2017 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge.

Top Five Men, 2017 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge Community 5K
  1. 16:31.71, Chris Haynes
  2. 18:19.40, Jeff Oliver
  3. 19:21.37, Gary Droze
  4. 25:28.10, David Anderson
  5. 25:28.58, Gary Griffin

Top Five Women, 2017 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge Community 5K
  1. 24:52.54, Katie Lancaster
  2. 29:36.27, Michelle Stephens
  3. 29:38.05, Kelly Golden
  4. 32:45.95, Maureen Harrer
  5. 57:25.64, Pamela Saenz

Cougar Cross-Country Challenge Community 5K winners, 2015 - 2017
29 August 201518:23, Gary Droze24:06, Emily Smith19
27 August 201618:50, Gary Droze21:00, Amy Hines25
26 August 201716:32, Chris Haynes24:53, Katie Lancaster13


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