Saturday, December 16, 2017

Johnson and Sherron rule the Tannenbaum Trail

“It’s a gorgeous day,” said Charlie Johnson. “I think I’ll go home and do some yard work.”


Saturday morning wasn’t over yet, but Johnson had already put in a full day in Tallahassee, Florida. He had just carried a load of signs and flags off the cross-country course at Apalachee Regional Park, trotting around the loop on foot. Before that he had already been around the course at full speed, winning Gulf Winds Track Club’s seventh annual Tannenbaum Trail 6K cross-country race in 20:19. Katie Sherron took the women’s title for the third time in the history of the event, placing fifth overall in 22:46.

Charlie Johnson
Charlie Johnson

A week before the Tannenbaum 6K, Apalachee Regional Park had been host to the USATF Junior Olympic Cross-Country National Championships. Seven weeks later the course would host the 2018 USATF Cross Country Championships. Looking even farther ahead, the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships were also coming to the park. But on Saturday morning, 16 December 2017, you didn’t have to be fighting for a national title to step onto the turf at ARPXC, because the Tannenbaum was open to anyone prepared to be on the starting line at 9:00 AM, willing to race six kilometers--just short of 3-3/4 miles. More than a hundred athletes took advantage of the opportunity to run on the championship course.


Halfway through the race, Charlie Johnson was leading those athletes. Matthew McCurdy, an alumnus of the Centre College cross-country team, was running in second, trailing Johnson by 40 meters. Vince Molosky, runner-up in the 2016 Tannenbaum 6K, held the third position. Neither McCurdy nor Molosky would get any closer, though. Johnson widened the gap during the second half of the race, leading by more than 100 meters at the five-kilometer mark. By the time he crossed the finish line in a winning 20:19, Johnson had expanded his lead to more than 200 meters. McCurdy took second in 21:15. Molosky placed third in 21:46--a mark almost identical to the the 21:47 he had run in the 2016 race. Carter Hay was the first master runner in the Tannenbaum, placing sixth overall in 22:47.

Katie Sherron
Katie Sherron

Katie Sherron, the women’s champ, was a step ahead of Hay in 22:46. Sherron had been second in the women’s standings the previous year, finishing behind Alyson Churchill. The other two years that Sherron raced the Tannenbaum, though, she had come away with the women’s title, winning in both 2011 and 2015. She was clearly the victor in 2017, crossing the finish line nearly 400 meters ahead of the next woman.


Sheryl Rosen was the women’s runner-up, placing fourteenth overall in 24:34. The 2014 women's champ, Jillian Heddaeus, overtook Alyssa Langston during the second half of the 2017 race to take third in the women's standings and seventeenth overall in 25:50. Langston was the fourth woman and eighteenth overall in 26:06.

Charlie Johnson, Matthew McCurdy, Vince Molosky
The leaders halfway through the race

There was a tight race for the top woman master’s spot, with Kenya Rich, Laura Reina, and Angela Dempsey each still in contention on the homestretch. Rich edged Reina at the finish line, 28:16 to 28:17, with Dempsey a little farther back in 28:23. Rich was the eighth woman and 34th overall, Reina the ninth woman and 35th overall, and Dempsey the tenth woman and 37th overall.


112 athletes finished the 2017 Tannenbaum Trail 6K. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
  1. 20:19, Charlie Johnson (M, 38)
  2. 21:15, Matthew McCurdy (M, 23)
  3. 21:46, Vince Molosky (M, 38)
  4. 22:44, Ryan Truchelut (M, 32)
  5. 22:47, Carter Hay (M, 46)
  6. 23:03, Jim Haley (M, 38)
  7. 23:07, Matthew Rowan (M, 49)
  8. 23:17, Kurt Dietrich (M, 26)
  9. 23:30, Paul Guyas (M, 40)
  10. 23:38, Michael Nesius (M, 33)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
  1. 22:46, Katie Sherron (F, 36)
  2. 24:34, Sheryl Rosen (F, 33)
  3. 25:50, Jillian Heddaeus (F, 34)
  4. 26:06, Alyssa Langston (F, 17)
  5. 27:07, Kristin Halley (F, 36)
  6. 27:39, Lilli Unger (F, 15)
  7. 28:03, Melissa Thompson (F, 33)
  8. 28:16, Kenya Rich (F, 45)
  9. 28:17, Laura Reina (F, 53)
  10. 28:23, Angela Dempsey (F, 49)

Tannenbaum Trail 6K Champions, 2011 - 2017
DateMenWomenFinishers
17 December 201119:49, Chris Lake25:33, Katie Showman173
15 December 201219:35, Kevin Sullivan21:56, Stefanie Slekis182
21 December 201320:51, Bryan Koon22:30, Jodie McGuff76
20 December 201420:17, Kyle Harris25:21, Jillian Heddaeus149
19 December 201520:36, Joseph Garcia23:30, Katie Sherron192
17 December 201620:30, Josh Andrews22:33, Alyson Churchill87
16 December 201720:19, Charlie Johnson22:46, Katie Sherron112


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