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ALTON – A pair of Alton runners came out on top as 17-year-old Cassius Havis, a star runner on the Alton High School cross country and track teams, won the 10-mile race, and Richard Roberts, 23, won the 5K race at the 60th annual Alton Road Runners Great River Road Run, held Saturday along the Alton riverfront.
Although race day dawned with severe thunderstorms, and high winds later on in the morning, the weather settled down enough for the runners to enjoy somewhat idea conditions, and the day turned out to be ideal conditions for running.
“The race was awesome,” Alton Road Runners Club president and chief organizer Russ Colona said. “The weather held off, with the thunderstorms. It was crazy in the morning, with rain, wind, lightning and thunder, but it cleared out for us, it was nice, and the runners were happy that they didn’t have to run in the rain.”
Havis’ time for the 10-mile run was an amazing 56:43.65, a pace of 5:41 per mile in taking the win. He’s a middle and long-distance runner for the Redbirds’ track team, and also did well this season on the Alton cross country team.
“That’s a really good time,” Colona said.
April Lund, who’s from Bismarck, N.D., won the women’s division, finishing sixth overall with a time of 1:00:45.66.
“She’s won the last three years, and she ran it in 60:07,” Colona said. “That’s fast.”
In the overall men’s division of the 10-mile. Havis took the top spot, followed by Jonathan Koch of St. Louis, with a time of 58:02.96. Third place went to Jake Peal of Bethalto, who had a time of 58:13.03, with Justin Widuwilt of Collinsville coming in fourth with a time of 58:20.80, the last runner to break the hour barrier. Fifth place went to East Alon’s Brenden Springman, who had a time of 1:00.39.91, with the sixth spot going to Grant Seniker of Brighton, who’s time was 1:02:00,70, and taking seventh was Joe Sell of Greenville, S.C., with a time of 1:02.29,97, The eighth-place runner was John Sell of St Louis, coming in at 1:02,32.62, while the ninth-place male runner was Nathan Rugg of Glenview, Ill., who came in at 1:03:29.80, and rounding out the first 10 was Larry Smith of St. Louis at 1:05:20.47.
The women’s event was won by Lund, with the runner-up being Ashley Livengood of Maroa, Ill, who had a time of 1:03,12.79. Third place went to Maddie Keller of Troy, who had a time of 1:04.33.26. with fourth place clinched with a time of Megan Bagheri of Edwardsville, who came in at 1:09:20.42. The fifth-place runner was Mary Kronable of Godfrey, who had a time of 1:09:54.87, with sixth place going to Renee White of Michael, Ill, with a time of 1:10:55.17. The seventh-place runner was Tanya Colbert with a time of 1:11:50.38. Eighth place went to Anna Stirton of Godfrey, who came in at 1:13:04.74, ninth place went to Shannon Sides of St. Louis, who came in at 1;14:47.24, and 10th place went to Stephanie Pruitt of Bunker Hill, who’s time was 1:15:06.41,
In the men’s 5K run, the winner was Roberts with a time of 17:33.01, with second place going to Simon McClaine of Alon, who had a time of 19:54,40. Third place went to Emil Schlueter of Hillsdale, Mich., with a. time of 20:25.43, with the fourth-place runner being Hank McClaine, who had a time of 21:33.52. Finishing fifth was River Wrischnik of Godfrey, who came in at 21:31.42, coming in sixth place was Peter Burkettt, with a time of 21:49,53. Four Godfrey runners – Erick Humphrey, Mark Scandrett, James Humphrey and Al Davenport – finished seventh through 10th, with their times being 22:19,75, 22:25.93, 22:34,14, and 22:44,40 respectively.
Kelsey Randall of St. Louis won the women’s 5K run, coming in at 21:51.58, with second place going to Shannon Brinkeoetter of Forsyth, Ill., her time being 24:29.05. Third place went to Megan Douglas of Wood River, coming in at 25:47.00, fourth place was Rosanna Burkett at 27:05.54, and the fifth-place runner was Amy Denother, who had a time of 27:07.27. Elleana Lekas of Urbandale, Ia., was sixth at 27:42.48, seventh place was Abby Freeman of Bozeman, Mont., who had a time of 28:26.07, coming in eighth place was Chrissy Bailey of Flat Rock, Ind., with a time of 28:33,98, ninth place was Mary Schlueter of Hillsdale, Mich., with a time of 28;52.12, and rounding out the top ten was Sabrina Fulkerson, who’s time was 29:03.15.
Colona gave much credit to the huge staff of volunteers, who keep things going, no matter how bad things might get during the race, or before and after the race, doing yeoman’s work throughout race day.
“The volunteers did an incredible job in general,” Colona said, “because it was pretty nasty out there today, but the volunteers came through big for us. Full props to them. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Overall, it was a very successful day for the milestone event, and all of his previous fears early in the day turned out to be unfounded.
“I was pretty worried,” Colona said, “but everything turned out really good.”
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