Saturday, April 21, 2018

Justin Garrard flies to the Palace in 15:15, Ani Veltcheva in 18:05

Back on 7 April 2018, Justin Garrard and Chris Haynes matched up in Tallahassee, Florida's premier 10K, the Springtime Road Race. Haynes prevailed that day, running 32:31 to Garrard's runner-up time of 33:23. Two weeks later, on Saturday morning, 21 April 2018, Haynes and Garrard met again in Tallahassee's premier 5K, the 44th annual Palace Saloon Road Race. This time Garrard got the win over Haynes, 15:15 to 15:21.

Justin Garrard, Chris Haynes
Justin Garrard

"We just decided to switch places," joked Garrard.


Gainesville, Florida's Ani Veltcheva wasn't switching, trading, or sharing the Palace Saloon 5K women's title with anyone. Thirteen-year-old Veltcheva was the first woman in the race for the third year in a row, placing thirteenth overall in 18:05.

Ani Veltcheva
Ani Veltcheva

Garrard and Haynes were the fastest of more than 800 athletes who gathered at Messer Field for the annual run down Jackson Bluff Road to the Palace Saloon. After a performance of the national anthem by the Tallahassee Boys Choir, the race got underway right at 8:00 AM. Haynes took the lead early.


"After the first 400 meters I saw the pace was lagging and I just went," said Haynes.

2018 Palace Saloon 5K
Lead group early in the second kilometer

Garrard tucked in right behind Haynes. Andrew Smith and Michael Niezgoda were also in the lead group, but Niezgoda fell back after the first kilometer of the five kilometer race. Smith lasted through two kilometers.


"It was a two-man race after that," said Garrard.


"I couldn't get away from him," said Haynes. "I tried."

Chris Haynes

There is one significant climb during the race, peaking about 800 meters from the finish. Garrard made his stand on that uphill.


"I moved ahead at the hill, on the uphill," said Garrard. "I'm a good climber. At Springtime I would gain on Chris on the uphills, and he would move back ahead on the downhills. I knew I had to get away from him before the downhill."

Andrew Smith

Garrard did. From the finish line at the Palace Saloon, the first runner the spectators saw coming over the ridge was Garrard. As the athletes raced down the hill, Garrard maintained his lead over Haynes, perhaps even pulling away. At the bottom of the slope, Garrard dashed over the Budweiser Creek bridge and across the finish line, winning the race in 15:15. A few seconds later, Haynes finished second in 15:21.


"I've been second three years in a row," said Haynes. "The times keep getting faster, though."

Caleb Carmichael

Andrew Smith took third in 15:52. Caleb Carmichael, the University of West Florida cross-country coach, was fourth in 16:33. Charlie Johnson was fifth in 16:51. Tony Guillen was the first master runner in the race, placing twelfth overall in 18:03.


"It was my first time doing this race," said Garrard. "It was a fun time."

Ani Veltcheva

Like Garrard, Ani Veltcheva had been a winner in her first Palace Saloon 5K, running 18:13 to take the 2016 title. Veltcheva successfully defended that title in 2017 with a 17:58. In the 2018 race she led the women's field from start to finish, running 18:05.


"I haven't run a 5K for a long time," said Veltcheva. "I don't remember the last 5K I ran. I've been busy with track season. I've got to defend my title at the middle school state meet in May."

Katie Sherron

Veltcheva actually has two events where she'll be trying to repeat as state champion, the 1500 and the 3000. An eighth-grader, this will be Veltcheva's final season of middle school track. She'll soon be graduating Abraham Lincoln Middle School and moving on to Gainesville High, where she'll be running cross-country in the fall. Veltcheva is also a competitive swimmer.


"I swim at least five days a week," said Veltcheva. "I run every day, too, of course."

Ann Centner

Two kilometers into the race, Katie Sherron and Ann Centner were running together, 25 seconds behind Veltcheva. Sherron broke away from Centner after that, and on the way to the finish line she managed to cut Veltcheva's lead in half.


"I thought maybe she was coming back at two miles, but it was just wishful thinking," said Sherron.

Sheryl Rosen

Still, Sherron did keep the youngster in sight. The FSU economics professor finished as the women's runner-up and eighteenth overall in 18:17. Centner was the third woman and 24th overall in 18:28. Sheryl Rosen, the 2013 Palace Saloon 5K women's champ, was fourth in the women's standings and 28th overall in 18:45. 2015 women's winner Lauren Poulos was the fifth woman and 43rd overall in 19:30. Corinne Porcher was the top woman master and the tenth female finisher, 79th overall in 21:29.


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2018 Palace Saloon 5K
  1. 15:15, Justin Garrard (M, 31)
  2. 15:21, Christopher Haynes (M, 25)
  3. 15:52, Andrew Smith (M, 23)
  4. 16:33, Caleb Carmichael (M, 33)
  5. 16:51, Charlie Johnson (M, 38)
  6. 17:04, Michael Niezgoda (M, 29)
  7. 17:19, Vince Molosky (M, 38)
  8. 17:24, Christopher O'Kelley (M, 25)
  9. 17:29, Hawthorne Hay (M, 16)
  10. 17:34, Ryan Truchelut (M, 32)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2018 Palace Saloon 5K
  1. 18:05, Ani Veltcheva (F, 13)
  2. 18:17, Katie Sherron (F, 36)
  3. 18:28, Ann Centner (F, 26)
  4. 18:45, Sheryl Rosen (F, 33)
  5. 19:30, Lauren Poulos (F, 32)
  6. 20:32, Jamila Allen (F, 28)
  7. 20:44, Jillian Heddaeus (F, 35)
  8. 21:02, Amanda Sava (F, 23)
  9. 21:29, Meg Ogle (F, 27)
  10. 21:29, Corinne Porcher (F, 49)

44 Years of Palace Saloon 5K Champions, 1975 - 2018
DateMenWomenFinishers
21 April 201815:15, Justin Garrard18:05, Ani Veltcheva815
15 April 201715:16, Stanley Linton17:58, Ani Veltcheva1043
16 April 201615:53, Nick Merrett18:13, Ani Veltcheva1048
11 April 201515:29, Tyler Udland17:54, Lauren Poulos1314
12 April 201415:52, Chris Lake17:45, Amy Hines1303
20 April 201315:46, Stanley Linton17:49, Sheryl Rosen1389
14 April 201216:07, Josh Myers17:20, Lindsay Zeiler1190
16 April 201115:48, Chris Lake 18:24, Lindsay Zeiler 1064
10 April 201015:45, Chris Lake 17:42, Christina Woytalewicz 1214
11 April 200916:21, John Robida 18:11, Lisa Johnson 1022
12 April 200815:25, Nick Sunseri 18:46, Lisa Johnson 782
14 April 200716:12, J. P. Cook 17:14, Breeda Willis 537
15 April 200616:04, Justin Cross 18:33, Stephanie Liles 456
16 April 200516:06, Lee Willis 16:31, Breeda Willis 318
10 April 200416:39, Shawn Patterson 18:29, Breeda Willis 299
12 April 200316:26, Martin Littlefield 19:21, Tricia Snyder 257
13 April 200217:22, Chris Stanley 21:03, Allison Eagen 189
14 April 200116:51, Art Remillard 19:05, Kate Wallace 219
15 April 200015:39, Paul Spangler 17:19, Anna Pichrtova 217
17 April 199915:45, Robert Pautienus 17:22, Sarah Docter-Williams 261
18 April 199816:18, Jason Carter 17:29, Sarah Docter-Williams 238
19 April 199715:53, Gary Droze 17:37, Sarah Docter-Williams 169
6 April 199615:55, Gary Droze 17:59, Jane Johnson 134
8 April 199516:01, Tim Simpkins 17:48, Jane Johnson 188
2 April 199414:56, Robin Rogers 17:51, Lisa Herman 252
3 April 199315:30, Andy Palmer 19:37, Carrie Hunnicutt 270
11 April 199215:48, Gary Droze 17:45, Paula Johnson ?
13 April 199115:10, Gary Droze 18:20, Vikki Saga 371
14 April 199014:57, David Keen 18:38, Vikki Saga
15 April 198915:23, Rick Miller 19:05, Yvonne Gsteiger
9 April 198815:30, Rick Miller 17:55, Karen MacHarg
11 April 198715:03, Jacob Hoesly 17:33, Karen MacHarg
12 April 198614:36, Paul Waldron 18:44, Paige Dempsey
9 March 198515:39, Rick Miller 17:52, Margaret Coomber
18 February 198415:32, Greg Doss 16:34, Kristy McDermott
16 April 198314:52, Rick Miller 16:38, Darien Andreu
20 March 1982??????????
21 March 198115:02, Dennis Lunne 18:16, Janice Gage
8 March 198014:59, George West 19:37, Marty Graham
10 March 197914:55, Tom Herron 17:37, Kathy Moore
25 February 197814:30, George West 17:45, Laura Ledbetter
15 January 1977George West?????
14 August 197614:37, George West 18:05, Janice Gage
15 November 197518:17, David Price 19:56, Janice Gage


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