Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cravello and Sherron duel at the Sickle Cell 5K

Tallahassee, Florida's 36th annual Sickle Cell 5K was one of those races you wish you could see on television. There was close competition, lead changes, and a dramatic kick at the end. And at the end, it was Tristan Cravello taking first just ahead of Katie Sherron, 17:38 to 17:43.

Tristan Cravello
Tristan Cravello

On the morning of the race, Saturday, 9 September 2017, thoughts in Tallahassee were turned to Hurricane Irma. True, the storm was still hundreds of miles away in Cuba. Local conditions were far from ominious--clear skies, a pleasant breeze, and mild temperatures. But Irma's winds were blowing at 130 mph, the storm was expected to strengthen, and the National Hurricane Center was predicting a track that could well take Irma through town on Monday, right up Monroe Street. Football games and cross-country meets, sporting events involving travel, had been canceled. But if you weren't evacuating Tallahassee, and your bathtub was full and your generator was fueled, why not take a break from worrying about the storm walk or run at the Sickle Cell race? Nearly 200 athletes did.

Among those athletes were several past winners of the event. Tim Unger, Sickle Cell champion in 2000, was on the starting line. So was 2002 winner Mike LaBossiere and 2012 winner Paul Guyas. Brittney Barnes, women's champ in 2015 and 2016, was racing that morning, and so was were former women's winners Sheryl Rosen (2008) and Paula O'Neill (2014).

Katie Sherron
Katie Sherron

But it was Tristan Cravello, not any of the prior winners, who dashed out into the lead when the race started at 8:30 AM. Kurt Dietrich trailed in second during the early going, but Katie Sherron overtook Dietrich after the first kilometer.

"I've never done this one before," said Sherron. "I didn't know the course! We were supposed to be out of town. This was a last-minute decision to run this race."

It was also Cravello's first trip around the Sickle Cell 5K course, and near the mile mark, at the north end of Wahnish Way, Sherron saved him from going astray.

Paul Guyas
Paul Guyas

"Tristan wanted to turn right at Orange Avenue," recalled Sherron. "I yelled, 'Turn left!' And he veered back onto the course."

Cravello continued to lead after the misstep, with the field getting farther and farther behind except for Sherron. Sherron was gaining on Cravello.

"I thought it was going to be an easy race until the two-mile mark," said Cravello. "Katie and I had a battle after that."

Zach DeVeau
Zach DeVeau

Just past the two-mile mark, Sherron passed Cravello, taking over the lead.

"Going through the last mile I tried to stay in contact," said Cravello. "On the final straight I kicked and passed her."

With a fast finish on Tanner Drive, Cravello regained the lead, and crossed the finish line in a winning 17:38. Sherron, the first woman in the race, was second in 17:43.

Sheryl Rosen
Sheryl Rosen

"I used to run track and cross-country in high school," said Cravello. "As a college freshman I just run for fun now."

Cravello studies at Florida State University, the same school where Sherron is a professor of economics.

If the race for first wasn't drama enough, there was a tense struggle for third as well, with three runners each clocked in the same time of 18:09. Paul Guyas inched ahead for third, with Zach DeVeau taking fourth and Kurt Dietrich fifth.

Brittney Barnes
Brittney Barnes

Sheryl Rosen was second in the women's standings, placing sixth overall in 19:57. Brittney Barnes was the third woman in the race and seventh overall in 19:57. Tim Unger was the fastest master runner and eighth male finisher, twelfth overall in 21:55. Paula O'Neill was the first woman master and sixth female finisher, 21st overall in 24:14.

90 athlete finished the 2017 Sickle Cell 5K, with another 68 completing a 5K walk and 23 more the Tim Simpkins Mile. Gulf Winds Track Club of Tallahassee chip-timed the races.

Top Ten Men, 2017 Sickle Cell 5K
  1. 17:38, Tristan Cravello (M, 18)
  2. 18:09, Paul Guyas (M, 39)
  3. 18:09, Zach DeVeau (M, 29)
  4. 18:09, Kurt Dietrich (M, 26)
  5. 20:44, Erik Andersen (M, 34)
  6. 21:28, Giovanni Wolmers (M, 32)
  7. 21:44, Tarak Shisode (M, 25)
  8. 21:55, Tim Unger (M, 58)
  9. 22:16, Micah Wells (M, 20)
  10. 22:19, John Gray (M, 25)

Top Ten Women, 2017 Sickle Cell 5K
  1. 17:43, Katie Sherron (F, 35)
  2. 19:57, Sheryl Rosen (F, 33)
  3. 20:31, Brittney Barnes (F, 29)
  4. 20:48, Alyssa Terry (F, 24)
  5. 22:23, Lilli Unger (F, 14)
  6. 24:14, Paula O'Neill (F, 56)
  7. 24:27, Madison Sims (F, 10)
  8. 24:31, Caitlyn Prisco (F, 18)
  9. 25:21, Emily Kaiser (F, 25)
  10. 25:31, Alex Bramlage (F, 23)

Known Sickle Cell 5K winners, 1982 - 2017


8 September 1984 *

31 August 1985


19 September 198715:14.2, Jessie Close17:31.8, Karen MacHarg
17 September 198815:12, Jessie Close16:40, Carla Borovicka
16 September 198915:14, Jessie Close19:38, Barbara Balzer
15 September 199016:04, Bill Crooks18:23, Karen MacHarg
14 September 199115:18, Gary Droze18:47, Vikki Saga
12 September 199215:07, Gary Droze18:39, Carrie Hunnicutt
11 September 199315:50, Peter Kirk21:06, Leah Bonds
10 September 199415:47, Andy Palmer18:06, Jane Johnson
9 September 199515:51, John Otterson19:00, Carrie Weyant
14 September 199615:23, Bryan Erb17:58, Jane Johnson
13 September 199715:23, Gary Droze17:40, Sara Docter-Williams
12 September 199816:26, Tim Simpkins20:28, Julie Clark
11 September 199916:24, Robert Pautienus19:44, Kingsley Broughton
9 September 200016:55, Tim Unger17:40, Sandra Williams
8 September 200117:05, Tony Pearson19:39, Renata Strakova
14 September 200219:15, Michael LaBossiere24:03, Jane Cormier
13 September 200318:24, David Yon22:25, Kim Likens
11 September 200418:32, Scott Ruplinger22:29, Krista Killius
10 September 200518:28, Dan Pick22:00, Cathleen Willy
9 September 200617:36, Chris Gregory21:05, Summer Shepherd
8 September 200716:52, Michael Martinez20:18, Lindsay Thomas
13 Sepember 200816:05, Chris Lake19:11, Sheryl Rosen
12 September 200915:44, Chris Lake22:27, Julie Clark
11 September 201018:36, Trey Edwards22:13, Nancy Stedman
10 September 201116:29, Gary Droze21:21, Tiffany Barz
8 September 201218:18, Paul Guyas20:06
14 September 2013??
13 September 201416:48, Roger Schmidt22:18, Paula O'Neill
12 September 201517:24, Matthew Nazareth20:10, Brittney Barnes
10 September 201617:41, Geb Kiros20:05, Brittney Barnes
* Four-mile run


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